Reading Units (2 x 30 credits)
You will take two route-specific Reading units, which look at the forms, themes, styles and techniques used by a range of writers in modern and contemporary literature. Outstanding writing is considered in terms of composition, process and presentation, and its relevance to your own work-in-progress.
The Workshop (2 x 15 credits)
Workshops are led by established practitioners in the specialist literary field (Novel, Poetry, Writing for Children/Young Adults Scriptwriting or Creative Non-Fiction), giving student writers a committed editorial readership of professionals and peers, and generating and developing material for a proposed full-length book or script. It is expected that the creative work generated will eventually contribute to your Dissertation.
Dissertation (60 credits)
This unit will build on and progress material produced during the MA Workshop units. You will compile and edit your creative writing into a substantial, continuous extract from a proposed longer work-in-progress and provide a Genesis Document: an account of the origins of and inspirations for your writing.
Likely Optional Units
Crime Fiction (30 credits)
This unit offers you an opportunity to look closely at crime fiction, to study its core elements, and develop your own practice in the genre through creative writing exercises and the completion of a short crime story. The unit combines critical study of crime fiction with creative work within the genre.
Teaching Creative Writing (30 credits)
This course introduces you to techniques for developing and delivering creative writing workshops in schools and/or community settings, and is designed to encourage participants to produce original writing in a variety of styles and genres. Consideration of key pedagogic theories and analyses of demonstrations will offer background context and enable critical reflection on workshop practice.
Writing About Relationships (30 credits)
This course unit explores writing about love and partnership and is designed to help you gain confidence, avoid cliché and improve the quality of your prose style as you write about human relationships and intimacy. Attention will be paid to dialogue, characterisation, setting and narrative strategy and you will have the opportunity to develop your own writing in creative workshops. The traditional romance genre will be interrogated and its appeal explored.
From Historical Fact to Contemporary Fiction (30 credits)
This course introduces you to the findings of historical experts and the outputs of writers of historical fiction, and considers the possibilities offered by historical records and artefacts to creative writers of historical fiction. The course will combine reading, writing and discussion about historical fiction in a workshop format, and include sessions on reading source material, writing from source material, and the application of forensic science to historical reconstruction.
You will work with a supervisor from our creative writing team to define an independent project in a form, and on a topic, of your choosing. This may be focussed on the production of a creative artefact, or may involve working with an external partner – for example an organisation in the creative industries. You will conduct preliminary research, and submit a detailed proposal. And you will undertake a major piece of creative work. This may take the form of a creative artefact – a book of poems, a screenplay or a novel chapter – or you may wish to work on a creative project with an external partner beyond the University.
How to Make a Children’s Book (30 credits)
Taking in material from The Hungry Caterpillar to Hunger Games, this course offers an introduction to writing for children. Attention will be paid to dialogue, characterisation, setting, narrative strategy and target audience. A critical introduction to the history of Children’s Literature will underpin the creative aspects of the course, and help students explore ideas of ‘the child’ and the implied reader.
Utopias and Dystopias (30 credits)
This unit offers students an opportunity to look closely at utopias and dystopias, to study their core elements, and develop practice in the genre through creative writing exercises and the completion of a short utopian or dystopian story. The unit combines critical study of utopias and dystopias with creative work within the genre. Through close reading and discussion, students will discover how the narrative techniques which are essential elements of utopias and dystopias can be applied in other modes of fiction writing.