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Masters Degrees (Essay Writing)

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​The MA Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University is taught by published writers and researchers. The course is aimed to support you while you develop and hone your critical and creative writing skills, particularly in the field of fiction. Read more

Course Overview

​The MA Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University is taught by published writers and researchers. The course is aimed to support you while you develop and hone your critical and creative writing skills, particularly in the field of fiction. You can take our MA for professional development purposes, in order to enhance your career, and to increase your likelihood of publication. The MA will also help you specialise in the areas of creative practice and contemporary writing in order to pave the way for doctoral study.

We have expertise across a number of fields and our academic community is vibrant and dynamic with strong industry links. We have a focus on the contemporary that is underpinned with expertise in historical periods.

One of the great strengths of the programme is its flexibility. MA Creative Writing can be studied either full or part time. Modules can be taken individually, allowing you to control the pace and depth of your postgraduate study. Programme delivery is enhanced by the university's commitment to e-learning.

See the website https://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/education/courses/Pages/Creative-Writing---MA.aspx

​Course Content​​

All of our modules are co​re and are delivered over one year full time or two years part time.

Term 1
- Researching Humanities
Researching Humanities will introduce you to research methods at MA level. The module provides a thorough breakdown of research methods across the fields of Creative Writing and English Literature. This module is taught across all of our MA Creative Writing and English Literature pathways and it is also a great opportunity for you to get to know your peers.

- Short Story Writing
Short Story Writing provides a thorough introduction to the short story. This is done through two distinct, but integrated, approaches: a critical analysis of the development of the short story, with particular focus on twentieth century and contemporary writing; and through the creative practice itself. Each week you'll be encouraged to explore key techniques and approaches in your own writing through writing workshops.

- New & Experimental Writing
In New and Experimental Writing you will encounter a range of transgressive texts from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Starting with the avant-garde, the module proceeds chronologically to the contemporary. We interrogate what it means to transgress aesthetic norms at various points in time and take into consideration historical and cultural context to consider whether there might be a connection between the challenging of literary and social standards. You will be able to approach these texts via a number of methodologies, including theoretical and creative.

Term 2
- Novel Writing
Novel Writing extends and deepens your engagement with fiction writing. The module provides you with a thorough introduction to the novel as a distinct fictional genre focussing on the contemporary. As well as examining key works, you'll also be working on your own creative practice. A key part of the module focuses on the preparation of your work for publication.

- Writing the City
In Writing the City you'll explore representations of urban space through set texts and in your own creative writing. In this module you’ll examine texts that explore the urban in literary fiction, particularly throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

- Critical Practice
Critical Practice prepares you for your dissertation through which you'll be able to submit a substantial body of creative work along with a contextualising critical commentary.

- Dissertation
The Dissertation module is your opportunity to create a portfolio of writing, such as a collection of short stories or an excerpt of a novel that you are working on. The creative work will be accompanied by a critical reflection in which you contextualise your writing within a critical framework and with reference to other texts.

Learning & Teaching​

​Most modules are taught through group workshops and seminars. Some modules will also include individual tutorials and the dissertation module is delivered entirely through one-to-one tutorials with your supervisor.

In workshops and seminars full use is made of University technology and course materials will be delivered and stored through our Virtual Learning Environment. It will be possible for you to access the Virtual Learning Environment remotely and you will be encouraged to do so.

Most modules are 20 or 30 credits although we also have a 10 credit module and the dissertation is worth 60 credits. In a 10 credit module you will receive 11 hours of timetabled teaching and you will be expected to conduct 89 hours of independent study. In a 20 credit module you will receive 22 hours of timetabled teaching and you will be expected to conduct 178 hours of independent study. In a 30 credit module you will receive 33 hours of timetabled teaching and you will be expected to conduct 267 hours of independent study. The 60 credit dissertation is mainly conducted with independent study. You will receive 6 hours of tutorial supervision (this includes supervisors looking over your work) and you will be expected to conduct 594 hours of independent study.

Each student is appointed a personal tutor who will be available for academic advice, pastoral support and personal development planning. Tutors also have weekly office hours.

A critical but supportive environment is achieved through a combination of workshops, research seminars and e-learning. You will be introduced to the practicalities of preparing and submitting your work for publication.

Assessment

We have a variety of approaches to assessment across the programme depending upon the module. All creative practice modules (Short Story Writing, Novel Writing, Dissertation) are assessed through portfolios of creative work and accompanying critical essays in which you are required to reflect on your creative practice and to contextualise your work with reference to other texts. These modules also include class-based formative peer-assessment in the form of writing workshops. These do not count towards your final grade but the sessions do help you grow and reflect as a critical and creative writer.

In some modules (New and Experimental Writing, Writing the City) you can choose your method of assessment (creative portfolio and critical essay, or essay, or reflection, for example).

In the introductory Researching the Humanities module you will be ask to produce a visual representation of a chosen research method, in the form of a poster. In other modules, such as Writing the City, you will be asked to post your work to a reflective blog.

Modules also make use of Virtual Learning Environments for assessments and you may be asked to view material online and then to respond to it.

You will receive tutor support in class and through our VLE in order to prepare you for each assessment point. We also have library facilities online and at campus.

Employability & Careers​

Many of our students use the course to generate and hone their own writing for publication. Our creative practice modules are designed with eventual publication in mind. For example, in our Novel Writing module you will be taught how to write a synopsis for submission to an agent or publisher. Several of our students have had publication success (see below).

The MA is also a great choice for those wishing to enhance their employment and professional opportunities in editorial and publishing careers. The programme is suitable for those who would like to become teachers of creative writing or who are already teachers. For example, teachers of English at ‘A’ Level and GCSE often find the course suitable for professional development purposes, providing them with skills to enhance their teaching of creative writing within their current curricula or skilling them up to deliver the new Creative Writing ‘A’ Level.

Our MA is appropriate for those who would like careers in community-based education and practice. The course also prepares you for further study at PhD level at Cardiff Metropolitan University and beyond.

This degree will encourage you to develop the valuable transferable skills of autonomy, effective collaboration, self-direction, organisation, initiative and adaptability that are highly regarded in the workplace.

Recent student publishing successes:
Barbara A Stensland (MA Creative Writing) writes a blog about living with MS that has recently been published as a book, Stumbling in Flats (2015). It has been shortlisted for The International Rubery Book Award 2015.

Emre Karatoprak (MA Creative Writing) had his first novel published on Amazon, Türbülans (2013).

Alex Sambrook (MA Creative Writing) had a short story shortlisted in the prestigious Bridport Short Story Competition (2012).

Stacey Taylor, (MA English & Creative Writing), won the It Started With a Kiss competition run by Authonomy in November 2011 with a 416 word flash fiction.

Find information on Scholarships here https://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/scholarships

Find out how to apply here https://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply

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​MA English Literature & Creative Writing is a rewarding taught degree, combining the study of English Literature with the theoretical and practical component of fiction writing. Read more

Course Overview

​MA English Literature & Creative Writing is a rewarding taught degree, combining the study of English Literature with the theoretical and practical component of fiction writing.

The MA is taught by published writers and researchers. The course is aimed to support you while you develop and hone your critical and creative writing skills, particularly in the field of fiction. You can take our MA for professional development purposes, in order to enhance your career and to increase your likelihood of publication. The MA will also help you specialise in the areas of creative practice as well as contemporary and historical literature in relation to place and space in order to pave the way for doctoral study.

We have expertise across a number of fields and our academic community is vibrant and dynamic with strong industry links.

The English Literature part of the degree analyses historic and contemporary textual representations of place, theorising cultural practices of location and space. The Creative Writing modules are specifically designed to develop you as a writer of fiction.

One of the great strengths of the programme is its flexibility. MA English Literature and Creative Writing can be studied either full or part time. Modules can be taken individually, allowing you to control the pace and depth of your postgraduate study. Programme delivery is enhanced by the university’s commitment to e-learning​.

See the website https://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/education/courses/Pages/English-and-Creative-Writing---MA.aspx

Course Content​​

All of our modules are core and are delivered over one year full time or two years part time.
Term 1
- Researching Humanities
Researching Humanities will introduce you to research methods at MA level. The module provides a thorough breakdown of research methods across the fields of Creative Writing and English Literature. This module is taught across all of our MA Creative Writing and English Literature pathways and it is also a great opportunity for you to get to know your peers.

- Short Story Writing
Short Story Writing provides a thorough introduction to the short story. This is done through two distinct, but integrated, approaches: a critical analysis of the development of the short story, with particular focus on twentieth century and contemporary writing; and through the creative practice itself. Each week you'll be encouraged to explore key techniques and approaches in your own writing through writing workshops.

- Literature and Landscapes
In Literature and Landscapes, you’ll examine artistic and literary representations of landscape, and engage with the complex social, cultural and aesthetic factors that contribute to the formation of identity. The module provides a comparative foundation from which you’ll consider representations of the urban encountered in Writing the City.

Term 2
- Novel Writing
Novel Writing extends and deepens your engagement with fiction writing. The module provides you with a thorough introduction to the novel as a distinct fictional genre focussing on the contemporary. As well as examining key works, you'll also be working on your own creative practice. A key part of the module focuses on the preparation of your work for publication.

- Writing the City
In Writing the City you'll explore representations of urban space through set texts and in your own creative writing. In this module you’ll examine texts that explore the urban in literary fiction, particularly throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

- Critical Practice
Critical Practice prepares you for your dissertation through which you'll be able to submit a substantial body of creative work along with a contextualising critical commentary.

- Dissertation
The Dissertation module is your opportunity to create a portfolio of writing, such as a collection of short stories or an excerpt of a novel that you are working on. The creative work will be accompanied by a critical reflection in which you contextualise your writing within a critical framework and with reference to other texts.

Learning & Teaching​

​Most modules are taught through group workshops and seminars. Some modules will also include individual tutorials and the dissertation module is delivered entirely through one-to-one tutorials with your supervisor.

In workshops and seminars full use is made of University technology and course materials will be delivered and stored through our Virtual Learning Environment. It will be possible for you to access the Virtual Learning Environment remotely and you will be encouraged to do so.

Most modules are 20 or 30 credits although we also have a 10-credit module and the dissertation is worth 60 credits.

In a 10-credit module you will receive 11 hours of timetabled teaching and you will be expected to conduct 89 hours of independent study. In a 20-credit module you will receive 22 hours of timetabled teaching and you will be expected to conduct 178 hours of independent study. In a 30-credit module you will receive 33 hours of timetabled teaching and you will be expected to conduct 267 hours of independent study. The 60-credit dissertation is mainly conducted with independent study. You will receive 6 hours of tutorial supervision (this includes supervisors looking over your work) and you will be expected to conduct 594 hours of independent study.

Each student is appointed a personal tutor who will be available for academic advice, pastoral support and personal development planning. Tutors also have weekly office hours.

A critical but supportive environment is achieved through a combination of workshops, research seminars and e-learning. You will be introduced to the practicalities of preparing and submitting your work for possible publication.

Assessment

We have a variety of approaches to assessment across the programme depending upon the module. All creative practice modules (Short Story Writing, Novel Writing, Dissertation) are assessed through portfolios of creative work and accompanying critical essays in which you are required to reflect on your creative practice and to contextualise your work with reference to other texts. These modules also include class-based formative peer-assessment in the form of writing workshops. These do not count towards your final grade but the sessions do help you grow and reflect as a critical and creative writer.

In some modules (Writing the City) you can choose your method of assessment (creative portfolio and critical essay, or essay, or reflection, for example). In other modules (Literature and Landscapes) you will be asked to produce an essay.

In the introductory Researching the Humanities module you will be ask to produce a visual representation of a chosen research method, in the form of a poster. In other modules, such as Writing the City, you will be asked to post your work to a reflective blog.

Modules also make use of Virtual Learning Environments for assessments and you may be asked to view material online and then to respond to it.

You will receive tutor support in class and through our VLE in order to prepare you for each assessment point. We also have library facilities online and at campus.​

Employability & Careers​

Many of our students use the course to generate and hone their own writing for publication. Our creative practice modules are designed with eventual publication in mind. For example, in our Novel Writing module you will be taught how to write a synopsis for submission to an agent or publisher. Several of our students have had publication success (see below).

The MA is also a great choice for those wishing to enhance their employment and professional opportunities in editorial and publishing careers. The programme is suitable for those who would like to become teachers of English literature and creative writing as well as those who are already teachers. For example, teachers of English at ‘A’ Level and GCSE often find the course suitable for professional development purposes, providing them with skills to enhance their teaching of English literature creative writing within their current curricula or skilling them up to deliver the new Creative Writing ‘A’ Level.

Our MA is appropriate for those who would like careers in community-based education and practice. The course also prepares you for further study at PhD level at Cardiff Metropolitan University and beyond.

This degree will encourage you to develop the valuable transferable skills of autonomy, effective collaboration, self-direction, organisation, initiative and adaptability that are highly regarded in the workplace.

Recent student publishing successes:
Barbara A Stensland (MA Creative Writing) writes a blog about living with MS that has recently been published as a book, Stumbling in Flats (2015). It has been shortlisted for The International Rubery Book Award 2015.

Emre Karatoprak (MA Creative Writing) had his first novel published on Amazon, Türbülans (2013).

Alex Sambrook (MA Creative Writing) had a short story shortlisted in the prestigious Bridport Short Story Competition (2012).

​Stacey Taylor, (MA English & Creative Writing), won the It Started With a Kiss competition run by Authonomy in November 2011 with a 416 word flash fiction.

Find information on Scholarships here https://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/scholarships

Find out how to apply here https://www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/howtoapply

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The MA in Creative Writing is an exciting new programme at Durham University. Taught by award-winning writers Dr Paul Batchelor and Dr Vidyan Ravinthiran, this is an academically rigorous programme that will develop students’ practical knowledge of writing poetry and prose fiction. Read more

The MA in Creative Writing is an exciting new programme at Durham University. Taught by award-winning writers Dr Paul Batchelor and Dr Vidyan Ravinthiran, this is an academically rigorous programme that will develop students’ practical knowledge of writing poetry and prose fiction. Students will receive structured support through writing workshops and one-to-one tutorials in order to develop their own ideas. Students will also study a broad range of literature from the 20th and 21st centuries, and produce new work in response.

Core Modules

Creative Writing Poetry OR Creative Writing Prose Fiction

Each student will take one of these writing-workshop modules. In these modules students will write longer pieces within their chosen literary discipline, sharing their work and giving and receiving feedback and suggestions from the module convenor and the other students. There are few if any writing exercises. Each student can expect to have their work scrutinised closely in a workshop setting several times. These modules are assessed via a portfolio of ten pages of poetry plus 2,000-word self-critique, OR a 6,000-word portfolio of prose fiction plus 2,000-word self-critique.

Reading as a Writer

This seminar module brings poets and prose writers together, and (unlike any of the other core modules for Creative Writing) is also open to English Studies students. Each week we discuss some key poetry and prose from across the twentieth century, focusing on the technical innovations introduced by the writers studied, and the ways in which writers learn from one another, both within their medium and beyond it. The module combines breadth and depth of coverage, offering students an advanced understanding of a range of writers, schools, and styles in order to broaden their research interests, and help them to identify and research a topic of their own choosing with guidance from a subject specialist in the extended essay part of the Research Project. It is assessed via two 3,000-word essays. 

Reading as a Writer: the Workshop

This is very much a companion module to Reading as a Writer, and is a writing-workshop module focusing on short, directed writing assignments and their discussion. The focus will be on formal and technical experiments, stretching students’ technical facility via assignments inspired by the texts studied on Reading as a Writer. Prose writers and poetry students will once again work side by side, sharing work and ideas, learning to appreciate literary conventions and their subversion. Each student can expect to have their work work shopped several times, though these engagements will not be as formal or thorough as those in Creative Writing Prose Fiction or Creative Writing Poetry. Assignments might include adapting syntactical techniques; investigative creative non-fiction; experimenting with poetic forms; creative translation; writing an opening paragraph; or trying out editing methods. It is assessed via a portfolio of EITHER ten pages of poetry OR 6,000 words of prose fiction, plus 2,000-word self-critique. 

Research Project

The Research Project provides students with the opportunity to produce a 6-8,000-word extended critical essay on a subject of their choosing. Students choose their own extended essay titles, with guidance from the module convenor and subject to the approval of the English Studies Board of Examiners. Focusing on depth rather than breadth, the essay is independently researched and builds on the work covered in the taught elements of the programme. Students will be expected to choose a research topic with particular bearing on their own creative practice, and to reflect on how their critical and creative work have informed one another, either in the main body of the essay, the introduction, or chapter dedicated to integrative reflection. Students may wish to refer to specific aspects of their own writing when writing this part of the essay. The Research Project also provides the opportunity for students to to produce a final portfolio of creative work: poets will be asked to produce ten pages of poetry; prose writers produce 6-8,000 words of fiction. The portfolio will consist of new work, produced after the completion of the structured workshop-oriented modules. The module is assessed via an extended essay of 6,000-8,000 words and a creative writing portfolio of EITHER ten pages of poetry OR 6,000-8,000 words of prose fiction.

Optional Modules

Creative Writing students would take one module of their own choosing, either from the English Studies MA modules or taking this new optional module:

The Word in the World

This module focuses on the ways in which the students’ writing can be made available to the public. It would take the form of a series of lectures and seminars covering topics such as: how writers make a living; the possibilities and challenges presented by collaborating with other artists; how to adjust teaching methods according to the setting and audience; how to write a pitch letter; how to get a literary agent; submitting work to poetry journals; how to make the most of web resources; how to communicate with an editor; book design, blurbs, jackets; writing copy; formats; sales and distribution channels; publicity and promotion; book reviewing, etc. This part of the module will be taught both in-house at Durham and via visiting speakers such as editors, industry experts. Students would also be invited to either collaborate with a student in another medium (most likely music or the visual arts) or go on a teaching or literary-industry placement that would take place in July. This module is assessed via one 3,000-word essay and one 3,000-word report on the industry placement, teaching placement, or collaborative project.



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Why Surrey?. Our programme will build your confidence and technical ability in composing creative prose and/or poetry, while deepening your critical awareness of the cultural, literary and theoretical history of text production. Read more

Why Surrey?

Our programme will build your confidence and technical ability in composing creative prose and/or poetry, while deepening your critical awareness of the cultural, literary and theoretical history of text production.

Teaching is research-led, so you benefit from the individual expertise and passion of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of published authors and academics, including our Poet in Residence and Distinguished Writer in Residence.

Programme overview

The MA Creative Writing programme will hone your research and writing skills to produce critically informed prose or poetry, and creative criticism. We will help you to locate your work in its literary and cultural context, and you will have the chance to reflect on your creative process and the finished work.

You will have access to a yearly calendar of events hosted at the University created to broaden your thinking, and develop your writing skills such as the Morag Morris Poetry Lecture, the annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival and the Surrey Poetry Festival.

The MA in Creative Writing provides a strong foundation to embark upon a career in writing, communications, publishing, marketing, advertising, journalism or teaching, or to undertake a PhD.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and an extended portfolio.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Educational aims of the programme

The MA Programme in Creative Writing will prepare graduates to undertake a PhD programme in the relevant field.

It will also provide students with the transferable skills of creative writing, critical thinking, textual analysis and communication that are attractive to a wide range of employers, from the cultural industries to marketing and advertising to tourism and leisure to the civil service and public/private partnerships.

It is designed to build confidence and technical ability in a variety of modes of imaginative writing, and to provide students with a clear-eyed grounding in contemporary and historical contexts of text production and circulation, including practical advice on the workings of the publishing industry.

Devoted to assisting students to understand and meet the challenges of producing high quality creative writing in poetry and prose, the programme also provides advanced understanding of the contexts, theoretical paradigms, methodologies and modes of interpretation that are vital in a full understanding of literary production.

The main aims are to:

  • Produce work that reflects a high level of technical ability and engages productively with its historical, cultural and literary contexts
  • Acquire sound knowledge of the major principles of literary criticism
  • Reflect on their own practice as literary critics and how this can help to improve their own creative practice

As a Master’s level programme, it also aims to instil in students the capacity for carrying out independent research.

Academics and events

As a student on this Masters, you will benefit from the expertise of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of published academics and authors.

You will have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year. These events cover a range of topics to broaden your thinking in the fields of literature, language and linguistics, cultural studies and creative writing.

Writers to have recently visited the University of Surrey include:

Novelists

  • Iain Sinclair
  • Monica Ali
  • Jaspreet Singh
  • Nikita Lalwani

Poets

  • J.H. Prynne
  • Robert Fitterman
  • Allen Fisher
  • Gilbert Adair

Critics

  • Rod Mengham
  • Bernard O’Donoghue
  • Barbara Hardy

Each year’s cultural activities begin with the Morag Morris Poetry Lecture on campus by a visiting speaker and feature readings by students at the Guildford School of Acting.

The annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival and Surrey Poetry Festival – both affiliated with the Creative Writing programmes at the University of Surrey – aim to engage with writing and creativity in dynamic ways, and involve readings, book signings, performances, panel discussions and more.

This graduate program is delivered by the University's Creative Writing team, all of whom are published authors and poets:

  • Dr Paul Vlitos, Lecturer in Creative Writing
  • Dr Holly Luhning, Lecturer in Creative Writing
  • Dr Stephen Mooney, Lecturer in Creative Writing and former Poet in Residence
  • Dr Angela Szczepaniak, Lecturer in Creative Writing

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.



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The skills of storytelling are timeless. Tackle the creative, analytical and professional sides of script writing for film, television and radio on this industry-accredited MA. Read more

The skills of storytelling are timeless. Tackle the creative, analytical and professional sides of script writing for film, television and radio on this industry-accredited MA.

With myriad new media platforms there are more opportunities to create content than ever before. And all these require a script and a story. But how do you get your work to industry-standard and in front of the right people? 

The questions we explore

The main question you have to ask yourself for this MA programme is: do I really need to be a writer more than anything else? That’s quite brutal, but script writing is a tough profession. You’re totally exposed as a creative person, it’s you and the page and the tradition in which you’re working, and that can be a liberating but also uncomfortable place to be. 

The processes we use

The programme is not about learning how to be a writer; it’s about developing and pushing forward your own writing projects as far and as fast as you can within 12 months. You’ll be developing your own voice, learning how to critique the work of others, and getting to grips with marketing your projects. You’ll also be making industry contacts so you can pitch for employment in an extremely competitive industry. 

You’ll cover every aspect of the writing process from getting ideas, maintaining productive writing practices and developing characters and story lines, to presenting your work to an industry standard and pitching your ideas. Writing is a lonely business – that’s why the community of writers that the programme gives you is such a creative advantage.

The approach we take

This is an MA that really focuses on you as the student. There are lectures, but most of the time you’ll be working one-to-one with a writing tutor or within small group workshops (with a maximum of 13 people). 

We keep the course small deliberately. In this way we know your individual work and you know other students’ work through the weekly feedback process. We also believe you don’t know who you are until you’re relating to another person, and ultimately this is what script writing is about: making that connection. 

Modules & structure

A core course is designed to give you the skills and understanding required to develop your Treatment for a feature film or equivalent television or radio script. The course is taught mostly with workshops, in which you present and discuss your own work with other students in a supportive environment. There are also class exercises, lectures, screenings, master classes, seminars and individual tutorials.

Starting in the Spring Term, the course then develops your Treatment into a second draft feature script (or its equivalent).

You'll then be able to pick from a selection of option modules. 

Modules 

The MA is composed of:

You also produce a Reflection Essay (15 credits), and choose option modules to the value of 75 credits from the following list:

Assessment

You are assessed on your portfolio, which consists of your long form treatment and second draft feature script or equivalent, your 4,000-word Reflection essay on this script, linked to issues in Media and Culture and a radio script adapted from a source text. In addition, depending on your options, your portfolio could also include a 10-12 page short script or script-editing proposal and coverage. Other modules are assessed by 5-6,000-word essays.

Skills & careers

MA Script Writing is all about the product. So when you complete this masters, you leave with a whole portfolio of writing, a set of professional skills, a list of industry contacts, and a set of professional friendships through the Goldsmiths Screen School. 

The programme gives you a safe, supportive and stimulating environment to unpack your ideas, get constructive feedback, make mistakes, and find the story you want to tell. In the end though, it’s down to you as an individual to become the writer you want to be.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

 



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Our MLitt in Writing Practice and Study is like no other Creative Writing course in the UK. Small, bespoke and intimate, it offers you an experience that gets you writing from week one and has you feeling like a "real" writer from the very start. Read more
Our MLitt in Writing Practice and Study is like no other Creative Writing course in the UK. Small, bespoke and intimate, it offers you an experience that gets you writing from week one and has you feeling like a "real" writer from the very start.

Why study Writing Practice & Study at Dundee?

This degree gives you the opportunity to translate creative interests into a fully accredited postgraduate programme of study, with flexibility and individual needs built into its delivery. It has been created and is directed by Professor Kirsty Gunn, an award winning international author whose work has been translated and published in a number of territories all over the world.

Our programme is distinctive in its approach and teaching, and highly engaged in the world of contemporary publishing, offering students the opportunity to meet with writers and publishers from around the UK and beyond and to take part in our varied and exciting range of literary activities, from performing their own work to being "showcased" at our Literary Festival.

You will learn how to:
Create and develop your own writing practice through a series of creative and practical workshops
Present and talk about your own work with authority and confidence - in the context of literary studies and a knowledge of the creative marketplace.
Read others' writing with sensitivity, intelligence and critical awareness.
Build a significant folio of creative work and develop this into work of a standard that is ready for formal presentation.
Each module can be studied separately, or as part of a full degree or diploma that can be taken part time or full time.

We can guarantee that your writing during the course of your programme will be productive, intellectually stimulating and highly creative.

What's so good about Writing Practice & Study at Dundee?

In addition to producing a range of finished work for assessment during the year, you will also learn about the details of publishing, finding agents, setting your work in a context and making the important connection between the scale and shape of your writing and your aspirations for it. You'll have the opportunity to undertake specialist master classes with top-name authors, and go on visits to sites of special interest for the creative student - in the past these have included the D'Arcy Thomson Museum and the Scottish Poetry Library.

Literary Dundee

With an annual Literary Festival, regular and varied literary salons, poetry workshops, readings from internationally renowned and local authors, and much more, the events organised under the umbrella of Literary Dundee complement the course perfectly.

"Studying for an MLitt gave me the time and opportunity to work on my debut novel which was published soon after I graduated. I found the teaching and supportive environment to be invaluable during that time and it has had a great impact on my confidence since."
Zoe Venditozzi - graduated MLitt 2012

Zoe's novel is Anywhere's Better Than Here, published by Sandstone Press Ltd

How you will be taught

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months on a fulltime basis.

This programme is varied in delivery and content, comprising four-hour writing workshops to seminars to individual tutorials, helping you to develop practical, intelligent and highly creative methods by which you can approach your writing.

What you will study

During the first two semesters (September to December and January to April), students take the following core modules:

Creating Writing*
Studying Writing
Each student also selects two optional modules (40 credits each) from a list available each year. The currently available modules are:

Publishing Writing
Performing Writing
Refining Writing
Writing, Texts & Books
Planning Writing
You will then (from May to September) go on to undertake a dissertation worth 60 credits. You develop the theme or idea for your dissertation over the year, with the help of tutors.

*Creating Writing may be taken on a stand-alone basis.

How you will be assessed

Assessment is normally by creative folio (6,000 words) and accompanying essay (2,500 words), or two essays.
Assessment for the research-led modules is normally by essay (2,000-2,500 words or 2,500-3,000 words).
The dissertation or creative manuscript has a word limit of 15,000, and includes a reflective piece of writing (3,000 words).
All students must attempt the dissertation. Students whose dissertation fails to satisfy the examiners will be awarded the PG Diploma, provided that the taught elements of the course have been successfully completed.

Careers

Our graduates go on to be involved in a range of exciting literary activities - that range from publication of creative work to participation in national festivals and reading events. Recent students' successes include a first novel coming out with Sandstone this year, a placement in Canongate Publishing, Writers' Awards from Creative Scotland and the Scottish Books Trust, and the performance of a play. Our ex-students tend to stay part of our literary and creative community at Dundee after they have finished their formal studies with us - for as much as we believe in involving participants as fully and creatively as we can while they are with us, so do we not like to see them go!

This alone, makes our programme distinctive and individual and the very opposite of a large, more anonymous school. As a result our students are highly proactive and fully creatively engaged in the publishing and cultural world after they receive their degree.

"I am so glad I did the Creative Writing module offered by the English department at Dundee as part of my MLitt degree pathway in Humanities. I am currently finishing a second novel, halfway through writing the script of a play, and working on a paper for the Conference of Clinical Anatomists. I am also involved in two or three different writing-in-the-community projects. The contacts I've made, and my confidence in trying different genres, is in large part attributable to that module."
Eddie Small, graduate

Learn more about careers related to the Humanities on our Careers Service website.

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This programme is designed to meet the needs of committed students who are interested in exploring and exploiting their own possibilities as writers, and in critically examining their own writing. Read more

This programme is designed to meet the needs of committed students who are interested in exploring and exploiting their own possibilities as writers, and in critically examining their own writing. It is unique in combining creative and life writing in a stimulating and enriching programme.

We examine relevant literary and cultural theory as well as the politics and practicalities of language and writing from the point of view of the writer.

Practitioner-led, the programme offers you the opportunity to work with a range of published writers who visit the College to give readings and lead workshops.

Visiting writers have included William Fiennes, Jackie Kay and Aminatta Forna. Poetry Masterclasses have been led by Sharon Olds, Les Murray, Derek Walcott and C K Williams. We also expect to draw fully upon London’s rich tradition as a converging point for culturally diverse literary practices.

Our graduates have gone on to have successful careers as writers and have won awards including the Guardian First Book Award, the Eric Gregory Award, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and the Dylan Thomas Prize. Two of our graduates (Ross Raisin and Evie Wyld) were recognised in Granta's Best of Young British Novelists 2013 list.

Explore the work of students currently enrolled on the programme in the Goldfish online journal.

Modules & structure

There are three main components of the Masters:

  • Creative and life writing workshops
  • Contemporary Contexts for Creative and Life Writing
  • One-to-one tutorials

There will be two core modules: a two-term workshop in creative and life writing, and a one-term Contemporary Contexts for Creative and Life Writing seminar module.

Workshop in Creative and Life Writing

All students attend this two and-a-half-hour compulsory workshop – part-time students attend in their first year. In the first term you will be encouraged to experiment with a variety of genres in creative and life writing, and then in the second term to develop your individual interests in poetry, fiction, autobiography and biography, or perhaps a fusion of those genres.

Each term you submit a piece of your own writing together with a critical account of how you have structured and developed it. Presentations of your work to other students with an account of your aims and approaches form an additional important element.

Some workshops will be taken by visiting writers, introducing you to a range of practices, concerns and techniques. The workshop also enables you to debate issues raised in the Contemporary Contexts module in relation to your own practice.

Contemporary Contexts for Creative and Life Writing

This is a two-hour seminar module, made up of informal talks by visiting speakers, followed by a seminar. These talks might be by practising writers, biographers, critics or philosophers (from both outside and inside Goldsmiths).

Our notable visitors have included Ali Smith, A L Kennedy, Daljit Nagra and Jon McGregor. Wide-ranging topics have included: the role of the writer and politics; writing the self; the relationship between contemporary fiction and biography; the relationship between fictional and non-fictional autobiography; writers and their readers; the publishing world; contemporary ideas about language; gender and writing.

In both the Contemporary Contexts module and the workshops you will be asked to consider works by significant contemporary writers in relation to your own writing practice. Assessment is by a critical essay on a writer or literary issue. Full-time students take the Contemporary Contexts module in their first term and part-time students in their second year. 

Tutorials will be offered at regular intervals during the year (12 in all).

Options

You also choose an option module lasting one term. Full-time students take the module in the second term, while part-time students take it in the second year (second term). You can choose from a specialist workshop in fiction, poetry or life writing, or an option from the list of MA options offered by ECL including topics such as European Avant-Garde, Postmodernist Fiction or Re-writing Sexualities.

Assessment

Assessment is by the submission of four pieces of writing of 5,000 words each – either an essay, or, for workshops, a piece or pieces of creative or life-writing – plus a critical account of how you have structured and developed your work. You will also be assessed on a portfolio (maximum of 20,000 words) containing a piece or pieces of creative or life-writing together with a critical account of how you have structured and developed your work. In all cases, the number of words applies to prose. 

Careers

Graduates of this programme include Tom Lee, Lucy CaldwellRoss RaisinAmy Sackville, Rohan Kriwaczek, Evie WyldSara GrantNaomi FoyleBronia Kita, Lijia Zhang, Ashley Dartnell and Suzanne Joinson and the poets Emily Berry, Andy Spragg, Kate Potts, Jack Underwood, Abigail Parry, Anthony Joseph, Katrina Naomi and Matthew Gregory.

Among them they've won or been shortlisted for awards including The Sunday Times/EFG Private Bank Short Story Award 2012, the Rooney Prize for Literature 2011, the 2008 and 2011 Dylan Thomas Prize, several Eric Gregory Awards, The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award 2009, the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 2009 and 2010, the Guardian First Book Award, the New Writing Ventures Prize, and several Betty Trask Awards.

Other graduates have gone on to work in publishing (for example, as senior commissioning editors), journalism, public relations, teaching, advertising, the civil service, business, industry, and the media.

Skills

The MA will enable you to develop transferable skills, including: enhanced communication and discussion skills in written and oral contexts; the ability to analyse and evaluate different textual materials; the ability to organise information, and to assimilate and evaluate competing arguments.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



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Designed for experienced writers, this one-year full-time course will extend your knowledge and understanding of the practice of creative writing. Read more
Designed for experienced writers, this one-year full-time course will extend your knowledge and understanding of the practice of creative writing.

Developing your creative writing abilities and ideas beyond first degree, you will attend workshops, produce a portfolio of creative writing, attend classes in various topics in creative writing and gain experience in teaching creative writing.

A series of complementary courses stress an integrated experience of literary development and pedagogy of creative writing.

You will master the ability to independently produce literary works of refinement and skill, and to conduct writers’ workshops. You will also develop your knowledge and skills in the writing of one or more literary genre(s), the teaching of creative writing and the processes of editing and revision.

You will be assessed on two portfolios of creative writing and two essays or projects. There are no formal examinations.

Distinctive features:

• Dedicated teaching staff of professional writers;

• Opportunities for hands-on experience in teaching Creative Writing;

• Workshops and readings by eminent authors, along with Open Mic nights at a city centre venue, enabling you to share your writing with an audience to enhance your skills and confidence in public presentations;

• Small Group workshops;

• You will have the opportunity to attend a residential writing retreat at Gregynog Hall, a country mansion with a distinguished artistic heritage in mid-Wales.

Structure

The degree programme consists of four modules which are assessed at separate stages of the academic year. Overall, the degree is worth 180 credits. This is split by a portfolio of writing (60 credits), two essays (60 credits) and a second portfolio (60 credits).

From May to September, you will devote your time to completing your second portfolio of writing, produced exclusively during the course.

You must successfully complete the second portfolio to gain your Master’s degree.

Throughout both semesters you will attend a writer’s workshop, which leads to the first portfolio of written work (approximately 6,000 words, with a critical commentary of 1,000 words). One-to-one sessions with portfolio tutors also run in your second semester.

The Creative Process module gives you the chance to sit in on undergraduate classes and to teach a session and to visit local schools and colleges. Part one will be complete when you successfully pass an essay on teaching creative writing.

Core modules:

Creative Writing Portfolio I: The Writers' Workshop
The Creative Process
Teaching Creative Writing
Creative Writing Portfolio II

Teaching

Teaching is by a combination of small-group seminars, workshops, tutor led one-to-ones, placements in undergraduate classes and visits to outside schools and colleges anda three-day residential at Gregynog Hall.

You will be expected to read and analyse a range of critical and literary texts, read and assess peer work and develop self-reflective skills.

The learning activities will vary from module to module, but may include writing exercises, critical reading, analysis of craft, the presentation of critical and creative work to others, micro-teaching, etc. You are expected to give focused and constructive feedback in our supportive group workshops.

Assessment

You will be assessed through submission of two portfolios and two essays over the course of your degree.

The second portfolio, completed between May-September in your second semester, must be successfully completed and passed for you to gain your Master’s degree.

Career prospects

Postgraduate study is a gateway to many careers within and beyond academia. Many overseas postgraduates return to lectureships with much enhanced career prospects. Example employers in the UK include Cardiff University, HMRC, Mencap, Poetry Wales Magazine, Teach First, and the Welsh Government, with jobs that include Creative Writing Lecturer, Librarian, Poet, Recruitment Consultant, Teacher, and Writer.

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As writers now have the ability to produce their own work they need increasingly to know how publishing works. This degree enables aspiring writers to combine business acumen with creative endeavour, equipping them to work within the publishing industry while fostering their writing skills. Read more
As writers now have the ability to produce their own work they need increasingly to know how publishing works. This degree enables aspiring writers to combine business acumen with creative endeavour, equipping them to work within the publishing industry while fostering their writing skills.

Who is it for?

This course will appeal to both experienced and new writers who wish to gain the knowledge and skills relevant to professional practice in commercial settings which produce creative content for print and across digital formats. You will also be introduced to the rapidly developing world of self-publishing. A digital publishing element will teach you how social media and web publishing is now vital to finding and sustaining your own community of readers.

The target market for the programme is young graduates who are seeking to exploit the potential of a humanities degree through modules that focus on their creative writing and on publishing. It is ideal for anyone interested in getting hands-on practice experience and an insider’s perspective on the publishing industry while developing their creative practice.

Objectives

If you have experience of writing or working in publishing (or a related field), and would like to develop your skills further, this course is designed for you. If you are interested in learning how you, as a writer, can engage with the publishing industry and even work within it, this course will develop the skills you need. Creative Writing and Publishing MA enables you to aspire to a professional role that will match your interests and draw upon all of your talents. We welcome writers of all genres with recent graduates developing projects in fantasy, romance, science fiction and young adult fiction.

Placements

An optional professional placement module in terms 2 and 3 runs between January and June, for a period of at least 24 days. This provides students with practical experience of working within a publishing environment, enhancing their classroom learning.

While on placement, you will meet the hosts' standard arrangements for work placement interns and will carry out tasks or projects as agreed with your placement host.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a mix of formal lectures, writing workshops, individual tutorials, group project work, seminar contributions, study visits, work attachments, project work and independent learning and research. Visiting speakers, including guest authors, regularly support your learning and module projects. You are encouraged, through a variety of strategies, to reflect on professional practice and professional frameworks during all of your applied work.

You will acquire attitudes and values through your interactions with lecturers, many of whom are professional writers or practicing publishers, and through a critical, reflective approach to your writing practice and to working in publishing. Leading writers act as guest tutors and mentors while senior members of the publishing industry regularly visit and often sponsor projects. Publishing and writing masterclasses also enable you to debate current issues within your field. Moodle is also embedded as a learning tool within the programme, offering you opportunities to interact with your fellow students and other programme academic staff outside of the classroom or workshop.

Your intellectual and cognitive skills will be developed through the programme’s range of learning modes, which include lectures, seminars, tutorials, coursework, the option of an assessed work placement drafts of major writing projects and short assignments and in your final project.

Your subject specific and transferable skills are developed in the modules through lectures, seminars, tutorials, coursework, an optional assessed work placement and in your major project.

Assessment

For the Creative Writing Workshop module and the Storytelling module, you will be assessed through an individual assessment, which may include a portfolio of creative writing, a substantial piece of redrafted creative writing with an accompanying self-reflective essay or a critical academic essay or a researched book proposal.

In your other modules, you will be assessed by a range of methods including analytical essays; assessed group and individual projects; presentations with supporting research; and reflective reports on your own portfolios of writing or professional experience.

Modules

The MA CWP runs over one academic year for full-time students who undertake two core creative writing modules over terms 1 and 2, alongside core publishing modules in term 1 and electives in term 2. In the final term students must complete their Major Project. Part-time students undertake the core creative writing modules in their first year of study, undertaking the publishing modules and electives and major project in the second year.

Term 1
-Creative Writing workshop
-Lecture Series on Storytelling.
-Creating and Managing Intellectual Property
-Digitisation and Publishing

Term 2
-International Publishing Case Studies
-Professional Placement
-Design for Interactive Media
-Developing Creative Content
-Digital Cultures
-Libraries and Publishing in an Information Society

Term 3 - Throughout the three terms, you will be invited to attend masterclasses in creative writing, professional development sessions, and group and one-to-one tutorials, as you work towards your Major Project.

Part-time route - Part-time students take the creative writing core modules in their first year of study and in their second year undertake the publishing core modules and electives and the Major Project.

Career prospects

We are delighted that graduate Carlie Sorosiak’s (MA CWP 2015) young adult novel, If Birds Fly Back will be published by HarperTeen in the US, Macmillan in the UK, Penguin Random House in Spain, and Arena Verlag in Germany in 2017.

Holly Domney (MA CWP 2016) won the George Orwell Dystopian Fiction Prize and is currently working in the publishing industry.

At City, you will benefit from our reputation for placing graduate students with agents and with major publishers. Creative writers get exposure to agents, editors and others within both traditional and electronic publishing. For budding publishers, you have the option of a work placement within the industry. We have for many years supported the career prospects of our publishing graduates via supportive links with an industry advisory board as well as alumni.

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The Creative Writing MA course offers you the chance to follow one of three pathways, all distinct but all containing common elements. Read more
The Creative Writing MA course offers you the chance to follow one of three pathways, all distinct but all containing common elements: Fiction Writing; Poetry Writing; and Poetic Practice.

The first two of these options are designed to encourage you to develop and reflect on your work as a creative writer, in the context of contemporary and well-established literatures. Whether you choose the Fiction or the Poetry strand, you will be expected to make the most of your existing experience, but also to discover ways of going beyond the merely personal, and writing with an engaged sense of society. At the same time as you learn to stretch your imagination, you will also be encouraged to develop your technical and analytic skills, and in the process to sharpen you self-criticism. The pathway in Poetry focuses on innovative forms of expressions across many media, including sound, film installation and architecture.

All three Creative Writing pathways are taught in Bedford Square, in the heart of London’s Bloomsbury, in a building which is adjacent to the facilities of the University of London. The Fiction and Poetry pathways have now been running for nearly a decade, and have achieved an extremely high reputation. Many of our graduates have gone on to publish collections of poems, novels and short stories, and also to win awards. In 2012 alone, four of our graduates published their first novels, and one of our poets her first full collection.

It is unfortunately not possible to switch from one pathway to another in mid-course, or to mix and match. However, the MA may be studied full-time or part-time.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/english/coursefinder/macreativewriting.aspx

Why choose this course?

- Distinguished writers, including Giles Foden, Susanna Jones, Ben Markovits and Jo Shapcott, contribute to teaching on this course.

- You will benefit from small workshops in poetry and fiction writing of no more than ten people.

- Since launching in 2004 the course has produced many successfully published authors including Tahmima Anam, Adam O'Riordan, Sam Riviere and Kate Williams.

- You will make important contacts through guest lectures by leading figures in the industry.

- All teaching is done in central London, at premises in Bedford Square and Gower Street.

Department research and industry highlights

In the most recent RAE (2008), 90% of the work submitted by the department was judged to be of international standard with 30% assessed as world-leading (4*), 35% as internationally excellent (3*) and 25% as internationally recognised (2*). The department’s performance, in terms of 4* and 3* results, was ranked 11th equal. Overall, the department was ranked one of the top three English departments in London.

We have particular strengths in the following research areas:
- Medieval Studies
- Shakespeare and the Renaissance
- 17th and 18th Century Literature and Culture
- 19th Century Literature
- 20th Century Literature and Theory
- Postcolonialism
- Creative Writing and Practice-based Research.

Course content and structure

In the Autumn and Spring terms, you will meet for a three-hour workshop and a one-and-a-half-hour critical class each week.

Core course units:
- Fiction or Poetry
This is a weekly three-hour workshop,in either fiction or poetry writing, in which your work is discussed, and critical skills are developed. You will be involved in the regular production of new work for this unit.

- Practical Work Project
You will undertake a major writing project (under supervision) and produce a critical and/or theoretical piece of writing reflecting on your work.

- Supplementary Discourses: Core Course
This is a weekly seminar in the Autumn Term. It involves critical and theoretical reading designed to supply you with appropriate critical and theoretical discourse for discussing your own work and others.

- Reading as a Writer
This is a weekly seminar in the Spring Term. You will read a selection of contemporary fiction and poetry from the perspective of a writer.

- Dissertation
You are required to produce a major critical and/or theoretical dissertation relating to your literary interests and your Practical Work Project, under supervision.

On completion of the course graduates will have:

- developed the ability to experiment in their writing and discover new things
- become more ambitious and perceptive about their own work
- broadened their appreciation of traditional and contemporary work, and extended their powers of communication
- a greater knowledge of shaping their work for publication.

Assessment

At the beginning of the Spring term fiction writers will submit a 5,000-word piece of work and poets a portfolio of 12 pages. In addition, they will submit a 3,000-4,000 word essay arising from their work in Supplementary Discourses. They will be given feedback and then, at the beginning of the Summer term, resubmit improved versions together with a second piece of creative work, and a second essay in relation to Reading as a Writer. Part-time students hand their work in at the end of the relevant term instead of the beginning.

At the end of the course fiction students will submit a 15,000 word piece of work and poets a portfolio of 24 pages. In addition, students will write a dissertation of 10-12,000 words, relating to their creative work and to their wider literary interests, to be submitted with the portfolio. Part-time students will make these final submissions at the end of their second year.

Employability & career opportunities

A number of our Creative Writing students have become published authors or found work in publishing and allied professions. In addition, the Department has an impressive record for placing graduates in academic jobs; recently they have secured positions at the Universities of Edinburgh, Sussex and Leeds, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the National University of Ireland.

The course also prepares graduates for successful careers in a variety of other fields, such as publishing, teaching, writing and journalism, administration and marketing.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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The MA programme in Critical Writing in Art & Design offers students opportunities to develop the literary and intellectual skills required for art and design criticism in an age of rapid technological and cultural change. Read more
The MA programme in Critical Writing in Art & Design offers students opportunities to develop the literary and intellectual skills required for art and design criticism in an age of rapid technological and cultural change. More new books, magazines and journals – online and in print – are being published than ever before, many exploring experimental and new approaches to writing about art and design. At the same time, media, the gallery, the studio and the practice of writing itself are being transformed by the deep penetration of new technologies into all aspects of our lives.

This full-time, two-year MA explores different aspects of writing about and for contemporary art and designand other fields of contemporary culture. On joining the programme, students will be encouraged to develop specialist knowledge of a field of art, design, architecture, fashion or the applied arts. They will follow a common programme of classes designed to develop their skills as writers, editors and thinkers. On graduation, Critical Writing in Art & Design students will have written many different kinds of texts, produced actual publications and shaped their own individual major project.

The programme also organises numerous one-off events. In spring 2014, for instance, we held a two-day international conference on the phenomenon of the essay as a literary and visual object at which Wayne Koestenbaum, the Otolith Group and Deborah Levy spoke. In recent years, Ali Smith, Tom McCarthy, Chris Kraus and John Calder, amongst others, have spoken at our events.

Students on this Master’s programme benefit from working among artists, designers, architects and applied artists studying in Britain’s only wholly postgraduate university of art and design. The Royal College of Art is a major centre of the arts, with a distinguished history as a publisher of books under the Lion & Unicorn imprint, as well as Ark magazine. It is a stimulating and intellectually provocative setting; world-leading artists, critics and designers exhibit, lecture and teach here.

Drawing on the teaching methods of the art school, this programme makes full use of the ‘crit’ (group reviews of student work), briefs and writing workshops. Breaking the isolation that characterises much writing practice, it forms a lively environment for intellectual exchange and collaboration.

Writing is strongly shaped by the contexts in which it is practised and where it appears. The programme offers the opportunity to develop writing skills in a variety of contexts including radio and the internet. Students on the programme publish their work – interviews, reviews, polemics, sustained critical essays and scripts – online and in print. Working alongside graphic designers and other postgraduate students in the College, they produce a major publication in the second year of their studies.

On graduating, Critical Writing in Art & Design students will have a portfolio of different kinds of writing, editing skills and critical understanding, as well as membership of a formidable network of RCA graduates. This MA will enhance their opportunities to pursue a career in the arts and the cultural industries. Our graduates are working as freelance writers for print and radio, editors of magazines, curators, publishers and educators.

The MA programme includes:

- Masterclasses – Prominent visiting writers and critics set briefs and lead crits of student writing.
- Writing Workshops – Students are set 15 or more projects over two years. They conduct interviews, write texts that explore London’s diverse faces, write polemics, explore the ‘borders of fact and fiction’ and many other themes.
- Media Platforms and Contexts – Running throughout the first year, these classes examine the practice of writing in different media fields including radio and television, print and web-based media. They are taught by leading media industry professionals.
- Critical Reading: Reading Critically – Good writers are keen readers and critical thinkers. This rolling seminar – running through both years of the MA programme – explores concepts and ideas with high currency in contemporary art and design.
- Critical & Historical Studies – These lecture and seminar series introduce students to major contemporary issues in different fields of art and design.

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This course encourages a lively environment where as a budding writer you can experiment, be imaginative and ambitious, as well as critically reflect on your practice. Read more

Why take this course?

This course encourages a lively environment where as a budding writer you can experiment, be imaginative and ambitious, as well as critically reflect on your practice.

You will have the opportunity to write literary novels, historical fiction, crime, science fiction, children’s stories, as well as screenwriting or short fiction – we encourage and respect all genres.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Be taught by lecturers with professional experience, many of whom are established practising writers
Complete a major project in the form of your own novel, screenplay or poem and learn about the market and current debates within differing genres in the process
Tap in to our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, which can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection

What opportunities might it lead to?

We continuously encourage you to seize as many opportunities as possible to make your writing visible to publishers and the public. Strengthening your creative writing skills on this course can lead to a variety of different creative career paths from roles in publishing to writing children’s books.

Alternatively, many of our graduates find roles within a variety of media industries and a number of them have gone on to study for PhDs or teaching qualifications.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Teaching
Writing
Journalism
PR

Module Details

The course consists of units focusing on creative practice, academic contexts and critical understanding. For the final stage of the course you will write a creative dissertation which can take the form of a novel (or portion thereof – 30,000 to 40,000 words in length), a collection of prose, poetry or a screenplay.

Here are the units you will study:

Writer's Workshop – Exploration: In this unit, you will be encouraged to experiment in differing genres to build confidence in writing and research.

Writer's Workshop – Resolution: During the course of this unit, you will research your chosen genre or idea and write a proposal and first chapters for the major project (dissertation). Your research and writing practice will be led by reading, discussion, debate and some substantial formative work that will eventually lead to the written proposal and/or opening chapters of a novel or pages of a screenplay or poetry.

Critical Reading for Creative Writers: This is an essay-based unit, in which you will explore critical approaches to the written word with oral presentations and researched essays.

Critical Thinking for Creative Writers: This unit allows you to approach a critical theory by relating it to your own creative writing, with reference to your major creative project. This unit is also essay-based.

The Final Project – The Creative Writing Dissertation: This unit will allow you to complete a major work in any genre (prose, poetry or screenplay) of up to 30,000 words (or equivalent). You will receive guidance and support from tutors throughout this unit of study.

Programme Assessment

Your learning will primarily be via workshop-based sessions where you will explore and develop your own writing as well as constructively contribute to the work of other writers around you. We aim to create a friendly atmosphere in which you will receive feedback to continually help evolve your creative writing style.

Your progress will be assessed by regularly submitted work and a final creative writing project in the form of a literary form or genre of your choice and geared to a specific market.

Student Destinations

You are encouraged to attend and read at ‘open mic’ sessions to develop performance skills. Previous students have found this invaluable not only when reading their own work aloud but also in professional practice. You are also encouraged to build a portfolio of work to show publishers and exhibit your work in other ways through creative blogs, or by submitting your work to online magazines and competitions.

On graduating, many of our students are equipped with the skills and confidence to continue to write and publish after the course has ended. This MA in Creative Writing can lead to a range of employment opportunities in publishing, editing, journalism and education.

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The Critical Writing in Art & Design MA programme in the School of Humanities provides unique opportunities for postgraduate students to develop high-level writing, research and analytical skills in the setting of one of the world’s most dynamic art schools. Read more

The Critical Writing in Art & Design MA programme in the School of Humanities provides unique opportunities for postgraduate students to develop high-level writing, research and analytical skills in the setting of one of the world’s most dynamic art schools. Combining workshop models of teaching and learning, and ‘live’ projects with leading arts organisations, the MA provides the skills required for a successful career in the arts or a research degree. For 2017/8, we are introducing some exciting new areas of specialisation within the programme.

The programme is committed to the idea that writing – of all kinds – is a creative practice that requires imagination as well as good literary skills and expert knowledge. Students on the MA are presented with many opportunities to develop and apply the skills required by various writing formats from the review and catalogue essay, to fiction and other forms of speculation. The unique structure of the programme allows for specialisation and the freedom to explore novel approaches to writing. 

The Critical Writing in Art & Design programme combines lectures, specialist writing workshops and ‘crits’ as well as live projects with external partners. Previous partners have included the Royal Opera House, Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge and Turner Contemporary in Margate. Recognising that the media is undergoing considerable change, the MA also offers opportunities to work with professionals working print and online publishing, broadcasting and podcasting. Students on the programme enjoy opportunities to share classes and to work on shared projects with other students across the RCA including our sister programme, the Critical Practice pathway in the Contemporary Art Practice programme in the School of Fine Art.   

Founded in 2010, the Critical Writing in Art & Design programme will launch a set of new specialisms in autumn 2017: Publishing and New Media; Creative Writing; and Art Theory. Students follow a shared, core programme as well as their chosen specialism. This will enable students to develop focused and expert skills within the RCA’s new 15-month MA framework. The specialisms allow a close focus on the particular needs of individual students, delivered through small group seminar teaching and one-to-one tutorials.

Graduates of the Critical Writing in Art & Design programme have published their MA work as books for publishers around the world including MIT Press, China Machine Press, and Zero Books. Others write regularly for the art press (including titles such as Art Monthly, Frieze and Eye Magazine). Some graduates of the programme have gone on to doctoral study at the University of Oxford, the University of Manchester and Goldsmiths. Others work in editorial positions in art and design magazines, or as curators and programmers in galleries and museums and other arts organisations in Europe, China and North America. 

Critical Writing in Art & Design students have a strong track record of producing ‘live’ publications with the support of the programme. These include the Albertopolis Companion produced by the graduating class of 2015 or ARK: Words and Images from the Royal College of Art Magazine 19501978, an anthology from 2014. Other live projects include Of and For Turner Contemporary, a series of texts exploring a remarkable building on the Kent coast. Students on the programme are encouraged to publish their writing on a dedicated Critical Writing in Art & Design website during their studies.

From 2017, the programme is primarily located in the RCA's newest facilities in White City



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Hone your writing and expand your opportunities for publication. Our workshops will help you to develop your self-editing and refine your work using feedback from your peers and tutors. Read more

Hone your writing and expand your opportunities for publication. Our workshops will help you to develop your self-editing and refine your work using feedback from your peers and tutors. Get advice from our team of specialist lecturers, study classic and contemporary authors, and learn about the modern publishing industry.

Course duration: 12 months full-time or up to 3 years part-time (September starts); 15 months full-time or up to 3 years part-time (January starts).

Teaching times

Semester 1: Monday 18:00 - 20:00 (part-time)

Semester 2: Monday or Thursday 18:00 - 20:00 depending on module choice (part-time).

Overview

If you’re a practising writer, this course will allow you to develop your craft in a supportive literary environment.

You’ll get the chance to work on your existing projects or try out something completely new, working across a range of styles and genres. Your first modules will focus on novels and short stories, while Special Topic and dissertation projects can range from drama and screenwriting to graphic novels and performance poetry*.

You’ll share your work with, and get invaluable feedback from, our experienced teaching team as well as your fellow students, giving you a unique perspective on how your work is read by different audiences.

All your writing will be supported by a close study of the most distinguished writers and works in each form. You’ll learn to reflect critically on other people’s writing, and through this discover new ways to understand and improve your own.

If you want to get published, you can get advice from our team of specialists, led by Laura Dietz, Una McCormack and Colette Paul, as well as our current Royal Literary Fund Fellows. We’ll introduce you to the writing industry through talks, masterclasses and networking opportunities with agents, publishers and established fiction writers. Our past tutors and speakers have included writers like Rebecca Stott, Toby Litt, Shelley Weiner, Martyn Waites, Julia Bell, Chris Beckett, Graham Joyce and Esther Freud.

You can choose to study this course in Cambridge (full- or part-time) or Chelmsford (part-time only).

Careers

This course will prepare you for a career as a creative writer or in related areas such as publishing and the media, but will also give you critical and analytical skills valued by many employers.

For an idea of how past students have moved from MA study to careers as published authors, read more about Kaddy Benyon, Penny Hancock and Kate Swindlehurst.

Modules

Core modules

  • Patterns of Story: Fiction and its Forms
  • Master's Project in Creative Writing

Optional modules

  • Workshop: the Short Story
  • Workshop: the Novel
  • Special Topic in Creative Writing/English Literature

Or change one of the above options to:

  • Shakespeare and Society
  • Revolution and Reform in the Long Nineteenth Century
  • Twentieth and Twenty First Century Fiction and Social Change
  • Creativity and Content in Publishing
  • The Business of Publishing
  • Independent Learning Module

Assessment

On each core module, you’ll show your progress through one or more pieces of writing. For the Patterns of Fiction module, this will be a single critical essay including samples of your own writing. For the other three modules you’ll submit one creative portfolio of up to 4,500 words, plus a critical reflection on your work and writing process.

You can also take several optional modules from our MA Publishing or MA English Literature courses.

The major project at the end of the course will allow you to present up to 15,000 words of your chosen writing project, including a critical commentary.

Cultural activities and events

In addition to our Creative Writing and Publishing events series, the department organises many extra-curricular activities, like the annual three-day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, poetry and writing evenings, and research symposia and conferences.

You’ll also be able to join the Anglia Ruskin Literary Society, which arranges trips to local plays and poetry readings, organises workshops, and hosts guest speakers and performance evenings.

As a founding member, we also host events for CAMPUS, Cambridge’s only publishing society.



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The Masters in Intercultural Communication with International Business combines linguistic studies, cultural studies, international business components and training in research methods. Read more

The Masters in Intercultural Communication with International Business combines linguistic studies, cultural studies, international business components and training in research methods.

You will take six compulsory modules, two optional modules and write a dissertation where you have the opportunity to specialise according to your personal interests. The programme includes numerous opportunities to apply and develop your skills through practical tasks.

The programme is ideal for business professionals who wish to enhance their profile with a postgraduate qualification; and for graduates of humanities, English language or business disciplines who would like to deepen their insight into business across linguistic and cultural boundaries.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Career prospects

This degree will prepare you for a career in the areas of communication and intercultural consultancy, particularly, though not exclusively, where the use of English is required.

More specifically, the programme will appeal if you are seeking to work in multinational and international business, in particular in the fields of intercultural training, human resource management, and communication and marketing.

It will provide valuable preparation for careers in government overseas agencies and international diplomatic organisations, the voluntary sector, local government community initiatives and business consultancies, as well as in the communication industries.

Many of our graduates go on to find employment in a wide range of international organisations and businesses; others choose to take research degrees in their subject.

Academic support

As a student of the School of Literature and Languages, you will benefit from the expertise of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of academics. You will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year.

These events cover a range of topics to broaden your thinking in the fields of literature, language and linguistics, cultural studies and creative writing.

The business component of the programme will also allow you to benefit from the close affiliation with the Surrey Business School, a leading provider of internationally recognised postgraduate vocational management degrees.

The School has strong links with industry and has established a number of high-profile partnerships with multinational organisations. You will be supported by a team of international staff with a wealth of global experience and specialist expertise.

English language support for all

Programmes available to all students include:

  • Oral Skills
  • Academic Listening
  • Contemporary British Society
  • Pronunciation
  • Critical Thinking
  • Legal English
  • Academic Reading and Note-Taking
  • Grammar Revision
  • Essay Writing
  • Essay Writing for Native English Speakers
  • Thesis / Dissertation Writing

Educational aims of the programme

The overall purpose of the programme is to:

  • Provide a comprehensive and differentiated understanding of intercultural communication in contemporary socio-cultural contexts
  • Supply the tools enabling students to apply this understanding to the task of addressing the market needs of the international business environment
  • Instil in students the capacity for carrying out advanced supervised research in an area of Intercultural Communication

Programme learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

Students will be able to demonstrate:

  • A critical understanding of different types of communication, in particular intercultural, cross-cultural, non-mediated (face-to- face) and mediated (telephone, internet,etc.) communication
  • A critical awareness of the issues and concerns involved in mediated and non-mediated intercultural communication
  • A comprehensive knowledge of the strategies and processes of social interaction either spoken or written
  • A detailed understanding of business organisations, their management challenges, and the changing external environment in which they operate

Intellectual / cognitive skills

Students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an ability to create and carry out a project in the field of (non) professional communication of significant complexity
  • Demonstrate an ability to reflect upon the knowledge gained and incorporate this into independent learning strategies
  • Critically appreciate the different frames for analysing social interaction to be applied to the research work required for the writing of the MA dissertation

Professional practical skills

Students will have the skills to:

  • Create appropriate strategies for effective communication with members of the same and/or other (sub)cultures
  • Evaluate communication processes already in place in different contexts and implement communication policies

Key / transferable skills

Students will be able to demonstrate:

  • The capacity to work both independently and with others in order to achieve common goals
  • An ability to manage learning self-critically

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.

Learn more about opportunities that might be available for this particular programme by using our student exchanges search tool.

Professional recognition

Surrey Business School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and by the Association of MBAs (AMBA).



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