The Master of Professional Writing (MPW) involves taking a core paper, designed specifically to enhance your workplace readiness, as well as elective papers which range across a variety of fields from creative writing to writing for promotional purposes and advertising, for digital media and for scholarly and professional publication.
If creative writing is your passion, then you will have the opportunity to specialise in this. The Creative Writing Thesis gives selected students the option of producing a manuscript of publishable quality – whether poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction – in a stimulating and supportive workshop environment of fellow writers, and supervised by award-winning authors. The selection of students for the Creative Writing Thesis is by assessment of a portfolio of poetry and prose, and a manuscript proposal outlining the creative project.
When studying towards the MPW you will be able to include a professional writing internship and be offered an on-campus writing mentor, who will provide professional advice and direct you towards writing opportunities.
The staff contributing to the Professional Writing programme have long-standing relationships with the broader writing community at a number of levels:
MPW graduates will have excellent transferrable skills in devising, producing and editing text. If you include a formal internship in your programme of study, or take up the option of informal professional mentoring, you will make connections in the professional writing community, and enhance your CV with relevant workplace experience.
Potential careers include editing, long-form researched journalism, policy analysis and policy writing, report writing, script writing, speech writing, teaching, website content editing, writing for digital and broadcast media, writing for stage and screen, writing for travel and tourism and writing for public relations and marketing.
Potential employers include biotechnology industries; cultural sector/arts organisations; energy provision sector; higher education sector; libraries and archives; local and district councils; manufacturing and technology; national government, NGOs; non-profit and philanthropic sector; primary industries; print and digital news media; publishing industry; telecommunications; theatre, film and broadcast media production houses; transport, tourism and travel.
This course will help you to bring a novel, book of poems, book of short stories or work of non-fiction as near to publishable quality as possible. Working with tutors and other writers on the course, you’ll develop your writing and build up a substantial body of work. Weekly workshops are taught by a strong team of published writers, and there are regular visits by literary agents, publishers, magazine editors and broadcasters, as well as other writers.
Due to the reputation of the MA in Creative Writing, we are able to recruit excellent students who form an exciting and mutually supportive community of writers every year.
The course is modular and is currently offered for full-time study only.
• To plan a manuscript (a novel, collection of short stories, collection of poems or book of literary non-fiction) and complete it, or a substantial part of it, brought to publishable quality or as near as possible.
• To understand literary form, style and genre, as relevant to your chosen form of writing
• To acquire a variety of relevant writing techniques, and research techniques to support writing, and adapt them to your particular creative project.
• To understand and respond creatively to questions arising from the subject-matter, themes, genres, traditions and other literary contexts with which your chosen manuscript is engaged.
• To receive and give precise and sensitive critical feedback in workshop groups and one-to-one tutorials.
• To respond creatively to feedback provided by tutors and other students, adapting that feedback to your particular vision of your book.
• To understand choices and opportunities relevant to your chosen manuscript, including questions of how to place your work, and the role of agents, publishers and editors.
Each student will take two workshop modules, two context modules and a double module entitled 'The Manuscript':
In the first trimester ‘Professional Skills’ provides intensive group discussion and some plenary lectures. You’ll bring short pieces of writing to workshop groups consisting of a tutor and not more than seven other students. There are separate groups for prose and poetry. You’ll submit a manuscript proposal halfway through the module.
In trimester two, you’ll take a second workshop module in either prose or poetry.
Each context module explores connections between your creative writing and the wider world as represented by a theme or genre. Seminars are divided between considering set texts and workshopping your creative writing. You’ll take a context module in trimester one and another in trimester two.
In trimester three, ‘The Manuscript’ will be taught by means of one-to-one tutorials. This is the culmination of the course – the book, or substantial part of a book.
For more information on course structure and modules please go to: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-creative-writing/
You’ll be taught in group workshops and seminars, one-to-one tutorials, plenary lectures and a residential weekend.
The teaching team in 2015-16 included the novelists Ian Breckon, Nathan Filer, Maggie Gee, Tessa Hadley, Samantha Harvey, Philip Hensher, Beatrice Hitchman,Tricia Wastvedt, Fay Weldon and Gerard Woodward, the poets Tim Liardet, Lucy English, Neil Rollinson and Sean Borodale, the historical novelists Celia Brayfield and Kylie Fitzpatrick, the nature writer and memoirist Richard Kerridge, the nature writer Stephen Moss, the travel writer Joe Roberts and the literary memoirist Gavin Cologne-Brookes.
You’ll be assessed entirely by coursework: mainly creative writing, plus two short essays, a manuscript proposal and a short commentary on the manuscript in progress.
For more information on assessment please see the course handbook: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/media/bathspaacuk/course-handbooks/course-handbooks/PG-Creative-Writing-Handbook-2016-17.pdf
Current or former students have been awarded excellent contracts for novels; been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, Orange Prize, Costa Prize and the Guardian First Book Award; received the Betty Trask Prize, Manchester Book Award and a W.H. Smith New Talent Award, and reached the best-seller lists.
In recent years, several current or former students have been awarded excellent contracts for novels; Two were long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, three for the Orange Prize, one for the Costa Prize and one for the Guardian First Book Award. One received the Betty Trask Prize; another the Manchester Book Award; another a W.H. Smith New Talent Award. One reached the best-seller lists. Student poets have had their poetry accepted for publication in numerous literary journals, including Ambit, Magma, London Magazine, Poetry Wales, PN Review and The Reader, among others, and have been placed in such competitions as the Bridport, the Frogmore, Mslexia, and Writers Inc. Janklow and Nesbit Ltd, a leading literary agency, awards an annual prize for the best novel or novel in progress by a student on the course.