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  • The programme offers you a range of tutor and peer-led opportunities to produce new writing and critically reflect on that practice. We focus on the expressive potential and persuasive power of language whilst encouraging you to critically explore texts and their relationship to the world.
  • The course will develop writing; be that in prose, poetry, life writing, creative non-fiction, script-writing or in combination or discussion across these forms. In addition, three industry-specific pathways have been developed to focus on employability in specific sectors:
  • Creative Writing for Advertising allows students to work on professional writing for clients, from communications to community campaigns.
  • Creative Writing for Gaming focuses on character and narrative design, gamification and digital games.
  • Creative Writing with Publishing allows students to work on the production of books by taking two modules from our successful and well regarded MA Publishing.
  • The degree without a specialist pathway maintains a strong focus on employability. All students receive advice and guidance from working writers who will take you through contracts and tax, the business of publishing and how to run a workshop.
  • The course gives all students the opportunity to undertake arranged work experience in the arts or in communication. Graduates leave this MA with a portfolio of their own writing, prepared for a career as arts professionals (including but not limited to publication) and progression to doctoral level study

The MA Creative Writing has a core programme (the MA Creative Writing) and three pathway awards: Advertising, Gaming and Publishing. All of the core programme modules are specifically designed to suit their purpose and carefully integrated with each other. The programme takes into account on going research as well as developments, trends and innovations within the discipline and industries which it attends to.

The core programme is modular, offering the flexibility to study in more than one writing form or genre, or focus on a single project. The teaching method encourages a gradual specialisation over the three trimesters. You participate in a core workshop in the first, where you read and respond both to published work and the work of peers. In the second trimester you work with supervisors who develop your writing in smaller group apprenticeships. In the summer you work on a significant writing project on your own or in partnership with a community or industry.

The programme provides carefully balanced curricula for all three stages, PG Cert, PG Dip and MA. Every student develops and reflect on their own writing and the writing of others by attending writing workshops. Depending on their pathway, students have the option of learning about voice and narrative, critical theory, writing for clients and publishing. All students have the opportunity of engaging in work experience. Professional development ranges from learning about publishing, Arts Council and literary agency interactions to writing in the community and collaborative projects.

Each pathway, including the central award, consists of four core 20 credit modules, two option choices from four 20 credit modules and one option choice from two 60 credit modules. All of the pathways and the core award allow students to choose from two modules from the MA Publishing. The Publishing pathway allows students to specialise further in publishing by taking another module from the MA Publishing. In this way students are able to specialise in industry applications of creative writing.

How you will learn

The teaching on this programme will take a wide variety of forms, each designed to prepare you for the creative, intellectual and practical challenges you will face in your future career. You will also be taught by tutor-led lectures, where you will learn both theoretical concepts and industry-specific information and skills. Some sessions take the form of tutor- or student-led seminars in which, typically, writing on an issue or topic are presented to the group followed by in-depth discussion and exploration. In modules where the perspectives of industry professionals is regarded as helpful, guest speakers are invited to share their knowledge and insights. During formal sessions there will be opportunities for you to practice your skills of presentation, debate and oral communication. With reference to the University of Derby Teaching and Learning Strategy your experience will consist of:

  • Formal lectures, covering contextual/historical/cultural material, technical aspects of writing, guest speakers and readings;
  • Small group work, for close reading and editorial/peer feedback, planning discussions, and project work;
  • Small group tutorials;
  • Individual tutorials [the importance of individual attention to creative writing students should not be underestimated];
  • Self-directed learning;
  • Mentoring of projects and other work by industry specialists;
  • Off campus visits – theatre, performance poetry, readings, talks, galleries or festivals.

As is appropriate for a programme at this level of study, you will develop the ability to apply theoretical principles critically to writing, to show originality in the application of knowledge, demonstrate self-direction in managing projects and solving problems, and to deal with complex issues both creatively and systematically. In order to facilitate your progress toward these goals, the learning and teaching on this programme will be heavily student-centred and carefully modulated to stimulate clear progression and advancement in terms of critical thinking, skills of project management and teamwork, and communication skills.

The principal elements of the programme have been ordered in such a way that there is clear progression in knowledge and intellectual skills, with ever greater autonomy of study, thought and research culminating, for Master’s students, in the research and critical analytical skills that you will demonstrate in Trimester 3 in completing your Independent project/Research project.


Visit the Creative Writing (MA) page on the University of Derby website for more details!

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