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Course content

About the course

The Aberystwyth MA in Creative Writing will help you develop your creative vision and writing abilities through a balanced programme of reading, analysis and writing workshops. You will be exposed to a range of contemporary writers of both prose and poetry, so that your own creative approach may be stimulated and develop in confidence and maturity. You will also engage in discussions about technique and undertake an exploration of the wider issues related to the practice of writing, such as the significance of genre and the mechanics of publication.

You will receive individual tuition from the excellent Departmental staff, all of whom are published creative writers. Under their guidance, you will produce a substantial portfolio in the form of a collection of poetry or an extended piece of prose fiction. In addition, you will develop a host of key transferrable skills that will benefit you in a range of academic or employment contexts.

This degree will suit you:

- If you want comprehensive training in advanced methods of creative writing
- If you want to develop your creative vision and writing skills to the highest levels
- If you are looking for a detailed and constructive critique of your work
- If you want to work within a dynamic and supportive environment while producing a portfolio of creative writing

Course content and structure

You will study two core modules together with four option modules from the Department’s portfolio of MA provision or other relevant study areas, including Literary Studies. The core modules will equip you with the research skills and subject-specific knowledge required to master a range of practical and theoretical approaches to writing; and the option modules will enable you to direct your study into areas of specific interest. Each module comprises ten weeks of study with a weekly two-hour group meeting and provision for tutorial consultation. This framework for learning will inspire you to widen your artistic horizons and push you to develop your abilities within a constructive critical environment.

The centrally important component of the course is your Writing Portfolio. This piece, to comprise either prose or poetry, will be accompanied by a critical commentary explaining the work in its context and in appropriate analytical terms. We will take great care in assigning a supervisor to guide you whose interests will be as closely matched to your own as possible.

Core modules:

Research Skills
The Writing Portfolio
Writing and Publication

Optional modules:

Writing Fiction: Methods and Techniques
Writing Poetry: Rhymes and Reasons
Understanding Creativity
Writing Fiction: Wider Explorations
Writing Poetry: Modes in Contemporary Poetry

Assessment

Assessment takes the form of: portfolios of prose and poetry, including critical commentaries and annotated bibliographies; a case study of a research project; and a study of a particular publisher of creative writing or type of publication. In the third semester, each student will complete a Writing Portfolio of creative writing with a critical commentary. The Portfolio can be in the form of poetry (30 pages plus 6,000 words) or prose fiction (14,000 plus 6000 words), but not a combination of the two.

Employability

Every MA course at Aberystwyth University is specifically designed to enhance your employability. In addition to developing your writing and research abilities. This course will help you to master key skills that are required in wide variety of workplaces. You will be pushed to improve your approaches to planning, analysis and presentation so that you can tackle complex projects thoroughly and with professional independence, and confidently present robust projects to the scrutiny of a group. Your MA in Creative Writing will place you in the jobs marketplace as a professional writer with highly desirable skills suitable for a career in the arts, literature, journalism or many other fields.

Key Skills and Competencies

Upon graduating from this MA in Creative Writing, you will have mastered an array of technical and creative skills relating to writing. You will be highly competent in factual research, evaluative writing and problem-solving through the process of writing. You will understand genre and register, narrative viewpoint and voice, and be able to justify your creative choices within your chosen form. You will possess an awareness of your intended readership and identify your place in the wider context of literary fiction and/or poetry. You will also have experience in giving and receiving stringent but supportive criticism within a positive group setting.

Self-Motivation and Discipline

Studying at MA level requires high levels of discipline and self-motivation from every candidate. Though you will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of Departmental staff, you are ultimately responsible for devising and completing a sustained programme of scholarly research in pursuit of your MA degree. This process will strengthen your skills in planning, executing and analysing work projects in ways that reflect standard practice in the world of employed work.

Transferable Skills

The MA is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of academic and employment contexts. A significant proportion of postgraduate jobs demand both particular expertise and strength in breadth. Therefore, as a trained writer with proven creative abilities, you will be desirable to any employer seeking individuals who can balance creative flair and artistic vision with a dependable work ethic and highly adaptable writing skills.

Visit the Creative Writing- MA page on the Aberystwyth University website for more details!

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