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Course content

Do you enjoy writing about people, places and wildlife? Are you interested in environmental issues in Britain and around the world? Would you like to be published, and make a living as a travel or nature writer? Then this course is for you.

The MA in Travel and Nature Writing focuses on learning to write from your own experience in the field. You’ll develop your writing skills and techniques, learn from established writers, and examine the history, context and genres of travel and nature writing.

By meeting practitioners – writers, editors, agents and publishers – you’ll gain a unique insight into the professional skills you require to get your writing published.

This low-residency course allows you to be based wherever you wish, so you can pursue your academic work while maintaining your current lifestyle. It can be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two.

COURSE STRUCTURE

We aim to give you an understanding of issues and approaches to the representations of peoples, other species, habitats, places, cultures and environments in various kinds of writing. You’ll graduate with the ability to apply what you’ve learnt to your own professional practice.

You’ll study:

• A mix of thematic topics represented by a variety of writers.
• A balance between historical and contemporary writing.
• Issues raised by eco-tourism, conservation and environmentalism.
• Issues related to the experience and representation of people, wildlife and places in specific locations in the UK and elsewhere.
• The genres, and context of contemporary and historical travel and nature writing, and the history of our connections with the environment and the natural world.

MODULES

Writing in the Field is a broad introduction to the skills and techniques required to write from personal experience.whether about people, landscapes, the natural world, or a combination of all three. By using fieldcraft techniques, based on looking, listening, feeling and thinking, we explore ways of writing about the world around us.

Context, History and Genres in Travel and Nature Writing gives an overview, both broad and focused, on the key developments in the travel writing and nature writing genres over time; including analysis of historical trends, specific authors and works, the history and development of both ‘travel’ and ‘nature’ as social pastimes, and the contemporary scene.

In Advanced Travel and Nature Writing, you'll develop new ways of writing about the world: pushing the boundaries of your writing style and content in order to learn what works best for you as a writer.

Professional Skills in Travel and Nature Writing is a practical guide to getting your work published across a range of different media and outlets, including newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, books and on TV and radio. Featuring advice from senior practitioners, editors and publishers. You’ll also learn to plan a trip requiring commissions, and do a pitch and interview of an idea for publication.

In A Portfolio of Travel and Nature Writing, you'll develop a 20,000 words portfolio of your best work, together with a reflective diary of your progress throughout the year.

For more information on modules please view our Course Handbook via our website: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-travel-and-nature-writing/

TEACHING METHODS

A large part of the course is taught on three residential courses. You’ll undergo an intensive few days of creative writing, discussion, meetings with practitioners and commissioners and firsthand experience in the field. Please note that you’ll have to pay for travel, food and accommodation on the residential courses.

You’ll also learn online. You’ll have internet-based seminars and group discussions on Google Hangouts. You’ll also post your work on our Virtual Learning Environment, where your peers and tutors can critique it in detail.

For more information about teaching methods and how the course will be structured please go to our website: https://www.bathspa.ac.uk/courses/pg-travel-and-nature-writing/

ASSESSMENT

You’ll be assessed through a combination of formative and summative assessments. This will include creative writing pieces, critical and analytical essays, presentations and a broad portfolio of your writing.

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

The course is designed to introduce students to the workings of various travel and nature writing publishing opportunities and prepare them for the submission of their own work. It will also equip them with the practical and business skills to operate as freelance writers.

Visit the MA Travel and Nature Writing page on the Bath Spa University website for more details!

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