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Course content

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.

Visit the MLitt Writing Practice & Study page on the University of Dundee website for more details!

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