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Oxford University's Master of Studies in Creative Writing is a two-year, part-time master's degree course offering a unique combination of high contact hours, genre specialization, and critical and creative breadth.
The emphasis of this postgraduate creative writing course is cross-cultural and cross-genre, pointing up the needs and challenges of the contemporary writer who produces his or her creative work in the context of a global writerly and critical community. The master's degree in creative writing offers a clustered learning format of five Residences, two Guided Retreats and one Placement over two years. The research Placement, a distinguishing feature of the course, offers between one and two weeks' hands-on experience of writing in the real world. Students may undertake
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'In terms of what I found most engaging, I would say it would have to be the variety of genres studied, teaching ‘voices’ offered to you and the way the course is designed to push you out of your comfort zone. That is quite an unusual feature in that most Masters' in Creative Writing compel you toward specialism at an early stage. Making sure you have enough personal time to devote to your part-time studies is also a challenge.'
'I think the first surprise was the approachability, good humour and solid support of the academic, pastoral and Kellogg College staff. Oxford can be intimidating to a novice but I was never made to feel that way and I think, considering the calibre of the staff, this was a truly generous gift. Secondly, the offerings of my classmates in relation to our workshops – so many great ideas, images and narratives worth stealing from them! Thirdly, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise but having an eclectic range of professional writers giving you their own patient, personal focus is a great boost to your own writing and ambitions. It means you end up surprising yourself with some of the things your write.'
'An MSt is a big commitment, especially if you are a mature or international student, and it is right and proper to consider all of your study options, various elements of cost and other pressures on your time and resources. Further to that, the course is demanding and expectations of commitment and involvement are high. There is a significant competition for places and, if you are successful in gaining a place, you are expected to be involved, alert and giving of yourself during all classes and residentials.'
'However, those are the exact reasons why I think anyone should take this course. Like everyone, I was prone to the romance of Oxford study and the allure of being part of the University is an experience in itself (just see for yourself at Matriculation). Yet, I would encourage others to take this course for its thoroughness and the sense of ambition it instils in you rather than just the congenial extras of sitting in the Eagle and Child, punting or joining the Union.'
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