The Master of Arts in Travel and Nature Writing is designed for writers seeking advanced skills in the growing field of creative non-fiction inspired by the natural world and contemporary journeying. The course focuses on the application of writing skills to match the requirements of the travel and nature writing sector. To this end, students will learn from engagement, encounter, workshop, tuition and mentoring; they will develop their professional practice and produce a portfolio of work to help establish their careers in this highly competitive field.
COURSE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT
This is a low residency course over three semesters. It will normally consist of three week-long residential sessions, meeting visiting writers and industry specialists; distance learning modules designed to familiarise participants with the standards, interests and publishing requirements of the sector; one-to-one tutorials and mentoring providing the opportunity to turn experience into well-crafted writing of publication standard.
The course begins with an intense six-day residential session for induction, introduction to distance learning, taught modules and mentoring sessions. The first two semesters involves writing regular pieces which are critiqued by tutors and peers. Through a business and context module, students can explore the ethics, history and development of a particular area of travel or nature writing. The second residency takes place in January or February. Throughout the course students will develop a portfolio of their best work and a journal tracking their submissions to publications; in this they will be supported by a mentor. The third residency will involve fieldwork, normally outside the UK.
TEACHING METHODS AND RESOURCES
Face-to-face seminars during intensive residency weeks, individual tutorials, directed study in writing and rewriting, online tutorials, Wikis, discussion boards, tutorial and peer critiques. Students will read extensively and are expected to be familiar with the subject and its contextual literature.
Bath Spa University can draw on the experience of professional writers, tutors and industry professionals of the highest standard.
The course totals 180 credits: modules in the first semester account for 30 credits, the second semester also accounts for 30 credits, professional practice develops through semesters one and two accounting for 30 credits and the portfolio amassed throughout all three semesters accounts for 90 credits.
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.