Our programme will build your confidence and technical ability in composing creative prose and/or poetry, while deepening your critical awareness of the cultural, literary and theoretical history of text production.
Teaching is research-led, so you benefit from the individual expertise and passion of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of published authors and academics, including our Poet in Residence and Distinguished Writer in Residence.
The MA Creative Writing programme will hone your research and writing skills to produce critically informed prose or poetry, and creative criticism. We will help you to locate your work in its literary and cultural context, and you will have the chance to reflect on your creative process and the finished work.
You will have access to a yearly calendar of events hosted at the University created to broaden your thinking, and develop your writing skills such as the Morag Morris Poetry Lecture, the annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival and the Surrey Poetry Festival.
The MA in Creative Writing provides a strong foundation to embark upon a career in writing, communications, publishing, marketing, advertising, journalism or teaching, or to undertake a PhD.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and an extended portfolio.
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand
-Research and Writing Skills I
-Research and Writing Skills II
-Literary Scholarship and Creativity I
-Literary Scholarship and Creativity II
-Creative Writing Workshop I
-Creative Writing Workshop II
-Open Essay I
-Open Essay II
-Special Author I
-Special Author II
-Open Creative Piece I
-Open Creative Piece II
-Realism and Its Critics
-Found Materials: Poetry and Practice
-Advanced Studies in 19th Century Literature
-Advanced Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature
-Literature and Science
-Issues in Literary Translation
-Identity: Communication in Practice
-Organisations and Written Communications
EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME
The MA Programme in Creative Writing will prepare graduates to undertake a PhD programme in the relevant field.
It will also provide students with the transferable skills of creative writing, critical thinking, textual analysis and communication that are attractive to a wide range of employers, from the cultural industries to marketing and advertising to tourism and leisure to the civil service and public/private partnerships.
It is designed to build confidence and technical ability in a variety of modes of imaginative writing, and to provide students with a clear-eyed grounding in contemporary and historical contexts of text production and circulation, including practical advice on the workings of the publishing industry.
Devoted to assisting students to understand and meet the challenges of producing high quality creative writing in poetry and prose, the programme also provides advanced understanding of the contexts, theoretical paradigms, methodologies and modes of interpretation that are vital in a full understanding of literary production.
The main aims are to:
-Produce work that reflects a high level of technical ability and engages productively with its historical, cultural and literary contexts
-Acquire sound knowledge of the major principles of literary criticism
-Reflect on their own practice as literary critics and how this can help to improve their own creative practice
As a Master’s level programme, it also aims to instil in students the capacity for carrying out independent research.
PROGRAMME LEARNING OUTCOMES
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
-Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the main principles and challenges of creative writing
-Relate developments in the field of literary studies to the social, political and historical contexts of their own creative work
-Distinguish different approaches to literary studies and reflect upon these in their own
-Develop a critical engagement with various theoretical approaches and methods
-Recognize the critical language required in advanced literary studies
-Identify and explain relevant techniques and strategies for producing high quality creative writing
Intellectual / cognitive skills
-Able to critically appraise scholarly and creative writing
-Able to strategically develop research skills for retrieving information crucial for understanding the context of textual production
-Able to conduct conceptual and advanced research related to specific creative projects
-Able to formulate and address research questions relating to creative and research projects
Professional practical skills
-Able to produce high-quality creative work in and analysis of a variety of literary genres
-Able to verbally present abstract ideas and concepts in a clear and appropriate fashion
-Able to confidently deal with reading complex texts
-Able to acquire a sound knowledge of the key debates in literary studies
-Able to acquire review/evaluation skills for textual analyses at M-level
-Able to combine an understanding of text and context within and between periods
Key / transferable skills
-Display competence in a range of skills at postgraduate level, including creative writing, advanced analysis and synthesis of arguments, presentation, the conducting of independent research, and the efficient processing of complex ideas and arguments
-Collaborate by working in small groups to exchange ideas and engage in debates
-Develop knowledge in a specialized subject, area or period and command of terminology
-Organize, research and deliver a sustained piece of work to a high standard
-Create and carry out a research project of significant complexity
-Reflect upon the knowledge gained and incorporate this into independent learning strategies
-Manage learning self-critically
-Exercise initiative and personal responsibility
ACADEMICS AND EVENTS
As a student on this Masters, you will benefit from the expertise of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of published academics and authors.
You will have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year. These events cover a range of topics to broaden your thinking in the fields of literature, language and linguistics, cultural studies and creative writing.
Writers to have recently visited the University of Surrey
Each year’s cultural activities begin with the Morag Morris Poetry Lecture on campus by a visiting speaker and feature readings by students at the Guildford School of Acting.
The annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival and Surrey Poetry Festival – both affiliated with the Creative Writing programmes at the University of Surrey
– aim to engage with writing and creativity in dynamic ways, and involve readings, book signings, performances, panel discussions and more.
This graduate program is delivered by the University's Creative Writing team, all of whom are published authors and poets:
-Dr Paul Vlitos, Lecturer in Creative Writing
-Dr Holly Luhning, Lecturer in Creative Writing
-Dr Stephen Mooney, Lecturer in Creative Writing and former Poet in Residence
-Dr Angela Szczepaniak, Lecturer in Creative Writing
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
Applicants should have a first or 2.1 degree (or equivalent) and will be asked as part of the application procedure to provide a portfolio of creative material (5,000 words prose or equivalent). In exceptional cases, students with a proven commitment to creative writing but no first degree may also be admitted.