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Creative Writing - MA


Course Description

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.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

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.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

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
-Extended Portfolio
-Open Essay I
-Open Essay II
-Special Author I
-Special Author II
-Open Creative Piece I
-Open Creative Piece II
-Beat Writing
-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
-Children’s Literature
-Screenwriting

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 include:

Novelists
-Iain Sinclair
-Monica Ali
-Jaspreet Singh
-Nikita Lalwani

Poets
-J.H. Prynne
-Robert Fitterman
-Allen Fisher
-Gilbert Adair

Critics
-Rod Mengham
-Bernard O’Donoghue
-Barbara Hardy

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

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES

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.

Visit the Creative Writing - MA page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Doreen Raine

"I’m a mature student with an atypical background. I do a lot of other things such as being a self-employed language editor/ translator of medical/veterinary research papers, and Chairman of the Dorking district U3A (University of the Third Age).

I chose the course as a dedication to a friend who was dying - I felt I should get on with something I had been meaning to write for a very long time as my friend no longer had the opportunity.

My main focus was to develop my ability to write creatively, but exposure to a historical approach to literature has influenced my direction. I’ve really enjoyed all of the new literature and concepts. The library is very impressive and I was pleased to be given a one to one session with a librarian who talked me through how to use all the resources.

The most challenging part of the course has been developing my confidence in my work. Some friends think I’m mad going to University but I believe that learning should never stop whatever age you are."

(Student Profile)

Christina Webb

I wanted to experience life at a campus university, and have fond and funny memories of getting involved with all kinds of events at Surrey - from fancy dress to raising money for charities.

What attracted you to choose the University of Surrey and to study your course here?

The English Literature undergraduate course was the major factor in that it was very contemporary, thought-provoking and had a diverse range of culturally-significant topics. Secondly, Surrey’s employment factor. For me it was hugely important to focus on the future and results, so Surrey’s top employment statistics were essential. The gorgeous campus was also a pull. I wanted to experience uni life at a campus university, and have fond and funny memories all over it.

What is your strongest memory of your time at Surrey – what do you picture first when you think of being here?

Too many things – I’m torn! Lunches with friends on campus, creative discussions, that feeling of handing submissions in, Rubix nights. I’d have to say the overall strongest memories are of getting involved with various events at Surrey. From fancy dress to raising money for charities and more specifically the newspaper/radio/TV media party, a formal casino night and theme park rides and dressing up at graduation ball.

What were the best things about your course?

The contemporary reading list, as mentioned before. The fact I meandered into creative writing alongside English literature and took up a Creative Writing MA at Surrey afterwards. Making like-minded friends for life. The lecturers who were always happy to informally chat about your individual development and ideas. Opening up to new ideas and theories I wouldn’t have found before. I Loved it.


(Scholarship)

TECHNE (AHRC) Studentships - No. of awards TBC

As a member of the TECHNE Doctoral Training Partnership, University of Surrey students are eligible to apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships (stipend and fee waiver). TECHNE is a consortium of seven universities in London and the South East offering a rich and diverse training programme for doctoral students with a focus on interdisciplinarity and developing career potential both in and beyond higher education. Studentships are awarded by TECHNE to the best students put forward by its member universities. The TECHNE training programme is enhanced by input and placement opportunities provided by TECHNE’s 13 partner organisations (including the Barbican, Natural History Museum, Museum of London, BFI and Science Museum) in the cultural sector. Please visit TECHNE to find out more about the aims and opportunities of TECHNE.TECHNE – the Consortium is named in reference to the Greek term for craft – will create a new model for collaborative research skills training for PGR students across seven higher education institutions (Royal Holloway, Brighton University, Kingston University, Roehampton University, Royal College of Art, University of Surrey, University of the Arts London). TECHNE’s vision is to produce scholars who are highly motivated and prepared for academic, public or professional life. Students will benefit from a diversity of training opportunities and be able to draw on supervisory expertise from across the Consortium.It is not possible to apply directly to TECHNE for a studentship; applications for students wishing to be based at Surrey must be made via the University of Surrey. Your TECHNE application will therefore go through a two-stage process, being considered firstly by either the School of Arts or the School of English and Languages, to go forward to TECHNE and, if successful, secondly by a panel of subject specialists from TECHNE members.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Fee and Maintenance

Eligibility

Open to Home and EU candidates; please see guidance on residency requirements outlined in the RCUK’s Conditions of Research Council Training Grants
Studentships will be awarded on the basis of the academic excellence of both the candidate and the research proposal. This is an extremely competitive process and only very high calibre candidates will be successful

Application Procedure

The first step for all Candidates is to approach their prospective academic school and supervisor.
More Information is available at: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/fass/research/studentships/ahrc/index.htm

Further Information

http://www.surrey.ac.uk/fass/research/studentships/ahrc/index.htm


(Scholarship)

Faculty Studentship Competition - No. of awards TBC

Faculty Studentships are available in the following areasSchool of Arts:Cultural Production, Creative Practices, Dance, Digital Arts, Film, Interdisciplinary Arts, Music, Performance, Sound Recording, Theatre.School of English and Languages:English Literature, Creative Writing, Translation Studies, Modern Languages, Theoretic Linguistics (Morphology) and Applied Linguistics (Intercultural Communication).School of Social Sciences:Criminology and Criminal Justice; Developments in Methodology; Identities, Diversities, and the Life Course; Media, Culture and Communication; Science, Environment and Technologies; European politics; International politics; Social politics and methodology

Value of Scholarship(s)

TBC

Eligibility

Under the FASS Studentship Scheme Home / EU and International Students are eligible to apply for 2016 entry. Successful International students will be awarded a fees at the Home / EU Rate and a stipend. Please note that full international fees are not covered: candidates should ensure that they are in a position to cover the outstanding costs.Studentships will be awarded on the basis of the academic excellence of both the candidate and the research proposal. This is an extremely competitive process and only very high calibre candidates will be successful.

Application Procedure

The first step for all Candidates is to approach their prospective academic school and supervisor.More information is available at: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/fass/research/studentships/faculty/index.htm

Further Information

http://www.surrey.ac.uk/fass/research/studentships/faculty/index.htm


(Scholarship)

Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount

Eligibility

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]

Further Information

http://www.surrey.ac.uk/scholarships/discounts-surrey-graduates



Entry Requirements

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.

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