Programme of Study (MA)

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Semester 1

Module Credits
The Novel and Creative Non-Fiction 30
Writing for Stage and Television 30

Semester 2

Module Credits
Writing Genre Fiction 30
Emerging Writing Specialisms 30
(which includes: experimental poetry; video production; graphic storytelling and eco writing)

Semester 3

Module Credits
Creative Dissertation 60

The programme means that students finish the degree with a solid portfolio of work to submit for publication or gain placements/funding, and the course overall will ensure that students develop many of the professional skills needed to enter the writing industries. (Raef Boylan, BA, MA, Alumni English and Creative Writing and winner of the Fred Holland Poetry Collection Award.)

Creative Writting Course
From left: David Smith (Trustee of the Fred Holland Award), Raef, Alyson Morris and Tim Kelly

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Innovative and Distinctive Features of the Course

Its focus on professional outputs and employability:

  1. Major mandatory modules in key professional genres of narrative and dramatic writing (including ‘writing for television’), reflecting real world professional activities of / employability opportunities for writers;
  2. Modules to have professional outputs which can be used in the industry. For example the module in ‘Narrative’ to have ‘Publishing Package’ (synopsis + sample chapters + letter to publisher) as coursework. The module in ‘Writing for Stage and Television’ to have (choice of) genre-based TV script in BBC Writers Room ready format for submission;
  3. Specific attention to commercial and related opportunities (professional networks, awards and competitions, submission windows, commissions and grants).

Its focus on new and future forms and innovative modes of distribution:

  1. ‘Eco-writing’ involves writing in the environment in which students leave the classroom behind and write in exterior spaces, urban and rural, to create eco-artefacts which include both text and image;
  2. The narrative module to include not simply traditional novel writing, but contemporary forms such as creative non-fiction and life writing.
  3. All modules to be focused on writing for new modes of distribution: for example the module ‘Video Production,’ whilst covering traditional screenwriting practice, acknowledges the movement from film to online video in terms of contemporary platforms for dramatic outputs; and even when working in traditional genres modules will explore writing for the new media and focus on online opportunities (such as web drama, e-publishing etc.,).

Its focus on internationalisation and the international market and on flexible modes of delivery:

  1. All modules to contain a wide range of international content. For example texts studied in the Narrative and Genre Fiction modules include ones from Japan, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Palestine, Egypt, Nigeria, Russia, Germany, Spain, France, the UK, Ireland, the US and Latin America;
  2. Option of one international writers’ retreat;
  3. High level of virtual learning resources, with video lectures, podcasts, virtual workshops, online writers’ groups, writers’ blogs and online peer-to-peer feedback;
  4. Future development of fully-fledged online course.

Writers’ Retreats

Either two UK writers’ retreats or one UK and one international retreat incorporated into the course. These are one week long field trips to coincide with significant writing up periods. Current options:

  • The Horror! A winter week in the seaside town of Whitby, where Bram Stoker gave birth to.
  • Romance. A spring week in the Lake District, home of the English Romantic poets.


  • Myth and the Muses. A summer week in Greece, ancestral home of Western literature.


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