Creative Writing BA (Hons) module details


Year one (Level 4)

Exploring Creative Writing
is designed to focus on short forms, to get you to realise the importance of making every word have purpose. This module is your first encounter with serious editing and drafting; and we’ll encourage you to understand that strong writing involves making ruthless decisions about what to include, and what to leave out. You will learn to write flash fiction, shaping very short pieces into polished work. You will practise both strict-form and free-verse poetry to develop your ear for voice, and eye for image. You will also start reflecting upon your own creative processes, articulating the reasons for editing decisions you make; and explore the craft behind increasingly popular digital forms of writing, blogging and twitter.

Writing Identity
is the first of your themed modules, and encourages you to explore what it means to use your own memories as raw material for creative work. In the first half of the course you will practice converting your own anecdotes into convincing scenes that will immerse a reader in them as if they were their own experiences. In the second half of the course you learn how to create and develop fictional character through generating scenarios and situations for them to react in. Across this course you will engage in philosophical discussions about the nature of the self and the role of memory in establishing our sense of identity, as well as learning the importance of ‘reading as a writer’.

Reading for Craft
This module teaches you to read attentively as a writer, to enable you to learn techniques and conventions that you can use in your own work. It acknowledges how it is impossible to grow as a writer unless you read voraciously, and yet ‘read as a writer’, becoming alert to recognising, and articulating craft tools and techniques that underpin a given piece. You will read diversely across forms and genres, and focus upon the decisions published writers make in order to excite their readership.

Shaping Ideas
This module enables you to develop an individual writing practice, founded upon your particular writing interests. The focus of the module is to work with your existing personal creative projects and passions, but to teach you how to effectively plan, research, and develop them. As well as equipping you to ‘see through’ your ideas, the module will teach you how to situate them amongst published work in your given form or genre.

Elective module
seeks to broaden your studies by offering you a choice of modules rangingfrom literature, linguistics, or the study of a foreign language.

Year one reading list and advice.

Year two (Level 5)

Word, Image, Sound
allows you to explore the many ways in which words work in dialogue with visual and aural elements. In term 1 this involves ‘new media’: making audio-visual pieces in elementary software that allows you to blend word, image and sound into a unified piece; and making multi-linear digital pieces that prompt the reader to make their own ‘choices’ in their online journey through them. You will also write poetry stimulated by visual art, and poetry that is itself visual in the way it experiments with the layout of words on the page (and have the opportunity to print these designs in a studio). In term 2 you will practice the craft of screenwriting, and graphic novel and audio scripts; and will have the opportunity to gain recording studio experience too.  

Writing Place
This module will enable students to explore, through creative practice, the role place has as a major stimulant in writing. Students will write fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction in a variety of forms in order to explore the creative resources offered by local history, regional myths, environmental issues and hidden histories. There will be a keen focus upon ‘world building’, and emphasis upon the importance of research to writers. 

Personal Projects
builds upon the first year ‘shaping Ideas’ work on personal creative projects. It is designed to take the next steps to enable you to both nurture and consolidate ideas. The focus is upon how to sustain your writing practice by understanding the different stages of development projects, whilst understanding the transformative changes work undergoes from conception and research, through to final execution.

Story Craft
consolidates your knowledge of storytelling in the broadest sense of how to grip a readership and immerse them in your world. It focuses upon both character and narrative arcs, getting you to realise that stories are never static; and that characters are always affected by what they experience in their story-world. You will learn how to pace events through scene and situation, and how to make informed decisions about what to tell the reader, and what to withhold from them (thereby making them involved in what they are reading).

Elective module
seeks to broaden your studies by offering you a choice of modules rangingfrom literature, linguistics, or the study of a foreign language.

Year three (Level 6)

is your chance to develop a long project of your choice, in whatever form or genre. Past students have undertaken chapters towards a novel, collections of poems, sit-coms, graphic novel scripts; and interrelated groups of short fiction (to indicate only a few possibilities). You are supervised by a tutor who guides you through regular meetings, and are also placed in peer response groups with fellow students. This allows for an exciting exchange of ideas and editing suggestions, as well as providing the healthy social contact that enables you to develop longer projects with a sense of audience.

Extended Portfolio
this is your opportunity to work independently on an extended project of your choice, for example a collection of short stories, work towards a novel, graphic novel, sit-com, or collection of poetry. You will be supported by a supervisor, a second reader and a student response group. You will not only work on the project itself, but document your working processes, pitch that project to staff and peers, study the market for your given project, and present your ongoing use of research materials.

Specialism plus Negotiated Study
involves working alongside a professional writer beyond the immediate teaching team in a specific set genre, to learn about the possibilities and the demands of that marketplace. This is a unique opportunity to gain a professional’s ‘insider’ knowledge of what the creative priorities and challenges are in a given field (Currently, in 2016-17 the set genre is writing for children, from picture books to stories for 11-14 year-olds; and involves the tutor making you aware of how work must satisfy the potential varying demands and expectations of publishers, child readers, and parents).

Professional Writing Skills

This module provides students with a range of professional knowledge and skills. Students will work on a publication to professional standard in print or online format, develop skills in oral presentation, and explore aspects of professional practice. The skills and knowledge gained on this course will not only be of value to creative writing practitioners, but will also be of advantage in a range of career options.
NB: Students must have taken ‘Exploring Creative Writing’ and ‘Writing Place’ at levels 4 and 5 to take this module.


Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current

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