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 ranging from 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 by considering and applying aspects of what we can call storytelling craft. The module introduces students to key features of writing for film, focusing on character and narrative arcs, structure, genre and engaging with the process of drafting. You will learn how to pace events through scene and situation, how to structure your story, the use of genre, sound, tone and visual storytelling. Students are encouraged to apply craft skills learned in workshops to their own creative work, nuancing and improving it over time.

Creative Writing in the Workplace
(This is an optional module for single honours Creative Writing students only)
An opportunity for Creative Writing students to identify relevant experience, qualities and skills for the workplace, tailor a cv, undertake a short unpaid work placement and reflect on what you have learnt. This module is guided by a tutor and the Faculty’s placement officer so that practical learning is the basis for reflection and analysis of the role creative writing can play in the contemporary workplace.

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)

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 professional ‘insider’ knowledge of what the creative priorities and challenges are in a given field (Currently, in 2019-20 the set genre is long-form fiction, taught by Mahsuda Snaith — Radio 4 Book at Bedtime author; teaching the rigors of novel writing).

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.

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.

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

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