Course specification and structure
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PMCRDIPW - MA Creative, Digital and Professional Writing

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Arts Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Subject Area Art
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 1 YEARS 6 YEARS
Part-time Day & Evening 2 YEARS 6 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

Students study with expert tutors, enhanced by both online support and regular contact hours. Through tutorials and guided learning, they receive regular feedback on their academic progress. Teaching and learning methods include lectures and seminars, group discussions, workshops, simulations, presentations, individual and group projects, outings/ visits, guest lectures, portfolios and practical and written assessments.

A blended learning strategy is employed to enhance the learning experience, facilitate communication between students and tutors and develop collaboration among students. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is used as a platform to support online activities: for example, online discussion, role-play, blog writing, evaluation of online resources, access to electronic reading packs, viewing and reviewing of online video/ film/ audio artefacts, access to online media databases etc. It is used to facilitate formative assessment and related feedback, and as a tool to integrate useful online learning materials provided by research institutions, academic publications, professional organisations and other relevant sources.

The rationale for the course is that, in order to make a living as a writer in today’s competitive media climate, students need to develop versatility and acquire a diverse range of skills: today novelists also review, blog and use digital forms of storytelling, nonfiction writers produce scripts etc – there are no more ‘silos’ in the professional world. The range of modules on offer in this course make it distinctive: while students can go on in their two optional modules to specialise in creative writing or nonfiction, the core modules require them to attain a minimal level of proficiency in both.

The core module ‘Digital Storytelling’, as well as the optional multimedia and digital modules, reflect the critical importance of digital skills to today’s writers. They mean that the skills that the course provides students with are highly transferable.

The range of modules and the specialisms they encompass are a distinctive feature of this course and address the needs of the current and emerging creative and commercial sector.

Course aims

The main aims of the MA Creative, Digital and Professional Writing are:

CA 1: to provide students with the means to research, write, produce and edit stories, both fiction and nonfiction, through advanced writing and digital production workshops;

CA 2: to provide an attractive and distinct approach to creative, professional, digital and multimedia writing and production with regard to potential audiences, commissioning editors, markets, publication, digital opportunities and how to access them;

CA 3: to explore the range of different professional platforms - audio, visual, digital and social media, in addition to written - and to understand how they can be combined;

CA 4: to promote forms of research appropriate to the professional ethos of the course;

CA 5: to allow students to write extensively and/or produce long-form audio, visual, audio-visual, or digital work, according to their interests, contributing to a project involving sustained independent enquiry and innovation;

CA 6: to enhance students' ability to reflect upon and evaluate their own writing and digital production processes.

Course learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes incorporate and depend on a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of the academic discipline, field of study or area of professional practice.

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1. apply methods and techniques appropriate to their own research or advanced scholarship in creative, digital and professional writing (CA 1, CA 2, CA 3, CA 4, CA 5);
2. apply knowledge with originality, based on a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in creative, digital and professional writing (CA 1, CA 2, CA 3, CA 4, CA 5);
3. critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in creative, digital and professional writing (CA 3, CA 4);
4. evaluate methodologies, develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses (CA 3, CA 4, CA 6);
5. deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences (CA 1, CA 2, CA 4, CA 6);
6. exercise self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level (CA 1, CA 2, CA 3, CA 4, CA 5);
7. advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a postgraduate level (CA 1, CA 3, CA 4, CA 5);
8. exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations (CA 1, CA 2, CA 3, CA 5);
9. learn independently for the purposes of continuing professional development (CA 3, CA 4, CA 5, CA 6).

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Module Title Module Code
Creative Writing SJ7006 L.O 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7.
Digital Storytelling SJ7108 L.O 1-8.
Feature Journalism SJ7035 L.O 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7
Researching Media, Communication and the Creative Industries SM7106 L.O 1, 2, 3, 4, 8 and 9.
Creative, Digital and Professional Writing final project SJ7P01 L.O1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Curatorial Writing SJ7050 L.O 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
Routes into Publishing SJ7110 L.O 1, 3, 5 and 7.
Creative Nonfiction SJ7109 L.O 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7.
Scriptwriting SJ7037 L.O 1, 6 and 7.
Multimedia Journalism SJ7105 L.O 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7.

Accredited Work-Based Learning in the Creative Industries SJ7W01 L.O 1-9

Digital Video Production SM7031 L.O 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Principles of Digital Media SM7007 L.O 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Subject Benchmark Statement; Creative Writing 2016

Assessment strategy

Assessment methods include presentations, short stories, articles, features, audio-visual and digital packages, research proposals, portfolios, essays. Tutors stress the need for professional standards, eg in the technical aspects of writing (grammar, punctuation, spelling, presentation, layout) etc as well as creative.

The workshop lies at the heart of our teaching practice: it allows students to develop their critical and reflexive as well as writing and digital skills in a supportive setting and to learn and internalise professional rules, conventions and practices. It develops students’ confidence in speaking in both small groups and whole classroom activities, supplemented by one-to-one tutorials. Students are also introduced to a wide range of different texts (to which they add examples of their own), enabling them to develop an understanding of the wide range of writing styles, approaches and forms currently used and to reflect on how they might adopt, develop and challenge them.

Students are encouraged to reflect critically not only on their own work but also dominant forms of writing and digital production and to understand the cultural and historical factors that have helped shape them.

There is constant formative assessment, which always builds on the strengths of the student’s writing but which also highlights which areas could benefit by being strengthened.

A guide to the assessment marking criteria is posted on the WebLearn page. The modules build gradually to the final assessment: students have the opportunity to workshop almost all of their portfolio material. Coursework deadlines have been designed so as to bunch as little as possible.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

As well as the option module SJ7W01 Accredited Work-based Learning in the Creative Industries, students will have numerous opportunities to write for and present their work in professional contexts.

Modules required for interim awards

For Masters award - 4 core modules (SJ7006 Creative Writing, SJ7108 Digital Storytelling, SM7106 Researching Media, Communication and the Creative Industries, SJ7035 Feature Journalism), 2 optional modules, final project (SJ7P01 Creative, Digital and Professional Writing final project)
PG Diploma – 4 core modules (SJ7006 Creative Writing, SJ7108 Digital Storytelling, SM7106 Researching Media, Communication and the Creative Industries, SJ7035 Feature Journalism), 2 optional modules
PG Cert –3 core modules (SJ7006 Creative Writing, SJ7108 Digital Storytelling, SJ7035 Feature Journalism)

Part-time students can take the modules in any order: the course is designed to be flexible because it has both autumn and spring entry

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

Students will reflect critically on their learning and on their personal development planning mainly within modules, through feedback and discussions of assessment, but also in tutorials. They will be required to keep and develop portfolios in a number of modules. All the modules involve guided self-analysis that takes account of personal, academic and practical skills and professional profile development. In many of the modules students have to submit, as part of their coursework, an analytic commentary in which they reflect on the development of their work and its professional and commercial, whether in written or digital formats or both.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Writing and editing skills are valued today more highly than ever, and those who have developed the ability to communicate clearly, tell stories creatively and manage digital media are prized in a wide range of professional contexts. As well as developing the tools, knowledge and understanding to forge career paths in traditional and emerging media - as, for example, reporters, feature writers, editors, fiction writers and scriptwriters - students will develop skills that will be highly transferable into, for instance, marketing, public relations, advertising, corporate communications and online content generation. The course is also excellent basis for further academic or professional research or development.

Career opportunities

This master’s course will give you the skills needed to help you forge a career in the media and creative industries. Almost every commercial and public company now requires a communications manager, and as a graduate of this course you’ll be equipped with the specialist skills this role demands. More diverse roles will also be open to you, including creative writer (fiction and creative nonfiction), journalist, editor, publisher, arts manager, web designer, software designer, arts curator and consultant and events manager professions.

Sectors you could work in include the arts, creative, cultural, publishing, public relations, music, media and marketing industries. Our students have gone on to find success as writers, editors and digital innovators around the world. One ex-student, now teaching part-time on the course, is helping pioneer the use of virtual reality in journalism.

Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a 2:2 UK degree or equivalent (a relevant professional qualification or experience will also be considered)
  • two contrasting writing samples of 750 words each ready for submission

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa will need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS with an average of 7.0 and a minimum of 7.0 in Writing. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2016/17 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 08 Jul 2016 Last validation date 08 Jul 2016  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes W800 (Imaginative Writing): 50% , P500 (Journalism): 50%
Route code CRDIPW

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SJ7006 Creative Writing Core 20 NORTH AUT    
SJ7035 Feature Journalism Core 20 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT    
SJ7108 Digital Storytelling Core 20 NORTH SPR    
SJ7P01 Creative, Digital and Professional Writing Proj... Core 60 NORTH AUT    
          NORTH SPR    
SM7106 Researching Media, Communication and the Creati... Core 20 NORTH AUT    
          NORTH SPR    
SJ7037 Scriptwriting Option 20 NORTH SPR    
SJ7050 Curatorial Writing Option 20 NORTH SPR    
SJ7105 Multimedia Journalism Option 20 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT    
SJ7109 Creative Nonfiction Option 20 NORTH AUT    
SJ7110 Routes into Publishing Option 20 NORTH SPR    
SJ7W01 Accredited Work-Based Learning in the Creative ... Option 20 NORTH SPR    
          NORTH AUT    
SM7007 Principles of Digital Media Option 20 NORTH AUT    
SM7031 Digital Video Production Option 20 NORTH AUT    

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SJ7006 Creative Writing Core 20        
SJ7035 Feature Journalism Core 20 NORTH SPR    
SJ7108 Digital Storytelling Core 20 NORTH SPR    
SJ7P01 Creative, Digital and Professional Writing Proj... Core 60 NORTH SPR    
SM7106 Researching Media, Communication and the Creati... Core 20 NORTH SPR    
SJ7037 Scriptwriting Option 20 NORTH SPR    
SJ7050 Curatorial Writing Option 20 NORTH SPR    
SJ7105 Multimedia Journalism Option 20 NORTH SPR    
SJ7109 Creative Nonfiction Option 20        
SJ7110 Routes into Publishing Option 20 NORTH SPR    
SJ7W01 Accredited Work-Based Learning in the Creative ... Option 20 NORTH SPR    
SM7007 Principles of Digital Media Option 20        
SM7031 Digital Video Production Option 20