module specification

SJ5016 - The Writer's Craft (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title The Writer's Craft
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio submission
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

The module develops students’ understanding of writing for performance through two syllabuses that focus on original writing for stage, and on performance poetry and the spoken word. Students will learn about the creation and adaptation of original dramatic material for the stage and the writer’s critical relationship to acting, directing and production histories, and the history, culture and practice of performance poetry; performance skills and the adaptation of material to audience, medium and venue, and critical and theoretical perspectives on performance poetry and the spoken word.

Prior learning requirements

Completion and pass (120 credits) of previous level. Available for Study Abroad? YES
This module cannot be taken in addition to SJ6018 The Writer’s Craft level 6


The first part of the module discusses the writing and production of original material for stage (LO1/LO4) in the context of a given playwright’s work (LO2) and productions of classic dramatic texts in a modern and contemporary context (LO2/LO3). Students learn about production history, dramaturgy, direction and theoretical approaches to drama as well as studying different adaptations and staging of dramatic works, especially those of Shakespeare.

The second part of the module focuses on performance poetry, poetry readings and poetry’s crossover with performing arts (LO1) and examines performance traditions from folk, jazz and theatre to rap and slam, reflecting the historical and cultural diversity of performance poetry and poetry in performance (LO2). Students will study anthologies and the structure of selection by which they operate, as well as gendered, themed and genre traditions (LO2/LO3). The module is also concerned with researching practical aspects of performance and field research such as enquiries about performance opportunities and sites (LO4).

Practice: group discussions and workshop activities explore, deepen and refine students’ understanding of the writing, adaptation and performance process (LO1/LO5). Regular reading, performance, writing and criticism exercises (small group and individual) develop specific craft skills (LO1/LO5).

The module is taught in three-hour weekly classes comprising of seminar discussion and workshop. It is assessed through pieces of written coursework, presentation and/or performance that offer students the opportunity to develop skills required for a range of writing forms, as well as for a future in writing and publishing.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement.

The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of The Writer’s Craft, students will be able to:

Cognitive intellectual abilities
LO1 evaluate the generic, affective, expressive and ethical qualities of prose, dramatic and/or poetic texts for (i) a narrative and visual performance context or (ii) story, technique, genre and form

Knowledge and understanding
LO2 analyse performances, performance texts and/or prose texts across a number of genres, periods, locations and styles, and demonstrate understanding of writers’ cultures, values and beliefs and the diverse contexts of writing, distribution and consumption of recent and contemporary creative productions or literary works

Subject-specific skills
LO3 evaluate and/or perform creative literary texts with an awareness of genre, production medium, cultural context, audience and tone
LO4 critically assess the history, practice, technique, theory and production of writing (inc. adaptation) for narrative and/or visual performance

Transferable skills
LO5 adapt work in response to criticism of technique, performance and form raised in tutorial, workshop and feedback