module specification

SJ7006 - Creative Writing (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Creative Writing
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 200
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 75%   4000 words of creative prose in a single or combined form (or approximately 10 poems).
Coursework 25%   1000 word reflective, analytic commentary on student's own creative practice and production.
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

In this module, students will become familiar with the major forms of Creative Writing through practice and readings of long and short form fiction, digital texts, and other material. Students will practise writing in an area of their choosing, including poetry, fiction, and other forms of literary prose. Students will research and discuss the historical development of these forms as well as familiarising themselves with their contemporary forms, and learn to situate their own creative practice in both historical and contemporary literary and critical contexts. Students will be encouraged to explore writing for digital and new media as well as honing their craft for more conventional media.

The module is taught in weekly sessions over a period of 12 weeks and will be assessed via students’ contribution to seminars and workshop and a final submission. Students who enter the programme with a chosen specialisation can submit work in this area for peer and tutor feedback to help further develop their expertise. Students who do not have a preferred form or wish to work in more than one area may submit work that combines more than one form.  The weekly workshops will require students to submit their own work as well as prepare peer critiques for colleagues.

Students will submit 4000 words of creative prose in a single or combined form or about 10 poems as the final coursework (75%). In addition, students will submit a 1000 word analytic, reflective commentary on their own work.

Module aims

In this module, students will:

  • research, write, edit Creative Writing for conventional and new media
  • develop a professional and international approach to Creative Writing with regard to potential audiences, commissioning editors, markets, publication, digital opportunities and how to access them
  • explore the range of different forms of Creative Writing and understand how they can be combined
  • undertake combine and diverse forms of research appropriate to the professional ethos of the course and their own creative practice
  • write extensively, contributing to a project involving sustained independent enquiry and innovation
  • develop the ability to reflect upon, critique and evaluate their own writing and creative practice


This module will run as a three-hour workshop and seminar. Some sessions will be dedicated to developing a wider understanding of the ways in which literature and culture interact and explore the writer’s location in this interaction. Sessions will involve explorations of literary works through close readings as well as exercises in evoking character, location, themes and plots. The module will address the notion of “research” in the broadest sense, harnessed in the interest of creating plausible and influential contexts for themes, events and relationships. Students will be able to become more conscious about the choices they make in creating their own literary worlds, and their own responses to a variety of ethical and representational issues. In addition, they will develop appropriate techniques, exploring the relationship between prose narrative and authorial point(s) of view.

The syllabus will reflect the historical and cultural diversity of literary practice. The module will entail some consideration of historical developments, and take into account cultural concerns of literary forms, changing emphases between narrative and character in fictions, as well as ethical aspects of creative practice. Writers studied may include some of the following:  Margaret Atwood, Peter Carey, Alice Walker, Donald Barthelme, Mahasweta Devi, Annie Proulx, Raymond Carver, Albert Wendt, Patricia Grace, Salman Rushdie, James Kelman, Nawal El Sadaawi, JM Coetzee, Haruki Murakami, Alice Munro, amongst others.

Learning and teaching

This module will be taught by a programme of weekly sessions over twelve weeks. The sessions will combine workshops, writing practice, seminar discussion, and research tasks. Students will reflect critically on their learning and on their personal creative practice, through peer and tutor feedback, workshops, and tutorials.  The module will involve a good amount of guided self-analysis that takes account of personal, academic and practical skills and professional profile development. The module will incorporate guest speakers when appropriate and may include guided visits to theatre, galleries and/or specific libraries. Independent learning will include guided reading, weekly research and writing tasks, set texts and preparation for seminars. Students will be encouraged to carry out independent research and incorporate it critically into their writings.

A blended learning strategy will be employed to enhance the learning experience, facilitate communication between students and tutors and develop collaboration among students. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will be used as a platform to support online activities including on-line discussion, role-play, blog writing, evaluation of online resources, access to electronic reading packs, viewing and reviewing of online video/film/audio, access to online media databases etc. It will also be 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.

Students will have to submit, as part of their coursework, an analytic commentary in which they reflect on the development of their work and its publishability, whether in written or digital formats or both.

Learning outcomes

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

  • analyze contemporary Creative Writing, from UK and abroad, in terms of context, close reading, linguistic range, cultural specificity and narrative strategies
  • apply stylistic methods and techniques appropriate to their own research or advanced scholarship to their creative practice
  • 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 Writing
  • identify the relationship between Creative Writing and cultural context and locate their own creative practice in appropriate critical and cultural contexts
  • advance their knowledge and understanding, and develop new Creative Writing skills to a high level
  • reflect and critique their own creative practice with a view to re-drafting and editing and creating works suitable for publication in conventional or new media platforms
  • learn independently for the purposes of continuing professional development.

Assessment strategy

  • Formative assessment will comprise weekly oral and written exercises both creative and critical, contribution to seminars and discussions.
  • Summative assessment will comprise written presentations: creative writing demonstrating knowledge and understanding of the genre; reflective, analytic writing on technical, stylistic, literary and ethical issues specific to fiction and their impact on students’ creative practice.


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