module specification

SJ7006 - Creative Writing (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Creative Writing
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 200
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   5000-word portfolio
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This is a core, semester-long module that will introduce students of MA Creative, Digital and Professional Writing to the principles, techniques and forms of contemporary creative writing through practice and readings of long- and short-form fiction, digital texts, and other material. Seminars/workshops will develop students’ practice-based skills, primarily in fiction though students may also work in other genres.

The module aims to develop students’ knowledge and skills as follows:

• You will research, write and edit creative writing for print and other media.

• You will develop the ability to reflect upon, critique and evaluate your own writing and to articulate the ethical basis of your creative practice.

• You will learn to recognise and understand the historical development of literary forms and situate your own writing in both historical and contemporary literary and critical contexts.

• You will undertake and combine diverse forms of research appropriate to the professional ethos of the course and your own creative practice.

• You will develop a professional and international approach to creative writing with regard to potential audiences, commissioning editors, markets, publication platforms, digital opportunities and how to access these.

Prior learning requirements

Available for Study Abroad? YES


The syllabus will typically include:

• a series of seminar-workshops that reference 20th and 21st Century writers, through which students will develop understanding of the ways in which literature and culture interact, and the writer’s location in this interaction (LO1, LO5);

• close reading and discussion of literary works by a wide range of contemporary writers and across diverse forms so as to identify, contextualise and understand key themes, techniques and styles (LO2, LO3, LO4);

• exercises developing students’ own technical skills, for example in character, setting, theme, plot, point of view (LO1, LO4, LO5);

• research in the broadest sense in order to create plausible contexts for themes, events and relationships in their creative writing (LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5);

• discussion of and exercises to develop students’ ability to make conscious choices in creating their literary worlds and responding critically to a range of ethical and representational issues (LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5);

• workshopping of students’ own creative writing (LO3, LO5).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Scheduled teaching provides the guidance and foundation to ensure that independent study is effective in addressing the module’s learning outcomes and assessment tasks. The module is taught by a programme of weekly sessions over the semester. The sessions combine workshops, writing practice, seminar discussion, and research tasks. Students are required to reflect critically on their learning and on their personal creative practice, through peer and tutor feedback, workshops, and tutorials. The module may include guest speakers and/or guided visits to external venues, such as museums or galleries. Independent learning will include guided reading, weekly research and writing tasks, set texts and preparation for seminars/workshops. Students are encouraged to carry out independent research and incorporate it critically into their writings.

In-class activity makes use of varied student-centred approaches. Information is provided through a range of means and sources to minimise and remove barriers to successful progress. The course team seeks to embed the University’s Education for Social Justice Framework. A blended learning strategy will be employed to enhance the learning experience, facilitate communication between students and tutors and develop collaboration among students. Activities, especially workshopping, will foster peer-to-peer community-building, support for learning, and reflective learning. Students’ final coursework will include an analytic commentary in which they reflect on the development of their work and its publishability.

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

Learning outcomes

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

Knowledge and understanding:
LO1: apply stylistic methods and techniques, appropriate to their own research or advanced scholarship and with an awareness of critical and cultural context, to their creative practice;

Cognitive intellectual abilities:
LO2:  analyse contemporary creative writing, from the UK and abroad, in terms of context, close reading, linguistic range, cultural specificity and narrative strategies;

Behaviours and values:
LO3: develop confidence and resilience in presenting and articulating the value and ethical basis of their own creative writing practice;

Transferable skills:
LO4:  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; 
Subject specific skills:
LO5: 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.

Assessment strategy

Students will produce a portfolio addressing the module’s learning outcomes through the tasks and criteria as set out in the assessment brief. These will be detailed at the start of the module.

Typically students will produce 4000 words of creative writing and a 1000-word reflective, analytic commentary. Students will thereby be assessed on their creative, critical, analytical and reflective learning processes. The creative writing will demonstrate the student’s competency in creative and critical processes and the commentary will demonstrate their analytical and reflective learning.