Module code: ELI2018

Module Overview

This module aims to explore various modes of storytelling in a contemporary context, with a view to developing narrative skills. The course will engage with contemporary fiction, poetry, non-fiction, film, and theatre and will aim to investigate and understand the multiple ways readers and writers engage with storytelling and narrative. There will be lectures on each topic, with workshop-style seminars that require students to engage with and analyse their own writing and the writing of others, with the aim of helping students to hone their ability to edit and create.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

BAHS Liz (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: Q321

Module cap (Maximum number of students): 65

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 50

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 45

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Students must be enrolled in the English and Creative Writing programme, or be taking Creative Writing as their minor pathway or have completed at least one previous Creative Writing module at the University of Surrey. At the discretion of the module leader students who have not previously completed a Creative Writing module at the University of Surrey but who submit to the module leader a portfolio of 1000-1500 words of creative writing (poetry, prose, screenplay or dramatic script) may also be admitted to this module. .  

Module content

The following areas are indicative of topics to be covered:


  • The Short Story: Precision and Style

  • Creative non-fiction and humour

  • Narrative Poetry and The Long Poem

  • The Novel: Contemporary Contexts

  • Adaptation from Page to Film

  • Narrative, Spectacle, and Film

  • Staging Contemporary Theatre

  • Documentary Storytelling: Limits and Opportunities


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework WRITERS REVIEW (500 WORDS) 10

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

  • the development in their writing skills in academic prose, and/or creative writing (prose fiction and/or poetry)

  • their understanding of the context of their work in historical and cultural terms, as well as in terms of other creative writing in the field

  • their development of research and writing skills

  • productive and informed critical reflection on both the literary writing itself and the critical and secondary material that surrounds it, and/or both the creative process itself and the finished work that has resulted from it


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Portfolio of Creative Writing (2000 words or equivalent in poetry or script & Self-reflective Critical Commentary (500 words) please see the module handbook for details) (90%); and a review of a literary event (500 words) (10%). 


Formative assessment and feedback

Formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through seminar discussions, tutor feedback in seminars, and a range of other feedback mechanisms agreed between tutor and students in week 1 of the module, such as seminar contribution and writing exercises.

Module aims

  • Explore the relationship between critical analysis and creative practice in a variety of contexts
  • Encourage students to reflect on the demands of narrative structure
  • Building on the concepts and resources introduced at level one, this module is designed to help students to:
  • Further develop their confidence and experience in producing effective creative writing
  • Heighten their awareness of the stylistic and technical considerations involved in text production
  • Enhance their ability to examine their own work critically and have a better understanding of the processes of editing and revision
  • Develop the ability to formulate their creative aims more clearly and effectively
  • Introduce students to the work of contemporary practitioners who work in a variety of narrative and storytelling mediums
  • Further build editing and workshopping skills

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Reflect on the relationship between creative practice and critical and theoretical approaches to the text
2 Draw on their creative practice to inform their critical thinking, and vice versa
3 Write competently and confidently for a variety of different modes and media
4 Think about types of cliché, and how it can be avoided or used in their own writing
5 Demonstrate further developed workshopping and editing skills
6 Demonstrate further developed awareness of their creative process
7 Demonstrate familiarity with some of the key ideas and concerns in narrative
8 Demonstrate and awareness of and engagement with contemporary writing

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Hone and develop students’ writing skills in academic writing, and/or creative writing (prose fiction and/or poetry) by developing an awareness of the application of their creative practice in inform their critical thinking, and vice versa, and in further developing workshopping and editing skills

  • Assist students in locating literary texts and their critical writing, and/or their creative work in historical and cultural contexts by identifying some of the key ideas and concerns in narrative, and the relationship between creative practice and critical and theoretical approaches to the text

  • Equip students with the research and writing skills they will need to produce critically informed academic writing, and/or creative writing (prose fiction and/or poetry) and creative criticism by developing competency and confidence in writing in a variety of different modes and media, by encouraging thinking about types of cliché, and how it can be avoided or used in their own writing, and in  developing further awareness of their creative process


The learning and teaching methods include a combination of lecture materials, seminars, captured content, guided learning and independent learning.  

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELI2018

Other information

This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the International Engagement Office email:

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Creative Writing BA (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.