Creative Writing MA - 2024/5

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey

Framework

FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Final award and programme/pathway title

MA Creative Writing

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
PGDip Creative Writing
PGCert Creative Writing

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time PPG63003 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits
Part-time PPG63004 180 credits and 90 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Other internal and / or external reference points

N/A

Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences - School of Literature and Languages

Programme Leader

MATHIESON Charlotte (Lit & Langs)

Date of production/revision of spec

18/05/2024

Educational aims of the programme

  • - The programme aims to help students to: hone and develop their creative writing skills in a variety of modes (including poetry, prose and dramatic writing for stage and screen)
  • acquire sound knowledge of the major principles of literary criticism
  • help students to reflect on their own practice as literary critics and how this can help to improve their own creative practice
  • prepare graduates to undertake a PhD programme in the relevant field and to provide a greater understanding of the different professional paths available to writers, some insight into the contemporary publishing landscape, and the economic practicalities of authorship
  • produce work that reflects a high level of technical ability and engages productively with its historical, cultural and literary contexts
  • provide students with the transferable skills of creative writing, critical thinking, textual analysis and communication that are attractive to a wide range of employers, from the cultural industries to marketing and advertising to tourism and leisure to the civil service and public/private partnerships
  • assist students to understand and meet the challenges of producing high quality creative writing in poetry and prose, the programme also provides advanced understanding of the contexts, theoretical paradigms, methodologies and modes of interpretation that are vital in a full understanding of literary production
  • to build confidence and technical ability in a variety of modes of imaginative writing, and to provide students with a clear-eyed grounding in contemporary and historical contexts of text production and circulation, including practical advice on the workings of the publishing industry
  • To instil in students the capacity for carrying out independent research

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
On completion of the programme students will be able to: demonstrate a thorough understanding of the main principles and challenges of creative writing KCPT MA
relate developments in the field of literacy studies to the social, political and historical contexts of their own creative work KCT MA
distinguish different approaches to literary studies and reflect upon these in their own work KCT MA
develop a critical engagement with various theoretical approaches and methods KCT MA
Identify and explain relevant techniques and strategies for producing high quality creative writing KCPT MA
produce high-quality creative work in and analysis of a variety of literary genres KPT MA
verbally present abstract ideas and concepts in a clear and appropriate fashion CPT MA
display competence in a range of skills at postgraduate level, including creative writing, advanced analysis and synthesis of arguments, presentation, the conducting of independent research, and the efficient processing of complex ideas and arguments CP MA
create and carry out a research project of significant complexity and reflect upon the knowledge gained and incorporate this into independent learning strategies KCPT MA

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure

Full-time

This Master's Degree programme is studied full-time over one academic year, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7*. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
*some programmes may contain up to 30 credits at FHEQ level 6.

Part-time

This Master's Degree programme is studied part-time over two academic years, consisting of 180 credits at FHEQ level 7. All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
- Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)

N/A

Modules

Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Module Selection for Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Over the course of the two-year Part-Time programme, students choose four of the listed optional modules. By the end of Semester 2, Year 2 students must have completed all four compulsory modules alongside four optional modules. It does not matter which year (or mix of years) the compulsory modules are taken in as long as by the end of Semester 2, Year 2 all four compulsory modules have been completed. Students take the compulsory Creative Writing Portfolio module in year 2.

Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Module Selection for Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Levels 6 and 7

Over the course of the two-year Part-Time programme, students choose four of the listed optional modules. By the end of Semester 2, Year 2 students must have completed all four compulsory modules alongside four optional modules. It does not matter which year (or mix of years) the compulsory modules are taken in as long as by the end of Semester 2, Year 2 all four compulsory modules have been completed. Students take the compulsory Creative Writing Portfolio module in year 2.

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics N
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) N
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This programme is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Global and cultural capabilities: For the past 3 years, our department as a whole, and this programme specifically, has undertaken a project to ¿decolonise¿ our curriculum in a meaningful way that engages with diverse texts (primary and secondary), social and cultural contexts across all of our modules. We have also introduced a number of new modules that specifically provide critical frameworks for understanding literary texts and creative production in terms of global and cultural capabilities. We are also fortunate that our programme attracts a diverse group of international students, which, because our teaching and pedagogy is largely workshop based, enables and encourages peer groups to discuss their diverse perspectives and develop creative and critical projects within this environment.

Digital capabilities: All of our modules engage with digital skills (and encourage and enable students to practice digital skills) by engaging in meaningful ways with our VLE (SurreyLearn). In part, we use the VLE to complement in-person teaching by collecting and archiving module materials. Most modules on this programme also make use of online Discussion forums, reading lists, etc. In addition to this, a number of modules engage specifically with digital capabilities in their critical frameworks, such as to assist students to engage with a variety of research portals that students may need to develop their research skills. Likewise, many of our modules engage with creative possibilities for using digital means to create original creative projects (eg offering the option to construct digital-born creative projects).

Employability: Employability is a key area that we develop on this programme. We have a range of industry guests to speak to their expertise (eg agents, publishers). We also have an in-house publishing house that students have been involved with (Potential Books) to gain valuable skills in the publishing industry. Likewise, our students are invited to be involved with developing and running the Surrey New Writers Festival every year, where they have the opportunity to gain skills and networking experience in literary event planning. Our modules also engage with employability in a variety of ways: Firstly, our assessments are all ¿authentic assessments¿ across CW modules, which affords the opportunity to practices skills and develop projects that can be used in industry settings (eg they could use feedback on assessments to develop creative projects to submit to publishers or other appropriate industry venues). Likewise, assessments across modules include a Critical Commentary, which enables students to critically reflect on their creative work, to situate it within its wider literary/creative/critical context¿an assessment that maps onto professional settings, such as writing grant applications, project proposals, queries to publishers or agents, etc.

Resourcefulness and resilience: Our programme is built on a foundation of workshop-model pedagogy, which encourages and enables students to learn to formulate and communicate constructive feedback to peers. Likewise, they learn to hear, assess, and apply constructive feedback given to them about their work. This maps onto professional experiences such as working with editors or other managers in creative industries, and this experience at the MA level allows them to build the necessary skills to share their technical proficiencies as they learn to polish their writing/creative projects. Likewise, our programme is designed to encourage independent learning, which can be seen in the range of option modules available to students (one of the greatest strengths of the programme that students feed back), as well as within each module, which offers a range of options for their assessment. In this way, students become proficient in developing their own creative projects (which they can continue beyond the programme); research skills; time management; and technical proficiency in their chosen area of specialisation in the programme, which culminates in their long dissertation project.

Sustainability: This pillar figures thematically in many of our modules within the module content, such as modules which emphasise environmental literature/ environmental and/or cultural sustainability as a theme, genre, or focus of diverse branches of literary study and creative production. Students will be exposed to literatures and critical materials that engage explicitly within this content area to inspire discussions of and research into eco literatures and cultural sustainability, to engage deeply with a variety of perspectives of critical and creative engagements with sustainability as a nuanced field to explore. Students are invited to pursue literatures of sustainability (eg environmental, cultural) and many choose to focus in this area for their assessments where there they have choice of field/subject to research. By engaging meaningfully with Sustainability as a wider framework within which to develop creative and critical practices, students will be well placed to imagine and apply sustainabilities in local and global contexts.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

https://www.surrey.ac.uk/quality-enhancement-standards

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 2024/5 academic year.