Module code: ELI2018

Module Overview

This module allows you to explore various modes of storytelling in a contemporary context, with a view to developing your narrative skills. The course will engage with contemporary fiction, poetry, non-fiction, film, and theatre and will help you to 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 are designed to help you engage with and analyse your own writing and the writing of others, with the aim of helping students to hone your 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

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 22

Independent Learning Hours: 95

Lecture Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The following areas are indicative of topics to be covered:


* Narrative Poetry and The Long Poem

* Documentary Storytelling

* Multi-narrative and polyvocal writing

* Diversity in writing characters and themes

* Speculative fiction: weird fiction and horror

* Structuring your work: endings and a sense of closure


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

* the development in your writing skills in academic prose, and/or creative writing (prose fiction and/or poetry)
* your understanding of the context of your work in historical and cultural terms, as well as in terms of other creative writing in the field
* the further development of your research and writing skills
* productive and informed critical reflection on both your creative 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:

* Writer's Commentary (500 words) (10%
* 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%)


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

  • The module aims to: help you explore the relationship between critical analysis and creative practice in a variety of contexts
  • encourage you to reflect on the demands of narrative structure
  • develop your confidence and experience in producing effective creative writing
  • heighten your awareness of the stylistic and technical considerations involved in writing creatively
  • enhance your ability to examine your own work critically and have a better understanding of the processes of editing and revision ¿ and to help you build emotional and creative resilience by practising responding to feedback creatively and productively
  • assist you to develop the ability to formulate your creative aims more clearly and effectively
  • introduce you to the work of a culturally diverse range of contemporary practitioners who work in a variety of narrative and storytelling media
  • further build your editing and workshopping skills

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 By the end of the module students will: have gained experience drawing upon your own creative practice to inform your critical thinking, and vice versa CPT
002 Be able to write competently and confidently for a variety of different modes and media ¿ this flexibility being a vital professional skill for writers and others PT
003 Be able to demonstrate further developed workshopping and editing skills - giving and receiving productive feedback being a vital professional skills in almost all professional fields CPT
004 Be able to demonstrate further developed awareness of your creative process ¿ a vital requirement for anyone aspiring to write professionally, as well as being vital to developing emotional and creative resilience and resourcefulness KPT
005 Be able to demonstrate familiarity with some of the key ideas and concerns in narrative KCPT
006 To demonstrate an awareness of contemporary writing from a wide range of global and cultural contexts KCT

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 your 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 your critical thinking, and vice versa, and in further developing workshopping and editing skills

*  Assist you in locating your own 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 you with the research and writing skills you 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 your own writing, and in  developing further awareness of your own 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

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 module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

This module is intended to embody and reflect three of the key educational pillars of a degree at the University of Surrey.

It is designed to help build Resilience and Resourcefulness: By encouraging students to share their work in class for verbal feedback and written feedback from peers and tutor, and then to build experience responding in productive ways to feedback. This is both a transferrable skill and a vital professional one for writers (and many other careers). In the creative writing you’ll undertake as part of this module you will face a range of creative and technical challenges and the module will give you practice identifying these challenges, articulating them precisely, and considering a range of creative and technical solutions to them. It will also give practice in bringing the same resilient and resourceful problem solving approach to help other writers polish and improve your work.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: This is a module explicitly designed to build cultural and global intelligence, presenting you with unfamiliar forms of writing, encouraging you to think historically about literary forms, and introducing you to authors and texts from a broad range of global cultural backgrounds. You’ll be thinking about how storytelling is both a seemingly universal human impulse and yet also takes specific forms and follows specific conventions in different times and places – and this module is specifically designed to increase your cultural awareness by introducing you to forms of storytelling you may not have encountered or considered exploring before.

Employability: This module is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills to write at a professional level in a variety of modes (prose fiction, poetry, writing for stage and for screen). It is also designed to help you develop your ability to express yourself clearly and precisely and respond in a focused and thoughtful way to the writing and ideas of others – both verbally and on the page. These are skills which employers on the PTY programme have consistently praised in our students and explicitly linked to the programme in PTY placement visits. This module is also designed to improve and broaden your knowledge of different authors, modes of writing and techniques of writing, and to enable you to experiment with some of these modes and techniques yourself.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature and Spanish BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature and French BA (Hons) 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature BA (Hons) 2 Optional 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 2025/6 academic year.