The programme brings together students who are working in different genres so that you can engage collaboratively across genres before specialising in screenwriting, playwriting, fiction or poetry for your dissertation.
You will take five core modules [full descriptions available below]:
- Creative Writing Research Skills I: Theories and Practice
- Creative Writing Research Skills II: Theories, Models, Self
- Poem as Story - Story as Poem
- Intertextuality: Story, Genre, Craft
- Editing as Collaborative Practice
You will also take one optional module from within English, or from another discipline.
You will complete the programme with a dissertation which will be 75% creative portfolio and 25% critical essay. You will write a 20,000-25,000 word portfolio of creative work in as a screenplay, novella, excerpt of a novel, a collection of short fiction or a collection of poetry. This will be accompanied by a 5,000-word essay placing your work in a critical and creative context, with reference to your development as a writer over the course of the MA. You will receive feedback on work in progress during one-to-one tutorials and in work-sharing seminars with peers (groups divided along the lines of genre/form).
The programme is also assessed by creative portfolios and assignments throughout the taught modules.
Why study this course
You’ll be joining a lively writing community. The undergraduate Creative Writing programme and Creative Writing Societies provide an energetic and talented scene in which to write. There are regular events, readings, poetry slams and student publications, and Creative Writing Societies provide an energetic and talented scene in which to write. There are regular events, readings, poetry slams and student publications.
We have links to the award winning local press Tindal Street and the boutique poetry pamphlet publishers Nine Arches Press, including visiting lectures from writers, publishers and editors.
You will study five core modules:
Creative Writing: Research Skills I: Theories and Practice
This module offers you the chance to generate new material, experiment with form and technique and share your work in writing workshops with the supervision of your tutor.
Creative Writing Research Skills II: Theories, Models, Self
This module asks – what advantages are gained from placing your writing in a critical context? How do you see yourself as a writer? Through the study of historical and contemporary ideas of authorship and the role of the writer, socially and artistically, you will be encouraged to develop a deeper understanding of your own work and motivations for writing.
Poem as Story - Story as Poem
This module allows for a simultaneous focus on poetry and fiction, allowing you to work in both forms rather than choosing to be a “poet” or “prose writer” at this stage in your development. There will be weekly writing exercises and the opportunity to critique one anothers’ work as well as a weekly set text exploring contemporary poetry and fiction.
Intertextuality: Story, Genre, Craft
How does a story change when its form changes? Are the characters in the screen adaptation the same characters as in the source novel? Are we freer in our approach to adaptation than we used to be? There will be weekly set texts to explore the themes. You will be assessed through a critical paper focusing on two different genres (e.g. a book adapted for the stage or screen, a poetry collection adapted for radio, etc.) as well as an extended piece in the genre of your choice.
Editing as Collaborative Practice
This module uses the concept of editing as a tool to question the nature of writing as process and product. It will provide a broad, market-focused contextualisation of editing issues and practices as well as hands-on editing. Working in collaboration with an external MA programme students will build towards the production of a professional quality anthology of creative work.
You will take one optional module - in the first semester - and your choice includes:
Contemporary Literary Cultures: Politics
This module investigates key problems in performance history and historiography. You will consider a range of conceptual and methodological issues raised by the historical analysis of theatre and performance. You will focus particularly on the strategies and politics of historical representation in drama and theatre studies, looking at how performance practices have been narrated within theatre studies and how these narratives represent theatre's relationship with other social practices. NB: this module has limited spaces.
Victorian Modernity: 1880-1910
This module will enhance students' ability to explore the diversity of literary impulses in a turn-of-the-century period characterised by literary non-conformity. Major topics to be covered include: the late nineteenth-century city, decadence, imperialism, aestheticism, and early modernism. These will be studied across a variety of genres and authors, with reference to formative theorists/philosophers of the period. In spite of its interest in diversity the module will be unified by two themes that are characteristic of the period: an intense interest in the past as well as fascination with the future.
Writing Revolutions: Politics, Publics and Professionalism in Literary Culture, 1580-1700
This module provides a theme and topic-based survey of English literature of the period 1580-1700 (excluding Shakespeare). It encompasses literature from all the principal genres of the period, addressing literary texts, from the time of Sidney and Spenser through the Civil War to Dryden and Rochester in the late seventeenth-century.
Alternatively, you may choose an optional module from outside your discipline from other areas of the College or University.
Fees and funding
We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2015/16 are as follows:
Home / EU: £6,210 full-time; £3,105 part-time
Overseas: £14,140 full-time
For part-time students, the above fee quoted is for year one only and tuition fees will also be payable in year two of your programme.
Eligibility for Home/EU or Overseas fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students
Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about
postgraduate tuition fees and funding.
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
Birmingham Masters Scholarship Scheme
For 2015 entry the University has 224 new £10,000 scholarships available for Masters students from under-represented groups. These scholarships have been jointly funded by the British Government; the allocation of the awards, which is the fourth highest in the UK, further cements Birmingham?s place amongst the very best higher education institutions for postgraduate study. The application deadline is 31 July 2015.
Learn more about entry requirements
We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.
English language requirements
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
How to apply
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