We designed this MA quite simply to teach everything we think a new novelist ought to know. It combines a focus on the skills of writing full-length fiction with a clear-eyed exploration of the publishing process and related creative fields. New in 2006, this MA has attracted considerable interest among publishers and literary agents, many of whom participate actively in the programme.
You will first be encouraged to widen your ambitions, stretch your abilities, discover contemporary theories of literature and explore the core techniques of writing fiction. In the second term, we move on to advanced study of contemporary genres and the challenges of writing a full-length novel. Our unique industry module will not only analyse the creative industries and their future development but actually place you as an intern within a company in this field to learn at first hand how and why a novel is published. The dissertation is designed to allow you to work with your tutor to create the optimum submission package for a literary agent.
The programme is designed around the core activity of producing a major prose fiction project, which can be a novel fragment with synopsis, a novella or a collection of short stories, of publishable quality and produced in a marketable form.
In addition, the Internship Programme offers a unique opportunity in a Creative Writing Master's programme for you not only to understand the role that the creative industries play in shaping a writing career but actually to participate in these fields.
You should take four taught modules including at least one industry-oriented module and then you will be able to work one to one with a tutor to prepare your dissertation of between 20,000 and 40,000 words.
Elements of Fiction
In this module you will analyse and explore the different elements of fiction. Each week the teaching session will begin by a discussion by one of your lecturers on a specific aspect of fiction writing. You will then divide into workshop groups and continue to explore the topic in presentations and seminar discussion of the books set the previous week. After a short break, the students will respond to each others´ writing in a workshop setting.
Planning a Novel
In this module we will study different approaches to planning and structuring a novel together with the advanced writing techniques which are particularly important in specific genres of fiction. We normally adapt the content of this module to the specific interests of each year group. You will be able to try each genre in turn and will continue to discuss your writing in workshop groups.
Paths to Publication
In this module you will study and learn to understand the creative industries through which authors reach their readers. These industries are changing very rapidly so this module also emphasizes the process of change and prepares you to become part of this ongoing process. We will also examine the strategies which authors have used successfully to navigate the creative industries and we will hear industry professionals give their view of authors and the way they market their writing. We believe that this is the best possible help we can offer you to get your novel published.
After the taught section of the module, we will organise short work placements for students in these industries; students will then share their experiences through their assessed presentations, in order to build up a comprehensive picture of the entire process. If you won´t want or are unable to take up a placement, you may choose to deliver a presentation on an individual company within the creative industries instead.
STUDENTS SHOULD BUDGET FOR A 2-WEEK INTERNSHIP WITHIN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES IN CENTRAL LONDON
*Subject to approval.
You will be able to work one-to-one with your Dissertation Tutor to write a novel extract of up to 40,000 words and a related a critical commentary.
Dates reflect the university's timezone.
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This is a Master's course designed to prepare you for a career as a professional writer.
A UK first or second class (2:1) UK honours degree or equivalent internationally recognised qualification. Other qualifications and relevant professional or practical experience will be assessed on an individual basis.
Usually, applicants to this programme who do not have a degree in English or Creative Writing have taken courses such as those offered by the Open University or the Arvon Foundation or have attended private writing workshops. You should be able to show that you have developed your writing and your understanding of literature through private study.
A sample of your fiction writing between two and five thousand words which you feel demonstrates appropriate ability and commitment will be required at application stage.
Applicants may be invited to an interview.
English Language Requirements
IELTS: 7.5 (min 7W, 7L, 7R, 7S)
Pearson: 73 (58 in all subscores)
BrunELT: 75% (min 70% in all areas)
UK/EU students: £6,250 full-time; £3,125 part-time
International students: £14,250 full-time; £7,125 part-time
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