You are viewing information for England.  Change country.

MA Creative Writing part 1

Building on skills learned at undergraduate level or as a practising writer, this module helps to harness your individual strengths, helping you to generate and develop ideas. You will build a disciplined practice of writing in a genre of your choice (fiction, poetry, scriptwriting or creative non-fiction), while also experimenting with at least one other genre. You will develop a practical focus, come to read as a writer, encounter texts from various cultural settings, while refining your analytical and editorial skills. You will learn about professional writing practice, and hone your writing skills through sharing, reading and critiquing work-in-progress.

Vocational relevance

Studying creative writing will equip you with an adaptable set of skills that can give entry to a vast range of occupations and career directions. You’ll develop sophisticated writing and communication skills, collaborative and editorial skills and learn to evaluate and assimilate information in identifying and solving problems, acquiring skills of critical thinking and analysis, independent working and creative thinking. You’ll also develop new, flexible, fluent and sophisticated research and IT skills. All the above are skills greatly valued in the workplace – whether you’re already working, volunteering, planning to work freelance or changing career.

Qualifications

A802 is a compulsory module in our:

A802 is an optional module in our:

Postgraduate Loans 

If you study this module as part of an eligible qualification, you may be eligible for a Postgraduate Loan. For more information, see Fees and funding.

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.

Module

Module code
A802
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
60
Study level

Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.

OU Postgraduate
SCQF 11
FHEQ 7
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

Request your prospectus

Explore our subjects and courses.

Request your copy today

What you will study

This module is the first part and a compulsory module of the MA in Creative Writing (F71). It is made up of four blocks, each of which will develop your understanding of different approaches to particular genres. You will be introduced to a range of techniques and ideas, and will engage in forum work and peer-to-peer feedback, while honing your ability to read as a writer by analysing a variety of texts relevant to your chosen genres. Choosing from fiction, poetry, script and creative non-fiction, you will study a primary genre (your specialism) and a secondary genre, and therefore define your own pathway through the module.

You will start Block 1 writing in your primary genre and in Block 2 you will write in your secondary genre. In Blocks 3 and 4 you will revert to your primary genre but reap the rewards of widening your generic awareness. No matter which genre you opt to specialise in, the module will culminate with you writing a substantial piece of creative work.

Block 1: In this block you will study your primary genre. The weekly study will cover essentials, reintroducing ideas and techniques that may be familiar from undergraduate study and taking them further in terms of sophistication and complexity. Topics covered include point of view, plot and setting in fiction; figurative language, voice and structure in poetry; dialogue, scene and character in script; and research, memoir and narrative-shaping techniques in creative nonfiction. You will engage in the exchange and critiquing of work within your peer group.

Block 2: In this block you will select a secondary genre. For instance, if your primary genre is fiction, you might now choose poetry as your secondary genre and work through topics such as figurative language, voice and structure; or you might choose script and cover topics such as dialogue, scene and character. You will start thinking about your end-of-module submission and further develop your peer reviewing and critiquing skills. You will also refine your approaches to commenting and writing reflectively on your writing process.

Block 3: The materials and activities in this block will advance your understanding of your chosen genre, focussing on some of its finer points as well as introducing more challenging techniques and themes. Topics covered range from rhetoric, maximalism and minimalism, and subgenres in fiction; characterisation, experimentalism and personal poetics; collaboration, structure and adaptation in script; and the lyric essay, place writing and style in creative nonfiction.

Block 4: The final block is comprised largely of independent study, during which time you will develop a substantial piece of creative writing; your end-of-module assessment. In the taught units you will reflect on issues of professional practice, as well as approaches to planning and editing.

Throughout this module you will encounter guided activities and prompts to stimulate your writing and thinking. However, there is a much greater emphasis on generating and developing your own ideas independently than exists at undergraduate level.

Online tutor-group forums will enable peer-group discussion of your work. You will be expected to engage in these activities, giving impersonal, informed and objective evaluations of your own and others, work through constructive criticism. You will be assessed on this work, as well as on your ability to generate, develop, write and edit your creative writing, and on your ability to reflect upon, write about and contextualise your creative process.

You will learn

On this module you will:

  • develop writing skills and an awareness of approaches to writing in multiple genres: fiction, poetry, life writing and script for film, radio or stage;
  • develop and hone sophisticated writing skills in at least one of those genres;
  • engage in sharing, critiquing and reviewing work in a variety of genres;
  • prepare a substantial piece of work to a professional standard
  • refine your reflective approaches to literature and your own practice

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. This module will be taught by means of online forums.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are specific difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

Course satisfaction survey

See the satisfaction survey results for this course.

Future availability

MA Creative Writing part 1 starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2023.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Essential Documents website.

    Entry requirements

    To take this module, you must declare the MA in Creative Writing (F71) as your qualification intention. To register for this postgraduate study you should have a UK Honours degree or recognised equivalent. Ideally your undergraduate degree will be in Creative Writing or English, such as our BA (Hons) English Literature and Creative Writing (Q86), or a closely related subject. You should be aware that a degree of at least 2.1 or equivalent will greatly increase your chances of successfully completing the MA.

    It is expected that your spoken and written English will also be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 7 under the International English Language testing system (IELTS). Please see their website for details.

    If you do not have a background in creative writing, you are strongly recommended to undertake some preparatory work - see our undergraduate and open-access creative writing courses   - to ensure your skills (writing, reading, editorial, reflective, analytical) are at an appropriate standard. The MA in creative writing assumes that a candidate for a master’s degree already has the knowledge and skills usually acquired by pursuing the subject at undergraduate level. This is a module for candidates with experience of writing creatively and not for those who are just starting to write. The qualification will not offer remedial training for those who have an inappropriate undergraduate degree or inadequate experience; any such students beginning the qualification do so at their own risk.

    If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.

    Outside the UK

    This module is suitable for study from outside the UK.

    Preparatory work

    If you have not studied creative writing at university you are advised to read the following:

    • Anderson, L. (2006) Creative Writing: A workbook with readings ISBN 978-0-4153-7243-5
    • Neale, D. (2008) A Creative Writing Handbook: Developing dramatic technique, individual style and voice ISBN 978-1-4081-0941-0 

    You should pay particular attention to the genres in which you intend to write (i.e. Part 2 of the Anderson book, chapters 5-11, if you plan to write fiction), but be aware that there is some cross over between genres in both volumes. You should note that there is no coverage of scriptwriting in the Anderson volume.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    06 Oct 2018 Jun 2019 £2040.00

    Registration closes 20/09/18 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2023.

    Future availability

    MA Creative Writing part 1 starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2023.

    Additional costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    Ways to pay

    We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

    That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options. To find out more see Fees and funding.

    Study materials

    What's included

    All teaching material for this module is delivered online via the module website.

    You will need

    You may find it useful to have access to a large public or university library.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module.  Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • macOS 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students. 

    If you have a disability

    The materials for this module are provided as a series of web pages via the module website and should be accessible using screen readers. Written transcripts of any audio components are available.  Other alternative formats of the module materials may be available in the future.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our services for disabled students.