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MA Creative Writing part 2

This module is the second part of the MA in Creative Writing. You will build on skills that you have acquired in part 1, whilst at the same time being challenged to develop those skills further in your primary genre specialism.

Throughout this module you will specialise in one of four writing genres: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction or script. The module is organised into four teaching blocks and a further section of independent study where you will develop your ideas into a sustained piece of creative writing produced to a professional level.

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

A803 is a compulsory 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
A803
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.
120
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.

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What you will study

This module further develops techniques and approaches introduced in MA Creative Writing part 1 (A802), and allows for more in-depth discussion of writing topics and work in progress. You will be able to consolidate and build on the writing, editorial, analytical, critical and research skills you've previously acquired, and to develop more sustained pieces of work, and gain greater critical and editorial awareness in the analysis of your own work and the work of your peers. By the end of the module you will have undertaken a sustained piece of individual work for your dissertation. You will choose a genre specialism from fiction, poetry, scriptwriting, or creative nonfiction. Your exact study path will depend on your genre specialism. However, all genres will follow a path leading to a period of independent study and the production of a substantial piece of writing.

In Block 1 you will: 
  • develop advanced reading-as-a-writer skills in your chosen genre, 
  • further develop writing techniques and technical vocabulary specific to your genre;
  • explore aspects of your writing such as research, world creation, endings, experimentation, hybrid forms, voice and tone;
  • exchange work with fellow students via forums and online workshops;
  • develop advanced critiquing skills, analysing increasingly sustained and evolved pieces of work.
In Block 2 you will:
  • explore advanced approaches appropriate to your genre, in aspects of the writing such as plot, structure, character, the line, the reader, tension, tense and time;
  • examine your personal approach to writing and writing with a sense of engagement; 
  • explore and acknowledge the critical influence of writers or works in your genre;
  • exchange work with fellow students via forums and online workshops;
  • further develop advanced critiquing skills, analysing sustained and evolved pieces of work.
In Block 3 you will:
  • explore cross-fertilisation of ideas from one of the other three genres taught on the module;
  • develop advanced approaches to elements such as style, intertextuality, political writing, metaphor, writing about the self, critical concepts and performing your work;
  • exchange work with fellow students via forums and online workshops;
  • further develop advanced critiquing skills, analysing sustained and evolved pieces of work.
In Block 4 you will:
  • engage in aspects of writing such as genre experimentation, the future of your genre; breaching boundaries, playfulness, multidisciplinary and shifting forms; 
  • consider approaches to manuscript and whole book editing;
  • contemplate the possible future directions of your genre;
  • exchange work with fellow students via forums and online workshops;
  • further develop advanced critiquing skills, analysing sustained and evolved pieces of work.

Interspersed throughout the first four blocks of the module you will encounter The Writer in The World. These sections explore how writers make a living from their craft and suggest ways for you to engage with the professional world of writing, such as how to go about contacting agents, producers and publishers. The Writer in the World sections also consider online writing as a mode of self-promotion and as a form of publication.

Block 5: Independent study

During this part of the module you will be working primarily on producing a substantial piece of creative writing (15,000 words of fiction or equivalent in other genres). Depending on your specialism this will either be a substantial extract from a larger prose work, or a collection of poems, stories or complete scripts. You will be expected to produce this work to a professional standard.

You will learn

This module will help to:

  • harness your individual creative strengths, nurturing your ability to generate and develop ideas; 
  • build a disciplined practice of writing; 
  • encourage you to read and analyse texts from different cultural settings;
  • focus on writing in your chosen genre, while appreciating how other genres work and interact;
  • further develop your analytical and editorial skills, technical knowledge, vocabulary, and ability to critique both work-in-progress and contextual reading; 
  • accelerate development of your conceptual ability, communication skills, and capacity for independent thinking and working; 
  • further your knowledge of professional writing practice, including an awareness of the publishing/performance sector, networks of practice and freelance possibilities;
  • further develop your self-awareness, confidence and reflexivity.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

Tuition on this module is provided entirely online with a strong emphasis on participation in online forums. 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. Your work will focus initially on your tutor group forum, but you will also benefit from having access to module-wide forums, co-moderated by other tutors – who like your tutor will be writing practitioners.

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 must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

In this module, you will be assessed on:

  • creative work
  • reflective commentaries
  • critical appraisal of a work(s) or author(s) of influence
  • forum and workshop contribution
  • a larger reflective commentary related to the final dissertation
  • an EMA proposal
  • an EMA extract – first draft
  • a 15,000 word (or equivalent) dissertation in your specialist genre.

Course work includes

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

Future availability

MA Creative Writing part 2 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 2024.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Entry requirements

    To register for this module, you are required to have successfully completed the MA in Creative Writing part 1 (A802).

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

    Register

    Start End Fee Register
    05 Oct 2019 Oct 2020 Not yet available

    Registration closes 19/09/19 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2024.

    Future availability

    MA Creative Writing part 2 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 2024.

    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, but this is not essential.

    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

    This module has no printed materials and is delivered entirely online. The materials are provided as a series of web pages via the module website. Some online material may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader, and some external reference materials, such as poetry or scripts may be particularly difficult to read in this way.

    You should also be aware that this module demands a high level of independent study, including reading widely in the genre you wish to study. Where certain activities are not accessible for your particular need, we will provide suitable alternatives, but some activities, for example studying certain poetry or script layouts, may not be available in different formats. This module requires you to engage with other students and their work in online forums and other online tools.

    Please be aware that there will be:

    • a high level of forum interaction with other students and this is assessed
    • a large amount of reading required, including links to external websites and a requirement to read widely beyond the module materials where formatting is out of our control
    • frequent and sustained computer use is required due to the online delivery method.

    If you think you will have difficulty in completing these tasks or achieving the learning outcomes due to the effects of your disability (for example anxiety over communicating with other students or unable to study on screen for any length of time), you are encouraged to contact us for advice before registering for this module.

    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. Visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer.