MA Creative Writing part 2

This module is the second part of the MA in Creative Writing. You'll 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'll 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'll 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 you entry to a vast range of occupations and career directions. You’ll develop sophisticated writing, communication and editorial skills, and you’ll learn to evaluate and assimilate information when identifying and solving problems. Creative writing will help you to increase your critical and analytical abilities. Often, you’ll work independently as a creative thinker, but you’ll collaborate at times, too. You’ll also acquire fluent, flexible, 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 careers.


A803 is a compulsory module in our:


Module code


  • 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.
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
Study method
Distance learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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'll 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'll 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 writing such as plot, structure, character, the line, the reader, tension, tense and time
  • examine your 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'll 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'll work 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'll 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 the 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 in assessments, 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. There will be four online tutorials on the module, one delivered by your tutor and three delivered to the whole cohort by the module team.

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


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

In this module, you'll 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 and extract – first draft
  • a 15,000-word dissertation in your specialist genre.

Course work includes

6 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment

Future availability

MA Creative Writing part 2 starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2024. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2028.


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.


Start End England fee Register
05 Oct 2024 Oct 2025 £5090.00

Registration closes 12/09/24 (places subject to availability)

04 Oct 2025 Oct 2026 Not yet available

Registration opens on 12/03/25

This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2028.

Future availability

MA Creative Writing part 2 starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2024. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2028.

Additional costs

Study costs

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

Ways to pay for this module

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, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. 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, which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • genre-specific module materials
  • audio and video content
  • assessment guide
  • workshops for the exchange of creative work
  • creative and professional practice forums

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

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

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. However, 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.

To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our disability support pages.

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