W800 MA Creative Writing (1 yrs)
The Creative Writing MA course at Southampton is a lively and dynamic programme, allowing students to focus in four exciting areas of contemporary writing: international fiction, scriptwriting, poetry, and writing for children and young people. Teaching is conducted in small groups with one or more writing tutors guiding students through the implications and potentials of their own writing paths.
Our programme offers the chance both to specialise and to work in a friendly academic environment with other writers. You may substitute one of your Creative Writing option modules with a module from another MA Humanities programme, normally chosen from the MA English or MA Film programmes.
English at Southampton is a forward-looking discipline with a long record of encouraging contemporary writing. Visiting writers often speak at our postgraduate seminars, and several of our teaching staff are researchers in the contemporary field. The MA programme has close links to the Centre for Contemporary Writing, which runs conferences, readings, and other literary events.
About our course
All MA students will attend the Creative Skills workshop, a weekly forum to discuss your writing. You will be encouraged to develop skills in critical reading and listening to the work of your peers, as well as to test your own developing abilities as creative writers through the presentation of your own work and supportive critical engagement with the work of others. You will be also able to choose from three specialist fields of creative writing, and a wide range of course modules from the English MA.
The MA will not only encourage you with your writing, but also teach you:
- how to set up a small press and get published
- how to organise readings and literary events
- how to write in and for different media, including collaborative work
As well as the taught aspects of the course, you will have the opportunity to hear and meet invited writers and poets, publish your own anthology, organise your own reading series to promote your work, and initiate new projects and performances. You will be encouraged to use your creative initiative to the maximum and push literary and disciplinary boundaries as actively as possible both inside and outside the University.
If you have a question or would like further information, contact our admissions team:
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 8062
Programme structure (full-time route)
The programme consists of a core Creative Skills Workshop (40 credits, taught over both semesters), plus two option modules in each semester. You may substitute one of your Creative Writing option modules with a module from another MA Humanities programme, normally chosen from the MA English or MA Film programmes. Those progressing to the MA will undertake a final creative project (15,000 words with a 3,000 critical rationale) over the summer.
Programme structure (part-time route)
Part-time students will complete the same number of modules but over 24 months. You will attend the Creative Skill workshop in your first year.
Duration: 1 year (full-time); 2 years (part-time)
Assessment: Essays, projects, dissertation
Start date: October
Closing date: 1 September (later applications will be considered)
Funding: AHRC Block Grant; Humanities studentships may be available
Typical entry requirements
First- or upper second-class honours degree or equivalent
Average applicants per place: 3
University application with transcripts and sample of written work
Typical course content
This programme is divided into 180 credits. 120 credits are obtained from taught modules with the remaining 60 credits relating to the dissertation.
The programme consists of a core Creative Skills Workshop (40 credits, taught over both semesters), plus two option modules in each semester. From the following list of optional Creative Writing modules, you should choose three or four modules. You may substitute one of these modules with an optional module from the MA English and/or MA Film programmes; you should contact your convenor if you want to take an optional module from any other MA programme.
Part-time students will complete the same number of modules but over 24 months. You will attend the Creative Skills workshop in your first year.
You may also consider taking ENGL6032 - Individually Negotiated Project
- Creative Skills Workshop
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).
Learning and teaching
Our aim is to provide you with a supportive academic context in which to learn, grow and develop your writing skills. Our programme offers the chance to specialize in what interests you, to work in a friendly academic environment with other student writers, and to benefit from expert tuition and a dynamic schedule of visiting speakers which includes established writers, editors, publishers and agents. You will also choose from a variety of stimulating MA modules offered by the School of Humanities which will help you to think critically and in depth about what you do.
What will you learn?
You may be surprised by what you find out about yourself during this course. Experience has shown that students often come to us thinking they want to write prose and end up writing poetry, or vice versa, or discover a gift for scriptwriting or children's literature they never thought they had. This course will certainly challenge your preconceptions about yourself, so you should come prepared with an open mind. We don't promise to get you published outside of our own end-of-year anthology, but we do anticipate that by the end of the course you will have learned enough to make informed decisions about the directions your writing career might take next.
Our programme is suitable for students who wish to develop their skills as a creative writer either for their own satisfaction or in order to pursue a career that involves writing, and also for those who wish to progress to doctorate-level creative writing. It is based around a core workshop and places special emphasis on learning from international writing and the new literatures in English, and on new developments in writing in the areas of performance and poetics.
We will encourage students to learn to develop a high level of critical self-awareness, to work collaboratively where appropriate, and to attain the knowledge and skills to be able to draw widely from literature, theory and cultural history as contexts for their writing.
Assessment at postgraduate taught level tests your key skills. You will be assessed by traditional means, such as essays, but, depending on the modules you choose, you will also be asked to work in groups and teams; to make presentations and to undertake fieldwork. You will also manage a large independent research project: the masters dissertation. The dissertation is a core element in establishing the acquisition of appropriate skills and the application of research techniques. Your masters tutor will be available to provide regular and supportive advice, guidance and feedback on your progress.
A masters degree will enable you to further develop the key skills employers seek such as: time management; problem solving; team work; deadline and project management; cultural awareness; working independently; using your initiative; relationship-building; critical thinking and research analysis. Above all, you will learn to communicate your ideas and enthusiasm to a wide range of audiences.