University of Chester

Programme Specification
Creative Writing BA (Hons) (Combined Honours)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Arts (Combined Honours)

Creative Writing

Creative Writing

University of Chester

University of Chester

Chester Campus

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 Years

7 Years

Annual - September

Multiple

W800

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities English

Benchmark for the Subject Group ‘English’

N/A

English Module Assessment Board

Wednesday 4th December 2013

Provide an interesting and stimulating programme in Creative Writing to honours degree standard, broadly representative of the range and variety of the discipline of Creative Writing studies as practised academically today;

Give students the opportunity to explore diverse writing techniques, styles and forms, combined constantly with a study of exemplary texts selected from the canon of published writers, both past and present;

Use critical analysis and close reading to help students understand the skills available to the creative writer, with the aim of developing the students' own creative writing; 

Develop the students' critical and self-critical faculties, by creating a culture of constructive and supportive mutual consultation and advice; 

Train students in the methods, devices and techniques used by successful creative and factual writers; 

Give students the opportunity to develop their creative and factual writing across a range of styles, forms and genres; 

Emphasise the importance of writing as a process, from the conception of a project through drafts and editing to its conclusion; 

Consider, and give students exercises in, a wide range of types of professional writing aimed at a range of audiences; 

Help students develop their writing and confidence in their writing, through a series of structured exercises; 

Make students aware of the opportunities for publishing their writing, and encourage and support students seeking to publish their work or enter it for literary prizes; 

Prepare students for the range of careers that require writing and communication skills.


Students will have studied a range of texts from the past and the present, and will have transposed their analysis of such texts to their own practice of writing.
Students, in studying a range of writing from a variety of literary genres (poetry, fiction, drama), will have begun to understand and employ the technical resources embedded there.
Students will develop the ability to look at literature from the writer’s angle, seeing how literary works are constructed, so that this knowledge can be transposed to their own creative practice.
Students will have encountered a wide range of forms and genres, and come to understand how the same fundamental skills lie behind them all: the astute use of language in literary forms to achieve dynamic effects.
Students will see how technical resourcefulness in literary forms can be studied in the work of others, and then employed in their own writings.




Students will have developed close reading skills and associated analytical, interpretative and evaluative skills, so as to employ the techniques they are studying in their own writing practice.
Students will have developed a grasp of the ways in which creative textual construction is a learnable skill.
Students will be able to employ their knowledge of formal invention, function and control, in a variety of writing genres.
Students will be reflective learners, critically aware of the processes of communication, invention and analysis.
Students will be able to use research resources to provide them with the necessary data for creative writing.

Students will have acquired skills in the analysis and construction of literary texts, to maximise communicative power.
Students will be able to collaborate with colleagues and will have developed their oral skills by discussing the formal requirements of creative writing in seminars, small group work, tutorials and projects.
Students will have developed skills of debate and argument, including the rhetorical skills of the art of persuasion, both written and verbal, through the delivery of oral presentations and seminar papers.
Students will have gained writing skills, in a variety of forms and genres, such as the composition of discursive and/or analytical essays, the writing of Creative Writing assignments, and various other kinds of writing required by the range of modular coursework assessments.

Students will gain skills in verbal and written transmission, including the ability to read, interpret, paraphrase, summarise and create written material lucidly and cogently. Students will be proficient in effective written and spoken communication and presentational skills.
Students will be able to apply knowledge derived from the employment of literary skills to practical situations. They will understand how the processes of textual construction underlie all rhetorical effects.
Students will develop skills in: problem-solving, project management, organisation and time-management, including working to deadlines. Students will also gain independent and collaborative learning skills.
Students will possess IT and multimedia skills, including word-processing skills and the skills associated with using websites, email, CD-ROM/DVD.

Communication skills are essential and are a core element of all aspects of provision. Since the whole programme aims at a creative engagement with the literary tradition, the emphasis is entirely on those skills which allow students to improve their understanding of literary and essayistic form, so as to facilitate their own creative writing. Modes of delivery necessitate the collaboration of students in a seminar setting, and a central aim of such working with others is the ability to be self-critical, so as to improve work incessantly from the original draft onwards.

Students will be able to use information and communication technologies appropriately, in particular word-processing software, email, the web, CD-ROM/DVD, and other audio/video materials.

The programme is structured to develop students' practice in a range of styles, forms and genres. Level 4 comprises three 20-credit core modules.

EN4104 Writing Drama  introduces the field of dramatic writing. Drama from both the past and the present is studied in depth in order to understand writing and performance techniques and how they work together in a final performance. EN4105 Writing Poetry introduces the study of writing poetry at degree level, equipping students with the basic knowledge and skills needed to progress further. A variety of poetic forms are examined, evaluated, and used as models for good writing practice. The texts are chosen both from contemporary writers, and from classic texts from the past. Students are encouraged to experiment with a variety of techniques to foster and develop their own creative practice. There is an emphasis on form, prosody, style and meaning. The aim is always to maximise the skills acquisition of the developing writer. The final core module at Level 4 is EN4106 Writing Prose, introducing students to a variety of fictional forms and genres. Once again, the texts studied and the exercises set are designed to maximise the developing writer’s ability to acquire and employ relevant skills. Form and technique are foregrounded to emphasise the basic skills involved in the writing of creative prose. All of the modules at Level 4 have been designed to be foundational, and all are calibrated to the development of writing and critical skills which are key to proceeding with the rest of the programme.

At Level 5, Creative Writing students may select from a variety of 20-credit optional modules, all of which build on and extend the writing skills explored at Level 4. EN5105 Flash Fiction is designed to provide a detailed understanding of flash fiction (‘short-short stories’). Students will study and write flash fiction of varying lengths in order to gain an understanding of this increasingly popular form. Students will also learn about the contexts in which flash fiction is disseminated and published. EN5106 Poetry: Other Voices, Other Forms permits students to expand the understanding of poetry that they gained at Level 4, by encouraging them to read and write poetry in a range of different voices and forms (both traditional and contemporary). Students will gain an understanding (both critical and practical) of the potential and challenges of a diverse range of voices and forms in poetry. EN5107 Exploring Genre Through Fiction and Drama examines a range of fictional and dramatic texts to explore the function of genre. Students will learn about the conventions and expectations of different genres, and how students can employ such techniques in their own creative writing. EN5108 An Introduction to Publishing examines the world of publishing. Its purpose is twofold: to equip aspiring writers with knowledge and understanding that will help them get their own work published, and to provide insight into the publishing industry that will appeal especially to students considering a career in publishing.

At the end of Level 5, as part of the University's Experiential Learning Programme, as an alternative to Work Based Learning students may opt to take one of two modules: EN5203 Professional and Academic Development: Research Skills for Writers, offered as part of the University’s Experiential Learning programme, looks at the way in which writers gain sufficient knowledge to provide their texts with the plausibility they require. The module concentrates on the range of skills and methods which can be used to prepare and support a writing project. The practical outcomes of different kinds of research – for example, the preparing of historical information for the writing of a period-based piece of prose; the researching of a subject for a radio commentary; or the creation of a base of evidence for a factual piece of writing – may demand different kinds of research emphasis but, taken together, students following the module will experience through ‘research in context’ a breadth of transferable researching skills. The second option is ML5210 Introduction to TESOL/TEFL, which is designed for students intending to spend a year abroad and/or considering teaching English as a foreign language during that time.

All students of Creative Writing will have an opportunity to study abroad at a partner university either for a term or for an academic year by opting for one of the following modules: WB5004 or WB5008.

At Level 6, Creative Writing students (Major and Equal) may take the 40-credit module EN6101 The Writing Project. This has been designed to enable students to pursue and complete a selected extended writing project. Coursework for modules already completed may provide the basis for this much more substantial project (but is not included in the word count). The aim is to help students complete an 8,000-word project, the most substantial single piece of writing of the programme. Where previous modules have encouraged a diverse experience of varieties of writing for a variety of media, students will now have the opportunity to develop their own specialist interest to produce a substantial text. In addition, Creative Writing students may select from a variety of 20-credit optional modules. EN6013 Writing Poetry for Publication provides an in-depth practical understanding of the techniques of poetry and encourages critical reflection on the use of those techniques when writing creatively. It looks at how successful poetry needs to be drafted, edited and presented in order to be published. Time is devoted to researching and discussing the publication and promotion of the students’ poetry. EN6105 Writing the Past allows students to develop the creative prose writing skills in the context of historical fiction, building on their practice in earlier prose modules such as EN4106. EN 6107 Life Writing examines the opportunities and complexities of life writing in prose, with a focus on memoir, biography and travel writing. In addition to choosing from those specialist Creative Writing modules, students may also opt to take 20 of their Level 6 credits in ONE of the following modules, each of which is a critical module (available to students of English Literature) but with an optional Creative Writing assessment component. While the principal focus of these modules is critical/analytical, they offer an invaluable opportunity for Creative Writing students to study a particular genre/concept in depth, in a manner that will inform their practical understanding of the genre/concept as writers. EN6006 Science Fiction examines the nature of writing for one of the most popular and successful genres. Texts from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are closely investigated. The genre is analysed as a ‘literature of ideas’, considering how science fiction has engaged with, and represented, cultural and technological changes since the late nineteenth century. EN6021 Out of Their Minds: Representing Madness examines portrayals of madness in both film and fiction, and considers how the contemporary writer can learn from them. 

COMBINED HONOURS CREATIVE WRITING LEVEL FOUR
CORE MODULES

  • EN4104 Writing Drama
  • EN4105 Writing Poetry 
  • EN4106 Writing Prose

OTHER SUBJECT
60 credits of modules

COMBINED HONOURS CREATIVE WRITING LEVEL FIVE
(MODEL A - WITH ‘MORE' CREATIVE WRITING)
OPTIONS
Students select THREE of the following:

  • EN5105 Flash Fiction
  • EN5106 Poetry: Other Voices, Other Forms
  • EN5107 Exploring Genre Through Fiction and Drama
  • EN5108 An Introduction to Publishing

OTHER SUBJECT
40 credits of modules

WBL
Students who do not wish to take the Work-Based Learning module (WB5101), offered by the Department of Work Related Studies, MAY select one of the following:
EN5203 Professional and Academic Development: Research Skills for Writers OR ML5210 Introduction to TESOL/TEFL.

COMBINED HONOURS CREATIVE WRITING LEVEL FIVE
(MODEL B - WITH ‘LESS' CREATIVE WRITING)
OPTIONS
Students select TWO of the following:

  • EN5105 Flash Fiction
  • EN5106 Poetry: Other Voices, Other Forms
  • EN5107 Exploring Genre Through Fiction and Drama
  • EN5108 An Introduction to Publishing

OTHER SUBJECT
60 credits of modules

WBL
Students who do not wish to take the Work-Based Learning module (WB5101), offered by the Department of Work Related Studies, MAY select one of the following:
EN5203 Professional and Academic Development: Research Skills for Writers OR ML5210 Introduction to TESOL/TEFL.

All students of Creative Writing will have an opportunity to study abroad at a partner university either for a term or for an academic year by opting for one of the following modules: WB5004, WB5007, or WB5008.

 

COMBINED HONOURS CREATIVE WRITING LEVEL SIX - ‘MAJOR' IN CREATIVE WRITING

EN6101 The Writing Project (40)

OPTIONS
Students then select TWO of the following:

  • EN6105 Writing the Past
  • EN6107 Life Writing
  • EN6006 Science Fiction* 
  • EN6013 Writing Poetry for Publication
  • EN6021 Out of Their Minds: Representing Madness*

NB: Creative Writing students may take only ONE of the modules marked with an asterisk*.

OTHER SUBJECT
40 credits of modules

COMBINED HONOURS CREATIVE WRITING LEVEL SIX - ‘EQUAL' IN CREATIVE WRITING
OPTIONS
Students MAY opt to take:


EN6101 The Writing Project (40)

If they do so, they will then select ONE of the following; if they do not opt for EN6101, they will select THREE of the following:

  • EN6105 Writing the Past
  • EN6107 Life Writing
  • EN6006 Science Fiction*
  • EN6013 Writing Poetry for Publication
  • EN6021 Out of Their Minds: Representing Madness*

NB: Creative Writing students may take only ONE of the modules marked with an asterisk*.

OTHER SUBJECT
60 credits of modules

COMBINED HONOURS CREATIVE WRITING LEVEL SIX - ‘MINOR' IN CREATIVE WRITING
OPTIONS
Students select TWO of the following:

  • EN6105 Writing the Past
  • EN6107 Life Writing 
  • EN6006 Science Fiction*
  • EN6013 Writing Poetry for Publication
  • EN6021 Out of Their Minds: Representing Madness*


NB: Creative Writing students may take only ONE of the modules marked with an asterisk*.

OTHER SUBJECT
80 credits of modules

Combined Honours only
Mod-Code Level Title Credit Major Equal Minor
EN4104 4 Writing Drama 20 Comp Comp Comp
EN4105 4 Writing Poetry 20 Comp Comp Comp
EN4106 4 Writing Prose 20 Comp Comp Comp
EN5103 5 Anthologies, Collections and Literary Magazines 20 N/A N/A N/A
EN5105 5 Flash Fiction 20 Optional Optional Optional
EN5106 5 Poetry: Other Voices, Other Forms 20 Optional Optional Optional
EN5107 5 Exploring Genre Through Fiction and Drama 20 Optional Optional Optional
EN5108 5 An Introduction to Publishing 20 Optional Optional Optional
EN5203 5 Professional and Academic Development: Research Skills for Writers 20 Optional Optional Optional
ML5210 5 Introduction to TESOL/TEFL 20 Optional Optional Optional
SP5230 5 Applied Spanish for Beginners 20 Optional Optional Optional
WB5004 5 Learning in the Wider World 20 Optional Optional Optional
WB5007 5 International Exchange Module – Full academic year 120 Optional Optional Optional
WB5008 5 The Study Abroad Experience 120 Optional Optional Optional
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional Optional Optional
EN6006 6 Science Fiction 20 Optional Optional Optional
EN6013 6 Writing Poetry for Publication 20 Optional Optional Optional
EN6019 6 Crime Fiction 20 N/A N/A N/A
EN6021 6 Out of Their Minds: Representing Madness 20 Optional Optional Optional
EN6024 6 Page, Stage, Screen: Literature and Adaptation 20 N/A N/A N/A
EN6101 6 The Writing Project 40 Comp Optional N/A
EN6103 6 Writing for the Screen 20 N/A N/A N/A
EN6104 6 Writing Drama 20 N/A N/A N/A
EN6105 6 Writing the Past 20 Optional Optional Optional
EN6106 6 A Day in the Life 20 N/A N/A N/A
EN6107 6 Life Writing 20 Optional Optional Optional

  • 120 credits at Level 4 lead to the award of Certificate of Higher Education
  • 240 credits including 120 at Level 5 lead to the award of Diploma of Higher Education
  • 360 credits including 120 at Level 6 lead to the award of Bachelor of Arts (Combined Honours)

UCAS points

A minimum of 112 UCAS points from GCE A Levels, including a grade B in one of the required subjects.

GCE A Level

The programme recommends one of the following subjects for entry:

  • Creative Writing
  • English Literature
  • English Language
  • English Language and Literature

BTEC

BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM; BTEC Diploma – Merit/Distinction profile plus one of the GCE A Level subjects listed above.

Irish/Scottish

B in 4 subjects, including English

International Baccalaureate

26 points, including 5 in HL English

QAA

QAA recognised Access to HE Diploma (must include English at Level 3), Open College Units or Open University Credits

OCR

OCR National Extended/Diploma: distinction/merit profile plus one of the GCE A levels listed above

Extra Information

Welsh Baccalaureate (core) will be recognised in our tariff offer

The Benchmark Statement for English states that: ‘Creative Writing allows students to acquire many of the same aptitudes, knowledge and skills [as English Studies], but attain them to some extent through different routes. Creative writing is one form (among others) of disciplined engagement with verbal culture.’ The programme has been designed to emphasise the crucial inter-relationship between the study of exemplary texts and the practice of writing. The ability to analyse critically the texts of others is then transposed to the ability to analyse critically the students’ own creative work. The emphasis is continuously placed upon examining the skills and techniques of established and past writers in order to inform the students’ own experiments in a variety of forms, styles and genres. This aspect of the programme is particularly emphasised in: EN4104, EN4105 and EN4106 at Level 4; EN5105, EN5106, EN5107, EN5108 and EN5203 at Level 5; and EN6013, EN6105 and EN6107 at Level 6. All of these modules go back and forth between exemplary texts and essential writing practice. The Benchmark Statement also says: ‘The original work produced by Creative Writing students is likely to be informed by wide and critical reading of existing literature, and to demonstrate precise attention to genre, form and audience.’ The programme emphasises such awareness, the product of close reading in the relevant literary field, particularly in: EN4104, EN4105 and EN4106 at Level 4; EN5105, EN5106, EN5107, EN5108 and EN5203 at Level 5; and EN6101, EN6013, EN6105, EN6107, EN6006, EN6019 and EN6024 at Level 6. EN6101 permits a lengthy engagement with the creative writing process for the student at Level 6.

All of the modules on the programme are designed to develop the following skills essentially outlined in the English Benchmark Statement:

  • critical skills in the close reading and analysis of texts, employed in a manner that permits a growing understanding of how creative writing is produced;
  • ability to articulate knowledge and understanding of how creative writing is produced, in relation to the essential technical skills required to compose it;
  • sensitivity to the different types and forms of literary production; how it uses language, imagery, form and genre to shape individual acts of communication in regard to an intended audience;
  • inquisitiveness into the nature and function of language; how all literature is ultimately made of language, and language itself is the writer’s first and last resource;
  • rhetorical skills, primarily written, but also oral;
  • command of a broad range of vocabulary and an appropriate creative, formal and critical terminology;
  • bibliographic skills appropriate to the wide range of disciplines included in the term ‘Creative Writing’, including accurate citation of sources and consistent use of conventions in the presentation of work, for critical, essayistic and reviewing purposes;
  • awareness of the role of the critical intelligence in the shaping of creative writing; how any serious writer is simultaneously a critic of their own work;
  • comprehension of the combination of observational ability and technical skill which makes a good writer.

The programme uses a wide range of learning and teaching methods, including: workshops; seminars; small-group discussions; large-group discussions; lectures; talks; resource-based learning; distance learning; tutorials; presentations; various kinds of ‘practical’ sessions; tutor-supported private learning; etc.

The programme uses a wide range of assessment methods, including: writing portfolios containing drafts, final versions and commentaries; critical exercises; essays; exercises in criticism and close reading; critiques; reviews; online discussion forums; reflective commentaries; scripts; private study projects; extended writing projects; resource-based learning reports. These methods have been developed in accordance with the English Department's Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy. Central to the strategy is tutor-supported, student-­centred learning, one of whose features is ‘to employ a broad range of appropriate learning, teaching and assessment methods, which develop the students' potential as autonomous, active learners (for the Department recognises that its students are already experienced learners who bring to their studies diverse and valuable learning experiences)'. Furthermore, varied assessment admirably suits the widening-participation agenda: the Department of English Mission Statement maintains that one of the Department's aims is ‘to facilitate greater access to the study of English at degree level through a flexible admissions policy, and the use of a variety of appropriate learning, teaching and assessment methods'. Accordingly, the programme has been developed with a wide variety of assessment in mind.

It is the view of the programme team that formal written examinations are not a suitable method of delivering the learning outcomes for this programme, so all assessed work is coursework of one kind or another.

The programme aims to place graduates in a position to develop careers in a range of professional writing contexts, or in the many professional contexts where good creative and communication skills are a pre-requisite or advantage. Though graduates may not become professional creative writers, they will bring to their work many of the skills that successful professional writers can command. The critical skills students will have acquired and developed will enable them to interpret, analyse and evaluate different types of textual (and other) material. Graduates will be very good communicators, with good expressive and listening skills, who can present, discuss and share their ideas and the ideas of others with individuals and groups of various sizes, in formal and informal settings. They will be able to see projects of work through from conception to completion, working well to deadlines. They will be able to respond well to advice and guidance but will also be autonomous learners able to work independently, and able to show self-discipline and good time management in their approach to their responsibilities. They will have a highly-developed self-critical faculty, having worked through the many drafting stages of their writing projects, and responded to the criticism of their tutors and peers. They will have developed their creative and imaginative potential and be able to adapt their creative skills to a range of working (and writing) contexts. They will have a flexible approach to writing and communication, understanding the demands of writing for and communicating with different audiences and clients.  Graduates will understand the importance of presenting their work to a high standard and will be able to use all the necessary technological skills, particularly word-processing skills, to achieve this. Graduates seeking work in professional writing contexts will have had the opportunity to learn about the world of editing and publishing in readiness for later training. Typical career paths would include: teaching/lecturing; publishing; work in the arts and media industries; work for the television, radio and film industries; journalism; advertising; public relations; customer services; promotional work; and marketing.

The programme conforms to the University Equal Opportunities Policy and the appropriate Codes of Practice. By its very nature, the Programme in Creative Writing actively engages with issues of race, gender, disability and age. The Department of English, which hosts the programme, is fully committed to the support of all its students whatever their circumstances. Over the years the Department has sought advice about and received training in the support of students with a variety of disabilities.

Students of the Creative Writing programme have the opportunity to enrich their studies by taking part in the many extra-curricular writing activities offered by the Department. We publish an annual creative writing magazine, Pandora's Box, which showcases the best work by students and staff in the university. The magazine is edited by a team of final-year students (under the supervision of a lecturer), and provides a forum for student work. The magazine has now expanded to include a creative writing website (Pandora's Inbox) that is able to include a broader range of work than the annual magazine, and is updated throughout the year. In addition, the Department runs a well-established and successful series of open-mic evenings, in which students, staff and guests share their creative writing in a relaxed and supportive environment.

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