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MLitt/PgDipCreative Writing

Why this course?

The new MLitt in Creative Writing is an inspiring year-long course that combines the features of a research-based and taught masters.

The M Litt is an intense and inspiring environment in which to take your writing to the next level. You will find yourself in a creative community focussed on the art and craft and business of writing. Through core writing classes with working writers, and skills-focussed workshops with creative industry professionals, you will hone your craft and develop a major project with which you will begin your life in writing.

The emphasis will be on creative risk-taking, never without an eye on the marketplace. And the year culminates with a dissertation which will give you the indispensable opportunity to work on a one-to-one basis with a professionally experienced tutor.

Strathclyde staff can offer specialist tuition in a wide range of genres including:

  • contemporary fiction & non-fiction
  • historical fiction & fiction for young adults
  • screenwriting
  • poetry

What you’ll study

The course consists of six classes that are 20 credits each and a dissertation worth 60 credits. Four of the classes will be creative writing-specific, and two will be electives that may be chosen from an approved list of other masters level courses offered by the University.

Semester 1:

  • Creative Writing Workshop 1
  • Skills Workshop
  • Option 1

Semester 2:

  • Creative Writing Workshop 2
  • Skills Project
  • Option 2
  • Dissertation

In keeping with our commitment to provide specialised support, the content of the Creative Writing Workshops in semester 1 and 2 partly depends on the nature of the creative projects you wish to develop. Whatever genre and form you choose to work in, tutors will suggest a programme of relevant reading and prompts for discussion and analysis.

In the world of writing, as students and teachers alike, we are always asking 'how can it be done?' How do we go about finding ideas that stand out? What is our personal connection to the material? What is our writing voice — and, once we’ve found it, how do we develop it? How do we go about planning our novels, or structuring our screenplays? What is the best way to collect our assembled poems or short stories?

The M Litt workshops at Strathclyde provide a supportive framework in which these — and many other — questions can be considered in practical and artistically rigorous ways.

Joan Didion once said that we tell ourselves stories in order to live. The Skills Workshop in semester 1 prepares you for the writing life with an emphasis on the practical and strategic side of creative development.

You will gain insight into a variety of professional practices, including such topics as:

  • the publishing market, the broadcasting landscape
  • how editors work, how agents work, how producers work
  • adaptation in all its forms, & the commercial realties of basing work on underlying material
  • podcasting
  • performance
  • social media for writers
  • collaboration with artists in other media

The Skills Project, scheduled for semester 2, consists of an individual project chosen and developed in discussion with a course tutor. You will hone the skills as well as build on chosen aspects of the first semester Skills Workshop. There is a 'made' element to the assignments for the class. Thus, you will be encouraged to produce work that adds diversity to your writing portfolio.

Options 1 and 2 above refer to the two electives worth 20 credits each that you can chose from other University masters courses including the Masters in Literature, Culture and Place or the new MSc in Gender Studies.

During semester 2, students will meet several times on a one-to-one basis with tutors to determine the nature and scope of the dissertation which you will write over the course of the summer. The dissertation is the M Litt’s major project: in which you apply all you have learned and worked on over the course of the year.

When you leave us, your work will be ready to present to the world at large. Novelists will make serious headway into their manuscript; poets and essayists and short story writers will amass the beginnings of a collection; screenwriters will have a full draft of a feature film or series pilot.

Course content

Semester 1

Creative Writing Workshop 1

The content of the Creative Writing Workshop in semester 1 partly depends on the nature of the creative projects individual students wish to develop, although tutors will suggest a supportive programme of relevant reading and common issues for discussion and analysis. The main aim of these student-led workshops will be to provide a supportive framework for the development and review of student writing, regardless of genre.

Skills Workshop 1

The Skills Workshop in semester 1 focuses on the idea of the 'writing life' and how to prepare students for the practical side of literary development, as well as opening up options you may not already have considered for yourself. It will include topics such as:

  • setting up a journal
  • social media for writers
  • writing for the screen
  • collaboration with artists in other media
Option 1

Option 1 refers to the elective worth 20 credits that you can chose from other University of Strathclyde Masters courses.

Semester 2

Creative Writing Workshop 2

The content of the Creative Writing Workshop in semester 2 partly depends on the nature of the creative projects individual students wish to develop, although tutors will suggest a supportive programme of relevant reading and common issues for discussion and analysis. The main aim of these student-led workshops will be to provide a supportive framework for the development and review of student writing, regardless of genre.

Skills Project

The Skills project consists of an individual project chosen and developed in discussion with a course tutor. This will build on chosen aspects of the first semester Skills Workshop classes that interest you.

Option 2

Option 2 refers to the elective worth 20 credits that you can chose from other University of Strathclyde Masters courses.

Dissertation

During semester 2 students will meet several times on a one-to-one basis with tutors to determine the nature and scope of the dissertation which you will write over the course of the summer.

Assessment

Students will submit creative work for formal assessment in each of the core workshops. This will take the form of short fiction, poetry or playwriting, depending on the student's chosen area of specialisation.

The creative writing skills project will involve students selecting a topic covered during the skills workshop and developing a project in discussion with tutors on a one-to-one basis. The form of assessment for this component will be dictated by the nature of the skills project.

The final dissertation will take the form of an extended piece of creative writing (fiction, poetry or playwriting) and build on work developed in one of the two creative writing workshops. It will be developed in discussion with tutors on a one-to-one basis.

Entry requirements

A good 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in any subject.

The submission of a satisfactory entry portfolio of creative writing. This should consist of one of the following:

  • 2,000 words of prose (fiction or creative non-fiction)
  • up to 10 poems (no more than 40 lines in length)
  • the page equivalent of a short, fifteen-minute play

English language requirements

You're required to have a suitable minimum level of competency in the English language if your first language is not English or if you have not been educated wholly or mainly in the medium of English.

For postgraduate studies, the University of Strathclyde requires a minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 (with no score below 6.0) or equivalent. Tests are valid for two years.

Pre-sessional courses in English are available.

If you’re a national of an English speaking country recognised by UK Visa and Immigrations (please check most up-to-date list on the Home Office website) or you have successfully completed an academic qualification (at least equivalent to a UK bachelor's degree) in any of these countries, then you do not need to present any additional evidence.

If you are from a country not recognised as an English speaking country by the United Kingdom Vis and Immigration (UKVI), please check our English requirements before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

Upon successful completion, you will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Fees & funding

2019/20

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

  • £6,500

Rest of UK

  • £6,500

International

  • £14,650

How can I fund my course?

International students

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's International Excellence Award offers international students a merit-based scholarship of up to £4,000 towards the first year of tuition fees of a full-time Masters programme in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

To recognise academic excellence, the Strathclyde Prestige Award for Excellence in Creative Writing offers international students a merit-based scholarship of £5,000 for entry onto the full time MLitt in Creative Writing.

Please note

The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

Careers

Graduates from creative writing subjects at the University of Strathclyde have gone into writing, publishing, teaching, journalism and may other professions. Some graduates have also gone on to further their skills by undertaking a PhD. Other have chosen to become self-employed as tutors.

Writers who have taken masters and/or doctoral qualifications in creative writing at Strathclyde include Louise Welsh, Rachel Sieffert, Beatrice Colin and Colette Paul.

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Creative Writing

Qualification: MLitt, Start date: Sep 2020, Mode of delivery: attendance, full-time

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