The Creative Writing MA at Oxford Brookes will help your writing grow through work with established writers, industry professionals, teaching specialists and your peers, whilst you experience this most literary of cities.
From the opening evening of your course – where previous speakers have included international bestseller Philip Pullman, Booker winner, Howard Jacobson and Pulitzer/Orange winner, Marilynne Robinson – through to the showcase for agents and publishers following your graduation, our aim is to make your time at Brookes a decisive stage in your development.
Your postgraduate study will centre on your own creative writing, combined with critical analysis, reflective commentary and scholarly research. The course can be studied full-time or part-time.
The MA in Creative Writing involves taking the core compulsory module ‘Creativity, Writing and Textuality: Concepts and Practice’, two elective modules from those available (see module descriptions below), and completing a major project of writing in any genre.
For the PGDip, three modules are taken (‘Creativity, Writing and Textuality, Concepts and Practice’) and two electives from those available).
For the PGCert, two modules are taken (‘Creativity, Writing and Textuality, Concepts and Practice’) and one elective from those available.
The MA / PGDip / PGCert in Creative Writing will enable you to:
- develop existing creative writing skills, in a range of genres, towards publishable standard;
- undertake a substantial creative writing project;
- practice creative writing and reading skills with a range of writing practitioners, including peers and published writers;
- acquire a practical understanding of the techniques of writing, editing and working within the parameters of the writing and publishing industry;
- engage with theoretical approaches to creativity and creative practice;
- demonstrate an appropriate knowledge of literary conventions, and historical and contemporary contexts for writing;
- explore your own position as a writer within a specific locale and history.
We offer the following modules:
Creativity, Writing and Textuality: Concepts and Practice
This is the core module taken by all students at the beginning of the MA. Through a combination of practical group and individual exercises, discussion sessions and workshops led by our distinguished Creative Writing Fellows, it is designed to develop a grasp of creativity and writing that is critically alert and historically informed, as well as personally enabling and enriching.
This module focuses on aspects of narrative, story and plot in both fiction and non-fiction, and encompasses a full range of genres, from the novel and short story to script or screen writing. The beginning of the semester will be tutor-led, with discussion of specific themes, issues and techniques, as well as practice through in-class writing exercises. The latter part will consist of student-led workshops with the tutor as facilitator.
This module is concerned with writing in shorter forms, such as the short story, poetry and the novella. Class sessions will involve both the discussion of assigned reading, by a variety of modern and contemporary authors, and the intensive workshopping of students’ own writing. A series of optional exercises will focus on particular aspects of craft and technique, such as devising effective beginnings and endings, creating evocative settings, introducing characters successfully and revising productively. Students can choose to write in prose, poetry or both.
This module combines the writing of poetry with the study of influential poetic movements and writers, both contemporary and historical. Classes will focus on the workshopping of students’ poems and the discussion and analysis of published poems, featuring a wide range of voices and styles. Optional exercises each week will offer fresh, diverse approaches to poetry writing in order to further stimulate students’ creativity.
This module is concerned with the creative construction of written lives. 'Life' is a complex and ambiguous term, and the module will explore how useful a concept it might be for generating and critiquing the writing of personality, memory, character, narrative personae, individuality and identity. Formally, the module will consider the use of narrative and stylistic options centred on the construction of life, selfhood and identity in both fiction and non-fiction writing. Tutor-led seminars in the first part of the semester will lead to student-led workshops in the second part of the semester.
This module focuses on voice and style, in both poetry and fiction (short stories and novels). How do authors create or discover their own distinctive writing styles? How do they craft consistent, believable voices for different characters in a work, and modulate tone and register? How do multiple voices (those of author, narrator, and/or individual characters) interact in a text? Through writing exercises, workshopping and discussion, this module will explore such issues and more. Students can choose to write in prose, poetry or both.
This module explores the ways in which literary texts are constantly transformed through processes of re-reading and re-writing. Re-writing includes such activities as critique, parody, imitation, adaptation and intervention (re-writing a text in an off-centre or challenging way). Re-reading is what happens when a text is read at different times and in different conditions, by the same person or by readers from different cultures and periods. The module will begin by examining how 'classic' plays, poems and novels have been re-read/re-written by others, and how we might re-read/re-write them now. Through experiment and discussion, the module will then turn to re-reading/re-writing texts chosen by the students themselves.
This module offers students the opportunity to design a course of study to suit their own research interests and concerns. They organise and carry out a work schedule set by themselves and determine a set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria in collaboration with the module leader and a supervisor.
Creativity, Writing and Textuality: Major Project
This module enables students to complete an extended piece of their own creative writing in any genre or genres, accompanied by a self-reflective critical commentary. The ‘major project’ and critical commentary together form the equivalent of a master’s-level dissertation. The development and writing of these elements will be conducted through one-to-one tutorials with members of staff and through group workshops. Some of these will be led by our Creative Writing Fellows, who will also offer feedback on individual students' work.
Please note: as all our courses are reviewed regularly, the list of modules may vary from those shown here.
Information for international students
You will need IELTS band 7.0 overall with at least 6.0 in each band