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Creative Writing MFA

Mode Duration Start date
Full time 2 years
  • September 2015
Part time 4 years
  • September 2015

Choose Kingston's Creative Writing MFA

Kingston University is proud to offer the first Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in the UK. This course offers talented and aspiring writers the chance to refine their skills under the tutelage of acclaimed professionals while receiving accredited training and experience in teaching in higher education.

The unique combination of creative and practical skills provided on this course will prepare you simultaneously for a career as a publishing writer and an accredited teacher of creative writing.

Admissions to the MFA will be highly selective and based upon the quality of a writing sample as well as an assessment of your publishing potential.

What will you study?

The first year of the course involves writing workshops; modules examining literary genre and texts; the opportunity to take a module designed to prepare you for the world of publishing; and a 15,000-word dissertation, leading to the award of a masters degree. In the second year you progress to even smaller group writing workshops; modules to improve your skills of reading and textual analysis; and the chance to take a suite of modules culminating in the University's postgraduate teaching certificate. The extensive one-to-one supervision for the dissertation leading to the MFA (no less than the equivalent of 40,000 words) will be provided by one of the course's permanent staff, one of our writers in residence or an editor from a leading UK publishing company. There may also be opportunities to earn a PGCE teaching certificate and to gain experience assisting with the Kingston University Press.

Assessment

Book-length creative dissertation; critical reading log of approximately 4,500 words. You also take a series of unaccredited modules for which you will produce creative work, reading and teaching logs, critical commentary on selected texts and short essays.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • This module will widen students' knowledge of literature, enhance their skills of close reading and ensure that they develop a more complex critical and aesthetic awareness of literary qualities and techniques in texts from a range of genres. An extensive general reading list will be agreed and made available to all students prior to the start of the module. The module will begin with the demands and aims of close reading and its importance for creative writers. It will then focus on the analytical, close reading of selected literary texts, with one such text forming the basis of each workshop/seminar. As part of their independent study, students will continue to develop their reading and analytical skills as writers through guided reading and also through the production of a 3,000 word portfolio of annotated bibliographies as part of the assessment strategy for the module.

     
  • This advanced graduate level workshop is designed to help students to extend the experience of workshopping their own writing and that of their peers as they begin work on their advanced creative dissertation projects. The students’ creative writing will be circulated, read and critiqued at every weekly two-hour workshop session.

     
  • Creative Dissertation
  • This module provides students with one-to-one supervision over an extended period of time (approximately one year for full time students and two years for part time students). The module is assessed in two ways: firstly, by a creative dissertation of 40,000 words that may take the form of a single sustained piece of writing or a collection of pieces from a suitable range of genre; and secondly, by a critical reading log of approximately 4,500 words.

     
  • This residency module will widen students' knowledge of literature in a genre of their choice. It will enhance their already developed skills of close reading and critical appreciation and ensure that they continue to acquire a sophisticated critical and aesthetic awareness of literary qualities and techniques, this time in texts from one chosen genre. It will also provide them with an advanced understanding of the role of the impact of their writing and research, defined both in terms of HEFCE and also characterised in more conventional terms with respect to local communities.

    A general reading list will be agreed and made available to all students at the start of the module. During the module there will be opportunities for discussion of the importance of close reading as related specifically to the students’ chosen genre as well as on analytical, close reading of selected texts from that genre, with one such text typically forming the basis of each workshop/seminar. Students will also be informed about issues of impact and strategies of maximising the impact of their own work. With the support of their tutors, students will be expected to investigate and engage with local community activities and organisations in order to apply the impact strategies they have acquired. In addition, there will be workshops on research and impact which will feed into the discussions students will have with the supervisors of their advanced creative dissertation projects over the summer.

     
  • This module offers a regular and intensive review of your writing in one of the following genres: poetry, crime writing, prose fiction, biography, drama, scriptwriting or writing for children. You will be advised on how to strengthen your knowledge of the codes and conventions of your chosen genre to produce a substantial piece or collection of work that will reflect your knowledge of and engagement with your chosen genre. You will apply detailed feedback on your work to your writing as well as using your increased knowledge of your chosen genre to make your writing more effective. These elements will help you improve the key transferable skills of analysis and implementation that will feed forward into your dissertation module and into all analytical/practical tasks you subsequently undertake.

     
  • This module provides the opportunity to write across three genres - including prose, poetry and playwriting - to teach you how to apply literary techniques from other forms to your own work. It will look at:
    • issues of voice, imagery, tone and characterisation;
    • elements of narrative, dramatic and lyrical forms; and
    • contemporary works – allowing you to master structure and style and understand how a variety of literary forms function.
    You will also submit a portfolio of writing exercises in the different genres studied.

     
  • This is a student-led module offered to students taking the MFA Creative Writing course. It is taught through two-hour weekly workshops and it engages students in the general principles and methodologies of teaching creative writing while simultaneously giving them the chance to benefit from the constructive feedback of their peers on drafts of their creative writing. The module is thus designed to help students to extend the experience of workshopping their own work and the work of their peers to prepare for their dissertations. The module leader will direct the first and last workshops of the semester. During semester, students will take turns leading the workshops, monitored by faculty members who will help to direct the critique of student submissions while sharing personal experience, teaching philosophies, and material ideas for guiding workshops (exercises, approaches to reviewing manuscripts, organization of classes etc). Discussions will cover a wide range of issues related to principles of teaching of creative writing and its professional practice. Creative work will be circulated, read and critiqued at every session; issues of teaching, pedagogy, and professionalism will be regularly discussed.

     
  • The module is designed to introduce students to some issues of critical and literary theory. The module is also designed to make students more aware of how their work impacts upon wider literary, cultural, political and philosophical issues. Awareness of these theories and of some of the issues surrounding the production and reception of literary texts will stimulate them, encouraging creative and conceptual thinking.  The module will explore debates about literature and the practice of creative writing through readings of essays and texts that are relevant to criticism and theory.  The academic component of the assessment will support the creative work with the objective that students will also have to demonstrate critical, academic, analytical skills.

     
  • In this module you will present and discuss your own and each other’s work in a weekly workshop. The draft work presented may include several genres and forms, such as crime writing, fantasy fiction, children’s literature, historical fiction, science fiction, romance and autobiography. Practical criticism of student writing will be accompanied by discussion of the scope or constraints of the various genres, as well as the implications of particular forms. Attention will be paid to the transferable components of good writing: appropriate use of language, narrative pace, dialogue, expression, characterisation and mood.

     

All modules are core.

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

For further information

Postgraduate admissions administrator
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 2361
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Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

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