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Creative Writing Dissertation Project

  • Module code: CW6003
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 6
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: Successful completion of Level 5 Creative Writing requirements
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

Creative Writing Dissertation Project is a year-long 30-credit module which showcases and synthesises students' practical skills, knowledge gained, and creative talent nurtured and developed throughout their creative writing degree. It documents them in a unique portfolio that can be presented to a range of audiences, potential sponsors and employers. The specific nature and dissemination of the project is influenced by the type of joint-honours degree the students are taking and this is reflected in the proposal initiated and developed by students themselves in discussion with their supervisor. The project also builds on accumulated experience in research and creative writing in an inter- and transdisciplinary context, as it encourages students to make use of lateral thinking in order to draw on knowledge from across their course in conceptualising and producing their creative dissertation. It fuses creativity, initiative and imagination cultivated in a practice-based writing course with skills gained in joint disciplines in a way which resonates with the demands of contemporary creative economies and job markets.

In its format, the portfolio of work included in the Creative Writing Dissertation Project reflects stages of project development and execution encountered in a range of creative and research industries (proposal/bid, creative practice, dissemination and evaluation). Specific phases are designed to strengthen initiative and enterprise, in a process which benefits from employability-related skills gained in Level 4 and Level 5 modules such as, but not limited to, Writing that Works and Independent Creative Writing.

Throughout the project, students gain knowledge of the most effective ways of presenting creative work to a wider audience including employers, sponsors, and commissioning bodies. Against the increasing dominance of self-publication, they learn how to operate successfully in the literary market without traditional networks of support. The work on the portfolio emphasises transferable skills and employability, as well as entrepreneurship and self-reliance, whether the students are preparing to enter the job market, work freelance or progress to post-graduate study.

Aims

  • Conceptualise, plan and develop a sustained creative project up to and including dissemination
  • Synthesise elements and explore productive interfaces between creative writing and other disciplines using inter- or transdisciplinary methodologies
  • Work both independently and collaboratively amalgamating experience and skills gained throughout their studies
  • Reflect critically on stages of project development, including an understanding of how their projects have broadened and developed employability-related skills. 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Design, develop and disseminate a sustained creative project that reflects skills accumulated in creative writing while benefiting from elements of experience gained in their other field(s) of study
  • Demonstrate creative initiative and critical awareness of the productive interfaces between creative writing and a range of other disciplinary skills acquired throughout their study
  • Show an ability to work effectively both individually and in a team – developing and presenting own project, and nurturing others' initiatives through brainstorming, peer evaluation, collaborative initiatives, etc.
  • Show an ability to reflect critically on project originality, performance and impact
  • Create and record a unique portfolio showcasing a range of multi-disciplinary skills and personal creativity in a format appropriate to a range of audiences and potential sponsors and employers

Curriculum content

  • Development of proposal (planning, mapping, locating, problem solving): identifying a suitable format, theme and genre, providing an outline, practice methodology, offering an assessment of competitors in the field, time-scales, method of dissemination and impact assessment)
  • Presentation of proposal (pitch, team work, leadership): the proposal is presented to the peer group for brain-storming and to the mentors/supervisors for approval. The proposal might include a written contract that would enable the student and the mentor to monitor progress.
  • Creative work and project development (originality, initiative, entrepreneurship): the project is developed, written out, and prepared for dissemination to specifications set out in a proposal.
  • Project delivery and dissemination (presentation of skills): depending on the nature of the project this could involve a development of an e-publication including placing it online for sale; the production of a chapbook, a journal, a hybrid or a multimedia text; devising, scripting and recording a performance; a reading; an outreach event or a series of events (involving a school or a community group), even becoming a "student writer in residence" in an organisation over a period of time. Several projects can combine in a single method of dissemination: e.g. a degree show, exhibition, a conference, a journal, a website, or an anthology. Students can collaborate in different elements of delivery in order to utilise individual skills: e.g. design, directing and staging, reporting, press-handling, etc.
  • Project report (evaluation): The nature of evaluation would be determined by the type of project and the type of cross-disciplinary approach involved, e.g. commentary (for English Literature students), recording (for Film students), press pack (for Journalism students), or equivalent accompanying material.

Teaching and learning strategy

Teaching and learning strategies combine the flexibility required for a highly tailored set of individual projects with a variety of formats aimed at encouraging initiative and creativity, and at improving written and oral presentational skills. The planning stages will involve workshops in which the students will develop their project and produce a written proposal that will be used as a basis for later individual and team work. Subsequent project development, monitoring and delivery will include a number of consultative sessions in mentor-led progress evaluation sessions and tutorials, and peer-led small group consultative meetings, with individual and small group tutorials as appropriate throughout.

Planning workshops 12 hours

Peer-led small group consultative meetings 10 hours

Mentor-led progress evaluation and tutorials 8 hours

Independent creative practice and guided study 270 hours

Total 300 hours

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Workshops, consultative sessions, progress evaluations and tutorials 30
Guided independent study 270
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Assessed by a portfolio (100%) which may include:

1,500 project proposal with supporting material

6,000 - 8,000 words or equivalent creative work

2,500 words critical essay or appropriate self-reflective accompanying material 

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Design, develop and disseminate a sustained creative project that reflects skills accumulated in creative writing while benefiting from elements of experience gained in their other field(s) of study Assessed formatively through feedback in workshops, small group consultative meetings and tutorials; assessed summatively by portfolio (100%)
Demonstrate creative initiative and critical awareness of the productive interfaces between creative writing and a range of other disciplinary skills acquired throughout their study Assessed formatively through feedback in workshops, small group consultative meetings and tutorials; assessed summatively by portfolio (100%)
Show an ability to work effectively both individually and in a team - developing and presenting own project, and nurturing others' initiatives through brainstorming, peer evaluation, collaborative initiatives, etc. Assessed formatively through feedback in workshops, small group consultative meetings and tutorials; assessed summatively by portfolio (100%)
Show an ability to reflect critically on project originality, performance and impact Assessed formatively through feedback in workshops, small group consultative meetings and tutorials; assessed summatively by portfolio (100%)
Create and record a unique portfolio showcasing a range of multi-disciplinary skills and personal creativity in a format appropriate to a range of audiences and potential sponsors and employers Assessed formatively through feedback in workshops, small group consultative meetings and tutorials; assessed summatively by portfolio (100%)

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Portfolio 100
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS a requirement that the major category of assessment is passed in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography core texts

A bibliography of specialist core texts and recommended reading will be tailored to each individual student project.

  • Cottrell, S., Skills for Success: the personal development planning handbook (Basingstoke: Palgrave , 2010)
  • Collette, Carolyn and Richard Johnson, Common Ground, Personal Writing and Public Discourse (New York: Longman 1997)
  • Walliman, Nicholas, Your Research Project, A Step-by-Step Guide for the First Time Researcher (London: Sage, 2000)

Bibliography recommended reading

  • Anderson Allen, Moira, Starting your Career as a Freelance Writer (New York: Allworth Press, 2011)
  • Conroy, Frank (ed.), The Eleventh Draft. Craft and the Writing Life from the Iowa Writers Workshop (New York: Harper Resource, 1999)
  • Littleford, D, J. Halstead, and C. Mulraine, Career Skills (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004)

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