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The Creative Writing MA (Distance Learning) offers you the chance to study with a range of well-established and award-winning writers in a dynamic writing environment, but without having to relocate or give up current commitments.
With a full programme of workshops and critical study, this Creative Writing MA offers you the chance to work on your own writing in different genres with the support of published practitioners. Taught in our virtual forums and classrooms, modules can be accessed at a time of the week to suit your schedule.
The non-compulsory campus days give you a chance to visit the campus and attend a relevant lecture, as well as to meet fellow workshop students. Those travelling longer distances who wish to stay longer and explore the cultural opportunities that London offers, or simply to write, are also welcome to attend events taking place on campus for the rest of the week, featuring staff, writers in residences, students and guests.
|Full time||1 year||Full-time students can attend two campus days, scheduled annually in mid-October and early January.||September 2021|
|Part time||2 years||Part-time students normally attend the October campus day in the first year and the January campus day in the second year.||September 2021|
|Location||Penrhyn Road (residency modules only)|
If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2021/22 (i.e. between August 2021 and July 2022), please view the information about changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19.
Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2021/22 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2021/22. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.
In this video, one of our creative writing alumna and a current student discuss why they chose the course, what they enjoyed about it and why they'd recommend it to future applicants.
The Creative Writing MA (Distance Learning) follows the same course structure as the successful and popular Creative Writing MA. You'll be taught through individual tutorials, streamed lectures and readings held at or sponsored by the University.
The Writers' Workshop module will encourage you to develop your writing 'voice' through engagement with fellow students across a range of genres (in fiction or creative non-fiction), while the Special Study module enables you to specialise in one genre, such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry or drama.
You will learn the elements of fiction, poetry and drama as well as studying relevant critical theory and trying out your own fictional experiments in the Critical Challenges module. You'll take part in online masterclasses and put all you have learned into practice in the dissertation module. It is possible to use both workshop modules and the dissertation together to work towards a substantial part of a longer piece such as a novel.
This Creative Writing MA will give you the knowledge and confidence to enter the cultural debate and to begin to identify outlets for your own writing.
Full-time students can attend two campus days, scheduled annually, usually in November and February.
Part-time students normally attend the November campus day in the first year and the February campus day in the second year.
Full-time students take two 30-credit modules each semester, including a Special Study workshop on a particular genre e.g. poetry, drama or fiction, in the second semester. You'll participate in general workshops, reading sessions and tutorials with your assigned dissertation supervisor throughout the course.
You may then choose to complete a 15,000-word 60-credit dissertation accompanied by a 3,000-word critical review, for which you'll receive one-to-one supervision as you work towards a September completion.
This module focuses on your own creative writing and research into your chosen form or genre, developed in consultation with your supervisor. You learn via one-to-one tutorials with your personal supervisor. You produce two pieces of writing:
Your supervisor must agree in advance the final structure, approximate word length and for presentation conventions of these pieces.
This online workshop module will be devoted to the creative writing of students all working in the same form and genre of their choice. It will enable students to develop drafts in their chosen form and genre, and to master its specific codes and conventions. Draft work to be reviewed may include, for example, poetry, prose fiction, non-fiction, writing for the stage, or screenwriting, perhaps in a choice of genres such as crime writing, fantasy fiction, writing for children, historical fiction, science fiction, romance and autobiography. Students will be advised how best to strengthen their knowledge of that form or genre in order to reflect critically and constructively on their own writing. Attention will then be given to the production of a substantial piece or a collection of pieces of creative writing that reflects their knowledge of and engagement with their chosen form or genre.
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:
You will also submit a portfolio of writing exercises in the different genres studied.
This is a workshop-based online module in which students will present and discuss their own work and that of their peers within a group of students writing in a variety of genres and forms. The draft work presented in the module will normally include forms such as poetry, prose fiction, non-fiction, writing for the stage or screenwriting, in a variety of genres, but it may also include genres such as science fiction, romance, crime fiction, writing for children, historical fictional, and autobiography. Students will develop a strong knowledge of the writing workshop ethos, its requirements and etiquette as mutual practical criticism of peer writing will be accompanied by discussion of the scope or constraints of the various genres as well as the implications of working in various forms. Attention will be paid to the relevant components of good writing: appropriate use of language, narrative pace, dialogue, expression, characterisation and mood.
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.
The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.
We normally expect applicants to have:
You must also submit a 3,000-word sample of creative writing, a personal statement (1,000 words) plus references.
We normally invite applicants for an interview with the admissions director or another senior member of the teaching team. We will ask you to submit a creative writing sample of up to 3,000 words with your application.
Continuous assessments in individual accredited modules plus assessment of final dissertation.
When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically involves reading and analysing articles, regulations, policy documents and key texts, documenting individual projects, preparing coursework assignments and completing your PEDRs, etc.
Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the University's online virtual learning platform.
At Kingston University, we know that postgraduate students have particular needs and therefore we have a range of support available to help you during your time here.
Year 1: 5% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.
Scheduled teaching and learning: 93 hours
Guided independent study: 1,707 hours
Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.
Full time - Year 1
Part time - Year 1
Part time - Year 2
Assessment typically comprises portfolios and a dissertation.
The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course in each full time or part time year:
Type of assessment
We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.
Class sizes are kept small for this course and usually limited to 10. However this can vary by module and academic year.
This course is delivered by Kingston School of Art. As a student on this course, you will benefit from a lively study environment, thanks to the wide range of postgraduate courses on offer. The combination of academics and practitioners makes it a unique environment in which to further your studies and your career.
The University provides a vibrant and forward-thinking environment for study with:
Postgraduate students may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees.
Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.
Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.
There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free Wi-Fi is available on each of the campuses.
In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.
Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.
Bursaries are available from the School of Arts, Culture and Communications for students working on the Kingston University Press (KUP), Ripple magazine or other related activities (find out more and apply after you have enrolled).
Some of our departmental graduates have achieved notable successes, having published short stories and novels which were started as part of their degree, and attracted good literary agents, for example:
Initially it was a bit daunting returning to university as a mature student (in my early 50s) but as there were quite a number of us older students we soon formed a little group and in fact became quite good friends. The thing I possibly enjoyed most about Kingston was the number of workshops on offer pretty much throughout my time there. I found myself signing up for everything, from fiction to thriller to life writing courses. I just loved the vibe of being in that academic and literary environment. It was a huge privilege being able to attend workshops, free of charge, presented by some of the most esteemed literary personalities. In addition, there were publishing events that put us in direct contact with editors, agents and publishers. Weekly events hosted by Kingston Writing School were also hugely inspiring. Listening to authors relating their journeys about the long road from writing to being published was hugely encouraging and something I rarely missed.
The actual MA course and the various modules we had to complete pushed me beyond my comfort zone, in particular poetry which is something I'd never had a penchant for. But thanks to my accomplished lecturers I ended up enjoying every single one of them.
However, it was one of the extra-curricular workshops that inspired my book, Secrets of a Stewardess. The memoir/life writing workshop was hosted by John Man, author of more than thirteen books. I was convinced that I was in the wrong class as I felt that I had absolutely no story to tell, but he somehow managed to coax out of me my years as an airline stewardess in the ‘80s. I also wrote a children's book (which was signed up by an agent) while I was at Kingston University, but used the memoir as part of my dissertation.
I can honestly say that completing my MA in Creative Writing at Kingston University and then being published is one of the most rewarding things I have done. It taught me that you are never too old to achieve your goals - you just need to set them and then work towards them. Studying creative writing gave me the confidence to believe that I actually could write and the whole support system offered at Kingston University, finally helped me to get published.
Secrets of a Stewardess has been published by The History Press who have done an outstanding job of marketing it. WHS Smith Travel bought 2 500 copies upfront; I have been interviewed on BBC Radio 4; I have featured on BBC World Services', The Conversation; I have been interviewed live on Talk Radio Europe; I have had a feature in The Daily Mail newspaper; I have been interviewed and photographed by The Sun newspaper and I featured in Prima magazine's August edition.
A range of additional events and lectures will enhance your studies and add an extra perspective to your learning. Activities for this course include:
Live online masterclasses in each teaching block with distinguished professors and researchers such as Hanif Kureishi and Paul Bailey.
Distance Learning students who attend Campus Days are able to attend events and readings with publishing specialists and professionals that take place on these days. These have included agents such as Briony Woods, Jemima Hunt and others.
Overseas student visiting for Campus Days who wish to stay for a few days longer will find other lectures and events of interest to attend.
Students within reach of London are also welcome to attend events on campus such as talks from writer and film director Shelag McLeod, Influx Press editor Sanya Semakula and writers Michael Hughes, Catherine McNamara and Susan Lynes.
Weekly guest lectures by leading journalists including:
Regular readings through Writers' Centre Kingston, which offers an annual programme of events from talks to workshops and festivals, hosted and curated in partnership with institutions local to Kingston University and in London, from The Rose Theatre to the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation, from the Museum of Futures to Kingston First.
Frequent philosophy lunchtime lectures which focus on a major figure in the history of Western philosophy, introducing students to that thinker's work, usually through the discussion of one of her or his emblematic works. There are also weekly Journalism lunchtime lectures with a range of industry experts.
The literary magazine Ripple is edited by MA students, providing a platform for the publication of creative work; and a chance to get hands-on experience of the publishing process.
Research in English literature and creative writing at Kingston University covers the following areas:
It focuses around the following research initiatives:
We also hold regular seminars and host presentations by visiting speakers.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.
Unless government advice instructs otherwise, Study Abroad programmes will take place in 2021/22. The safety of all our students is paramount, therefore, as per normal practice, all Study Abroad activities must also be approved by the University's insurers to ensure that students are adequately protected during their period abroad. We will provide updates as the pandemic situation stabilises and/or further government advice is released.
Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback from students and other key stakeholders. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules in response to issues arising from the pandemic.
Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles, module summaries and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.
In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed in 2021/22, e.g. moving those modules which can be delivered more effectively to the first teaching block and moving back those – such as practical modules and placements – which may be more difficult to deliver due to some ongoing restrictions.
In some cases, it may be necessary to delay placement modules which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will guide students through the appropriate options available to ensure students are able to make informed choices.
We have not changed entry requirements as a direct result of the pandemic.
We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a direct result of the pandemic.
As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to steadily increase the proportion of on-campus teaching. We will continue to provide a proportion of online learning, as experience has shown that this enriches and supports the student learning experience.
If the pandemic affects teaching and learning activities in 2021/22 more than we currently anticipate, the proportion of online learning will increase. However, unless a lockdown is enforced, we will ensure that all courses provide a reasonable percentage of their teaching and learning activities on campus.
Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you should still be able to engage with your course remotely in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, for example on courses with high practical content, your course team will be able to advise you on the options available to you.
The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.
In the event that a further lockdown is enforced in 2021/22 the University will aim to deliver the course fully online once more. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.
Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled learning and teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours were not and will not be made as a direct result of the pandemic.
‘Scheduled learning and teaching' includes teaching delivered online, either live or recorded/on demand.
Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2021) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2022) will not be available until the autumn. We make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible.
In 2020/21 it was agreed that scheduled learning and teaching could take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm, to maximise the time available for teaching in order to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing. This meant we sometimes had to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. If we need to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing in 2021/22 we expect to adopt a similar approach. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. to the overall methods of assessments, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.
Changes are made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback received from students and other key stakeholders. Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
If social distancing or lockdown restrictions are in place in 2021/22, online alternative options to formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be made available to students where possible.
No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.
Staff are engaged in Continuous Professional Development activities to develop their teaching expertise, as part of the normal enhancement processes, to ensure that course teams have the required breadth of expertise.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2021/22.
As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to be able to increase student access to on-campus facilities. Students will therefore have access to University computers and library facilities.
If, due to an increase in social distancing requirements or the enforcing of a lockdown, it becomes necessary to significantly increase the proportion of teaching delivered online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities might be restricted if social distancing requirements are enforced.
The University is committed to supporting students who are unable to access suitable technology to ensure equity of access in a blended delivery mode.
There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2021/22. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2021/22.
We are anticipating that placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead in 2021/22. However, to ensure students gain maximum value from placement activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, when any impacts from the pandemic restrictions are minimised.
Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered.
In the interests of the health and wellbeing of our students, all placement arrangements must be approved by the University's insurers and the appropriate risk assessments made before students are sent on a placement.
Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.
No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), MSc, etc., as a direct result of the pandemic.
Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and in accordance with any professional body requirements. We do not anticipate making any further changes to courses in response to any issues arising from the pandemic and which would put at risk any professional body accreditation status.
International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.