MA Creative Writing Prose Fiction (Part Time)

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Since completing her MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction), Emma Healey’s debut novel has been published to universal praise and she has toured the world to promote her work. She joined UEA with half a draft of her novel ‘Elizabeth is Missing’ and having developed links with publishers during her time on the course, she achieved every writer’s dream of being signed by a literary agency. Her book was published by Penguin in June 2014.

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"My year at UEA was one of the best of my life"

In their words

Ian McEwan, Creative Writing Graduate and Booker Prize winner

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UEA has announced the launch of the British Archive for Contemporary Writing (BACW), which contains the extensive personal archive of the Nobel Laureate, Doris Lessing, and literary material from other prominent authors such as Naomi Alderman, Tash Aw, Malcolm Bradbury, Amit Chaudhuri, J.D. Salinger, Roger Deakin, Lorna Sage, WG Sebald and the playwright Snoo Wilson.

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The MA Prose Fiction at UEA is the oldest and most prestigious Creative Writing programme in the UK. It is uniquely focused on the writing of fiction. We take a rigorous and creative approach to enable you to develop your ideas, voice, technique and craft. This part-time MA is taken over two years.

Our students’ success is unparalleled – around 38% go on to publish their work. While you are at UEA, however, the focus will very much be on exploring your creative potential, in a highly supportive and well-resourced environment. Recent visiting professors include Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith, Tim Parks and Ian Rankin.

Aside from the core workshops, you can choose from a wide range of optional modules, either critical or creative-critical in focus, and where you can explore specific forms and genres, such as the short story, the writing of crime/thriller fiction, and the dialogue between theory and practice in fiction.

Overview

Please note that the closing date for receipt of complete applications (including all documentation and references) is 1 May 2017. However, the course may be full before the closing date and so candidates are advised to apply as early as possible.

The Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) MA at UEA is the longest-running in the UK and has enjoyed unparalleled success in terms of the publications and prizes achieved by its alumni (see NewsAlumni and Interview pages). Our continuing success means we are fortunate in being able to attract many writers of great talent and potential.  

This course offers an intensive immersion in the study of the writing of prose fiction. You will take core creative modules, but can also choose from a wide range of critical courses, and benefit from our proven strengths in modernism and creative-critical studies, among others.

Our faculty teach our core courses. At UEA we also maintain close links with our alumni, who regularly come to UEA to give lectures, seminars and masterclasses; recently Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro and Andrew Miller have spoken to our students. Recent and upcoming visiting professors include Margaret Atwood, James Lasdun, Ian Rankin, Ali Smith, Stephen Poliakoff and Tim Parks. Our Creative Writing Teaching Fellows also contribute to teaching on this course; UEA alumni James Scudamore, Joe Dunthorne, John Boyne and Helen Cross are all associated with the programme.

Course Structure

The part-time MA lasts two years, and is organised over two semesters of 12 weeks. The autumn semester lasts from September to December, and the spring semester from January to April. After Easter in the second year, you will enter the dissertation supervision period, which ends in June. You will submit your final piece of work in September, at the start of the next academic year.

Each semester, you will enrol on two modules. One of these is the compulsory Prose Fiction workshop, a weekly three-hour session during which the group will discuss students’ work. This runs over the two years. You can expect to attend a follow-up tutorial with your class tutor each time your work is discussed in the workshop.

There are currently three workshop groups of approximately ten students. Each group is assigned a tutor for the autumn semester, and a different tutor for the spring semester. Groups are ‘shuffled’ in December, so that you can encounter the widest range of peer responses to your work during the course. Teaching styles vary, but typically three students each week will have their work discussed by the group. The work in progress (typically 5,000 words) is circulated a week in advance, and annotated copies are returned to the student at the end of the session. The emphasis is always on constructive criticism, and the expectation is that the group will gain as much from the discussion as will the individual whose work is being discussed. You can expect your writing to be workshopped at least six times over the course of the two semesters.

In the second semester of the first year you will choose a second module from the broad range of seminar options available to you in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing. These include Creative-Critical Writing, Ludic Literature and Theory and Practice of Fiction. In the second year you can take another optional module, choosing from a range that includes Criticism/Critique; The Art of Short Fiction; Fiction After Modernism; and The Writing of Crime/Thriller Fiction. (Some of these modules may not be available in certain years, if for example teaching faculty are on study leave.)

In the summer dissertation period you will also be assigned a supervisor for a series of four individual tutorials in which you will discuss your dissertation, which you’ll write independently over the summer vacation.

You are also required to attend the Research Methodology lecture series, which takes place in the latter half of the spring semester in year two. Most of our Creative Writing tutors give a lecture on their own working methods. You are also able to attend the undergraduate lecture series as these can help extend your awareness of the wider historical and conceptual context of your own writing.

Assessment

You will be required to submit 5,000 words of original fiction at the end of the autumn semester, and another 5,000 words at the end of the spring semester. In the part-time course structure the first assessment is submitted in January of year one of academic study, and the second in April or May of year two. You must also submit a 5,000-word piece of creative work or an essay (requirements vary) for each of your two optional modules.

For your dissertation, you will write another 15,000 words of original fiction, to be submitted in September. All assessed work is marked and commented upon by two members of Creative Writing faculty, and the mark is agreed between them.

Your work will be read and commented upon by faculty members around 16 times over the course of the MA; this includes workshops, dissertation tutorials and the double-marking of assignments. Since this course and its tutors focus on prose fiction and the development of your abilities as a writer of prose fiction, we cannot workshop or assess other work you might produce, such as poetry or creative non-fiction. However, we would encourage you to circulate such work informally among your fellow students.

Course Tutors and Research Interests

Our tutors are always published novelists of some reputation. Since the MA’s inception these have included Malcolm Bradbury, Angela Carter, Patricia Duncker, Lavinia Greenlaw, Andrew Motion, Michèle Roberts, W. G. Sebald and Rose Tremain. In 2017/18 the Creative Writing Prose Fiction MA will be taught by Trezza Azzopardi, Amit Chaudhuri, Andrew Cowan, Jean McNeil, Henry Sutton and Giles Foden.

In some years, Creative Writing Teaching Fellows are invited to teach the Prose Fiction workshop when faculty members of staff are on leave. These Fellows are fiction writers with substantial teaching experience and track records of publication; recent Fellows have included James Scudamore, Richard Beard, John Boyne and Helen Cross.

Where Next?

The principal aim of the Prose Fiction MA is to help you develop a deeper understanding of the craft and context of producing serious fiction, and by the end of the course we would expect you to have become more adept and more self-aware in your own practice. Our commitment is primarily to your writing. While we cannot promise outcomes in terms of publishing, we do have excellent links with agents and publishers, many of whom visit the campus to give talks in the spring semester.

Each year we create an anthology of student writing, which is distributed widely. The literary agency David Higham Associates sponsors a generous bursary, and the agency Curtis Brown awards an annual prize to the best graduating student. 

Frequently Asked Questions

I already have a BA in Literature and Creative Writing, and have attended other writing workshops. What can the MA offer that I haven’t already done?

The MA in Creative Writing should be a significant step up from anything you will have done previously, not least because you will be in the company of so many other exceptionally promising writers. As tutors we will look to test your assumptions as well as your abilities and there should be no grounds for complacency. We would expect you to want to extend your knowledge and understanding and improve on anything you have written before.

I don’t have a first degree in English Literature or Creative Writing. Would I be suitable for the MA?

Our first consideration is always the quality and potential of the writing sample submitted with your application. We accept students with a wide variety of academic backgrounds – and some with none – though many do tend to have a good first degree in English Literature. Whatever your academic background, however, we would expect you to demonstrate in your personal statement, and subsequently in your interview, that you have read widely and deeply, have begun to develop a critical vocabulary for discussing your writing (and that of others), and have the sensitivity and awareness to learn effectively and contribute to the learning of others.

Should I have a clear idea of my writing project before beginning the course?

Some students do have a definite idea of their project before joining the course, but many do not. You should view this MA as a time of experimentation and play – an opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. Having too rigid an idea of what you want to achieve might make it difficult for you to adapt your work in response to feedback.

Whom should I approach for references – a former tutor, my current employer, a lifelong friend? I know a published author who can vouch for my writing.

Academic referees are most useful to us as they can give an opinion on your suitability for postgraduate study. Employers can sometimes also offer useful information about your abilities and attributes. The testimony of a personal friend is rarely helpful. We will make our own assessment of your writing, but it can sometimes be helpful to read the opinion of a tutor, editor or writer who can comment on your ability to develop in response to feedback.

I want to get a general feel for the University, and of the course, before making my application. Can I meet one of the Creative Writing faculty to discuss this?

Because of our teaching and other commitments, we are usually unable to meet potential applicants individually. We do, however, offer guided campus tours for prospective undergraduate students, which you are also welcome to attend. There is also an annual postgraduate Open Day, when prospective applicants can meet course tutors and current MA students, and ask questions.

How many students do you accept each year?

We receive a great number of applications for the Prose Fiction MA and aim to interview approximately 90 candidates a year. From these we select around 30 students.

What is the average age of your students, and what sorts of background do they have?

The average age of an MA student is around 30, although some are much older, while occasionally we accept students who have progressed straight from their BA. In the past few years we have accepted several practising artists, two former air force pilots, teachers, lawyers, journalists, social workers, full-time parents, a carpenter, a fashion buyer, a police officer, a nurse – the list goes on. Our students arrive from all over the UK, as well as, recently, the USA, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Nigeria and Brazil, among other countries – this is a truly international course. A very high standard of written and spoken English is of course expected of all our students.

Will I be able to teach undergraduates while completing my Master’s degree?

Opportunities to teach undergraduates are limited to PhD students in the second and third years of their doctoral studies. However, opportunities do sometimes arise for MA students to participate in schools-based initiatives, both locally and further afield.

Course Modules 2017/8

Students must study the following modules for 20 credits:

Name Code Credits

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP: PROSE 1

This is the Prose Fiction workshop, the core of the Prose Fiction MA, and runs for 12 weeks in the autumn semester and 12 weeks in the spring semester. The sessions are three hours long and take place on Tuesday afternoons (2-5pm). Each week work (up to 5,000 words) from three students is discussed. This discussion is led by the tutor, however careful and informed contribution from the rest of the class (including annotating the scripts) is fundamental. Over the two semesters everyone will have at least six opportunities to have their work discussed. Key and topical issues of theme and craft will be addressed and wider reading may be discussed and suggested. Individual tutorials (of half an hour) are then held for those students who have been workshopped.

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Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Students can only select a Semester 2 module. Please contact the Course Director if you wish to take another Masters level module not shown below.

Name Code Credits

ADAPTATION AND INTERPRETATION

Critical reading and creative writing meet in the activity of adapting a text in one medium for presentation in another. The module focuses on dramatic adaptation, establishing a foundation in basic theory and then focusing on readings or original works and screenings. Discussions probe the choices offered by original texts and explore the possibilities and limitations inherent in different dramatic forms. In the later sessions, students will have the opportunity to workshop an adaptation for a final project.

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CREATIVE-CRITICAL WRITING

Too often, academic critical writing seems to bring pre-packaged language to bear on works whose whole essence and aim is to change the ways in which we see and describe our world. And too often such writing fails to acknowledge the ways in which it itself necessarily participates in the literary 'creativity' it is also about. How, then, to write criticism? Criticism which responds inventively to the literature which it analyses? Criticism which registers, in its own form, language, method and thinking the ways in which it has been transformed by the work(s) of art it encounters? Criticism which recognizes that it cannot rest on received concepts and categories? This module aims to explore those questions. Over the course of the semester will read, ponder - and experiment with - a broad range of possible ways of practising creative-criticism, including the 'essay' form, auto-commentary, conceptual writing, criticism as performance, inventive 'theoretical' writing, and diaristic writing.

LDCE7004B

20

EAST ANGLIAN LITERATURE

Throughout the medieval and Early-Modern periods Norwich was one of England's most important cities - probably second only to London - and East Anglia one of the country's culturally liveliest and richest areas. This module explores the literature of these periods in its material contexts (the region's prosperity and power may still be seen in its architecture and in the rich holdings of its libraries and museums) and asks whether there was a specifically East Anglian cultural tradition. The module explores East Anglia's rich dramatic traditions, its devotional literature and practices (in orthodox forms and in those that brush against the heterodox), and, insistently, the manner in which its literature participates in its broader social and cultural worlds. The module is compulsory for students on the Medieval and Early Modern Textual Cultures MA but may also appeal to those with an interest in the cultural traditions of Norwich and East Anglia or, more generally, in the literature of place.

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LUDIC LITERATURE

Play, or the ludic, is often listed as one of the main characteristics of postmodernist art, but what is meant by play is usually left no more clearly defined than what is meant by postmodernism. This course seeks to trace the evolution of leading postmodernist styles and themes, especially ludic ones, back to their origins in Joyce, Kafka, Borges, and Nabokov. Using these enormously influential authors as a starting point, we will read a range of ludic authors, passing back and forth between languages, nations, and genres. Authors studied will include Georges Perec, Italo Calvino, Raymond Queneau, Thomas Pynchon, Donald Barthelme, Robert Coover, Angela Carter, Paul Muldoon, and John Ashbery. We will examine these authors in relation to one another, and to their major pre-postmodernist sources, such as Carroll, Rimbaud, Mallarme, and Dostoevsky. We will also be reading theorists of play such as Schiller, Huizinga, Derrida, and Bakhtin. Central to the module is the exploration of play as a response to literature, and a way of creating new literature out of old, through the play of parody, imitation, transposition, and translation. We will be studying these ancient modes of literary response and performing them ourselves: all students will be encouraged to try their hand at parodying and imitating the texts we are studying, though this is not compulsory. Final assessment can take the form of a 5000 word critical essay or of a combination of a creative piece and a critical essay, to make up 5000 words.

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PUBLISHING - A PRACTICAL APPROACH

This module aims to give students an introduction to the modern publishing industry and a practical survival guide to the different functions involved in the publication of a book. As well as learning about the structure and economics of the British book industry, the opportunities and challenges of digitalization, students will engage with the process whereby books are chosen for publication, review principles of text and jacket design, practise basic copyediting and proofreading skills and learn tips for running a marketing and publicity campaign, writing 'blurbs' and press releases. The course will also touch on copyright law, finance and distribution. Students from the module are invited to join the core team producing the annual MA Creative Writing anthologies.

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THE NON FICTION NOVEL

Some of the most exciting and innovative fiction of the moment is in fact a hybrid form of fiction, borrowing subject matter and techniques from traditionally non-fiction modes such as memoir, criticism, journalism, reportage and life-writing. These novels depart from the usual concerns with character, realistic dialogue and plot to focus on voice, place, time, employing strategies of literary craft to be formally innovative. This course looks at original non-fiction and also at contemporary 'realist' novels which are pushing boundaries and gaining attention in the wider literary culture. We will study the forms, techniques and thematics of both non-fiction and fiction, with an aim to experimenting with and improving students' writing in both forms. Some writing in class and between classes will be required. The second half of the module will include workshopping student work-in-progress. This is a practice-based module taught by a novelist and non-fiction writer and aimed primarily at students on the creative writing strands but is also open to students studying for critical MAs.

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THE POETICS OF PLACE

This module explores innovative and experimental forms of place writing, from the critical and theoretical to literary and artistic. Among the critical and theoretical approaches that the course takes in will be such subjects as psychogeography, ecocriticism, critical heritage studies, deep mapping, animal studies, and literary activism. At the same time, it will consider a number of original works of literature from recent years, thinking carefully about the relationship between theory, method and form.

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THEORY AND PRACTICE OF FICTION

This module is designed to complement the prose fiction workshop but is open to students on related programmes. It is intended to provide students with creative and critical knowledge in a single experiential burst, by exploring as they are relevant to writing fiction such topics as time, place, dramatic structure, character and concinnity. The unit also gives consideration to professional issues confronting novelists, from writer's block to editing, contracts and dealing with the media. The module presents the writer as both artist and supplier of intellectual property to a market, while examining that and other tensions critically. Reading, writing and analysis happen alongside each other. Fictional, critical and professional texts are examined, writing exercises illuminating the issue at hand are undertaken. Students are also expected to make presentations on topics of their choice. Assessment by creative writing coursework with a critical commentary.

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Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

CREATIVE WRITING AND RESEARCH SEMINARS

This 10-credit module consists of a series of lectures by Creative Writing and Critical faculty of direct relevance to the practical aspects of researching and writing a major piece of creative work. Attendance is compulsory.

LDCC7006B

10

CREATIVE WRITING DISSERTATION

Students are required to write a dissertation of a length as specified in their MA Course Guide on a topic approved by the Course Director or other authorised person.

LDCC7017X

90

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP: PROSE 2

This is the Prose Fiction workshop, the core of the Prose Fiction MA, and runs for 12 weeks in the autumn semester and 12 weeks in the spring semester. The sessions are three hours long and take place on Tuesday afternoons (2-5pm). Each week work (up to 5,000 words) from three students is discussed. This discussion is led by the tutor, however careful and informed contribution from the rest of the class is fundamental. Over the two semesters everyone will have at least six opportunities to have their work discussed. Key and topical issues of theme and craft will be addressed and wider reading may be discussed and suggested. Individual tutorials (of half an hour) are then held for those students who have been workshopped.

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Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Students can only select a Semester 1 module. Students may, with the permission of the Course Director, choose modules from outside the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing.

Name Code Credits

CONCEPTUALIZING THE MEDIEVAL AND THE RENAISSANCE

This module introduces you to the ways in which material texts (both in manuscript and print) were transformed during the vital era from the emergence of print at the end of the middle ages to the close of the seventeenth century. How did the ways in which books were published change? How can we use the evidence of annotated books to reconstruct readers' habits and interests? How far did print transform the nature of the book? What happened to books as they started to become absorbed and classified within modern libraries? And how did manuscript documents -- especially letters -- enable the enormous boom in communication characteristic of the seventeenth century? How did the transformation of material texts create new possibilities for writing and thinking? The module equips you with the skills in early-modern archival studies that are necessary to tackle these questions. In particular, we spend a portion of each seminar learning how to read the handwriting of sixteenth and seventeenth century documents. The module culminates in visits to two archives in Norwich -- the Norfolk Record Office and the Norfolk Heritage Centre -- and your summative assessed work will take the form of a study of document(s) from these archives. The module is a requirement for those taking the 'Medieval and Early-Modern Textual Cultures' MA, but will be of interest to anyone who wants to learn more about the most vitally important era of the transformation of the book.

LDCE7019A

20

CRITICISM/CRITIQUE

This module tracks the notion of 'Critique' in philosophical and political thought, as well as literary criticism and artworks' own self-reflection, from the late 18th century to the present. 'Critique', from the Greek term krinein ('to discern'), brings together questions of philosophical method, from the relation between concept and intuition to the project of understanding a historical moment through its cultural artefacts and practices; however, it also engages the 'criticality' of artworks: how they reflect on their own processes and socio-economic conditions. But if these various intellectual projects converge around a shared sense that they are doing 'critique', then it is not clear that political critique and aesthetic critique aspire towards the same thing; the concept of critique thus also permits us to grasp discrepancies and points of dissensus between different forms of intellectual, and 'critical', praxis. The module starts by providing a historical grounding in debates around 'Critical Philosophy', linking Immanuel Kant's 'critical' distinction of concept and intuition to German Romanticism's model of a 'literary absolute' in which literature actualises itself as 'critique', such that through its ironic relation to its own linguistic medium, it assumes the place of philosophy itself. We consider Hegel's responses both to Kant's critical philosophy and to the literary theorising of the Schlegels and Novalis, with readings from the Phenomenology of Spirit, the Logic and the Aesthetics, before turning to the development of Hegelian thought in Marx. Having established this basic historical narrative, we then trace the different intellectual projects and problematics that the notion of 'critique' opens up, from the 'critical theory' of the Frankfurt school through thinkers including Althusser, Fanon, Foucault, Braidotti, and Ranciere. Against this we encounter an alternative series of responses to 'critical' philosophy, notably via Heidegger, Deleuze, and Simone Weil. At the crux of these different approaches to 'critique' is the relation between different philosophical, political and literary intellectual movements, and central to this module is the question of how 'critique' extends beyond scholarly activity, whether it is the ways in which avant-garde art and poetics incorporate self-critique into their understanding of support, medium, process, etc., or whether it is in practices of political resistance. To this end, the module is overtly forward-looking, not only charting a contested history from Kant to the present, but also asking what forms future attempts at critique can, and should, take.

LDCE7010A

20

DESCRIBING POETRY

This MA module is compulsory for students taking the poetry strand of the MA in Creative Writing. It is also offered as an optional unit for students taking other MA programmes. We often think of poetry as a descriptive art, representing our experience of the world. One of the most important things it describes, however, is the experience of language. This module will consider some of the ways in which poetic language has been described in philosophy and literary criticism, and some of the poems in which it has described itself. It offers a historical survey of some of the major texts in Western poetics, from Plato to the Language poets, to be read alongside a range of poetic treatises in verse. Students will be encouraged to contribute texts from their own reading for discussion. Short writing exercises will also be set in class, in preparation for the final 5,000-word coursework essay.

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FICTION 'AFTER' MODERNISM: RE-READING THE 20TH CENTURY

Fiction 'After' Modernism: Re-reading the 20th Century responds to the current reassessment of critical narratives about twentieth century fiction by restoring significance to a critically awkward phase of twentieth-century writing. Focusing roughly on the years between 1930 and 1980, we examine what it meant for mid-century writers to work in the wake of modernism. By thinking about mid-century fiction in terms of its own historical and aesthetic awkwardness, we will challenge the formalist distinction between experimental and realist fiction that has dominated the most influential work on the mid-century novel, and which has also stamped many post-war writers as irretrievably minor. In a similar spirit, we will explore how writers worked in the 'between' of modernism and postmodernism. Rather than produce a cohesive narrative about the period, we will examine how our writers engage with, and disturb, their own literary, historical and critical inheritances. This module is an opportunity to participate in an emerging critical conversation that is carving out new directions in literary study. Working through the period with special attention to previously marginalized (and in some cases forgotten) writers, alongside a selection of critical and theoretical texts, we will examine the ways our writers accede to, challenge, and disrupt our critical understanding of fiction after modernism. By re-reading the 20th century, this module offers an opportunity to participate in - and indeed contribute to - a still emerging critical conversation that is redefining twentieth century literary studies. Recent critics have expressed an "invariable sense of disappointment" with the aesthetic failures of fiction written 'after' modernism: but it is precisely the fiction these critics have neglected to read critically that is leading other scholars to radically re-think the stories critics have told about the period. The critical re-evaluation of neglected writers is pushing twentieth century scholarship in new directions, and creating new debates and dialogue about how we read the twentieth century. In this module, we join the conversation.

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LIVING MODERNISM

A COMPULSORY MODULE FOR STUDENTS ON THE MA IN MODERN AND CONTEMPORARY WRITING. This core module will introduce students to Modern and Contemporary Writing. It does so through the idea of 'Living Modernism', highlighting the worldliness of modern writing and exploring modernism's continuities in contemporary culture. After an introductory session focusing on some recent critical attempts to assert modernism's continuing relevance, students will spend five weeks reading James Joyce's Ulysses, and Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse alongside critical essays exploring the texture and the worldly contexts of these modernist experiments. The second half of the semester will consider the living legacy of worldly modernism. Starting with a consideration of the 1930s and 1940s as key decades in literary-historical accounts of the 'end' of modernism, we will consider Djuna Barnes' Nightwood and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four as different responses to the radical energies of modernist culture. This is partly a question of literary influence: Has modernism degenerated into a 'host of distinct private styles or mannerisms' as Fredric Jameson argued? And what is its significance for the critical theory of Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson, Giorgio Agamben and others? The other focus is on the persistent 'worldliness' of modern writing, as it continues to tarry with ideas of law and justice. With this in mind, we end the module by turning to Roberto Bolano's epic 2666, a contemporary novel with ambitions to compare with those of Joyce. The questions of whether, how and where modernism continues to live--which have elsewhere been posed as drily academic questions about where we draw the boundary lines between literary periods or movements--are taken here to have an urgent aesthetic, ethical and political significance for our contemporary moment. Authors explored will include James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Djuna Barnes, George Orwell, Jacques Derrida, Roberto Bolano, and Giorgio Agamben.

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THE ART OF SHORT FICTION

PLEASE ENROLMENT PRIORITY IS GIVEN TO MA PROSE FICTION STUDENTS Short fiction is too often defined in terms of what it is not - namely, a novel. Whether stories, novellas or experimental short fiction, short fiction is an art form in its own right. While acknowledging that there are no 'rules' as to what makes a good short story, we will look at the expectations and technical challenges created by the form, and in so doing to sharpen our analytical and critical faculties. This is predominantly a practical, workshop-based course oriented at writing short fiction, although students will also be asked to form critical opinions and perspectives on published short stories, the technical aspects of writing in the form, and on themes and trends in short fiction.

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THE WRITING OF CRIME/THRILLER FICTION

This module will provide students with critical and creative knowledge of modern crime/thriller fiction, and is designed to complement the Creative Writing MA programme, but is open to students across the MA. Crime/thriller fiction, the world's most popular literary genre, is particularly subject to ever evolving conventions, expectations, precedents and sub-genres. Understanding the presiding logistical and thematic issues is fundamental to both the creation of and critical response to crime/thriller fiction. The module will analyse the developments and characteristics of the modernisation of the genre, through a symptomatic approach to authors, from Dashiell Hammett to Denise Mina, from police procedurals to psychological thrillers. Issues of literary worth, escapism and social context, particularly will be examined. A prior interest in the genre is not necessary, while there will be much focus on the structural aspects of the novel. Creative work will also concentrate on how to craft a convincing plot, creating believable characters, building narrative drive and suspense, and generating voice. Students will be required to make presentations on particular authors from the set texts, and to produce original crime/thriller fiction. Assessment by creative writing, fiction up to 5000 words, and/or an accompanying critical essay.

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Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject UK BA (Hons) 2:1 or equivalent preferred but not essential.
  • Special Entry Requirements Sample of work - see below

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 6.0 in each section and 7.0 in writing)
  • PTE (Pearson): 68 (minimum 55 in each section and 68 in writing)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Interviews

Promising candidates will be invited to one of our interview days, which are scheduled across the academic year. Typically a candidate will be interviewed by two members of the Creative Writing faculty and we aim to inform candidates of the outcome within five working days. Unsuccessful candidates are welcome to re-apply, though not within the same academic year. Successful candidates will either be offered a place for the forthcoming academic year or a place for the following academic year (if it is felt that they need more time to develop as a writer). Once the forthcoming year is ‘full’ candidates will be offered a place on our reserve list with the option of a place for the following academic year if a place does not become available. If you are living overseas, the interview may be undertaken by telephone or preferably by Skype at a mutually convenient time.

Please note that those candidates offered a place on the course will not be able to defer their offer to the next year if they are unable to take up the offer of a place, however they are welcome to reapply the next year.

Special Entry Requirements

Candidates will be expected to submit a portfolio of writing for assessment of between 3000 and 5000 words, which could be part of a novel in progress or a piece or pieces of short fiction.

Intakes

The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above then please contact the Admissions Office directly for further information.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for the academic year 2017/18 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,300
  • International Students: £14,800

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £820 per month.

Scholarships and Awards:

There are a variety of scholarships and studentships available to postgraduate applicants in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. For further information relevant to the School of Literature and Creative Writing, please click here.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online.

Please note that the closing date for receipt of complete applications (including all documentation and references) is 1 May 2017. However, the course may be full before the closing date and so candidates are advised to apply as early as possible.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515