Bath Spa University Creative Writing MA
The MA in Creative Writing is concerned with imaginative writing, which includes novels, short stories, poetry and script-writing. The emphasis is upon encouragement, to help you to find and pursue a direction in your writing, and to understand the process of offering a manuscript for publication.
Because of the reputation of the MA in Creative Writing, we are able to recruit excellent students who, every year, form an exciting and mutually supportive community of writers. Frequent visits by other writers, literary agents, publishers, broadcasters and other professionals connected with writing ensure that students are given plentiful advice about how to place work and make decisions about their careers as writers.
The course is for writers for children of all ages, from the picture-book age through to adolescent and ‘crossover’ writing which aims at markets among adults as well as young people. Though prose fiction is likely to be the main area studied, students will have the chance to look at writing in all forms, including poetry, picture book texts and non-fiction.
The course supports students to create a significant body of writing, with practical plans for its place in the real world of publishing. It is based on the principle that most writers learn and benefit from working closely with their fellow writers, in a disciplined supportive setting, and with tutors who are practising and published writers in their field.
- Writing Workshops: In the first semester’s writing workshop you will explore a variety of formats and approaches, gaining a sense of the different age- ranges and forms. This is also an introduction to the writing workshop experience which is the heart of the course. In the second semester’s workshop you will be asked to choose your area of writing, and use the workshop’s feedback and encouragement to explore it in more depth. Full-time students take one writing workshop in Semester One and one in Semester Two. Part-time students take one workshop each year.
- Context Modules: Each full-time student takes one of these in the first semester and one in the second semester. The first semester’s context module, Writing for Young People: Forms, Ages and Stages, is concerned with the writer’s relationship with their audience, a sense of the history of and issues raised by children’s writing. The second semester’s module looks at Contemporary Children’s Publishing, and aims to give a realistic grasp of the choices open to new writers in the field. Part-time students take one of these context modules in each year of study.
- Manuscript: This is the development of a manuscript as near to publishable quality as possible. It is supported by tutorials with a manuscript supervisor. It may be a novel, a book of stories, a collection of poems or picture book texts.
The assessed coursework for each Writing Workshop is a folder of creative writing. For the first Context Module the coursework is an essay of approximately 2,500 words and a folder of creative responses. The second context module is assessed by a portfolio of writing tasks connected to the children’s publishing industry, including two book proposals. The manuscript is 35,000-40,000 words, or the equivalent in poetry or picture book texts.
- The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test.
Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.
Read more about CAE.
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- We offer places on the basis of our assessment of the student’s quality, potential and commitment as a writer and their ability to benefit from the course. Normally, but not invariably, a student will have a degree.
- Applicants will need to submit a short piece of creative writing for young people with their application form: for example, six poems or two short stories or not more than 20 pages of a novel.
- We select applicants for an interview before making an offer of a place on the course.