Creative Writing: The Novel MA
- Special Features
- Course Content
- Entry Criteria
About the Course
Photograph: Internationally renowned poet, novelist and musician, Professor Benjamin Zephaniah leads our Creative Writing programme.
We designed this MA quite simply to teach everything we think a new novelist ought to know. It combines a focus on the skills of writing full-length fiction with a clear-eyed exploration of the publishing process and related creative fields. This MA has attracted considerable interest among publishers and literary agents, many of whom participate actively in the programme.
The programme is designed around the core activity of producing a major prose fiction project, which can be a novel fragment with synopsis, a novella or a collection of short stories, of publishable quality and produced in a marketable form.
In addition, the Internship Programme offers a unique opportunity in a Creative Writing Master's programme for you not only to understand the role that the creative industries play in shaping a writing career but actually to participate in these fields.
School of Arts
Middlesex UB8 3PH
Tel: +44 (0)1895 267214
Programme Convenor: Matt Thorne
- Taught by leading writers
- Career oriented and focused on current professional practice
- Our West London campus allows maximum contact with the arts in the capital
- The Curtis Brown Prize, worth £1,500, is awarded annually to a student from the MA programme in Creative Writing: The Novel. The winner is chosen by senior agents at Curtis Brown, the leading literary and talent agency, from amongst those students who achieve an A or A* grade for their dissertation. Curtis Brown may also, at their discretion, make an offer of representation to the winner.
You should take four taught modules including at least one industry-oriented module and then you will be able to work one to one with a tutor to prepare your dissertation of between 20,000 and 40,000 words.
Elements of Fiction
In this module you will analyse and explore the different elements of fiction. Each week the teaching session will begin by a discussion by one of your lecturers on a specific aspect of fiction writing. You will then divide into workshop groups and continue to explore the topic in presentations and seminar discussion of the books set the previous week. After a short break, the students will respond to each others’ writing in a workshop setting.
Planning a Novel
In this module we will study different approaches to planning and structuring a novel together with the advanced writing techniques which are particularly important in specific genres of fiction. We normally adapt the content of this module to the specific interests of each year group. You will be able to try each genre in turn and will continue to discuss your writing in workshop groups.
Paths to Publication
In this module you will study and learn to understand the creative industries through which authors reach their readers. These industries are changing very rapidly so this module also emphasizes the process of change and prepares you to become part of this ongoing process. We will also examine the strategies which authors have used successfully to navigate the creative industries and we will hear industry professionals give their view of authors and the way they market their writing. We believe that this is the best possible help we can offer you to get your novel published.
After the taught section of the module, we will organise short work placements for students in these industries; students will then share their experiences through their assessed presentations, in order to build up a comprehensive picture of the entire process. If you won’t want or are unable to take up a placement, you may choose to deliver a presentation on an individual company within the creative industries instead.
- Theories of Practice
- Feature journalism
- History of the Novel*
- Exploring Poetry
*Subject to approval.
You will be able to work one-to-one with your Dissertation Tutor to write a novel extract of up to 40,000 words and a related a critical commentary.
UK/EU students: £5,800 full-time; £2,900 part-time
International students: £13,500 full-time; £6,750 part-time
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
This is a Master's course designed to prepare you for a career as a professional writer. We expect applicants to have a good honours degree or equivalent professional experience. Usually, applicants to this programme who do not have a degree in English or Creative Writing have taken courses such as those offered by the Open University or the Arvon Foundation or have attended private writing workshops. You should be able to show that you have developed your writing and your understanding of literature through private study.
To apply, complete the postgraduate application form and submit it with a sample of your fiction writing of between two and five thousand words which you feel demonstrates appropriate ability and commitment.
Applicants may be invited to an interview.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 7.5 (min 7 in all areas)
- TOEFL Paper test: 637 (TWE 5)
- TOEFL Internet test: 110 (R25, L25, S25, W25)
- Pearson: 73 (66 in all subscores)
- BrunELT 75% (min 70% in all areas)
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accept a range of other language courses. We also have a range of Pre-sessional English language courses, for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English.