Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New learning journey for part-time MA Creative Writing students @EdinburghNapier University

Two years ago the MA Creative Writing team at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland introduced a new programme structure so students could use mentoring to honed their editorial collaboration skills - and get credits toward their degree for that work.

This September our new cohort of part-timers will embark on a learning journey quite different from anything we've ever done before. In the past, part-timers moved through the Creative Writing MA much the same way that full-timers did, but taking two years instead of one to complete it.

That meant taking pre-writing module Creating Narrative in trimester 1, while also starting two other modules - the practical theoretics challenge of Innovation and Authorship, plus the mentoring module Creative and Editorial Development. In their second year part-timers would then move on to writing practice modules in their second year, leading up to the MA's creative capstone - Major Project.

Our students read everything from Batman to Foucault and beyond...
The new part-time learning journey flips the course structure, swapping the taught trimester elements for years 1 and 2 to create a distinctly different student experience.

From this September new part-time students will spend their first year taking writing practice modules. As soon as they walk through the door we will be asking them to get writing, to start creating short stories and new work. In short, they get to be creative!

In the first trimester, they will take a single taught module - First Person Narrative. In the second trimester, they will choose two writing practice modules from a choice of five. Again, the focus in all of those is on practical creative challenges and development.

To help the new part-timers make the most of these opportunities, they will receive two 60-minute general mentoring sessions. These are not credit-bearing, but will enable the part-timers to hone the one-to-one collaborative skills they'll need to work with agents, editors, artists and other creatives.

In year two of the new part-time learning journey, students focus on full-length narratives and questioning big ideas that will prepare them for the challenge of Major Project.

The pre-writing Creating Narrative is crucial for this, with most students taking the story they develop here through to the end of the MA. Meanwhile Innovation and Authorship will ask them to question their thinking and define their place in a wider culture of ideas.

Running alongside these is our mentoring module, Creative and Editorial Development. This builds on the skills honed during year 1 so part-timers are able to make best use of their mentor and significant steps forward as they prepare for Major Project.

We believe this new structure for part-timers will make for an easier introduction to the programme and for a smoother learning journey toward Major Project. Before making this significant change, we consulted with our current cohort of part-timers - and most of them were envious of the opportunity the new structure will offer to their successors.

PS There is still time - just! - to apply for this September's intake of MA Creative Writing, as several people have deferred their places to next year. [Looks like September 2017 will be jam-packed!] If you are interested, go here to read more about our unique admissions process. To apply, click the relevant link at the top right hand side of this blog.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Exciting news & opportunities for MA Creative Writing @EdinburghNapier University

Now is the perfect time to apply for the MA Creative Writing programme at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland. We've got lots of exciting opportunities and news to share, but - unusually - we also have a few places left for the September 2016 intake.

Most years we are already full by now but several prospective students with unconditional offers of a place on the course have had to defer starting until September 2017. That's a shame for them, but it has created openings for late applications to our acclaimed MA programme.

If you've considered applying but thought it was too late for this September, there is still time to take action. There are direct links to our online application form on the right hand side of this blog - one for full-time students, one for part-timers.

If you want to know more about our MA and the application process, read this blogpost. But enough of the sales pitch, what about our exciting news and opportunities?

Firstly, we're proud to announce the creative writing programmes at Edinburgh Napier in Scotland and Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania, USA have signed an articulation agreement, enabling graduates of our MA to continue their studies on the Writing Popular Fiction MFA at Seton Hill.

What does that actually mean? Most students who graduate from the MA here at Edinburgh Napier have written the first 20,000 words of their Major Project, usually a novel. Going on to Seton Hill will give them continuing support and mentoring to finish that project.

Dr Nicole Peeler, director of the Seton Hill MFA
Seton Hill considers the MA as equivalent to a year spent on the MFA, meaning students articulating from Edinburgh Napier could complete the degree at Seton Hill in just over a year.

The MFA is a low residency programme [akin to distance learning], so students work from home most of the year and visit the Greensburg campus for week-long residencies.

And Seton Hill is offering a significant fee discount for the first few Edinburgh Napier MA Creative Writing graduates who articulate to the MFA.

Urban fantasy writer Nicole Peeler is director of the Writing Popular Fiction programme at Seton Hill, and is an enthusiastic supporter of the new agreement. [Click her name in this paragraph to read more about the MFA.]

More news: the Creative Writing MA programme team at Edinburgh Napier is expanding. We are in the final stages of recruiting a new part-time lecturer to help us grow and enhance the course.

Interviews are being held next month and - fingers crossed! - the new team member should be in place for the start of the 2016-17 academic year this September. Watch this space for more news...

One last piece of news: we are introducing a new learning journey for part-time students on our MA. When we discussed what we were doing with the current crop of part-timers, several of them admitted being jealous of the new structure their successors will enjoy!

Watch out for another blogpost later this week revealing the new-look part-time Creative Writing MA here at Edinburgh Napier. Frankly, we're not sure why we didn't think of it sooner... Onwards!