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.

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