Fifteen Months Later…

It has been a busy year and a quarter, mostly taken up with Part 1 of the MA in Creative Writing. That is the best excuse I can come up with for not having posted here since June 2016. The MA is supposed to be a part time module, but I found I was spending pretty much all my ‘up in the study’ hours reading, writing, researching and completing activities and assignments. On average it was taking about twenty hours each week, and to my horror, it was reported that Part 2 would stretch participants much more than the first half!

Some of Part 1 focused on levelling topics, to bring all the students into line. I found that a little frustrating because it repeated some of the module material from the advanced creative writing undergraduate course which I had already completed for the BA(Hons). Luckily, the work was given a different perspective because there was far less ‘teaching’ and much more ‘independent study’.

Part 1 finished with submission of a 4000 word short story and a 1000 word reflective commentary  back in May, and surprisingly mine attracted a better mark than the average of the assignments through the year. I hadn’t expected that, and had I not messed up one of the assignments because the reader/tutor didn’t ‘get’ a plot twist, I could have made a pass with distinction. But a merit is fine, and considering I would never have dreamed ten years ago of working at MA level, I’d have been chuffed with a bare pass.

Completing the first part of the MA brings a bonus of entitlement to a Postgraduate Certificate in Humanities. And here it is!


Part 2 has just begun, and they weren’t kidding when they said it would be tougher. The activities (which come in about three each week) require a deep understanding of the teaching texts, as well as targeted independent research. For instance, I’d never heard of parataxis and hypotaxis before now (OK, I know all of you will have done, obviously!), and have spent most of this afternoon trying out writing styles using those techniques. The first marked assignment is due in six weeks, so we’re already heading at full speed for that deadline…


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4 responses to “Fifteen Months Later…

  1. Ganesh Ramachandran

    Well done Phil on your Postgrad Cert! Your blog today has given me further insight in my own creative writing.

  2. Thanks Ganesh! The MA offers an option of four genres, including Scriptwriting in case you’re interested 🙂

  3. That’s really good news on the Postgrad 👨‍🎓 I toyed with the idea of doing it but I think I need to wait till I’m finished working or I’d stress myself out! Keep going!!

  4. Thanks Samantha! I think this is going to be a challenging year, but I have the time to spend on it. Good call to wait until you can do the same 🙂

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