Creative Writing Dissertation (TRU3042)

StaffDr Rob Smith - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesTRU3041 - Short Fiction must be taken either in term 1 or if not offered in term 1 then alongside TRU3042 Creative Writing Dissertation in term 2
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module aims to guide the student toward an increased ability to create and understand the elements of fiction. Fiction in English and in translation will be used as models to give students a broad knowledge of various components of the form.
Through lectures, self-directed study, practical exercises and discussion, the module will develop students' awareness and understanding of textual forms,content, and style. It will also continue to enhance the appreciation of the processes involved in writing short fiction, including drafting, revising,editing, developing ideas, and publishing toward a particular audience.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an informed appreciation of a broad range of fiction;
  • 2. Demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the technical qualities of long form fiction, including narrative structures, voice, character and the role of conflict;
  • 3. Demonstrate a capacity for independent study and self-directed inquiry and research, and to develop both imaginative and critical abilities through the completion of a portfolio of creative work and reflective commentary.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate an advanced appreciation of formal techniques and imaginative expression in creative writing;
  • 5. Demonstrate an advanced ability to produce pieces of creative writing, in agreement with specified forms and genres taught on the module;
  • 6. Analyse and critically examine, at an advanced level, diverse forms of creative writing;
  • 7. Present persuasive written and oral arguments concerning their own creative writing and the work of other authors, both peers and published authors;
  • 8. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of a variety of theoretical positions and articulate a broad range of appropriate critical and professional terminology;

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. Through sustained independent work, demonstrate the ability to produce advanced creative writing skills
  • 10. Through writing a reflexive essay and a longer piece of creative work, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, an advanced capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, advanced skills of creative expression, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose;
  • 11. Through listening to professional guidance and feedback from peers in a workshop setting, demonstrate an ability to write fiction toward publication

Syllabus plan

Students will be in the final year of their programme, when they have a general overview of English studies and their various contexts. The creative writing project will be individual to the student; therefore a significant component of the teaching sessions take the form of one-to-one supervisions consisting of discussion, for which the student is expected to have made serious preparation beforehand. Alongside the supervision process is an 11-week programme of 1-hour lectures and workshops designed to reinforce and extend students’ key skills as writers and researchers. Some lectures currently offered on the English Dissertation module cover subject-specific topics of shared concern to both English and Creative Writing students. Other (new) lectures will be delivered solely to students writing a Creative Writing Dissertation.


1.Choosing and Refining a Creative Writing Project


2. Outlining a Plot

3. Conducting Theoretical Research (Critical essay)

4. Conducting Material Research (Critical essay)

5. Writing a Literature Review (Critical essay)

6. Characterisation and the Function of Secondary Characters

7. Workshop

8. Editing and Revising Your Creative Work 

9. Mastering Critical Apparatus (Critical essay)

10. Publishing Your Creative Work

11. Portfolio Feedback Session (with individual supervisors)

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Actitivies1010 x 1 hour lectures
Supervisions4Meeting with Supervisor

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Extract of dissertation in progress2000AllWritten feedback, along with oral feedback given in dissertation meetings

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
A complete story of 6,000 words or two short stories totalling 6,000 words. 756,0002-5, 8,10Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up.
Critical Self-reflective Essay252,0001-2,5-8, 10-11Feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow up

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Self Reflective 2,000w essaySelf Referred/Deferred Reflective 2,000w essayReferral/Deferral Period
Story 6,000w (or 2 short stories totally 6,000 words)Referred/deferred Story 6,000w (or 2 short stories totally 6,000 words)Referral/Deferral Period

Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Creative writing, short fiction, fiction, short story