Creative Writing Dissertation (EAS3122)

StaffProfessor Andy Brown - Lecturer
Dr Sam North - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesCreative Writing Level 2 Module (or some previous creative writing experience, in this case work must be submitted beforehand to ascertain suitability)
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to provide the opportunity, at the end of a student's BA programme, to pursue a sustained piece of creative writing. A project is chosen by the student, in consultation with an academic member of staff, and thereafter the student writes the dissertation, along with a related self-reflexive essay, under appropriate academic supervision. The module therefore develops qualities of independence, active learning, research and writing.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate a capacity to produce an extended piece of creative writing, as agreed with their supervisor;
  • 2. demonstrate advanced knowledge of their knowledge of their chosen genres and styles of writing;
  • 3. demonstrate an informed appreciation of appropriate contemporary creative texts and critical concepts;

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. demonstrate an advanced appreciation of formal techniques and imaginative expression in creative writing;
  • 5. present persuasive written and oral arguments concerning their own creative writing and the work of other authors, both peers and published authors;
  • 6. demonstrate an advanced understanding of a variety of theoretical positions;
  • 7. articulate a broad range of appropriate critical and professional terminology;

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 8. through writing the dissertation, 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;
  • 9. through research for the dissertation, demonstrate advanced proficiency in information retrieval and analysis.

Syllabus plan

Students will attend a compulsory group meeting in the autumn, and submit a proposed dissertation title before leaving for the Christmas break. Supervisors will be assigned by the beginning of second semester, and students will have an initial meeting with their supervisors at the beginning of that semester. This meeting will be the first of three supervisions over the course of the semester.

Responsibility for the selection and development of a topic of research is left to individual students, though they are invited to discuss it with one or more members of staff.

The completed Dissertation Proposal Form, signed by a member of staff, must be submitted to the departmental office by the specified deadline in term 1 of the student’s final year. Allocation of an individual supervisor will be organised and confirmed in the first week of Term 2. Early in the term the supervisor will arrange a group meeting. There is also a special Library talk geared to the needs of dissertation research, and other workshops introducing key skills of research, writing and time management.

The student should have a written plan of his or her dissertation ready for discussion at the first meeting. It is then the student's responsibility to arrange and attend three further 20-minute supervisions during the term. Supervisors will read and comment on up to 2000 words of written drafts.

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
Guided independent279reading, research and dissertation preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft extract2000 words (or ¼ equivalent of project for poetry/script)1, 2, 4, 8 (others may vary)Supervisory neetings, feedback sheet with opportunity for tutorial follow-up.

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
Essay placing their own original work in a critical context252000 words3, 5-9Feedback sheet
Creative writing piece75Options: Fiction. 1 complete story, or a number of short stories; or an extract from a longer novel in progress, 6000 words OR Poetry. 1 portfolio of poetry, 20-24 pages / approx 350 lines OR Fiction & Poetry. Combined 3000 words fiction + 12 pages/175 lines of poetry OR Film Script. 1, 15-minute short film script, 15pp OR Life Writing. 6000 words, a complete piece of Biography, or Life Writing, or an extract from a longer work of the same.1, 2, 4, 8Supervisory meetings and feedback 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
Contextual essayEssay3, 5-9Referral/deferral period
Creative writing pieceCreative writing piece1-2, 4, 8Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

To be developed, under direction, by the student.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

The Exeter Learning Environment is an online resource which will accompany the module, offering students a forum to discuss their work and to access links to external sites that might help in their research. Electronic versions of all course materials will also be hosted at this location. The ELE site will include links to useful online resources, including support for creative and academic writing and lists of key journals and websites compiled by the different research groups.

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Students will be encouraged to draw upon the archival resources offered by the University’s Special Collections and by The Bill Douglas Centre for the History of Cinema and Popular Culture.

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

dissertation, creative writing, prose, poetry, screenplay