Undergraduate Course

Integrated Master in Literature: Literature and Creative Writing

Integrated Master in Literature: Literature and Creative Writing

Overview

The details
Literature and Creative Writing
Q393
October 2023
Full-time
4 years
Colchester Campus

Explore the urge to create and build new worlds, to share language and stories with others. On our course you will reflect on how literature shapes, and is shaped by the world, as well as honing the craft of writing through a multi-genre approach.

Drawing on key texts and ideas, you’ll develop critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills that will help you to make your own mark. To develop your own creative writing, we offer an unusual approach to the practice of writing, combing innovative and traditional methods in order to develop your writing skills and abilities to judge your work critically, while expanding your knowledge across different modes and genres.

On our four-year MLitSt Literature and Creative Writing, you will be part of an interdisciplinary department and well-established home to practising poets, dramatists, novelists and critics.

You have the flexibility to choose from a wide range of optional modules across different topics and areas of specialism, including;

  • Writing an independent creative project
  • Early Modern (16th and 17th century) literature
  • Exploring the psychological foundations of creativity in relation to myth
  • United States, Caribbean and Transatlantic literature
  • Writing for radio and playwriting
  • Poetic, contemporary and avant-garde and political writing

In your fourth year, as a post-graduate student, you will be able to choose from the following masters level modules in literature and creative writing;

  • Conducting research into Shakespeare
  • Development of a novel plan, from research and concept-development, to plotting, character and structure
  • Study of rare and antiquated books
  • Poetic practice across experimental writing in poetry from the performative to the visual

At Essex we believe in radical, challenging and interdisciplinary approaches to the study of literature and while we take note of conventions, we’re not bound by them. We have nurtured a long tradition of distinguished writers whose work has shaped literature as we know it today, from past giants such as the American poets Robert Lowell and Ted Berrigan, to contemporary writers such as mythographer and novelist Dame Marina Warner, and Booker Prize winner Ben Okri.

Our course offers a varied, flexible and distinctive curriculum, focused on developing your abilities as a writer, while allowing you to take options from the other courses within our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies including literature, filmmaking, journalism and drama.

Why we're great.
  • Achieve a masters level qualification with this four-year course variant
  • Join a diverse network of distinguished alumni, including Booker Prize and Pulitzer Prize winners
  • Our course offers a varied, flexible and distinctive curriculum, focused on developing your abilities as a writer

Our expert staff

At Essex, we have an impressive literary legacy. Our history comprises staff (and students) who have been Nobel Prize winners, Booker Prize winners, and Pulitzer Prize winners.

Our Department are committed to unlocking creative personal responses to literature. This distinctive environment is possible because we are a community of award-winning novelists, poets and playwrights, as well as leading literature specialists.

Our academic staff specialise in a range of areas including modernism, comparative and world literature, Shakespeare, the Renaissance, travel writing, nature writing, translated literature, cultural geography, Irish and Scottish writing, U.S. and Caribbean literature, and the history of reading.

Specialist facilities

  • Access the University’s Media Centre, equipped with state-of-the-art studios, cameras, audio and lighting equipment, and an industry-standard editing suite
  • Write for our student magazine Rebel or host a radio show
  • Meet fellow readers at the student-run Literature Society or at the department’s Myth Reading Group
  • View classic films at weekly film screenings in our dedicated 120-seat film theatre
  • Hear writers talk about their craft and learn from leading literature specialists at regular talks and readings
  • Improve your playwriting skills at our Lakeside Theatre Writers workshops
  • Our Research Laboratory allows you to collaborate with professionals, improvising and experimenting with new work which is being tried and tested

Your future

A good literature degree opens many doors and our students have gone on to work in a number of careers such as writers, and others are now established as scholars, university lecturers, teachers, publishers, publishers’ editors, journalists, arts administrators, theatre artistic directors, drama advisers, and translators.

Our recent graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of desirable roles including:

  • Theatre
  • Journalism and broadcasting
  • The Civil Service
  • Marketing
  • Museum and library work
  • Commerce and finance
  • Teaching

And many of our students have gone on to successfully publish their work, notable recent alumni including:

  • Ida Løkås, who won a literary prize in Norway for The Beauty That Flows Past, securing a book deal
  • Alexia Casale, whose novel Bone Dragon was published by Faber & Faber and subsequently featured on both the Young Adult Books of the Year 2013 list for The Financial Times, and The Independent’s Books of the year 2013: Children
  • Elaine Ewart, recent graduate from our MA Wild Writing, placed second in the New Welsh Writing Awards 2015
  • Patricia Borlenghi, the founder of Patrician Press, which has published works by a number of our alumni
  • Simon Everett, owners and editor of Muscaliet Press
  • Petra Mcqueen, who has written for The Guardian and runs creative writing courses

We also work with the university's Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A-levels: AAB, including one essay based subject

BTEC: D*DD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided

IB: 33 points or three Higher Level certificates with 665, including a Higher Level essay based subject grade 5.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

T-levels: Distinction* - Entry requirements for students studying T-level qualifications are dependent on subjects studied. Advice can be provided on an individual basis.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

Structure

Course structure

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.

Components and modules explained

Components

Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.

Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.

Status What this means
Core
You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory
You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Compulsory with Options
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
Optional
You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.

The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.

Modules

Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.

In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.

Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:

HR 100  4  FY

The department or school the module will be taught by.

In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.

The module number. 

The UK academic level of the module.

A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.

A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.

A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.

The term the module will be taught in.

  • AU: Autumn term
  • SP: Spring term
  • SU: Summer term
  • FY: Full year 
  • AP: Autumn and Spring terms
  • PS: Spring and Summer terms
  • AS: Autumn and Summer terms

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Origins and Transformations in Literature and Drama
(30 CREDITS)

Which writers re-worked Homer’s Odyssey? Or borrowed ideas from Dante’s Inferno? Examine how key literary texts and genres have been used by successive generations of writers up until the present day. Shift from classical text to a more modern example, studying the long cultural traditions that exist.

View Origins and Transformations in Literature and Drama on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

The Writer's Toolkit
(15 CREDITS)

How do you get started as a writer? How do you practise your writing? And how can you make improvements? Using exercises and texts, focus on your basic skills and essay writing. Cover topics like characterisation, dialogue, point of view, plotting, suspense, and metaphor and imagery.

View The Writer's Toolkit on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Text Up Close: Reading for Criticism
(15 CREDITS)

How do you read a text closely? What is involved in close reading? With emphasis on you to active do the close reading, learn how this approach can contribute to your appreciation of meaning and significance in a diverse range of texts.

View Text Up Close: Reading for Criticism on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY

Poetry: A Very Short Introduction
(15 CREDITS)

This module in creative writing will explore poetry from its origins to the present by asking you to engage with both traditional forms and recent experiments. By taking a long view of poetry it will explore the way in which poetry changes over time, migrating from one place to another, one form to another, from cave wall to bark, to page, to body, to building, to advertising billboard, to electronic media. Contemporary work will be explored which both engages with and departs from traditional forms of poetry, including work that extends the boundaries and the language and forms of poetry towards actions, non-poetic language, and word-games. While the history of poetry might seem to demonstrate that the best poets – Mallarmé, Maxwell – are essentially unemployable, poetry and its utilitarian functions in advertising and related fields connecting to employability will be a central feature. Teaching itself, as far as possible, will itself be experimental – including the gathering of feathers and objects, five-minute lectures, and field work – attempting to perform the "restrangement" that underpins much poetic activity.

View Poetry: A Very Short Introduction on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY

The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways
(15 CREDITS)

This interdisciplinary module serves several functions. Firstly, you will develop an understanding of your degree in the context of the wider world and specifically the graduate jobs market. You will come to understand the employability and career-development opportunities that are available to you during and after your time at Essex, and you will begin the life-long process of continuous professional development with a firm grounding in the practical skills and reflective practice involved. The module is divided into two parts: career-development learning; and Speaker Weeks, when a member of staff will interview guest speakers about their careers in fields that are allied to the arts and humanities. These will cover a range of career areas that may be of interest to humanities graduates in general: from media, arts, journalism, education, publishing, to entrepreneurship in related areas. These weeks are intended to be inspiring but also full of practical tips and ideas, with an emphasis on showing how careers develop over time, and what pathways students can explore to get to where they want to be; as well as what kinds of extra-curricular activities students can engage in now to open more doors professionally before and after graduation. In the career-development learning part of the module, you will cover topics such as the Graduate Labour market, the Humanities graduate, self-reflection and personal development, and how to research and apply effectively for jobs. Skills such as CV writing and interview technique will be covered. Two-hour interactive lecture/seminars will introduce students to careers resources and ideas, but will also include discussion and group work.

View The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

LT146-4-AU or LT151-4-AU or Autumn option from list
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 07: OPTIONAL

Spring option from list
(15 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY

Creative Non-Fiction
(30 CREDITS)

What is creative non-fiction? How does it engage and experiment with the world around us? Explore the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction, from Defoe’s Journal of the Plague Year to today’s “misery memoir”. Understand the creative aspect of others kinds of writing, widening your own scope and sense of possibility.

View Creative Non-Fiction on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY

Writing the Short Story
(15 CREDITS)

This module will explore, through practice and discussion, the discrete art of the short story form. You will read a diverse selection of short stories drawn from various literary and cultural traditions, both historical and contemporary, to inspire and form the writing of your own short stories, attending to the specific qualities and techniques of this literary form.

View Writing the Short Story on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY

Writing Structures
(15 CREDITS)

What are the key theories for creative writing? And how do writers (such as Wordsworth or Pound) theorise their own work and that of others? Study a range of genres, from poetry and fiction to autobiography, with practical writing exercises. Explore “making the familiar unfamiliar” (defamiliarisation), and focus on narrative.

View Writing Structures on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

LT204-5-FY or LT204-5-AU
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: OPTIONAL

LT269-5-SP and/or option(s) from list
(45 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

LT831-6-FY or LT832-6-FY
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 02: OPTIONAL

Final year Creative Writing option(s)
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: OPTIONAL

Final year option(s)
(30 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 01: CORE

Dissertation Preparation: Postgraduate Research and Writing Skills
(20 CREDITS)

Are you ready for your dissertation? Examine a variety of research methods and methodologies, building the research skills and understanding needed to complete your postgraduate-level research project.

View Dissertation Preparation: Postgraduate Research and Writing Skills on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 02: CORE

Dissertation
(40 CREDITS)

Your dissertation or final project is the centrepiece of your integrated MA work. It gives you the opportunity to develop and to demonstrate your knowledge, understanding and skills as an academic researcher and scholarly author or creative practitioner, as you investigate and interpret a topic of your choosing.

View Dissertation on our Module Directory

COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

Creative Writing option from list
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 04: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONS

Literature option from list
(20 CREDITS)

COMPONENT 05: OPTIONAL

Option from list
(20 CREDITS)

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,250

International fee

£18,585

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home/UK fees and funding information

International fees and funding information

What's next

Open Days

Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are 'L' and 'S' respectively.

You can find further information on how to apply, including information on transferring from another university, applying if you are not currently at a school or college, and applying for readmission on our How to apply and entry requirements page.

Applicant Days and interviews

If you are an undergraduate student who has received an offer from us to study with us from October 2021, you will be invited to attend a Virtual Applicant Day so that you can get to know us from the comfort of your own home. Our Virtual Applicant Days will run until June 2021 and give you the chance meet academics online from the department you’ve applied to, and attend live talks and Q&A’s on our Virtual Applicant Day platform.

Some of our courses also require a compulsory interview. If you have applied to one of these courses you will receive an invite to a Zoom interview via email, along with further details about the interview process.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

Set within the 200-acre award-winning beautiful parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

Whether you are planning to visit us at one of our Open Days, or coming to an Applicant day. Our campus conveniently located and easy to reach by car, train or bus.

View from Square 2 outside the Rab Butler Building looking towards Square 3

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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