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Unit information: Creative Dissertation in 2020/21

Unit name Creative Dissertation
Unit code ENGLM0077
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Mimi Thebo
Open unit status Not open

Planning a Creative Dissertation, Exploring a Creative Dissertation



School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This is an independent study unit, with intensive one-to-one tutor supervision, to allow and support students to write and revise a significant element of a full-length manuscript as an extended project. Students will work with their tutor to: deliver regular instalments of work; consider critique received and potential revisions in light of it; and discuss progress and editorial strategies, as the writing develops. The aim is to help the student develop experience of writing a sustained and extensive project. The format of the unit is designed to prepare students for comparable agent and editorial relationships in professional practice.

Intended learning outcomes

By the successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1. Work independently on a sustained piece of writing, including by setting goals, managing workload and meeting deadlines.

2. Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, demonstrating an awareness of voice, idiom, idiolect, simile, metaphor, analogy, rhythm and media-specific restraints.

3. Recognise and articulate critically the technical requirements of form, tone, register, structure and genre in relation to creative writing.

4. Use a variety of editorial approaches and processes.

5. Edit their own work, and that of peers, at the various levels of clause, line, sentence, stanza, paragraph but also at the structural level of overall scene, chapter, collection and book.

6. Use and develop information retrieval and analytical skills, including the ability to interpret, evaluate, synthesise and organise material.

7. Recognise and articulate their aesthetic sensibility in relationship to appropriate models and develop an understanding of their own processes of intellectual inquiry.

8. Anticipate and accommodate requirements that may change when creating an original work. Be able to work productively and negotiate creative contexts that are ambiguous, uncertain and unfamiliar.

9. Engage with written and oral feedback.

10. Evaluate the role of readers and audiences in realising texts and the ways that performance can impact an audience’s imaginative experience.

Teaching details

This is an intensive experience of supported independent study with 6 hours of tutorial, typically split into 8 - 11 sessions over the extended teaching block. The learning environment is collaborative and intimate, with detailed tutor scrutiny of student work and continual student-led evolution of aims, desires and intentions for the dissertation. The student’s agenda (aims, desires and intentions) is informed by the literature review from the previous unit and the tutor’s role is to use their own understanding of the student’s area of work to support the student’s own agenda for the writing. Please note that in this unit, the student will not be attending a workshop for additional feedback.

Assessment Details

A portfolio of writing to include:

1 x 13,000 words summative assessment (or equivalent, in the case of poetry/script) of original creative writing [ILOs 1-8] (90%)

1 x 2,000 word summative critical commentary that discusses the student’s craft choices and editorial processes [ILOs 9, 10] (10%)

Reading and References

Students will evolve their own reading/viewing list, together with their tutor.