Studying Writing

On this page


Module code


The module seeks to engage students with a range of writing, writing styles, forms and genres in order to enable students to become sophisticated readers, and to bring these reading skills to an evaluation of their own writing and work produced by others. The module will provide students with a selection of core texts and through close analysis and interpretation, students will be asked to respond critically, formulate independent judgements, and articulate reasoned arguments through reflection, review and evaluation. Such strategies will promote an awareness of both text and audience.

A range of writers will be considered such as Thomas Wyatt, Edmund Waller, John Donne, Shakespeare, Elizabeth I, Pope, wollstonecraft, Wordsworth, Milton, Swift, Dryden, Thomas Hardy, TS Eliot, Robert Browning, Tennyson, Arnold, Webster, Thomas Paine, Winston Churchill, Ted Hughes, Beckett, Adrienne Rich, and Angela Carter.


Coursework makes up 100% of the assessment, as follows:

  • Semester One
    • One presentation (for Week Ten): 20%;
    • One essay (for end of semester), 3,000 words: 30%
  • Semester Two
    • One essay (due Monday of Week Ten), 4,000 words : 40%;
    • One Bibliography (to be submitted any time before or at the end of semester), 1,000 words: 10%


  • To establish “Studying Writing” as part of the MLitt in Creative Writing Practice and Study degree
  • To offer a period of creative study through face-to-face seminars that will set good study and research practices that can be exercised, if wanted, through distance-learning throughout the Semester and MLitt study period
  • To inculcate the principles and practice of close reading so as to research writing at the level of the sentence
  • To establish research skills associated with delivery of a practice-led creative degree
  • To extend independent and self directed learning skills into research, study and professional development skills so to prepare for the writing of a critical report to accompany submission of creative writing dissertation.
  • To foster students’ ability to analyse information, experiences, formulate independent judgement, and articulate reasoned arguments necessary to produce a critical and reflective or contextualising report accompanying the creative submission
  • To encourage students to expand their thinking about the possibilities and challenges of writing
  • To assist the student’s understanding of editing skills and refining what is taught in Creating Writing and other MLitt CW Modules
  • To enable the student to place their own work in the context of wider creative practice, the publishing world as well as in English Literature and other Humanities subjects.
  • To establish the open, critically aware dialogue between student and teacher that is appropriate to postgraduate study in Creative Writing, and in line with other postgraduate CW MLitts around the UK.
  • To complete a range of critical exercises and essays that can be put forward for assessment that is in line with other postgraduate CW MLitts around the UK


Prof Kirsty Gunn