Dissecting Writing

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Module code



Students will write a piece of fiction or non-fiction that makes significant reference to elements of science used in a forensic context. They will also study some of the following:


The role of women in the forensic novel.


The use and abuse of forensic evidence in literature.


The creation of character and plot.


Questions of genre.


Two masterclasses with a published author.





Students will write a creative piece that uses some element of forensic investigation, and a critical piece that will analyse the creative, placing it in the context of other works in their chosen genre and demonstrating an ability to evaluate, judge and apply critical discourse to their own work and the work of others.

Assessment type

Weighting (%)

Creative piece


Critical reflection essay



Intended learning outcomes

  1. Knowledge and understanding.

Upon completion of the module students will be able to:

  •  Show an informed evaluation of writing skills, practice and output in the context of an MLitt degree in Creative Writing, and in line with other postgraduate CW MLitts around the UK.
  •  Demonstrate an ability to self manage their creative output.
  •  analyse and evaluate relevant intellectual, creative and professional practices associated with imaginative literary study.
  •  appraise the creative process and the body of written work that surrounds it.


  1. Subject-specific practical and intellectual skills and attributes.

Upon completion of the module students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an ability to work on a longer piece of genre writing
  • Show an understanding of individual writing strengths in plot, character, pacing etc
  • Understand editing/redrafting practices
  • Show an independently minded evaluation of their own and others’ critical insights and creative outputs.
  • Create an imaginative work of writing that uses forensics.
  1. Transferable, employability and enterprise skills and attributes.

Upon completion of the module students will be able to:

  • Self-manage their work, in terms of time management and independent research.
  • Communicate at a very high level, verbally and in writing, evaluating and explaining to others complex concepts and ideas.
  • Apply their imaginative and creative skills to the production of marketable outputs (such as a novel).
  • Use of online digital resources, virtual learning environments, audio-visual equipment and other relevant technologies to enhance their work.



The module aims to offer a period of immersion in forensic fiction and non-fiction, with an emphasis on creativity and critical analysis. By the end of the module students will be able to assess and analyse novels and other forms of writing that use elements of forensic investigation, demonstrating an ability to place those texts within a critical and cultural context. In addition, students will be given instruction and support on embarking upon a creative project that involves the use of forensic investigation and evidence.


Dr Aliki Varvogli



There will be 10 two-hour seminars for this module. All modules are supported by VLEs and staff office hours for individual consultation. Consultation via email or phone is also offered.

Indicative content:

  • Introductory session
  • Theories and examples of Genre
  • Master class
  • Character in Forensic fiction
  • Iowa-style read-aloud session
  • Plot in crime writing
  • Workshop
  • Master class
  • Workshop

Essay writing and research advice