Module QXP-3025:
Fantastic Fictions

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Zoe Skoulding

Overall aims and purpose

This module introduces students to writing the fantastic, broadly conceived – such as the supernatural, science fiction, magic realism, horror, etc. It draws on a range of literature in translation from French, German and Spanish traditions, which will be used as a starting point for students' own writing. This module focuses on texts from the 20th and 21st centuries, encompassing different literary genres such as novels, short stories, novellas and graphic novels. Students will gain an understanding of the multi-layered significance of the fantastic and its relationship to different political, social and cultural issues. Through a transnational creative-critical approach, this module will enhance students’ knowledge of the development of fantastic literatures from a global perspective, and encourage students to reflect on the writing of fantastic genres in different linguistic, historical, cultural and geographical contexts.

Course content

The module will begin with an introduction to theoretical approaches to fantastic literatures, and will then move on to exploring different linguistic and literary traditions, such as Francophone (such as science fiction in Franco-Belgian bande dessinée), Hispanophone (such as Latin American magic realism), and Germanophone (such as Franz Kafka and Alfred Kubin). This part of the module will be taught alongside LXE2025.

A series of workshops will run in parallel, during which students will develop their own writing of the fantastic. These will be for QXP3025 only.

Assessment Criteria


Typically, the work of a first class candidate will show many of the following qualities:

Excellent levels of originality, vision and depth; striking and thorough engagement with ideas.

Excellent understanding and control of form.

Impressive linguistic control and/or innovation.

Sophisticated understanding of the creative process and assured control of decisions made in writing.

Dynamic work approaching publishable standard.


A 3rd class candidate’s work will show many of the following features:

Limited engagement with ideas.

Link between themes and form not always clear.

Limited sense of formal conventions. Inconsistent with regard to linguistic technicalities.

Limited awareness of redrafting and editing process.

C- to C+

A 2(ii) candidate’s work will show many of the following qualities:

Some attempt at serious exploration of ideas.

Some link between themes and form. Good attempt to engage with form, but this may not be entirely sustained.

Use of language technically proficient, but not always focused.

Some awareness of the creative process and of decisions made in writing.

Good work, but its strengths need to be more fully sustained to reach publishable standard.


A 2(i) candidate’s work will show many of the following qualities:

Demonstration of a degree of vitality and originality.

Very good understanding of generic conventions; sound use of structures and forms.

Resourceful use of language.

Sound understanding of the creative process and thoughtful control of decisions made in writing.

Very good work, which at times comes close to publishable standard.

Learning outcomes

  1. To be able to critically evaluate fantastic literary texts

  2. To develop an understanding of the different genres of fantastic literatures

  3. To create new and original fantastic texts in a widely informed literary context.

  4. To become aware of the different expressions of the fantastic in a variety of linguistic and literary traditions

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Reading as a Writer 30
COURSEWORK Creative Portfolio and Commentary

Creative Portfolio (2,500 words) Commentary (1,000 words)


Teaching and Learning Strategy


Creative Writing Seminar


Literary-critical lecture

Private study 178

Transferable skills

  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

Graduates of Creative Writing are able to:

  • i produce clear, accurate, artistically coherent and technically sophisticated written work, which articulates a combination of research and creative ideas

    ii communicate orally and through the written word concrete ideas and abstract concepts

    iii read as a writer - with an ability to analyse texts, performances and broadcasts, and respond to the affective power of language, using appropriate approaches, terminology and
    creative strategies

    iv use language in a sophisticated and nuanced fashion, with a heightened awareness of concision, voice, idiom, idiolect, simile, metaphor, analogy, rhythm and media-specific restraints

    v use reflective strategies to help capture and synthesize
    personal experiences and other research in an imaginative form

    vi apply a well developed aesthetic sensibility and sense of
    intellectual inquiry

    vii employ an imaginative and divergent mode of thinking which is integral to identifying and solving problems, to the making of critical and reflective judgements, to the generation of alternatives and new ideas, and to engaging with broader issues of

    viii edit their own work, and that of peers, with a high level of rigour and scrutiny, at the various levels of clause, line,
    sentence, stanza, paragraph but also at the structural level of
    overall scene, chapter, collection, book

    ix apply scholarly bibliographic skills when and where necessary

    x use the views of others in the development and enhancement of practice; formulate considered practical responses to the critical judgements of others, while developing a generous yet rigorous critical scrutiny in peer review and workshop activities

    xi view themselves as practitioners and reflect critically on their own creative writing practice

    xii conduct independent research including that which is practice based.

    QAA Benchmark Statement Creative Writing 2016, 3.2

Courses including this module