Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module QXP-2004:
Creative Writing: The Novel

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Ms Alys Conran

Overall aims and purpose

  • Introduce students to a wide range of novels and long distance
  • Introduce students to ideas and techniques employed by writers of novels.
  • Introduce students to query and synopsis writing, and to the publishing world/market from a writer’s perspective.
  • Provide practice in essential editorial skills.

Course content

Creative Writing: The Novel will guide you through the ways and means of writing a full-length novel. You will be taught methods of composition and creation of novels, including practical and analytical consideration of novelistic structure, viewpoint, voice and role-play, and developing style and tone. The course includes, with reference to the practical application of these elements, consideration of the variety of forms relevant to the contemporary novel, comparing and contrasting novels, present and past, with other forms of creative writing. It will also cover synopsis and query writing, the publishing tree, and writers and rejections.

The study of fiction-writing at Level 2 provides a valuable opportunity for independent exploration and innovation. While you may choose to work in a particular fictional genre, you will be encouraged to extend its boundaries by challenging market-led stereotypes. At all times you will be encouraged to produce work of high literary and imaginative quality, enhanced by a professional standard of presentation.

Assessment Criteria


Typically, work graded D- to D+ (or 40 to 49) will show many of the following qualities:

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. Work in need of some revision

C- to C+

Typically, work graded C- to C+ (or 50 to 59) 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.


Typically, work graded A- to A** (or 70 to 100) 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.


Typically, work graded B- to B+ (or 60 to 69) 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. Knowledge of a broad range of imaginative literature.

  2. Knowledge of novel-writing techniques.

  3. An awareness of the importance of revision and editing in bringing your work to a near-professional standard.

  4. The ability to write concise, expressive, grammatical English.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Portfolio 2 50
portfolio 1 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy


One hour seminar for 22 weeks. The module is delivered via a weekly one-hour seminar over the course of two semesters. The role of the seminars is to raise general issues of relevance to creative writing and the novel, supplemented by workshops offering diagnostic feedback on the student's own creative writing. Some use is made of student presentations and small-group work.

Private study 178

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • 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
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • 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

  • An understanding of creative and critical processes, and of the wide range of skills inherent in creative writing. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Knowledge of a wide range of canonical English texts, providing a confident understanding of literary traditions as well as the confidence to experiment and challenge conventions when writing creatively. (English Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • An awareness of writing and publishing contexts, opportunities and audiences in the wider world (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.1).
  • Artistic engagement and ability to articulate complex ideas in oral and written forms. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to connect creative and critical ideas between and among forms, techniques and types of creative and critical praxis. (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Awareness of how different social and cultural contexts affect the nature of language and meaning (English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Reflective practitioner skills, including awareness of the practice of others in collaborative learning (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • The ability to synthesize information from various sources, choosing and applying appropriate concepts and methods (English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to formulate and solve problems, anticipate and accommodate change, and work within contexts of ambiguity, uncertainty and unfamiliarity (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Ability to engage in processes of drafting and redrafting texts to achieve clarity of expression and an appropriate style. (English Benchmark Statement 3.3; NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2).
  • Ability to gather information, analyse, interpret and discuss different viewpoints (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).
  • Information technology (IT) skills broadly understood and the ability to access, work with and evaluate electronic resources (NAWE Creative Writing Benchmark Statement 3.2; English Benchmark Statement 3.3).


Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: