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COURSE OVERVIEW 

  • Develop your writing voice through weekly workshops and tutor support
  • Participate in the creation and publication of an anthology
  • Receive advice and feedback from published writers, editors and agents
  • Specialise in a range of genres within children’s writing

Develop your writing skills in a challenging and stimulating environment, supported by teaching staff who are published writers and experts in their field. Explore the dynamic relationship between creative production and critical awareness of literature for children and young adults, and discuss a range of work by established writers and consider the theoretical, social and cultural contexts of contemporary writing for children and young adults.

This well-established programme encourages you to develop new creative work, to give and receive feedback in weekly workshops and to experiment with new forms, audiences and voices. The academics teaching on the programme are all professional novelists, scriptwriters, poets, critics, playwrights or non-fiction writers. They are supported by guests – most recently, children’s writers Marcus Sedgwick, Mark Lowery, Tanya Landman and Andrew Weale, Editorial Director Emma Layfield (Hodder), and literary agents Ella Kahn (DKW) and Jenny Savill (Andrew Nurnberg).  

You complete five core modules: Fiction for Children, The Writer as Researcher, The Publishing Project and two modules on independent study. In The Publishing Project, you develop a personal writing project to the point of submission for publication, such as the development of a publishing proposal, initial chapters and a letter to an agent or publisher.

You also choose one optional module from a selection including Fantastic Fiction for Children, Writing Non-fiction for Children, Contemporary Scriptwriting for Film and Television, and Advanced Contemporary Poetry. After the taught modules, you complete an independent study with tailored supervisory support leading to the dissertation – usually an extended piece or pieces of fiction for children amounting to 20,000 to 30,000 words.

Careers

Many graduates of the course have gone on to become published writers – some award-winning. These include, most recently: Ally Sherrick, Mark Lowery, Sarah Rubin, Sarah Lean, Meaghan McIsaac and David Owen. Others have careers in teaching, storytelling, publishing and the arts.

ABOUT THIS COURSE

Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work Placements

The annual University of Winchester Writers' Festival provides volunteering and hosting opportunities for students.

Learning and Teaching

The academics teaching on the programme are all professional novelists, scriptwriters, poets, critics, playwrights or non-fiction writers. They are supported by guests - most recently, children's writers Marcus Sedgwick, Mark Lowery, Sarah Lean and Andrew Weale, Editorial Director Emma Layfield (Hodder), and literary agents Ella Kahn (DKW) and Sallyanne Sweeney (Mulcahy Associates). Weekly workshops develop students' own writing through constructive critical feedback.

Location 

Taught elements of the course take place on our King Alfred Campus or at our West Downs Campus (Winchester). 

Assessment

Modules are assessed by a combination of creative and critical work. Students undertake a dissertation of 20,000-30,000 words (or an appropriate equivalent) as part of their independent study, with full tutorial support. This comprises a creative piece, or pieces, of work for children or young adults in the form of fiction, poetry, script, creative non-fiction or picture books.

At the University of Winchester, validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Feedback

We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information 

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures

 

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

2018 Entry: A good first degree in any subject - normally a first or second-class Honours degree; a passion for and commitment to contemporary fiction for children and young adults; demonstrable skill in writing for young audiences, assessed by a sample of creative writing submitted with the application. 

If English is not your first language: IELTS 6.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in writing or equivalent. 

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message

International students

International students seeking additional information about this programme can email International@winchester.ac.uk or call +44 (0) 1962 827023 

Applications need to be submitted before the 31 May 2018. Late applications can be accepted throughout the remainder of the application year, for more information see our How to Apply section. 

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our Open Evenings.

 

Year 1 (Level 4)

Modules Credits

Independent Study 80

The Independent Study is the culmination of the MA Writing for Children. Students will write, re-write and edit an extended creative piece amounting to between 20,000-30,000 words of a novel or a work of nonfiction for children, or a script or poetry collection or early reader(s) or picture book text(s) that demonstrate appropriate equivalence. They will realise ideas first developed in the Independent Study Preparation module and work under the expert guidance of a supervisor but with an emphasis on self-directed research and writing. The overall outcome will be a demonstration of the student’s creative integrity, confidence and accomplishment in authorship for children.

This module is an Extended Independent Study.

Optional modules
  • Fantastic Fiction for Children
  • Picture Books
  • Writing Non-fiction for Children
  • Contemporary Non-fiction
  • Contemporary Scriptwriting for Film and Television
  • Advanced Contemporary Poetry
  • Diploma of Postgraduate Studies - Summative Paper
The Publishing Project 20

This module prepares students for their life as a writer beyond the MA programme by exploring the fast-evolving world of publishing and requiring them to develop their own publishing project with a view to either publication or submission. The project may be nonfictional, prose, poetry or script. It is a strongly vocational module, relying on each student exploring a variety of forms of dissemination and contemporary published works in order to become better informed as to the variety of potential outlets for their work and the ways in which such outlets relate to each other. The learning is supported by writing/editing workshops and a variety of authors and industry specialists, as well as a non-assessed group project whereby students edit and publish an anthology of their work to send out to agents and editors.

 

Independent Study Preparation 20

This module is designed to prepare students for the rigour of writing a longer-form creative piece or pieces for a specific child readership. Issues of structure, sub-plotting, narrative drive, character development and ‘voice’ are considered within the context of the student’s own ideas for their Independent Study and similarly targeted works of contemporary children’s fiction. The relationship between experimentation/originality and commercial imperatives/’what has gone before’ will be considered to enable students to locate their own work more fully within current socio-cultural contexts, while workshops and group discussion deepen each student’s interrogation of their own processes and challenge habitual modes of working.

 

The Writer as Researcher 20

The focus of this module is on being creatively critical and critically creative. How do writers draw inspiration from the world around them, and seek to reconcile imagination with reality? How do they ‘get it right’? For the reader, making it real, making it contemporary, making it informative, authentic or simply ‘believable’ is of paramount importance and this module is designed to deepen students’ own writing by encouraging them to test preconceptions and assumptions against the evidence as revealed by their own research into a named, individual research topic in an area such as language, place, objects and ideas and the wider cultural and social context. It also challenges them to engage with the critical and apply that to their creative processes.

Fiction for Children 20

This module examines the artistry and craft of fiction writing for young readers between the ages of 7 and 18 and investigates both the reading context and practical strategies for responding to the needs and expectations of different age groups within that age range. Students are expected to read a wide variety of contemporary children’s fiction, respond to a range of creative stimuli, draft, write and re-write a piece of original fiction suitable for the specified audience and produce a reflective analysis of the learning that has taken place.

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at www.winchester.ac.uk/termsandconditions.
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Course Tuition Fees

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

Full-time entry | £6,500
Part-time entry | £3,250 p/a

Total Cost | £6,500

International Students

Full-time entry | £12,950
Part-time entry | £6,475 p/a

Total Cost | £12,950

ADDITIONAL COSTS

As one of our students, all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services. 

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course: 

Optional

  • Core texts: Multiple copies of core text are held within the library and e-books are identified where possible, however due to the popularity of some books, there will not be enough availability for every student. It is advised that students look into purchasing second-hand copies. Cost £150. 
  • Dissertation: Students must pay for printing and binding of dissertations. Cost £20.
  • Printing: Students must pay for printing of sufficient copies of work for weekly workshops. Cost £60. 

Mandatory

  • Dissertation: Students must pay for printing and binding of dissertations. Cost £20.
  • Printing: Students must pay for printing of sufficient copies of work for weekly workshops. Cost £60.

SCHOLARSHIPS, BURSARIES AND AWARDS

We have a variety of scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards

Key course details

Duration
1 year full-time; 2 years part-time
Typical offer
Normally a first or upper second-class Honours degree in a related subject or professional experience in the area of study.
Location
King Alfred Campus or at West Downs, Winchester