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MA Creative Writing: Distance Learning

The Lancaster distance learning MA has rapidly evolved into an international programme, linking students in the UK and overseas through virtual learning. The programme is mediated almost entirely by online tutorials and conferences, with a live Summer School at its mid-point. You will be a member of a cohort of 18-20 students, exchanging writing in a range of literary forms and critiquing it from different social and cultural perspectives.

The programme at Lancaster is entirely student-centred and tutorials involve the close critiquing of student work. No formal programme of teaching to specific objectives is initiated; instead we aim to respond to individual needs through the allocation of a personal tutor who will be an expert in your chosen genre. The online conferences allow another level of responsiveness in the context of the entire group.

Photo of people at a workshop
Photos of two people at a workshop

The course runs on MOODLE, the University's virtual learning environment. It begins with a preliminary online conference in which students introduce themselves and their work. There is a further creative conference later that term, then a conference each term for six terms, which stimulates creative work and critiques. The virtual learning environment also provides research training modules and a cybercafé where students can meet and communicate informally.

In each term students submit work for two tutorials which span the online conferences. A course outline is negotiated at the beginning of the course, which becomes the frame of reference for the student’s work and progress. Each creative assignment is accompanied by an assignment commentary, which discusses the genesis of the creative work and any special difficulties of issues you have encountered.

Students receive detailed written critiques from their tutor engaging both with the assignment commentary and the creative work itself. The student’s self-critical writing in the final MA portfolio may be largely drawn from these reflective exchanges.

Photo of two students looking at a paper
Photo of a students sitting in a workshop

After the end of the Summer Term of the first year of the course, a five-day Summer School is held on campus which consists of workshops, readings and visits by agents, publishers and writers. Personal tutorials are also held to review progress and this is an opportunity to meet with fellow students in a convivial way.

Questions about the course? Click here for our F.A.Q

In recent years, DLMA students have submitted exceptionally strong portfolios. Of the fourteen students who graduated in 2008, seven were awarded Distinctions and three gained Merits; of the eighteen who graduated in 2010, eight were awarded Distinctions and nine gained Merits; in 2011 of the seventeen who graduated five were awarded Distinctions and five gained Merits; in 2012, out of the nineteen students who graduated, six were awarded Distinctions and eight gained Merits. Read some of their comments on the DLMA.

International Postgraduate Community

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Watch Writing Without Borders, a short film about our postgraduate distance learning programmes and our international community.

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Cake publishes poetry, flash fiction and reviews with work from established poets and newcomers alike. Go to Cake»

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The Flash Journal is an undergraduate run termly journal which publishes fiction, poetry, critical and hybrid work by current Lancaster undergrads. Go to Flash»

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