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Experimental Practice - Single module

Level 7 (30 credits)

School - School of Arts & Media

Subject area - English and Creative Writing

Start Date(s): January


11 weeks

January - May 2013

Fees 2018-19:

2019-20 fees will be displayed shortly.

Part-time - £1,260 per 30 credit module

In Brief:

  • You will explore the exciting history of experimental writing
  • You will experiment with your own creative practice and develop your range as a writer
  • Based at MediaCityUK
  • A part-time only course
  • Based at MediaCityUK

Course Summary

This module gives you an overview of the history of experimental writing over the last 60 years with a practical emphasis on trying out new techniques to extend your range as a writer. We’ll look at the writers of OULIPO – the ‘workshop for potential literature’ – who use mathematical rules and constraints in writing; trans-genre and hybrid texts which work on the edges of biography, autobiography and history; the North American Language Poetry movement’s use of the ‘new sentence’; Visual Text, Sound and Concrete Poetry, and other fascinating areas of experimental activity.

This course can be studied alone or as part of the MA Creative Writing.

Entry Requirements

Normally a 2:1 Honours degree in English, Creative Writing or a related Arts subject will be required.  An applicant with a 2:2 Honours degree (or equivalent) may begin as a PgDip student. If the student passes all modules, s/he may progress to writing the dissertation to obtain the MA.

Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

English Language Requirements

International students must provide evidence of proficiency in English – IELTS with an overall band score of 6.5 (no individual band less than 5.5) or an equivalent recognised Secure English Language Test score.

Suitable For

The course is for humanities graduates and/or experienced creative writers who are looking to challenge their conceptions of literature and develop their own practice in new ways. The course will also function as an introduction to further creative study at PhD level.

Fees 2019-20

Fees for entry in 2019 will be displayed shortly.

Fees 2018-19

Type of StudyFee
Part-time£1,260 per 30 credit module


We’ll take a practical, hands-on approach, alternating between structured workshops led by the tutor and writing workshops devoted to students’ experiments. The student-led workshops will encourage you to push the boundaries of your creative writing through experimentation. You’ll learn more about yourself as a writer, extend your range and also practise how to evaluate the results of your experiments.


This module has two pieces of assessment:

  • A 3500 word essay which discusses two experimental techniques worth 50% of the mark
  • A piece of creative work (e.g. 3,500 word prose, 10-12 poems, or equivalent) that demonstrates the use of a particular experimental technique, worth 50% of the mark.


Previous graduates have gone onto further study and training and participated in literary culture through organising competitions and publishing in magazines. Two of the 2010-11 cohort are studying for PhDs in Creative Writing and three students have undertaken internships at local publishers The Knives Forks and Spoons Press and Carcanet.

Links with Industry

The course benefits from a regular programme of visiting writers to the English Subject Group through the ‘Vital Signs’ and ‘Drama Workshops’ series. In addition, at least two workshops per academic year are convened by key figures in innovative writing. Past visitors have included: Robert Sheppard, Phil Davenport, Allen Fisher, Camille Martin, Carrie Etter, Philip Kuhn and Tony Trehy. These events create opportunities for local, national and international networking.

Other local links include the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester, Bury Art Gallery’s Text Festival (curated by Tony Trehy); Community Interest Group arthur+martha (directed by Phil Davenport and Lois Blackburn), The Knives Forks and Spoons Press (Alec Newman) and The Other Room poetry series (co-run by James Davies, Tom Jenks and Scott Thurston). These links benefit students through creating opportunities to engage with the latest contemporary practices, to network with established writers, to perform and publish their work and to learn about teaching and publishing creative writing.

Further Study

  • PhD Creative Writing
  • PhD English Literature

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