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Hmm, the Open University MA in Creative Writing ...

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

So I'm in two minds as to whether I should move on to an MA in Creative Writing after the staggering success of the Open University BA (Eng Lit). On the one hand, it would, I'm sure, be invaluable experience. It's noticeable how many writers do have MA's these days . On the other hand, it wouldn't be cheap and it would mean several year's distraction from the actual writing of the next novel(s). I suppose the ideal would be to combine the two : to work on a novel as part of the MA. That would be genuinely lovely.

The other limiting factor is that I'd really only want to do a distance-learning degree, and there just aren't that many of those around. There are no part-time or full-time degrees in any sort of commutable distance from where I live, unless I can arrange access to a helipad. And a helicopter pilot. And a helicopter. Besides, studying from home works well for me.

So far as I can ascertain, there is currently only one distance-learning MA in Creative Writing in the UK, and that's the Lancaster University DLMA. It's very tempting. But I have a fondness for the old alma mater and I've been waiting for the elusive and semi-mythical Open University equivalent to start up to see what that's like.

The OU has many fine attributes, but keeping (ex-)students informed about what courses are coming up isn't always one of them. There are a couple of teasing allusions to the course to be found here and here. Nothing so solid as a timetable though. Don't people need to be able to make plans? The latter page suggests the MA will be starting in 2010 - so presumably this time next year. So now would be a good time to let people start expressing an interest, you might think. A blog maybe? Something? I did email Derek Neale, Lecturer in Creative Writing, a while back, but his advice was just to keep checking back on the relevant OU web page. Hey ho. You'd think the OU would be a little more engaged with modern communication technology. That's kind of their point.

Still, I love them anyway. So I dutifully do keep checking back to see what appears, and putting off any decisions until then ...


  1. I'm in the same boat as you, Simon. Keep trawling around the net to see if there is anything concrete! However, I'm sure it's in the works and not just a rumour, and so I wait. And it :)
    Oh, and work on finishing my OU degree! I still have one and a bit courses to go... heh. Talk about getting ahead of myself!

  2. Vicky,

    I'm afraid the latest is that the MA has been shelved - see this post.



I'd love to know what you think.