Writing Fiction (Q2021)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

Why do we make up fictions? To tell lies and trick people? Or to discover and express deeper truths about ourselves and our world?

This module covers fiction – “that which is invented or imagined in the mind” and is used to label short stories and novels.

We study fiction’s structures, like plot, timing and point of view. You’ll also look at details such as scene, dialogue and word choice and ask how we make fictions believable or unbelievable?

You’ll examine works from different genres, such as detective fiction, horror fiction or fantasy, and:

  • read examples of short fiction and passages from longer works, helping you practice the craft of storytelling
  • be supported to compose your own short story
  • explore openings, endings, suspense and characterisation through writing exercises

Readings vary each year but may include Franz Kafka, Lydia Davis, Isaac Asimov, Yasunari Kawabata and Agatha Christie


100%: Practical (Workshop)


100%: Coursework (Portfolio, Project)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: