Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Writing and Place
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2-hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment ASSIGNMENT 1  Students will write a short story (2000 words) set in the place visited on their field trip, together with a commentary (1000 words) detailing their research there.  50%
Semester Assessment ASSIGNMENT 2  Students will produce a portfolio of fiction, travel-writing and/or poetry, showing a strong sense of place, together with a 1000-word commentary. The creative element will consist of 2000 words of prose or eight pages of poetry or a mixture of the two whose length will be calculated on the basis that one page of poetry is equivalent to 250 words of prose, eg, a portfolio containing 1000 words of prose would need four pages of poetry.  50%
Supplementary Assessment RESUBMIT FAILED ELEMENTS  Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements. Where this involves re-submission of work, a new topic must be selected. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. demonstrate an ability to research, remember and describe the physical details of places;

2. demonstrate, in both creative and evaluative writing, an awareness of the symbolic significance of certain places;

3. demonstrate, in critical prose, an awareness of their own writing processes;

4. demonstrate, by the revision of work previously discussed in workshops, an ability to improve their writing in response to criticism.


This module will encourage students to develop a sense of place in their writing.

Brief description

The course will pay equal attention to places as geographical and human realities, and as symbolic constructs. On the first, realist level, students will be asked to remember and describe places they have known, and to explore a new place. On the second, imaginative level, they will be asked to think about the symbolic resonances of certain categories of place (city, forest, ocean etc), to read and discuss texts which evoke a range of different places, and to create new fictional places of their own. While these two levels will be distinguished for teaching purposes, the interaction between them will also be emphasized: symbolic ideas colour our attitude to real places, and our experience of real places informs the creation of fictional ones. At all times, the essential writing skills of prose and poetry will be borne in mind, and the assignments will test not only the evocation of place, but the wider ability to produce well-constructed stories, essays and/or poems.


Session 1.
Home. Students will write about their own home or homes, and consider a range of texts describing homes great and small, past and present.

Session 2.
Institutions and public buildings. Schools, universities (including this one), places of worship, places of work, government buildings.

Session 3.
The country. Farming communities and pastoral myth.

Session 4.
Students will report on a visit they have made during the first three weeks of the course. (Their own homes are not eligible for this purpose.) This will form the basis of the first assignment.

Session 5.
The city. Business and commerce, technology, crime, poverty.

Session 6.
Land and water. Oceans and shores, rivers, lakes, marshes.

Session 7.
Journeys and in-between places. Travel by sea, land and air. Harbours, stations, airports.

Session 8.
Abroad. Tourism, war, colonialism, exile.

Session 9.
The forest. The greenwood and the jungle.

Session 10.
Deserts, hot and cold. From the Sahara to the Antarctic.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Interaction in group discussion will be essential to the seminars
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be expected to improve their work in response to criticism from the tutor and other students
Information Technology n/a
Personal Development and Career planning n/a
Problem solving Problems of writing technique will arise and be dealt with in seminars and assessments
Research skills Research is an essential part of assessment 1 and a probable part of assessment 2
Team work See 3


This module is at CQFW Level 6