Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Writing Horror
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Coursework Assignment  Written portfolio: A creative piece (2500 words) and critical commentary (1,500 words), plus bibliography (not included in word count). 4000 Words  100%
Supplementary Assessment Coursework Assignment  Written portfolio: A creative piece (2500 words) and critical commentary (1,500 words), plus bibliography (not included in word count). 4000 Words  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

Demonstrate an ability to write using the techniques appropriate and specific to horror fiction.

Demonstrate an ability to conduct thorough and appropriate research on a specific subgenre or theme of horror fiction.

Apply knowledge and understanding gained through exercises and workshops in developing their own writing.

Show a sound understanding of horror fiction through comprehensive reading in the genre.

Brief description

Why are we drawn to stories that scare us? How can we, as writers, create fiction that unsettles and frightens our readers? This module will allow students to develop their skills in the horror genre, practising techniques to create thought-provoking and effective stories that emphasise contemporary fears and anxieties. From looking at the history of horror to examining sub-genres such as ghost stories, body horror and folk horror, students will learn the most effective ways of writing in these genres.


Each session will have a set theme, and will involve discussion of a relevant text from the reading list. By the end of the module, students will have practised a range of techniques and investigated an array of subgenres within the horror mode. They will understand the history and conventions of the horror genre, as well as being aware of its development and contemporary trends. The assessments will allow students to demonstrate their learning, and work can then be further developed or submitted for publication.


The module will consist of 10 2-hour sessions. Each week will involve teaching and discussion on close reading as well as a writing exercise and chance to receive feedback on ideas and draft work. Weeks 5 and 10 will be workshops specifically scheduled to allow students to receive feedback on work intended to be submitted for assignments.

Weekly Schedule:

1. Introduction
2. Making Monsters
3. Tension and Unreliability
4. Writing the Ghost Story
5. Workshop
6. Dreams, Hallucinations, Delusions
7. Place and Time in Horror
8. Gothic Horror
9. Horror and the Body
10. Workshop

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Adaptability and resilience Understanding the concepts and tropes of horror fiction and being able to adapt them into innovative narratives based on unique ideas.
Co-ordinating with others Participating in discussion, and giving and receiving feedback in class.
Creative Problem Solving Students will consider how to use discussion, reading, and feedback to inform their ideas.
Critical and analytical thinking Demonstrate an ability to work with examples of horror fiction as well as analytical and theoretical texts to inform their creative and critical writing.
Digital capability Students will use digital technology for writing and research.
Professional communication Students will learn how to write horror fiction successfully, as well as conducting research and analytical writing for their critical commentary.
Real world sense Demonstrate an understanding of why horror fiction remains an incredibly popular genre across various types of media.
Reflection Reflect on the discussions, reading, and feedback given in class.
Subject Specific Skills Demonstrate an ability to conduct their own research and reading in the genre, as well as showing skill in writing successful horror fiction.


This module is at CQFW Level 6