Wild Writing: Literature, Landscape and the Environment

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Course overview
(MA) Master of Arts
Wild Writing: Literature, Landscape and the Environment
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
MA W8F924


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

A 2.2 degree in Creative Writing, Theatre/Drama Studies, Literature, Film and Media Studies, Modern Languages , Art History, Music, Philosophy, History, American Studies, Performance studies, Journalism, Law, Politics and Sociology.

You may be asked to provide a piece of creative writing if you do not hold a degree in a relevant field.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 except for 6.5 in writing

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.

Course qualifiers


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes

Please refer to the full time version of this course for information on Core and Compulsory modules.

External examiners

Staff photo
Dr Celia Brayfield

Senior Lecturer

Bath Spa University

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 25 October 2021 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2021/22

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 LT901-7-FY / LT904-7-AU / LT909-7-SP / LT975-7-SP and/or option(s) from list Optional 0 Optional Optional

Year 2 - 2022/23

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 LT988-7-FY Dissertation - Wild Writing Core 80 Optional
02 LT901-7-FY / LT904-7-AU / LT909-7-SP or option from list Optional 20 Optional Optional
03 LT901-7-FY / LT904-7-AU / LT909-7-SP / LT975-7-SP and/or option from list Optional 0 Optional Optional

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

1. To introduce students to writing about the natural world, landscape, place and the environment, and to provide them with tools of analysis to understand this relationship.
2. To develop students understanding of some of the fundamental aspects of studying nature, conservation and landscape management and some of the literary traditions of writing about the environment (irrespective of their disciplinary backgrounds).
3. To improve students’ own writing skills.
4. To encourage students to develop a range of transferable skills including numeracy, IT skills, presentation skills, problem solving, and information retrieval.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A1: A broad overview of the ways in which the natural world and the environment are studied

A2: An understanding of some of the fundamental aspects of exploring the natural world and the environment

A3: An understanding of some of the literary traditions of writing about the natural world and the environment

A4: A comprehensive knowledge and understanding of a selected current research area

Learning methods

A1-A4 are developed through module seminars and related assessed coursework (with feedback from markers). Learning is enabled through reflection on work-in-progress; visiting writers as appropriate; analysis of key texts, genres and theories; writing exercises and field trips. The development of a dissertation in close consultation with a supervisor supports and extends this learning.

Students are expected to extend and enhance their knowledge and understanding acquired from seminars by consulting library and other materials related to the course.

Such independent research is a fundamental part of most assessments.

Assessment methods

A1-A3 are assessed through a variety of coursework, including essays or creative writing equivalent assignments and oral presentations.

A4 is assessed by a dissertation.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1: To systematically retrieve, select and integrate a variety of perspectives relating to writing on environmental issues

B2: To synthesise evidence, arguments and ideas in a self-directed manner, leading to coherent and logical analyses

B3: To think independently and to make connections between familiar and new ideas

B4: To integrate and link information across course components from different disciplines

B5: To plan and conduct a substantial research project with guidance from a supervisor, and present it in a coherent manner

Learning methods

B1-B4 are taught and developed through seminars and coursework.

The seminars encourage critical discussion, together with an emphasis on ability to reason and argue coherently, and to learn from others.

B5 is developed through the dissertation plan and execution.

Assessment methods

B1-B4 are assessed through coursework essays of differing length.

B5 is assessed in a dissertation based on the project of not more than 12,000 words (excluding footnotes and references).

C: Practical skills

C1: General research skills: capacity to locate appropriate material and datasets

C2: Capacity to form a research question for the dissertation

C3: Deploy an advanced array of creative and/or critical writing skills

C4: Provide references according to accepted conventions

C5: Compile and present extended bibliographies

C6: Use libraries and IT to gain access to a variety of creative and critical sources

Learning methods

C1-C6 are taught through the research methods module and/or through independent research, lecturer feedback, peer feedback, and students’ own critical reflection on writing practice.

Considerable autonomy is encouraged in researching all assessed essays (for compulsory seminars and optional modules) supported at all times by the course director.

Assessment methods

C1-C6 are assessed through critical and/or creative essays, the submission of an original dissertation and exercises in the research methods or research for creative practice modules.

D: Key skills

D1: Write within disciplinary perspectives and genres, using proper academic conventions, creating logical and well-argued essays and dissertation.

D2: Typing and word-processing skills; use of electronic library catalogues, databases, and email, and web-browsing skills

D3: Exploring, analysing and finding effective solutions for involving a variety of information from different disciplinary contexts

D4: Working to deadlines, including planning and time-management to meet assessment targets

D5: Working independently for extended periods

Learning methods

D1-4 are developed through in-class discussion and workshops and class preparation, as well as writing and interacting outside the classroom. Time is dedicated in compulsory module seminars to essay writing skills. D5 is developed through coursework and the dissertation.

Assessment methods

D1-5 are assessed through coursework essays and the dissertation.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing admit@essex.ac.uk, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing pgadmit@essex.ac.uk.

If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing crt@essex.ac.uk.