Haven’t I promised a write-up about the wonderful University College Falmouth post-graduate MA course? In case your curiosity is overwhelming, here is the low-down.
It is: Brilliant. Fantastic. Inspiring. Exciting. Practical. Challenging. Life-changing.
I’m writing from the perspective of one who is studying the on-line course for distant students – ‘distant learning’. Distant it is, as there are students in my year group in Austria, Uganda, Holland and Portugal. I was in Australia when the course began last year but was able to join in right away, except for one or two phone-in sessions conveniently timed at 6 pm in the UK, which was 5 am in Sydney.
As the distant course is part-time (at least in theory) we’re over half-way through (our academic year starts in January). I have learned already an enormous amount: things I wish I’d known way before now and things I didn’t know I needed to know. This is how it works: there’s a unit of work each week, with on-line lectures and notes. Students post their writing to the forum for the week, fellow students critique (constructively) and tutors comment on everyone’s work. That’s the basic. In this process you get to know fellow-students and they’re all interesting people with lively minds. Well, they’d have to be! I guess that goes for the tutors too. They’re all publishing professionals. One thing I have to explain to friends is this is not ‘creative writing’, but writing with intent to publish.
So far we’ve covered: practical writing skills in fiction and non-fiction, editing, business writing and editing, blogging, websites and a book. Everything is very carefully programmed and I’m looking forward to getting back to my book, which I planned last year, once I’ve finished various other exciting units. The book is going to be my big project for 2012. That and a spot of free-lance work.
I may well return to this later, but if you feel a flicker of interest you might like to see what’s going on. You could start at http://www.falmouth.ac.uk.
I’ll be posting more anon as the year progresses. It’s going to be quite a year.