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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

LLLC1433 Writing Science-fiction, Fantasy & Horror

20 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Jon Towlson

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students will have an avid interest in either science-fiction, fantasy or horror writing. They will be willing to develop their writing via workshop/peer review techniques.

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores science fiction, fantasy and horror, how these genres have developed and how contemporary writers might approach them within this context. You will be encouraged to explore each genre critically and practically, by exploring existing texts and by developing new writing. This will also emphasise the development of your voice as a writer.


At the end of this module students will be able to:
- Define and work with the criteria inherent in science fiction, fantasy and horror;
- Evaluate the concept of genre and, through original creative writing, explore the ways in which generic criteria can be used, developed and subverted.
- Critically evaluate the value and appeal of science fiction, fantasy and horror;
- Creatively write within these genres

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Critically engage with the historical development and current practice within sci-fi, fantasy and horror;
2. Work as part of a team to explore specific aspects of the genres, in order to examine them from a critical perspective;
3. Identify and write within the parameters of these genres;
4. Subvert the parameters of these genres to achieve specific creative goals;
5. Write effectively within at least one of these genres;
6. Produce technically proficient creative work;
7. Use language in an affective fashion.

Skills outcomes
The ability to think and write critically and creatively. A willingness to engage with each of these genres and to develop this understanding through the creation of original writing.


This module examines the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror from a range of critical and creative perspectives. Beginning with definitions of each form, students will be asked to compare and contrast the respective genres as the module progresses. This will lead to an evaluation of the concept of genre itself, the parameters that genres are supposed to work within and the ways in which writers can work outside prescribed boundaries. The module will also look at the value and appeal of what have otherwise been regarded as popular, escapist genres. Issues and areas to be discussed in this respect will include: fantasy worlds; representations of space and technology; dystopia and political allegory; metaphors of the 'alien' and the 'other'; body horror; the gothic; and the uncanny. These subjects will be studied across a variety of texts, including short stories, novels, and prose and film extracts. Leading into issues of interpretation and adaptation, this will also enable students to appreciate and understand the widespread popularity of sci-fi, fantasy and horror in a variety of forms and media.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Reading: 58
Writing: 70 hours
Research: 50

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be given multiple opportunities for formative feedback throughout the module via peer review and regular tutor feedback on work in progress.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Presentation15-minute group presentation plus 500-word independent commentary40.00
PracticalCreative Piece60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Creative piece: Length: may be either: Prose – 2,000 words; Script – 12 minutes; Or a collection/combination of different forms of appropriate length Or another creative project of the student’s design, to be agreed with the tutor Plus 700-word contextual commentary

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:16:09


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