Cardiff Metropolitan is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. In 2014, it recorded it’s highest ever level of overall student satisfaction and remains the highest ranked ‘new’ (post 1992) university in Wales. It is also one of the few universities that offers a joint honours English and Creative Writing BA (Hons) in Wales.
The creative writing modules, which make up half of the degree, include poetry, journalism, digital media storytelling, autobiographical writing and contemporary literature. With lecturers both active in their practice and also in the community, students are able to access what professional writers are doing today.
A particularly beneficial module which covers a whole year of study is the Professional Practice in the Creative Arts. This gives students connections and the tools to become a working professional in the creative arts. Over the course of the year the students are visited by award-winning novelists and poets, editors from local presses, and
professional journalists all with aim to making concrete contacts within the literary and creative world.
Students are given guidance and practice in techniques for presenting their writing and skills in a professional way. Unique to Cardiff Met, this module demonstrates the practical applications of a creative degree and enables every student to succeed within the creative sector.
Some of the creative writing lecturers include Dr. David Oprava who is an internationally published and performing writer with creative work in over 100 journals online and in print. He has published 6 collections of poetry, the most recent of which was Highly Commended by the 2014 Forward Prizes for Poetry: ‘The Last Museum of Laughter.’ (2014, Knives Forks and Spoons Press).
Also Kate North, who teaches fiction and poetry across the English and Creative Writing programme at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is the author of Bistro (2012) and has had her poetry published in
the anthology Heart Shoots (2013) which was compiled to aid the work of Macmillan Cancer Support. Also, she is the co-investigator for Creative Motherhood which is a pilot feasibility project of creative writing workshops to enable new mothers to explore concepts of mothering.
“The teaching staff are invaluable. They put a huge amount of effort into course to make sure students gain from every possible learning opportunity.” Sally Thomas, BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing.
Open mic nights are set up to give the students a chance to perform their own work and also to listen to and have conversations with published writers. One event, which was organised by Dr. David Oprava invited writers who have been published by Parthian to perform. Students studying at all levels, from BA to PhD, took the opportunity to showcase their work and were able to get an insight into the exciting new literature that is being published today.
Cardiff Metropolitan also gives opportunities to people who might not have been that successful in their academic studies but who demonstrate talent and enthusiasm for writing. The university recognises that exams aren’t always an accurate reflection of a person’s abilities. If a person is able to prove that they are engaged with writing and are capable and imaginative then Cardiff Metropolitan will consider offering them a place on the course.
Situated in the ever growing, vibrant city of Cardiff, it truly is a place where a student can find a welcoming community and get involved with what Cardiff really has to offer.