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CREATIVE PROJECTS [updated 14 January 2021]

The Creative Project consists of a piece of creative work (adaptation, music, photography, creative writing, screenplay, dance, and so on) + a Reflective Essay (max: 2500 words). Detailed guidance on Creative Projects is available here.

Creative Project word limit guidance: There is no lower word limit on creative projects. Some submissions (e.g. a set of poems or graphic novel or indeed material object like a painting, scupture or installation) will be relatively short in terms of word count. The maximum word limit is 7500 words. This means that the word limit for your creative project and reflective essay combined should total no more than 10,000 words. In practice, the word-count on many projects will be significantly shorter than this.

Practice-based Creative Projects: in previous years, some students have chosen to submit educational or text-based workshops and rehearsals, dance choreography, stand-up comedy and other forms of live performance. These will, where appropriate, be examined in a 30-minute slot consisting of a performance/presentation followed by a short viva with the examiners. The Reflective Essay (see below) remains a mandatory and important part of assessment.

General Note: We encourage you to be realistic and keep the task on a manageable scale (e.g. write a short story rather than a novel; a film scenario and sample scene rather than an entire screenplay; a sonata rather than a symphony...). You must have your project approved by your tutor by the end of Week 7 of Spring Term. You are advised to discuss ideas for your project well in advance of this deadline. By the end of Week 7 you must submit to your tutor a written statement (300 - 500 words) outlining your project, including any practice-based element it involves.

The Reflective Essay (max 2500 words) is a crucial component of your submission. In it you will: describe the rationale of your project (i.e. why was it worth doing?); provide firm evidence of research and reading (e.g. if you are adapting Hamlet, you should show some awareness of the history and theory of adaptation); reflect on the successes and shortcomings of the finished product. The Reflective Essay must include a bibliography and must be presented to recognised scholarly standards. Students who fall short of these scholarly standards in the essay cannot expect to achieve first class marks, no matter what the quality of the project itself.

The University Health and Safety department provides guidance on all aspects of health and safety at the university for all staff, students and visitors. When planning project or creative work please do discuss your planned work with your tutor and also one of the health and safety advisers ( who will be able to provide assistance with regard to any additional requirements or unusual activities. This is very important. If your project is likely to entail any aspect of health and safety -- for instance, conducting workshops in schools or interviewing members of the public -- you must consult and follow the guidelines published at that address.


Writing an essay is no less 'creative' as a choice than deciding to undertake a creative project. It is simply a different way of responding to one or more of the texts and/or ideas encountered on this module. To underscore this, we require you to develop your own topic for research. Do this in consultation with your tutor during offices hours, leaving yourself plenty of time for first thoughts, then refinements and final focusing. Use your tutor's expertise. You tutor can direct your reading, advise you on managing your topic, help you decide where your argument is going, and give you inspiration. Remember that all of your tutors are also involved in research and writing: they're trying to negotiate the same challenges that are occupying you. Tutors are not permitted to read full drafts of essays, but they are permitted to listen to your argument and give you advice about structure, technical aspects of your writing (including, for instance, proper citation practice), and secondary reading.