Writing Fiction, Short Course | Part time online | University of Oxford | United Kingdom
3 months
495 GBP/full
420 GBP/full
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


Our Writing Fiction course at University of Oxford has been designed for those who know that they want to write novels or short stories, and who may already have made some progress in writing. 


Learning outcomes

Writing Fiction at University of Oxford, someone once said, is easy. You just sit down at the typewriter and open a vein. Few occupations are so bound up with mystique and mystery as writing. As a result, many would-be writers are deterred from starting; and those who start often misconstrue the difficulties they encounter as evidence that they are not cut out for the task. This course aims to debunk the myths and show that anyone with sufficient interest and motivation can write. 

In the company of an experienced tutor, the student learns the time-honoured techniques of good, old-fashioned storytelling and also acquires the confidence to deploy those techniques. There is a liberal supply of practical advice, down-to-earth wisdom and enjoyment; and not a whiff of Romantic agony! As the professional writers have known all along, the true secret of writing is to pick up a pen, sit down at the typewriter or computer, and open a packet of biscuits.

Course aims

This course aims to:

  • Debunk the misconception that you have to be someone special to write.
  • Show how important it is to cultivate the right mind-set first
  • Take broad overview of the topography - from the blank page to revision and polishing, and what comes after.
  • Break the process of writing down into constituent parts and reveal the art and craft at work.
  • Give students the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and 'have a go.'
  • Give students the opportunity to put it all together and create a short piece of fiction.

Teaching outcomes

By the end of this course students will understand:

  • How real writers work as opposed to the myth
  • How many effects in fiction are more the result of hard work than magic
  • That all writers differ and there is no right or wrong way of doing it.
  • The fundamental nature of the fictive dream and how to use this understanding to write better fiction
  • That good writing is a process of distillation.

By the end of this course students will have gained the following skills:

  • The ability to sail past doubt and dismiss misconceived notions of ‘not being worthy’
  • The ability to actively generate ideas rather than passively await their arrival.
  • The ability to practise writing like pilots learning flying in a flight simulator: by breaking it down into individual steps and practising them.
  • The ability to deploy time-honoured story-telling tricks & techniques to improve their fiction


FHEQ level 4, 10 CATS points

Programme Structure

Programme details

  • Essential preliminary demystification

  • Getting the idea

  • Plot

  • With this first line, I thee wed

  • Character

  • Good old-fashioned story-telling

  • Fictive dream - The Big Picture

  • Fictive dream - The Small Picture

  • Voice, point of view, endings.

  • All writing is re-writing

Key information


  • Part-time
    • 3 months
    • Flexible

Start dates & application deadlines


10 alternative credits



Academic requirements

We are not aware of any specific GRE, GMAT or GPA grading score requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • You will be set two pieces of work for the course. The first of 500 words is due halfway through your course. 
  • This does not count towards your final outcome but preparing for it, and the feedback you are given, will help you prepare for your assessed piece of work of 1,500 words due at the end of the course. The assessed work is marked pass or fail.

Technological requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.

Tuition Fee

To always see correct tuition fees
  • International

    495 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 495 GBP for the full programme during 3 months.
  • National

    420 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 420 GBP for the full programme during 3 months.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Writing Fiction
University of Oxford
Writing Fiction
University of Oxford


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