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New Narrative & Dialogue Course from OCA
Thu 6 Oct 2011
NAWE member Mike Harris has authored a new open learning course launched this week.
Students studying creative writing with higher education charity the Open College of the Arts can now develop their skills in narrative and dialogue with a new open learning course launched this week.
The higher education level 4 course, written by Sony Award-winning writer Mike Harris, has been designed for writers who want to work in film, TV and radio, as well as for students interested in exploring the novel, short story and narrative poetry forms.  Follow this link to listen to Mike talk about the course.
The course has been designed to help new and more experienced writers:
  • plan and develop an outline and treatment for their stories;
  • understand the basics of plotting and structure;
  • invent and develop characters;
  • develop their understanding of the uses of obstacles and conflicts, text and sub-text when writing dialogue;
  • gain experience of the differing creative and technical requirements of stage, screen, and radio drama;
  • acquire skills in editing, redrafting and improving their own writing;
  • adopt a critical approach to their own work and respond to constructive feedback to respond to perceived weaknesses in drafting.
The course provides a flexible, cost-effective route to a higher level qualification which can be paid for at the same time as studying. It is also suitable for writers who want support to develop their work further, or those who would like the discipline and structure to help them prepare their work for possible publication.
Flexible start times, no final exams and £595 course fee

Students who are interested in being accepted on the course submit examples of their writing to the OCA. There is no minimum qualification requirement for entry. It will take most students 80 hours of study time to complete each of the five parts of the course. Assessment is through coursework and learning logs. There are no final examinations.
As with all OCA courses, students can sign up when it suits them, and don’t need to wait for the start of the academic year or a new term.   The course fee for the Narrative and Dialogue course is £595.00.  Fees to reach BA Honours degree level are £4,855.00 in total.  Every student studying creative writing with OCA has the support of a one-to-one tutor who is a published author in his or her own right.
OCA’s creative writing school is led by Jane Rogers, whose novel The Testament of Jessie Lamb was long-listed for the 2011 Man Booker prize  Jane is the writer of seven other novels including Mr Wroe’s Virgins (Faber, 1992) and Island (Little, Brown and Company, 1999).  She is supported by a team of 21 creative writing tutors
Higher level qualifications

For students working towards a higher level qualification, Narrative and Dialogue can be taken as part of the BA Honours Creative Writing degree launched by OCA in April this year, or chosen as an option by students working towards a BA Honours Creative Arts degree covering the disciplines of fine art, music, painting, photography and textiles. Both degrees are currently validated by Buckinghamshire New University. From September 2012, the University for the Creative Arts becomes the validating partner for all OCA’s higher and postgraduate level qualifications.
OCA Chief Executive Gareth Dent said: ‘The new Narrative and Dialogue course, launched just six months after OCA introduced a dedicated creative writing degree, broadens the scope of what OCA has to offer writers of differing levels of experience.  The course’s focus on being responsive to the needs of producers and commissioners means that Narrative and Dialogue is an option for students who want to enhance their career prospects as well as for those whose ideas are as yet undeveloped.’
Mike Harris
Contact Information:
Open College of the Arts
Contact Name:
Elizabeth Underwood 0759 0848783
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