Travel and Nature Writing

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How to Apply

For any writer inspired by places, people and wildlife, who wants to be published.

  • Based on actual experiences in the field, including encounters with places, people and wildlife.
  • Provides context of the history, background and genres of travel and nature writing over time.
  • Focuses on getting your writing published across a wide range of media and outlets.

Do you enjoy writing about people, places and wildlife? Are you interested in environmental issues in Britain and around the world? Would you like to be published, and make a living as a travel or nature writer? Then this course is for you.

Why study Travel and Nature Writing?

The course focuses on learning to write from your own experience in the field. You’ll develop your writing skills and techniques, learn from established writers, and examine the history, context and genres of travel and nature writing.

By meeting practitioners – writers, editors, agents and publishers – you’ll gain a unique insight into the professional skills you require to get your writing published.

This low-residency course allows you to be based wherever you wish, so you can pursue your academic work while maintaining your current lifestyle. It can be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two.

Course structure

We aim to give you an understanding of issues and approaches to the representations of peoples, other species, habitats, places, cultures and environments in various kinds of writing. You’ll graduate with the ability to apply what you’ve learnt to your own professional practice.

You’ll study:

  • a mix of thematic topics represented by a variety of writers;
  • a balance between historical and contemporary writing;
  • issues raised by eco-tourism, conservation and environmentalism;
  • issues related to the experience and representation of people, wildlife and places in specific locations in the UK and elsewhere; and
  • the genres, and context of contemporary and historical travel and nature writing, and the history of our connections with the environment and the natural world.

Modules

  • Writing in the Field (30 credits): 
    A broad introduction to the skills and techniques required to write from personal experience, whether about people, landscapes, the natural world, or a combination of all three. By using fieldcraft techniques, based on looking, listening, feeling and thinking, we explore ways of writing about the world around us.

  • Context, History and Genres in Travel and Nature Writing (30 credits): 
    An overview, both broad and focused, on the key developments in the travel writing and nature writing genres over time; including analysis of historical trends, specific authors and works, the history and development of both ‘travel’ and ‘nature’ as social pastimes, and the contemporary scene.

  • Advanced Travel and Nature Writing (30 credits):
    Continuing from what we covered in Writing in the Field, you’ll develop new ways of writing about the world: pushing the boundaries of your writing style and content in order to learn what works best for you as a writer.

  • Professional Skills in Travel and Nature Writing (30 credits): 
    A practical guide to getting your work published across a range of different media and outlets, including newspapers, magazines, websites, blogs, books and on TV and radio. Featuring advice from senior practitioners, editors and publishers. You’ll also learn to plan a trip requiring commissions, and do a pitch and interview of an idea for publication.

  • A Portfolio of Travel and Nature Writing (60 credits): 
    A 20,000 words portfolio of your nest work, in a range of styles and formats, together with a reflective diary on your progress through the year.

Course assessment

You’ll be assessed through a combination of formative and summative assessments. This will include creative writing pieces, critical and analytical essays, presentations and a broad portfolio of your writing.

Field trips

The three residential weeks include numerous field trips followed by related writing exercises. In addition we encourage you to develop a programme of field trips of your own, and to engage in at least one major trip during the course of the year, which is linked to two assignments.

Work placements, industry links and internships

You’ll have the opportunity to make connections with key practitioners and commissioners in your field, though no formal internships are available.

Teaching methods

A large part of the course is taught on three residential courses. You’ll undergo an intensive few days of creative writing, discussion, meetings with practitioners and commissioners and firsthand experience in the field. Please note that you’ll have to pay for travel, food and accommodation on the residential courses.

You’ll also learn online. You’ll have internet-based seminars and group discussions on Google Hangouts. You’ll also post your work on our Virtual Learning Environment, where your peers and tutors can critique it in detail.

You’ll also benefit from one-to-one sessions with your tutors.

Application method

Application forms are available online and should be completed and returned to us either electronically or through the post. If you have any queries please contact the admissions department:

Telephone: (01225) 875624.

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

Please contact course director Mr Stephen Moss:

s.moss@bathspa.ac.uk

Entry requirements

A first degree, a formal application, samples of travel and/or nature writing and interview.

Scholarships and Awards
For more information click here

Career opportunities

The course is designed to introduce students to the workings of various travel and nature writing publishing opportunities and prepare them for the submission of their own work. It will also equip them with the practical and business skills to operate as freelance writers.