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Dystopian Literature

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Dystopian fiction is a popular and growing field of literature in the publishing market.

But why are we seeing increasing publications? What are the themes that draw readers to these stories and how do they reflect society today?

This practical creative and critical writing course explores the genre of dystopian literature, examining its increasing popularity. The course identifies the genre’s place in society and explores the many themes it engages with.

The course will look to hone your creative and analytical writing skills, and develop your understanding of the dystopian narrative.

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered through 10 two-hour sessions, made up of lectures, class discussions, small group work and debates. Class sessions will be supplemented by resources available to students via Learning Central.

Workshops are likely to include:

  • creative writing skills: fundamental terminology and concepts relevant to dystopian fiction
  • exploration of contemporary trends, styles and developments in dystopian fiction
  • discussion of published examples of dystopian fiction
  • revision, feedback, and reflection.

Coursework and assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

You will produce a writing portfolio of around 1,500 words. You are not restricted to dystopian fiction alone and may include a range of different material in their portfolio, including reviews written in the style of particular magazines or newspapers, or creative non-fiction pieces that explore some of the issues presented in the set texts.

Reading suggestions

Workshops will be drawing on the following primary texts for inspiration:

  • Atwood, M. (1986) The Handmaid’s Tale
  • O’Neill, L. (2014) Only Ever Yours
  • Huxley, A. (1932) Brave New World
  • Malerman, J. (2014) Bird Box
  • Alderman, N. (2015) The Power
  • Lawrence, L (1985) Children of the Dust
  • Dick, P. K. (1968) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.