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Find your voice as a writer.

Develop your poetry writing skills and understanding of the craft in a supportive, constructive environment.

Emerge with a deeper understanding of the nature and role of voice in contemporary poetry and where your own writing fits into this context. Work towards completing your portfolio and the eventual publication of a first pamphlet collection.

Learn from experienced poets and delve into fascinating source material as you improve the quality of your writing and editing skills. Study with us online, wherever you are in the world, as part of our truly international learning community.

What will I study?

You’ll study the crucial and often complex role of voice in poetry, considering both theoretical and practical aspects.

You’ll explore examples of writing by recognised authors and group members to understand the importance of developing a clear poetic voice. This will guide and inspire you as you experiment with your own creative work.

You’ll cover the following modules on the course:

  • What do we mean by ‘voice’ in poetry?
  • The concept of voice – a practical workshop.
  • ‘Voice is a problem that never lets you go’: locating a voice.
  • Voice and form.
  • Voice and time.
  • The big themes: births, marriages and deaths.
  • Poems begat poems: thought foxes and intertextuality.
  • Some pictures, more foxes: intertextuality and ekphrasis.

By the end of this course, you will…

  • Gain knowledge and understanding of poetic techniques, and how to apply them to your own writing.
  • Gain knowledge of possible routes to publication in the contemporary poetry marketplace.
  • Develop an initial conception into a fully formed and professionally edited poem.
  • Recognise a variety of aesthetic concepts and formal possibilities in reading and writing effective poetry.

It has given me a better sense of the sort of poems I write and the sort I want to write. I would recommend the course to any emerging poet who wants to develop their craft.

Cian Murphy, poet and former Writing Poetry student

How will I study?

Writing Poetry: Voice and Skills is a 12-week short course, delivered entirely online. You can study with us anywhere in the world and manage your own study hours to suit you.

This short course is delivered at undergraduate degree level by experienced poets and editors familiar with the contemporary UK poetry scene.

Teaching is based around the workshop model, with carefully targeted critical advice and guidance from your tutor alongside peer evaluation from online group members.

Your course is delivered through MyAberdeen, our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It’s designed specifically for online learners and features a range of resources, including:

  • videos
  • audio clips
  • reading materials
  • online workshops
  • the online resources of our award-winning Sir Duncan Rice Library
  • discussion boards with classmates and tutors.

The course features interactive sessions of around an hour, including online forum discussion of each week's writing focus and practical tasks. You’ll receive lots of feedback to ensure that you’re gaining the best from the variety of topics and materials provided.

Where will this take me?

Further learning

Writing Poetry: Voice and Skills is part of a suite of Language and Culture short courses that we offer online.

We also offer a range of inspiring postgraduate Language and Culture degrees.

You'll earn 15 credits at undergraduate degree level (SCQF Level 9) with this course. You can use these credits towards further study. Find out more about credits.

This course is an ideal taster for our:

Masters in Creative Writing

You can use your credits towards entry to our Masters in Creative Writing. You can also use the poetry folio you complete as part of the course as your writing sample for application to the Masters.


Your employer or professional institute may recognise this course for Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Talk to your employer or institute to find out more.

Your teaching team

Brought me back to reading a wider range of work by other poets and using that as a springboard for my own writing. Brilliant course - so glad I did it!

Morag Smith, poet and former Writing Poetry student

Am I ready?

This course has no formal entry requirements. You decide if it’s suitable for you.

The course is delivered at undergraduate honours level.

At this level, you’d usually have some experience of writing poetry and be thinking of developing your practice to the point of publishing your work as either individual poems or your first pamphlet/chapbook collection.