Press release -

Masters level courses now available online – free

Cornwall (United Kingdom) – Ever wondered about becoming a screenwriter or considered doing a Masters course but not sure if you’re up to it?  Or perhaps you write all the time but have never had the courage to see if you could do it professionally.  Well now’s the chance to have a go.

University College Falmouth has today made a selection of courses and taster sessions from its prestigious MA Professional Writing programme available online, free of charge through its pilot open education platform openSpace,


From budding scriptwriters to those wanting to learn the fundamentals of how to research and write successful fiction series like the Harry Potter and Twilight series – people will find the tools they need to learn the foundation of good writing.


openSpace features a complete screenwriting unit as well as introductory lessons covering how to write non-fiction books, business writing and how to produce effective features for print and online publications.


Writing at UCF is about more than the act of writing.  It’s about mastering the practical and fundamental principles of effective writing, understanding and researching the writing marketplace, and flexibility as a writer.  In the current economy good writers produce written content in a myriad of forms – from brochures to web copy to novels – in order to earn a living.


In and amongst a staggering proliferation of websites that offer tips on good writing, Professional Writing’s lessons on openSpace are accredited at Masters level.  These are the same lessons that are taught to full time and part time Professional Writing students by industry professionals who teach on the course.   This ensures the lessons come with an assurance of quality.


openSpace learners don’t have to work in isolation – there is the opportunity to interact with peers in a dynamic learning community.


While there isn’t direct communication between the site’s users and UCF’s tutors, there are forums for registered openSpace users to post their assignments or projects, communicate with one another and collaborate.


After completing a simple and free registration process, users can provide feedback to their peers, adhering to the feedback protocols provided on the site.  To ensure a safe and supportive learning environment, UCF has provided all manner of support information: how lessons work, aims and objectives for each lesson, lecture notes, responsible behaviour guidelines (‘Netiquette’), and feedback guidelines. This community approach to open education is key to making openSpace both innovative and exciting.


So who is likely to use openSpace?  Just about anyone.  It’s as useful to someone contemplating entering higher education as it is to a business person wanting to improve their business writing skills, an employer wanting to invest in staff who produce written content, an aspiring writer, someone looking to turn their writing hobby into a career or a person who just has a general interest in writing.


Other higher education institutions can also use the lessons to supplement their own curriculum. Through openSpace, UCF’s courses can create international partnerships with institutions where a traditional relationship wouldn’t ordinarily be possible.  These mutually advantageous partnerships are important.  While UCF’s open education partners benefit from UCF’s sharing course materials, UCF gains access to thinking and experiences not traditionally found in the UK.  People can bring new ways of examining the concepts and themes based on their own cultures and contribute.


The openSpace pilot was made possible through a £20,000 grant from The Higher Education Academy/JISC Open Educational Resources Programme. JISC and the Higher Education Academy are collaborating on the Open Educational Resources programme, aiming to support UK higher education institutions in sharing their teaching and learning resources freely online across the world. These resources showcase the high quality of UK higher education and the vision is that they will be used, reused and repurposed globally. Such resources might include full courses, course materials, complete modules, videos, assessments, tests, simulations or worked examples. The lessons and their supporting materials are shared under a Creative Commons license.


The openSpace website:


  • Education


  • open education
  • oers
  • open source
  • higher education
  • writing
  • courses
  • learning communicties
  • learning
  • teaching
  • distance learning

For more information about openUCF, please contact: Alex di Savoia on 01326 254 330 or email or Christina Bunce on 01326 370465 or email

About JISC

JISC is a joint committee of the UK further and higher education funding bodies, and is responsible for supporting the innovative use of information and communication technology (ICT) to support learning, teaching, and research.  It is best known for providing the SuperJANET

network, a range of advice and support services, and a portfolio of high-quality resources.


The JISC OER programme comprises 29 projects, most based at universities and colleges in institutions across England and Wales, some involving the Higher Education Academy subject centres, all working towards open content release. Learning resources created by the programme will be released into Jorum Open (JISC supported national repository), using the Creative Commons licence.

For more information about JISC
, its services and programmes can be found at Contact Philip Pothen on +44 (0)20 7848 2935, email


About the Higher Education Academy

The Higher Education Academy supports the sector in providing the best possible learning

experience for all students in the UK. It does this by: providing national leadership in developing

and disseminating evidence-informed practice about enhancing the student learning experience;

enabling expertise to be shared across institutions and subject areas; and working at multiple

levels, with individual academics, subject communities, departments, faculties and institutions.


For more information about the Higher Education Academy, please contact its press office on 01904 717500 or email

About University College Falmouth

University College Falmouth is the only independent Higher Education institution in Cornwall with the powers to award degrees in its own name.


Its merger with Dartington College of Arts in 2008 created a new institution focusing on the expansion of Falmouth's expertise in Art, Design and Media and Dartington's expertise in Choreography, Music, Theatre, Art and Writing.  The Devon-based courses will relocate to a new, high-specification Performance Centre at Tremough in 2010, paving the way for a new specialist Arts University in Cornwall by 2012/2013 that will be unique to the South West.


The College is a founding partner in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC), a unique initiative to promote regional economic regeneration through Higher Education, funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall Council.


For further information about University College Falmouth, please contact Jilly Easterby MCIPR, Head of Public Affairs, Telephone: 01326 213792, or email: