Memoir: New Techniques, New Approaches


This course is for people who would like to write about themselves. We shall concentrate on memoirs by contemporary men and women and the experiences which have shaped them, with a view to prompt our own writing. We shall explore elements of our lives which we can present to others. No experience is necessary, just the desire to write.

A course which considers innovative ways of approaching writing about our lives.  Memoir: New Techniques, New Approaches is a standalone course and complements Memoir: Begin Writing Your Life.  

Programme details

Course begins: 29 Jan 2024

Week 1: On your marks. Starting places.

Week 2: Dip the toe or jump in the deep end?

Week 3: Scuba diving or flying? Perspective.

Week 4: Tabloid and broadsheet - style issues.

Week 5: Historicisation and narrative.

Week 6: Variety is the spice of ... Textual variation.

Week 7: Last orders, please. Let's talk about time.

Week 8: Ha! Very funny!

Week 9: You say 'ether' and I say 'eye the'.

Week 10: Springboards and high boards.

Digital Certification

To complete the course and receive a certificate, you will be required to attend at least 80% of the classes on the course and pass your final assignment. Upon successful completion, you will receive a link to download a University of Oxford digital certificate. Information on how to access this digital certificate will be emailed to you after the end of the course. The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended. You will be able to download your certificate or share it on social media if you choose to do so.


Description Costs
Course Fee £269.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit, you are a full-time student in the UK or a student on a low income, you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees. Please see the below link for full details:

Concessionary fees for short courses


Mr Jeremy Hughes

Jeremy Hughes has published two novels – Wingspan (2013) and Dovetail (2011). He was awarded first prize in the Poetry Wales competition and was short-listed for an Eric Gregory Award. He also publishes short fiction, life-writing and reviews. He studied for the Master’s in Creative Writing at Oxford.

Course aims

To provide students with an insight into how to approach writing memoir by exploring the writing of others so that they can embark on writing about their own lives.

Course Objectives:

This course will enable students to:

  • be able to recognise the constituents of which memoirs are made;
  • demonstrate techniques by which these constituents can be utilised individually or in combination;
  • encourage the production of life writing through exercises designed to further students’ ability to hone their skills progressively.

Teaching methods

Discussions, Group work, Pair work and Individual study.

Feedback from the tutor AND from the group.

Analysis of exemplars.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

  • respond to different forms of life writing with growing confidence and understanding;
  • be able to write in a manner which engages and sustains the interest of the reader; and
  • be able to transform their own experiences into original writing.

Assessment methods

Students will submit two pieces of work:

1. 500 words of own memoir in preparation for the final piece.

2. 1,500 words of own memoir.

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an enrolment form (Word) or enrolment form (Pdf).

Level and demands

Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)