- MA Creative Writing
- School of Creative Industries
- Campus or location
- Corsham Court
- Course length
- One year full time.
We offer places on the course on the basis of your portfolio of creative writing and an interview, which for overseas applicants may be by telephone or Skype.
We're looking for writers of prose fiction (any genre), poetry or literary non-fiction whom we consider to have the potential to publish their work in the near future.
Our MA Creative Writing course is designed to help you write a novel, collection of poems, collection of stories or work of non-fiction.
- Excellent record of helping students achieve publication.
- Widely regarded as one of the best courses of its kind.
- Taught by an extremely strong team of published writers.
Due to Covid-19, we have made some changes to teaching and learning for the 2020-21 academic year: we have blended high-quality virtual engagement with in-person teaching on campus when possible. Blended learning will continue to some extent in the 2021-22 academic year and we will continue to keep the situation under review in light of ongoing Government guidance. If you’re planning on joining us in September 2021 we will communicate with you about specific details of how your course is taught nearer the time.
Our full-time Creative Writing course will help you to bring a novel, book of poems, book of short stories or work of non-fiction as near to publishable quality as possible.
Working with tutors and other writers on the course, you’ll develop your writing and build up a substantial body of work. Weekly workshops are taught by a strong team of published writers, and there are regular visits by literary agents, publishers, magazine editors and broadcasters, as well as other writers.
“This course is demanding and rewarding. We're adamant about getting you to do what it takes to finish something you can be proud of.”Samantha Harvey, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing
Our Creative Writing community
Due to the reputation of our MA in Creative Writing, we're able to recruit excellent students who form an exciting and mutually supportive community of writers every year.
Find out more about:
What you'll learn
You’ll learn to:
- Plan a manuscript (a novel, collection of short stories, collection of poems or book of literary non-fiction) and complete it, or a substantial part of it, brought to publishable quality or as near as possible.
- Understand literary form, style and genre, as relevant to your chosen form of writing.
- Acquire a variety of relevant writing techniques, and research techniques to support writing, and adapt them to your particular creative project.
- Understand and respond creatively to questions arising from the subject-matter, themes, genres, traditions and other literary contexts with which your chosen manuscript is engaged.
- Receive and give precise and sensitive critical feedback in workshop groups and one-to-one tutorials.
- Respond creatively to feedback provided by tutors and other students, adapting that feedback to your particular vision of your book.
- Understand choices and opportunities relevant to your chosen manuscript, including questions of how to place your work, and the role of agents, publishers and editors.
The first workshop module, Professional Skills, provides intensive group discussion and some plenary lectures. You’ll bring short pieces of writing to small workshop classes led by a tutor. There are separate groups for prose and poetry. You’ll submit a manuscript proposal halfway through the module. In trimester two, you’ll take a second workshop module in either prose or poetry.
Each context module explores connections between your creative writing and the wider world as represented by a theme or genre. Seminars are divided between considering set texts and workshopping your creative writing. The set texts are examined from the point of view of practical lessons that the writer can learn. You’ll take a context module in trimester one and another in trimester two.
In trimester three, you’ll take 'The Manuscript', taught by means of one-to-one tutorials. This is the culmination of the course – the book, or substantial part of a book.
This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the programme document (below the main image on this page) for more information on which modules are core, required or optional.
- Professional Skills
- Prose Workshop 2
- Poetry Workshop 2
- Writing and Gender
- Writing and the Environment
- Writing with a Poet’s Eye
- The Writer and Place
- The Short Story
- Modernism and Postmodernism
- Narrative Non-Fiction
- The Love Story
- Historical Fiction
- Writing Now
- The Manuscript.
How will I be assessed?
You’ll be assessed entirely by coursework: mainly creative writing, plus two short essays, a manuscript proposal and a short commentary on the manuscript in progress.
How will I be taught?
You’ll be taught in group workshops and seminars, one-to-one tutorials and plenary lectures.
Join our successful community
Past students have:
- Been awarded excellent contracts for novels
- Been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, Orange Prize, Costa Prize and the Guardian First Book Award
- Received the Betty Trask Prize, Manchester Book Award, a WH Smith New Talent Award, and the Janklow and Nesbit Prize.
- Reached the bestseller lists.
- Had their poetry accepted for publication in numerous literary journals, including Ambit, Magma, London Magazine, Poetry Wales, PN Review and The Reader, among others.
- Been placed in such competitions as the Bridport, the Frogmore, Mslexia, and Writers Inc. Janklow and Nesbit Ltd
In addition, a leading literary agency awards an annual prize for the best novel or novel in progress by a student on the course.
Throughout the year there are visits by writers, literary agents, publishers, editors, broadcasters and other professionals concerned with creative writing, who will give presentations and answer questions at evening events and in plenary lectures.
Facilities and resources
Where the subject is taught
Weekly teaching is at our Corsham Court campus.
Experienced, award-winning staff
Our faculty includes:
- Professor Tessa Hadley
- Professor Philip Hensher
- Professor Fay Weldon
- Professor Maggie Gee
- Professor Kate Pullinger
- Nathan Filer
- Aminatta Forna
- Samantha Harvey
- Claire Kendal
- Celia Brayfield
- Gavin Bower
- Gerard Woodward.
- Tim Liardet
- Gerard Woodward
- Lucy English
- Carrie Etter.
Nature writers and memoirists:
- Richard Kerridge
- Stephen Moss.
Critic and memoirist:
- Gavin Cologne-Brookes.
Teaching staff have won major prizes, written bestsellers and contributed to the discussion of books in the national media. They have an unrivalled experience of publishing and writing.
Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are no longer eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate.
UK students full time
|2022/23 entry||Published Jan 2022|
|2023/24 entry||Published Jan 2023|
International students full time
|2022/23 entry||Published Jan 2022|
|2023/24 entry||Published Jan 2023|
Interested in applying?
What we look for in potential students
We offer places on the course on the basis of your portfolio of creative writing and an interview, which for overseas applicants may be virtual or by telephone. We are looking for writers of prose fiction (any genre), poetry or literary non-fiction whom we consider to have the potential to publish their work in the near future.
The portfolio you provide should consist of no more than twenty pages of prose fiction, poetry or literary non-fiction, or a combination of these. It is most helpful if the portfolio includes the kind of writing you wish to develop on the course.
How do I apply?
Ready to apply? Click the 'apply now' button in the centre of this page.
Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.
Interview and portfolio guidance
Please send approximately 20 pages of your creative writing, representing what you consider to be your best work. If you send excerpts from a longer work, please provide a synopsis. The portfolio should accompany the application form and personal statement.
Want to apply for this year?
Many of our postgraduate courses have a limited number of student spaces. To avoid the disappointment of the course being full, we recommend that you apply now.
Late applications (generally those made after 31 July) will only be considered if places remain on the course.
Need more information or still have questions? Contact us to discuss your situation.
Course Director: Richard Kerridge