Master in Creative Writing
This 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. Located within the School of Humanities and Cultural Industries, the writing programme has established itself over the past 20 years as one of the most successful in the UK.
Course Structure and Content
The course is modular and is currently offered for full-time study only.
Because of the reputation of the MA in Creative Writing, we are able to recruit excellent students who, every year, form an exciting and mutually supportive community of writers. Frequent visits by other writers, literary agents, publishers, broadcasters and other professionals connected with writing ensure that students are given plentiful advice about how to place work and make decisions about their careers as writers.
The course is not for the writer whose only interest is in their own work, but rather for the writer who can benefit from working closely with fellow students and with tutors, many of whom are practising and published writers.
In recent years, several current or former students have been awarded excellent contracts for novels; two were long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, three for the Orange Prize, one for the Costa Prize and one for the Guardian First Book Award. One received the Betty Trask Prize; another the Manchester Book Award; another a W.H. Smith New Talent Award. One reached the best-seller lists.
Student poets have had their poetry accepted for publication in numerous literary journals, including Ambit, Magma, London Magazine, Poetry Wales, PN Review and The Reader, among others, and have been placed in such competitions as the Bridport, the Frogmore, Mslexia, and Writers Inc. Janklow and Nesbit Ltd, a leading literary agency, awards an annual prize for the best novel or novel in progress by a student on the course.
It is implicit in the course philosophy that critical reading aids the development of writers. Workshops, in which you look constructively at each other's writing, and context modules, to study the ways in which writers meet certain challenges, are integral parts of the course.
Teaching Methods and Resources
Students take two three-hour seminars a week for the workshop and context modules. The Manuscript is completed between June and September. Students meet tutors regularly during this period.
A residential writing weekend at The Kingcombe Centre, Dorset, is an essential part of the course.
Assessment is by coursework only. Each writing workshop is assessed on the basis of a folder of creative writing and an early draft of part of the Manuscript. Each context module is assessed on the basis of an essay and a folder of creative responses. The Manuscript is 35,000–40,000 words (or the equivalent for poetry and scriptwriting).
Admission to the course is based on a portfolio of creative writing, our estimate of the student's commitment and potential as a writer and ability to benefit from the course, and normally, but not invariably, on a first degree.
Applicants will need to submit a short piece of creative writing with their application form, such as two chapters of a novel, two short stories, six poems, or the equivalent.