MA Creative Writing

Nottingham Trent University: School of Arts and Humanities

Program Description

MA Creative Writing

Nottingham Trent University: School of Arts and Humanities

creative writing

MA Creative Writing

The MA in Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University is one of the longest established postgraduate courses of its kind in the UK, with a strong record of publication by its graduates. Designed for talented and committed writers, the course is taught by a team of award-winning writers and academics.

You will be joining a lively community of other writers and teachers where you will have the opportunity to work in a variety of genres, including fiction, poetry, children’s and young adult fiction, and writing for radio, stage, and screen.

What you'll study

The course invites you to develop your writing strengths by providing a framework within which you can discuss your own and each other’s work. At the heart of the course are small group workshops and a series of seminars by staff, visiting writers, publishers, and professors, including internationally acclaimed screenwriter William Ivory. Other guest speakers have included David Almond, Alan Hollinghurst, Kathleen Jamie, Jackie Kay, Alan Jenkins, Alison Moore, Carrie Etter, David Lodge, Michèle Roberts and Miranda Seymour. Establishing important links with the publishing and editing industries, you will work closely with staff and visiting speakers to develop your work to an excellent standard.


This course is divided into modules, which are worth a number of credits, and are separately taught and assessed. To get your degree you have to pass all modules to collect 180 credit points.

Core modules

  • Writing: Research Methods, Theory and Practice (40 credit points): This core module is a compulsory introductory course for all creative writing students. Through a series of lectures and workshops by experts in the field, you will develop critically informed opinions about key issues and trends in contemporary writing. The module includes regular advanced-level practical exercises to improve your technical abilities, as well as a series of short projects to help you to develop high-level skills in research, writing, editing and critique.
  • Dissertation (60 credit points): The dissertation represents the MA's highest level of specialization. Individual projects are chosen by students in consultation with their supervisors and are subject to approval by external examiners. Tutorials will advise you on reading and research methods as well as aspects of the precise form you have chosen to pursue.

Optional modules

You will also choose two of the following 40 credit optional modules*:

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Writing for Radio, Stage, and Screen
  • Children's and Young Adult Fiction.

Part-time students complete the Writing: Theory and Practice module and their first option in Year One, and the dissertation and their second option in Year Two. (Modules run subject to demand, but it's very unusual for them not to run.)

How you’re taught

How will I learn?

The core course consists of a series of lectures and seminars on different aspects of the writing process, with optional modules incorporating practical writing workshops. Students currently choose two options from Fiction, Children's and Young Adult Fiction, Poetry and Writing for Radio, Stage, and Screen.

The core course regularly hosts talks and readings by writers. Guests have included:

  • David Almond
  • Neil Arksey
  • Carrie Etter
  • Jenny Diski
  • Joe Dunthorne
  • Geoff Dyer
  • Michael Eaton
  • Alan Hollinghurst
  • Kathryn Hughes
  • Jackie Kay
  • Melanie McGrath
  • Jon McGregor
  • Hamish Macoll
  • Kate Mosse
  • Alan Jenkins
  • Alan Sillitoe
  • Amanda Whittington.

Writers from the English subject team also contribute to the MA as do agents, editors, and other writing professionals.


Students take the core module, two options and a dissertation (part-time students do the second option and dissertation in their second year). There are two assignments in each option.

Research opportunities

Creative Writing and Critical/Creative Writing Ph.D. supervision is also available. We have a thriving Ph.D. community and specialisms across creative writing and English literature.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study, you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.

Learning a new language can:

  • enhance your communication skills
  • enrich your experience when traveling abroad
  • boost your career prospects.

Careers and employability

Career development

The unique flexibility of the course enables students to work in a variety of genres including fiction, poetry, children's and young adult fiction, writing for radio, stage and screen, and creative non-fiction. Advice on getting published and lectures on the writing industry are incorporated into the structure of the course, and there are opportunities to meet publishers, editors, and agents. Students are encouraged to build strong links with Nottingham's thriving literature community and are invited to participate in local events, readings and festivals.

Every year our students produce and publish their own high-quality anthology of original creative writing. This gives students invaluable insight into the editorial and publishing industry, as well as introducing their work to a wider public.

Many recent graduates have acquired agents and publishing deals.

Although this course does not offer a formal placement, it is vocationally focused and many recent graduates have acquired agents and publishing deals.

Entry requirements


  • A good honors degree (minimum 2.2); applications are primarily assessed on the quality of the writing sample and statement
  • Submit a 3000-word creative writing sample OR c. 100 lines of poetry, OR an equivalent mixture of poetry and prose/script.
  • Evidence in personal statement of a commitment to writing


We accept qualifications from schools, colleges, and universities all over the world for entry onto our courses. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

Pre-Masters courses

If you need to do a Pre-Masters course to meet our course requirements please visit Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC). If you’re already studying in the UK at a school or college and would like to know if we can accept your qualification please visit our pre-masters and foundation courses page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not the first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

  • For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.
  • If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated September 28, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
United Kingdom - Nottingham, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info