MLitt Creative Writing


Program Description

On this Masters course, you’ll learn to produce fine, nuanced writing and a body of work in either poetry, fiction or creative non-fiction. We combine intensive writers’ workshops, technique-focused classes and one-to-one tuition by distinguished writers, along with fascinating and useful visits from authors, agents and publishers to help you on your creative journey.

The course is designed to develop your writing talent. It allows you to intensively focus on a project while engaging with a range of genres and working practices that draw upon our rich expertise in contemporary literature, publishing, film, media and journalism. You’ll also develop skills in listening, editing and peer feedback.

Our course is open to all, whether you’re already well established in your career, starting out on your creative journey or want to take our MLitt later in life to enhance your skills and explore new creative prospects.

Top reasons to study with us

  1. You’ll be taught by internationally recognised poet and essayist Kathleen Jamie and fiction writers Liam Murray Bell and Kevin MacNeil.
  2. You'll get a wide view of literary life with guest lectures and visits from established authors, agents and editors.
  3. You’ll take part in intensive writers’ workshops.

Flexible learning

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

Course details

The teaching year at Stirling is divided into two semesters, which run from mid-September to late December, and from January to the end of May.


You’ll take part in intensive writers’ workshops, technique-focused modules and have one-to-one tuition by the distinguished writers on staff. There are also intriguing visits from authors, book agents, publishers, poets and others involved in the literary world.

Workshops, seminars and guest lectures are held on campus. Throughout the course, we encourage our students to embrace the wider literary life by attending – even organising – events, readings, festivals and libraries.


Assessment for each module you take will vary but may include a critical essay, a journal or a creative project.

Assessment for the workshops will depend on the literary form you’ve chosen (prose or poetry) but will be based on reading journals and/or working notebooks, book reviews and in some cases completed pieces of creative work.

The most significant piece of work in the course is the creative dissertation, due at the end of the summer. This should be approximately 15,000 words of prose or a collection of around 15 poems. A dissertation may be a portfolio of shorter texts – stories, personal essays, poems – or part of a novel. It’s expected to be revised and polished original work, written and presented to professional standards.

If you don’t embark on the dissertation you may be awarded a Diploma. The work of the best students completing the course may be deemed worthy of an MLitt with Distinction.

Course director

Dr Liam Murray Bell, Course Director

Key staff

This course is taught by poet and essayist Kathleen Jamie and fiction writer Liam Murray Bell.

Kathleen Jamie is an internationally recognised poet and has won many awards – including the Scottish Book of the Year Award, a Forward Prize and the Costa Poetry Prize.

Liam Murray Bell’s first novel ‘So It Is’ attracted Arts Council funding. Set in Belfast, it was hailed as ‘a beautifully written debut novel’ concerning the Troubles. His latest novel, 'The Busker', was a Scottish Book Trust 'Pick' for 2014.

Kevin MacNeil is a novelist, poet and screenwriter. His most recent novel ‘The Brilliant and Forever’ was shortlisted for Saltire Fiction of the Year.

Chris Powici is a poet and former editor of ‘Northwords Now’. His most recent collection is ‘This Weight of Light’.

All tutors also write non-fiction, reviews and essays, and are popular figures at festivals, literary events, and residencies. Regular visits from other established writers, publishers, editors and agents offer a wide view of the literary life.

Fees - 2020/2021

  • Overseas £16,950
  • Home/EU £6,000
Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society.

At the University of Stirling, being the difference is in our DNA – providing education with a purpose and carrying out research that helps to shape society. Read less