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Queen's University Belfast MA in English - Poetry
Queen's University Belfast

MA in English - Poetry

Belfast, United Kingdom

1 Years


Full time, Part time

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GBP 19,100 / per year *


* international fee


Poetry is, quite simply, the activity for which Queen’s University is best known around the world. Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney was both a student and lecturer here at Queen’s, and other famous poet-alumni of the university include Ciaran Carson, Paul Muldoon and Medbh McGuckian. Heaney was a founding member of the famous ‘Belfast Group’ in the 1960s, a forum in which young poets came together with critics to discuss their work and the craft of good poetry more generally. The fruitful interaction of creative and critical activity is at the heart of what this unique MA offers.

Drawing on our long-standing reputation for producing distinguished critics and poets, this programme's creative-critical intersections make it suitable for a new generation of poets and critics alike. Students will be joining an academic environment with a world-leading expertise in the critical appreciation, writing, and understanding of modern poetry.

As a student on the MA in Poetry: Creativity and Criticism you can choose to follow either a critical or a creative pathway, or a combination of the two. Students who follow a critical pathway will be joining an academic environment with a long-standing reputation for the critical appreciation, reception and understanding of modern poetry. Poets who come to develop their own creative writing have the unique opportunity of working with some of Ireland's most renowned poets.

English - Poetry Highlights

World Class Facilities

  • Housed in the beautiful Lynn Building – formerly the library where Heaney, Muldoon, Carson and McGuckian read slim volumes of poetry, and Philip Larkin was a librarian – The Graduate School is a dedicated social and academic space for postgraduate students at Queen’s, offering research facilities and ongoing training in all aspects of research, essential skills, and career development. The award-winning McClay library houses Irish Special Collections, with unique resources on modern and contemporary Irish poetry, including Belfast Group worksheets and manuscripts, and extensive journal collections. The Seamus Heaney Centre has a dedicated work and social space for postgraduate students and a lively programme of activities all year round.

Internationally Renowned Experts

  • Alongside the expertise and guidance you’ll receive from the MA teaching team, you will have the chance to attend workshops and one-to-one consultations with outstanding poets and writers who spend time at Queen’s each year: The Ireland Chair of Poetry, International Visiting Poetry Fellow, Seamus Heaney Centre Fellows and Ciaran Carson Fellows.

Student Experience

  • You will be joining an academic environment with a long-standing reputation for the writing and critical appreciation of poetry from Ireland, Britain and the United States, and will also benefit from the literary activities and resources of the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s – the first centre of excellence for poetry in Ireland. Poets and poetry critics in the School include Leontia Flynn, Fran Brearton, Edna Longley, Gail McConnell, Stephen Sexton and Nick Laird, along with annual visiting international poetry fellows. Our ‘Belfast Group’ heritage is a distinctive feature of our programme. The MA in Poetry inherits and updates the tradition begun in small back rooms in the 1960s of poets and critics coming together to produce and discuss poetry. Our unique interdisciplinary approach continues this fruitful commingling of creative and critical perspectives and methods.


Scholarships and Funding


Program Tuition Fee

Career Opportunities

About the School