MA Creative Writing

Do you want to develop your own work, your own voice and your own ideas?

Are looking for an insight into the industry by professional editors and publishers? Define and refine your discipline at Birmingham: short fiction, the novel, poetry, scripts.

If you have completed an undergraduate degree containing some creative writing or are an English graduate with considerable experience in writing creatively and wish to proceed to a career of further study in this area then our innovative MA in Creative Writing is for you.

Learn among a community of writers and scholars with structured modules across the discipline and engage collaboratively before specialising in screenwriting, playwriting, fiction or poetry for your dissertation.

Please note: applications for this programme are currently closed and will reopen for 2018 entry in October 2017.

Maria Arroja Ferreira

Maria Arroja Ferreira

“The best thing about studying Creative Writing at the University of Birmingham is the ability to discuss your work within a group, and the opportunity to edit and give feedback within workshops also. Subjects such as Creative Writing rely heavily upon feedback and editing, so having the opportunity to gain feedback regularly allows your work to improve gradually throughout your time on the course. ”

The programme brings together students who are working in different genres so that you can engage collaboratively across genres before specialising in screenwriting, playwriting, fiction or poetry for your dissertation. 

You will take five core modules [full descriptions available below]:

  • Creative Writing Research Skills I: Theories and Practice
  • Creative Writing Research Skills II: Theories, Models, Self
  • Poem as Story - Story as Poem
  • Intertextuality: Story, Genre, Craft
  • Editing as Collaborative Practice

You will also take one optional module from within English, Film Studies or from another discipline.

Assessment

The programme is assessed by creative portfolios and assignments throughout the taught modules.

You will also complete a dissertation which will be 75% creative portfolio and 25% critical essay. You will write a 12,000-word portfolio of creative work as a screenplay, novella, excerpt of a novel, a collection of short fiction or a collection of poetry (600 lines). This will be accompanied by a 3,000-word essay placing your work in a critical and creative context, with reference to your development as a writer over the course of the MA. You will receive feedback on work in progress during one-to-one tutorials and in work-sharing seminars with peers (groups divided along the lines of genre/form).

Please note: this programme outline relates to 2017/18 and is subject to change in future years.

Why study this course

  • Breadth and depth of study – at Birmingham we focus on the craft of writing and editing, combining academic skills with creative, and an artistic focus with industry insights.
  • Learn from our permanent staff of published authors - Elsa Braekkan Payne, an expert in the short story who also has particular interests in editing; Luke Kennard, a poet and novelist whose criticism appears in Poetry London and the Times Literary Supplement; Richard House, fiction and screenwriter, long-listed for the Man Booker Prize; Dan Vyleta, author of four award-winning novels; and the best-selling novelist Ruth Gilligan.
  • Opportunities for experimentation – the course combines focused modules with the opportunity to develop your own work through independent study.
  • Join a lively and supportive writing community – we encourage our students to be active within the university and the broader community, and to participate in readings, festivals, and events, both regionally and nationally. For example the Creative Writing Societies provide an energetic and talented scene in which to write. There are regular events, readings, poetry slams and student publications.
  • Links within the West Midlands – the Department has links to the award winning local press Tindal Street and the boutique poetry pamphlet publishers Nine Arches Press, including visiting lectures from writers, publishers and editors.

Fees and funding

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2018/19 are as follows:

  • UK / EU: £9,000 full-time; £4,500 part-time
  • International: £17,010 full-time

The above fees quoted are for one year only; for those studying over two or more years, tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years of your programme.

Fee status

Eligibility for UK/EU or international fees can be verified with Admissions. Learn more about fees for international students.

We can also confirm that EU students who are already studying at the University of Birmingham or who have an offer to start their studies in the 2018-19 academic year will continue to be charged the UK fee rate applicable at the time, provided this continues to be permitted by UK law. The UK Government has also confirmed that students from the EU applying to courses starting in the 2018-19 academic year will not see any changes to their loan eligibility or fee status. This guarantee will apply for the full duration of the course, even if the course finishes after the UK has left the EU.

Paying your fees

Tuition fees can either be paid in full or by instalments. Learn more about postgraduate tuition fees and funding.

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

Learn more about entry requirements

International students

Academic requirements

We accept a range of qualifications; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English language requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

How to apply

This programme will open for 2018/19 applications in October 2017. 

Our Creative Writing staff are accomplished authors with accolades and interests in the novel, the short story, poetry, drama and screen-writing, so you will be supported to pursue your specific interests.

Support with academic writing

As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.

International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).

Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.

The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.

You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.

You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.

Over the past three years, over 96% of Creative Writing postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Postgraduates in the Department of Film and Creative Writing develop a range of skills including: the ability to lead and participate in discussions; critical thinking, and an appreciation of different theoretical contexts; the ability to develop opinions and new ideas; and an aptitude for thinking and working creatively with others. While some graduates go on to careers in related industries - such as writing, media and television - others have used their transferable skills to pursue roles such as advertising, teaching, and in the heritage and cultural sectors.

Birmingham has been transformed into one of Europe's most exciting cities. It is more than somewhere to study; it is somewhere to build a successful future.

Get involved

The Guild of Students hosts over 250 student groups and societies to suit a wide range of interests. These include the Postgraduate and Mature Students Association which runs a regular and varied programme of events specifically tailored to postgraduate students.

In addition, you will find that each Department runs its own social activities, research fora and student groups.

Accommodation

We offer accommodation for postgraduates on or near to campus, although many of our students also choose to live privately in student accommodation, shared houses or flats. If you do choose to live in private accommodation, the University has dedicated support services to help you to find properties from accredited landlords.

The City of Birmingham

One of Europe's most exciting destinations, Birmingham is brimming with life and cultures, making it a wonderful place to live, study and work. Our students fall in love with the city - around 40% of our graduates choose to make Birmingham their home.