The MA Creative Writing is an intensive course which treats your ambition as a writer seriously. Our students come from a range of backgrounds including the arts, teaching, law, journalism, history and writing. The course is for anyone with an interest in or ambition towards writing.
Some of our most successful students include best-selling author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Marina Lewycka, T.S. Eliot short-listed poet Frances Leviston and Radio 4 and BBC TV script writer Sharon Oakes.
Our internationally-acclaimed team of published writers teach in all areas of contemporary literary practice. They include
The E.A Markham Award
The E.A Markham Award means that one student each year will study the course for free. The award covers the full-time study fees and is awarded solely on merit and potential. It is offered in memory of Professor E.A Markham, a respected tutor here who worked to shape the development of this course.
Download the E.A Markham award guidance for more information.
Short course – single modules
If you are not able to commit to the whole course, you can apply to take a single module. Choose a genre from the optional modules listed in the course content and apply as normal. Your portfolio needs to include examples of writing in your chosen genre. The credit you gain for completing one module will count towards the full MA should you choose to pursue this at a later date.
Publications and prizes
The Ictus Prize in Poetry is awarded to the best poetry collection – this consists of a small pamphlet publication. Every year, we publish Matter, a stylish anthology, edited and designed by students, and sold and promoted in bookshops. If you would like to receive a sample copy of this, email the course leader [email protected]
Submission of written work to specified word lengths with accompanying critical commentaries.
By enhancing your skills in writing, literary revision and reflection, you are preparing for a number of roles where knowledge of writing and the processes of writing are important such as
Our internationally recognized Creative Writing programme provides the ideal opportunity to focus in-depth on your own creative practice.
Through a combination of workshops and seminars, taught by established authors and poets, you will hone your editorial skills and develop a unique voice in a supportive yet challenging environment.
Workshops and seminars are complemented by literature courses designed to hone your critical abilities, and the summer term is given over to the writing of a creative dissertation with the support and guidance of an assigned supervisor.
As the first UNESCO World City of Literature, Edinburgh is the perfect place to explore your literary potential, and students are presented with many opportunities to become involved in the creative life of the city.
The programme consists of two strands––fiction and poetry––with students electing to dedicate themselves to one or the other throughout the year.
In each of the two teaching semesters (Autumn and Spring), you will take a core creative practice seminar, supported by workshops in fiction or poetry, and a subsidiary literary critical course, chosen from a wide range of options. This will be followed by summer term, which is devoted entirely to writing a creative dissertation. The dissertation is work pursued independently with the support and guidance of an individual supervisor.
Summer supervision includes dedicated one-to-one sessions with your assigned supervisor as well as optional discussion of your work with fellow students.
Option courses may include:
Students taking the programme will expand and refine their skills in poetry, or fiction. They will develop critical skills as readers of their own and others' work and will gain experience in the processes of presenting and publishing literary writing.
Having developed your creative and critical skills in this programme, you will be well-equipped to tackle a variety of jobs in today’s competitive world.
Recent graduates are now pursuing careers in a wide variety of fields, including (but not limited to): publishing, marketing, arts administration, web editing, audio book editing, ghost writing, and gaming. You may also decide to extend your studies in order to move into a career in academia.
Alternatively, you may follow your own creative path with the aim of becoming a published author.