Our Writing Poetry MA will develop your creative ability through practice, discussion and revision. You'll work with established poets and writers to refine your work. You'll also consider the processes of writing and develop advanced editing skills.
Our Writing Poetry MA is for those who want to put poetry at the centre of their creative practice. You will receive expert tuition from nationally and internationally renowned poets. With them you will develop your poetry-writing and reflective abilities through reading, discussion and revision, and will progress to receive formal recognition for your work.
You can choose to study either in Newcastle or London. All classes are in the evening if studying at Newcastle and during the day in London. Newcastle University leads the North East cohort. The London course is run in collaboration with The Poetry School.
By the end of the course, you will have:
You'll develop your poetry-writing and reflective abilities through:
You will progress to receive formal recognition for your work.
The course is delivered through Workshops and Masterclasses. Workshops focus on:
Masterclasses focus on:
Each year both cohorts come together for a one week summer school. The summer school alternates between the two cities each year.
The summer schools will focus on professional skills related to:
The School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics is a lively and diverse community with over 700 undergraduates and 200 postgraduates. We are based in the Percy Building where the majority of your seminars and tutorials will take place. Our purpose-built postgraduate suite includes:
You also have access to the award-winning Peter Robinson Library, which has an extensive audio-visual collection.
The Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts (NCLA) is a world-class centre of excellence in the field of creative writing which contributes to the cultural life of the North East via:
The NCLA offers you the opportunity to get involved in our writing community through readings and events that feature:
Past speakers include:
You will study at the Poetry School in Lambeth, a short walk from Canada Water. The National Poetry Library British libraries and London's central cultural hubs are nearby. The Poetry School has a small but growing library.
You will have the opportunity to enrich your practice through The Poetry School's many collaborations. The Poetry School is embedded in the poetry world with links to other poetry and arts organisations. You will be situated at the centre of a thriving poetry community.
A large and varied short course programme runs alongside the MA. You can choose to access these courses for a supplementary fee.
This MA allows you to develop your work as a creative writer, going beyond the merely personal and writing with an engaged sense of society and an understanding of the location of your work in relation to contemporary practices. You will take one of three distinct pathways: Fiction Writing, Poetry Writing, and Poetic Practice. In addition, all students take modules in Supplementary Discourses and Reading as a Writer, and all students undertake a Practical Project and a Dissertation.
This course encourages you to develop and reflect on your work as a creative writer. While you learn to stretch your imagination, you'll be motivated to develop your technical and analytic skills, and in the process, sharpen your self-criticism.
If you choose the poetry strand, you'll benefit from the strong focus on individual creative pactice fostered in weeklly workshops, critical classes and tutorials. As with all the Creative Writing pathways, poetry is taught by writers practising at the highest level and the emphasis is on your own needs as a developing poetry student.
Poetic Practice is a unique, practice-based pathway that draws upon the Department of English's expertise in contemporary experimental poetry and writing within an expanded field of creative practice.
All three courses are designed to help you develop your work as a creative writer, against the backdrop of literature through history. Choosing the Fiction or the Poetry strand, you'll make the most of your existing experience, stretch your imagination, develop analytic skills, and in the process sharpen how you think about your own work. The Poetic practice pathway draws upon our expertise in contemporary experimental poetry across a wide range of ideas and practices. You will learn how to develop your practice and how to situate your practice in relation to recent and contemporary trends in experimental poetry, including visual poetics, sound and conceptual writing.
This is a weekly one-and-a-half hour seminar involving critical and theoretical reading designed to supply you with appropriate critical and theoretical discourse for discussing your own work with others.
Reading as a Writer
The principle aim of the course is to enable you to read as a writer in order to inform your literary composition. You will read a selection of contemporary fiction and poetry from the persepctice of the writer.
Creative Writing Project
You will undertake a major extended fiction, non-fiction, poetry or poetic practice project under supervision.
The principle aim of the Dissertation on Practice is to enable you to demonstrate your ability to reflect critically and theoretically on your own practice and to locate your practice in relation to contemporary writing practices.
This module is designed to develop your understanding of, and ability in, fiction writing beyond first-degree level. You will attend a weekly three-hour workshop, in which work you produce will be discussed.
You will develop your understanding of, and ability in, contemporary poetry beyond first-degree level. You will be expected to embark on an advanced programme of writing and critical thinking through creative exploration and dialogue with the tutor and other members of the group.
You will develop, and reflect on, your own practice in the context of an understanding of contemporary experimental practice in poetry from the UK and North America, and consider how contemporary poetry and poetics intersect with such fields as conceptual art writing, sound art, live art, digital poetics, book arts, installed texts and writing in relation to site.
At the beginning of the Spring term fiction writers will submit a 5,000-word piece of work and poets on both the Poetry and the Poetic Practice pathways a portfolio of 12 pages. In addition, they will submit a 3,000-4,000 word essay arising from their work in Supplementary Discourses. They will be given feedback and then, at the beginning of the Summer term, resubmit improved versions together with a second piece of creative work of the same length, and a second essay in relation to Reading as a Writer. Part-time students hand in their work for Supplementary Discourses and Reading as a Writer at the end of the Spring and Summer terms respectively; they will submit their portfolios for the pathway at the start of September.
At the end of the course fiction students will submit a 15,000 word piece of work and poets a portfolio of 24 pages. In addition, students will write a dissertation of 10-12,000 words, relating to their creative work and to their wider literary interests, to be submitted with the portfolio. Part-time students will make these final submissions at the end of their second year.
A significant number of our Creative Writing students have become published authors or found work in publishing and allied professions. Along with this, we have has an impressive record for placing graduates in academic jobs; recently they've secured positions at the Universities of Edinburgh, Leeds, Sussex and UEA, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the National University of Ireland.
This course can also give you an distinctive, creative edge in careers such as publishing, teaching, writing and journalism, administration and marketing. Recent graduates have taken up jobs at the BBC and in art therapy.
Our taught MA pathway in Studies in Poetry offers choice, flexibility and the opportunity to specialise within this field. You can learn from the rich variety of research expertise in the Department and you also have the chance to concentrate on a particular area of literary study within the field. Our commitment to research-led teaching means that students are able to explore the cutting edge of the discipline - from John Milton to Romantic forms of grief, to the study of modern poetry. We provide an intimate, dynamic and supportive environment for students of all backgrounds and nationalities.
Our programme offers up-to-date training in research methods and skills.
You will choose three modules, at least two of which are from within the pathway, and you will write a dissertation on a subject related to studies in poetry.
An MA in Studies in Poetry is often the platform for further research at PhD level, as well as providing an excellent grounding for jobs in education, the arts and the media.
If you choose to take this named pathway, you will be expected to select at least two modules from those available within the pathway and to write your dissertation in an area related to it. Your third optional module may, if you wish, be chosen from the full list of MA modules on offer in the Department. Students may, with permission, take one module from other modules on offer elsewhere in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. All students must take the core Research Methods and Resources module and the dissertation alongside their three optional modules.
Typical modules might include:
Modules are subject to staff availability and normally no more than five of the above will run in any one year.
Please use the 'additional comments' section of the application form to indicate your choice of modules as well as to provide a personal statement.
One of the distinctive features of the Durham MA in Literary Studies is that it permits both a broad-based, eclectic study of literary topics from the earliest periods of literature to the present and the possibility of specialisation through designated pathways in such areas as Medieval and Renaissance Studies or Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century Studies. All students take 3 optional modules, taught in small seminar groups of up to 10, with each module generating 18 hours of contact time (9 seminars x 2 hours) over the academic year. A strong emphasis is placed on independent research, and seminars usually involve a considerable amount of preparation, including short presentations and workshop activities. Assessment for these modules is usually by coursework essay.
All students also register for the Research Methods and Resources module, which generates an additional 20 hours of contact time over the academic year. Again, a strong emphasis is given to independent research. Both pieces of assessed written work for the Research Methods and Resources module involve significant preparation for the MA dissertation (and in some cases for doctoral study later on). The MA dissertation is supported by 3.5 hours of dedicated individual supervision time. Drafts of the dissertation are read and commented upon by the supervisor.
Each MA student is assigned an Academic Advisor who can guide and support her or his progress during the programme of study.
Throughout the taught MA degree programme, all students are strongly encouraged to participate in a lively series of staff-postgraduate research seminars, usually involving invited guest speakers from the UK and beyond.
The MA in Creative Writing is an exciting new programme at Durham University. Taught by award-winning writers Dr Paul Batchelor and Dr Vidyan Ravinthiran, this is an academically rigorous programme that will develop students’ practical knowledge of writing poetry and prose fiction. Students will receive structured support through writing workshops and one-to-one tutorials in order to develop their own ideas. Students will also study a broad range of literature from the 20th and 21st centuries, and produce new work in response.
Creative Writing Poetry OR Creative Writing Prose Fiction
Each student will take one of these writing-workshop modules. In these modules students will write longer pieces within their chosen literary discipline, sharing their work and giving and receiving feedback and suggestions from the module convenor and the other students. There are few if any writing exercises. Each student can expect to have their work scrutinised closely in a workshop setting several times. These modules are assessed via a portfolio of ten pages of poetry plus 2,000-word self-critique, OR a 6,000-word portfolio of prose fiction plus 2,000-word self-critique.
Reading as a Writer
This seminar module brings poets and prose writers together, and (unlike any of the other core modules for Creative Writing) is also open to English Studies students. Each week we discuss some key poetry and prose from across the twentieth century, focusing on the technical innovations introduced by the writers studied, and the ways in which writers learn from one another, both within their medium and beyond it. The module combines breadth and depth of coverage, offering students an advanced understanding of a range of writers, schools, and styles in order to broaden their research interests, and help them to identify and research a topic of their own choosing with guidance from a subject specialist in the extended essay part of the Research Project. It is assessed via two 3,000-word essays.
Reading as a Writer: the Workshop
This is very much a companion module to Reading as a Writer, and is a writing-workshop module focusing on short, directed writing assignments and their discussion. The focus will be on formal and technical experiments, stretching students’ technical facility via assignments inspired by the texts studied on Reading as a Writer. Prose writers and poetry students will once again work side by side, sharing work and ideas, learning to appreciate literary conventions and their subversion. Each student can expect to have their work work shopped several times, though these engagements will not be as formal or thorough as those in Creative Writing Prose Fiction or Creative Writing Poetry. Assignments might include adapting syntactical techniques; investigative creative non-fiction; experimenting with poetic forms; creative translation; writing an opening paragraph; or trying out editing methods. It is assessed via a portfolio of EITHER ten pages of poetry OR 6,000 words of prose fiction, plus 2,000-word self-critique.
The Research Project provides students with the opportunity to produce a 6-8,000-word extended critical essay on a subject of their choosing. Students choose their own extended essay titles, with guidance from the module convenor and subject to the approval of the English Studies Board of Examiners. Focusing on depth rather than breadth, the essay is independently researched and builds on the work covered in the taught elements of the programme. Students will be expected to choose a research topic with particular bearing on their own creative practice, and to reflect on how their critical and creative work have informed one another, either in the main body of the essay, the introduction, or chapter dedicated to integrative reflection. Students may wish to refer to specific aspects of their own writing when writing this part of the essay. The Research Project also provides the opportunity for students to to produce a final portfolio of creative work: poets will be asked to produce ten pages of poetry; prose writers produce 6-8,000 words of fiction. The portfolio will consist of new work, produced after the completion of the structured workshop-oriented modules. The module is assessed via an extended essay of 6,000-8,000 words and a creative writing portfolio of EITHER ten pages of poetry OR 6,000-8,000 words of prose fiction.
Creative Writing students would take one module of their own choosing, either from the English Studies MA modules or taking this new optional module:
The Word in the World
This module focuses on the ways in which the students’ writing can be made available to the public. It would take the form of a series of lectures and seminars covering topics such as: how writers make a living; the possibilities and challenges presented by collaborating with other artists; how to adjust teaching methods according to the setting and audience; how to write a pitch letter; how to get a literary agent; submitting work to poetry journals; how to make the most of web resources; how to communicate with an editor; book design, blurbs, jackets; writing copy; formats; sales and distribution channels; publicity and promotion; book reviewing, etc. This part of the module will be taught both in-house at Durham and via visiting speakers such as editors, industry experts. Students would also be invited to either collaborate with a student in another medium (most likely music or the visual arts) or go on a teaching or literary-industry placement that would take place in July. This module is assessed via one 3,000-word essay and one 3,000-word report on the industry placement, teaching placement, or collaborative project.
In addition to our generalist MA in Creative Writing, we offer three MA programmes that allow you to focus on fiction, fiction for young readers or poetry.
These three discipline-specific programmes allow you to focus on your chosen writing area and benefit from all the same opportunities offered on the MA Creative Writing. You will simply take fewer optional modules and undertake a longer dissertation.
Taught by published, working writers including internationally acclaimed poets, novelists and editors, you will be supported to develop your personal writing style. You will discover how to make your writing more effective, how to break bad habits and how to assess your work professionally. You will graduate with the skills needed for professional writing practice, and with an understanding of the professional context in which these skills are marketed.
You will undertake independent and extended research and practice in a specialised area of Creative Writing and over the course of the programme you will secure the skills and knowledge required for a career in professional publishing, the creative industries, or to continue in academia. Whether you choose to specialise in fiction, fiction for young readers or poetry, you will take a core module that explores theoretical and research-based issues faced by creative writers, as well as an extended creative dissertation.
We will prepare you for your career after you graduate, whether it is as a published writer, a career working in the professional arts sector, or continuing with your academic studies. We regularly invite writers, who have previously included Emma Donoghue and Kazuo Ishiguru, to give guest lectures and workshops, as well as speakers from different sectors of the creative industries. You will be encouraged to make the most of Roehampton’s connections with the literary world through events such as networking evenings where you can make professional contacts with invited publishers and agents.
The department has thriving partnerships with Wimbledon Bookfest and Barnes Children’s Literature Festival, as well as with local schools, providing you with the chance to volunteer or undertake paid work experience during your time at Roehampton. Our in-house publishing imprint, Fincham Press, means you could see your work published or be involved in publishing the work of your peers.
You will be taught how to write fiction of the highest professional calibre by examining two primary forms, the short story and the novel, building a portfolio of fiction. The emphasis is on craft, technique and practical guidance, and you will engage with a variety of storytelling tools and models. You will be introduced to a wide range of approaches in short and long form fiction enabling you to develop your writing practice as well as thinking about your own social and cultural experiences and identities.
You will focus on the practice and theory of writing fiction for children, engaging with both visual narratives and young adult narratives. You will explore the historical and theoretical debates in Children’s Literature, and the working methodologies of established practicing writers, enabling you to contextualise your own creative practice. You will be taught through seminars, one to one tutorials and workshops, where you will draft, develop and critique your own and your peers’ work.
You will explore both traditional lyric poetry and alternative, innovative poetic practice through seminars, workshops and one to one tutorials. You will acquire a good understanding of contemporary British and international poetry and will become confident in employing a wide range of poetic forms such as the sonnet, the prose poem and poets’ theatre, as well as exploring different schools of poetry. You will learn how to craft your poems through writing exercises and close-reading which will equip you to deepen your individual poetic practice.
Students go on to employment as professional writers or in media-related occupations such as journalists, archivists, librarians, editors, copywriters and arts managers. Additionally, the programme provides essential preparation for advanced academic study of Creative Writing at PhD level or for teaching Creative Writing.
Our programme will build your confidence and technical ability in composing creative prose and/or poetry, while deepening your critical awareness of the cultural, literary and theoretical history of text production.
Teaching is research-led, so you benefit from the individual expertise and passion of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of published authors and academics, including our Poet in Residence and Distinguished Writer in Residence.
The MA Creative Writing programme will hone your research and writing skills to produce critically informed prose or poetry, and creative criticism. We will help you to locate your work in its literary and cultural context, and you will have the chance to reflect on your creative process and the finished work.
You will have access to a yearly calendar of events hosted at the University created to broaden your thinking, and develop your writing skills such as the Morag Morris Poetry Lecture, the annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival and the Surrey Poetry Festival.
The MA in Creative Writing provides a strong foundation to embark upon a career in writing, communications, publishing, marketing, advertising, journalism or teaching, or to undertake a PhD.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time over two academic years. It consists of eight taught modules and an extended portfolio.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
The MA Programme in Creative Writing will prepare graduates to undertake a PhD programme in the relevant field.
It will also provide students with the transferable skills of creative writing, critical thinking, textual analysis and communication that are attractive to a wide range of employers, from the cultural industries to marketing and advertising to tourism and leisure to the civil service and public/private partnerships.
It is designed to build confidence and technical ability in a variety of modes of imaginative writing, and to provide students with a clear-eyed grounding in contemporary and historical contexts of text production and circulation, including practical advice on the workings of the publishing industry.
Devoted to assisting students to understand and meet the challenges of producing high quality creative writing in poetry and prose, the programme also provides advanced understanding of the contexts, theoretical paradigms, methodologies and modes of interpretation that are vital in a full understanding of literary production.
The main aims are to:
As a Master’s level programme, it also aims to instil in students the capacity for carrying out independent research.
As a student on this Masters, you will benefit from the expertise of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of published academics and authors.
You will have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year. These events cover a range of topics to broaden your thinking in the fields of literature, language and linguistics, cultural studies and creative writing.
Writers to have recently visited the University of Surrey include:
Each year’s cultural activities begin with the Morag Morris Poetry Lecture on campus by a visiting speaker and feature readings by students at the Guildford School of Acting.
The annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival and Surrey Poetry Festival – both affiliated with the Creative Writing programmes at the University of Surrey – aim to engage with writing and creativity in dynamic ways, and involve readings, book signings, performances, panel discussions and more.
This graduate program is delivered by the University's Creative Writing team, all of whom are published authors and poets:
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.
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
The MA in Creative Writing offers aspiring fiction writers and poets a one-year apprenticeship (or two years part-time) during which time they will study literary technique through reading and discussing the work of other contemporary writers in seminars, and will have the opportunity to develop their own work via regular workshops and individual tutorials.
Writers may choose to work on writing a novel and/or short stories and/or poems.
All students will have the opportunity to attend weekly workshops and masterclasses taught by Professor Jeanette Winterson.
More information about this programme can be found on the Centre for New Writing website .
Please note that both the full and part-time options are taught between 9am to 5pm. We do not offer evening classes.
Students take 60 credits worth of courses in semester one and 60 credits worth of courses in semester two. To complete the MA, students are required to take 180 credits in total;
In semester one, students may choose to take two workshops - one in fiction writing and one in poetry -- or they may take one workshop and one seminar - typical seminars will be 'The Art of Short Fiction' and 'Poetics'.
In semester two students wishing to focus on poetry writing will take a poetry workshop and a seminar on Contemporary Poetry; students wishing to focus on fiction writing will take a fiction writing workshop and a seminar in Contemporary Fiction.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]
Some of our students will go on (sometimes several years after completing their studies) to become published writers but most will not. The primary purpose of the Creative Writing MA in Manchester is therefore not to produce published writers but to help writers fulfil their potential and to help them understand and enjoy the literary traditions within which they are working. Graduates may go on to work in publishing, journalism, Arts administration, or (perhaps via a PhD programme) into university teaching.