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 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.
The Critical Writing in Art & Design MA programme in the School of Humanities provides unique opportunities for postgraduate students to develop high-level writing, research and analytical skills in the setting of one of the world’s most dynamic art schools. Combining workshop models of teaching and learning, and ‘live’ projects with leading arts organisations, the MA provides the skills required for a successful career in the arts or a research degree. For 2017/8, we are introducing some exciting new areas of specialisation within the programme.
The programme is committed to the idea that writing – of all kinds – is a creative practice that requires imagination as well as good literary skills and expert knowledge. Students on the MA are presented with many opportunities to develop and apply the skills required by various writing formats from the review and catalogue essay, to fiction and other forms of speculation. The unique structure of the programme allows for specialisation and the freedom to explore novel approaches to writing.
The Critical Writing in Art & Design programme combines lectures, specialist writing workshops and ‘crits’ as well as live projects with external partners. Previous partners have included the Royal Opera House, Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge and Turner Contemporary in Margate. Recognising that the media is undergoing considerable change, the MA also offers opportunities to work with professionals working print and online publishing, broadcasting and podcasting. Students on the programme enjoy opportunities to share classes and to work on shared projects with other students across the RCA including our sister programme, the Critical Practice pathway in the Contemporary Art Practice programme in the School of Fine Art.
Founded in 2010, the Critical Writing in Art & Design programme will launch a set of new specialisms in autumn 2017: Publishing and New Media; Creative Writing; and Art Theory. Students follow a shared, core programme as well as their chosen specialism. This will enable students to develop focused and expert skills within the RCA’s new 15-month MA framework. The specialisms allow a close focus on the particular needs of individual students, delivered through small group seminar teaching and one-to-one tutorials.
Graduates of the Critical Writing in Art & Design programme have published their MA work as books for publishers around the world including MIT Press, China Machine Press, and Zero Books. Others write regularly for the art press (including titles such as Art Monthly, Frieze and Eye Magazine). Some graduates of the programme have gone on to doctoral study at the University of Oxford, the University of Manchester and Goldsmiths. Others work in editorial positions in art and design magazines, or as curators and programmers in galleries and museums and other arts organisations in Europe, China and North America.
Critical Writing in Art & Design students have a strong track record of producing ‘live’ publications with the support of the programme. These include the Albertopolis Companion produced by the graduating class of 2015 or ARK: Words and Images from the Royal College of Art Magazine 1950–1978, an anthology from 2014. Other live projects include Of and For Turner Contemporary, a series of texts exploring a remarkable building on the Kent coast. Students on the programme are encouraged to publish their writing on a dedicated Critical Writing in Art & Design website during their studies.
From 2017, the programme is primarily located in the RCA's newest facilities in White City.
The MSc Technical Architecture provides advanced level study in contemporary technical, environmental and professional issues for architecture. You work on design-led projects focusing on the creative and technical consideration of architecture, and carry out a range of applied projects to develop professional skills.
Core modules provide key knowledge and skills, which are then applied to design projects. Lectures and projects look at emerging theory and practice in architectural design, technology and construction for new and existing buildings within the UK and global contexts.
All modules address contemporary issues in architecture. There is a focus on environmental and sustainable design and how they are achieved through inventive thinking, creative technical design, scientific understanding and computer aided predictive modelling. You learn to use design software including REVIT, ArchiCad and Ecotect.
The course assessments are flexible so you develop your own areas of interest and expertise. Projects can be located in your home country, either in the UK or internationally, or you can explore alternative locations.
The part-time route enables you to work and study at the same time, and you can link your projects to your practice.
In the final stage of the course you produce an original and significant piece of research-led design in the major project module, supported by a research module. This is usually in a subject relevant to your area of architectural interest, technical specialism or practice. You use these concluding modules to identify and develop critical expertise for your chosen career.
The course has a strong professional focus. A key feature is an international field trip as part of the interdisciplinary practice module, which you study alongside students in associated professions such as planning, regeneration, real estate and surveying. Other professional modules allow you to work as a consultant to a real client or to study new or alternative forms of computer aided design.
The course is versatile in its teaching approaches and provides educational and professional development opportunities for a range of applicant profiles. These include UK and international students with architecture, construction or environment related degree qualifications and mature applicants with a proven track record in practice.
You are taught by an expert team of staff that includes experienced architectural, digital and environmental practitioners and academics. We also have teaching links with leading consulting engineers such as ARUP and Price and Myers.
This programme has been recognised by the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) as meeting established standards in terms of course content and qualifies the holder for associate membership of the institute (ACIAT).
CIAT recognises Sheffield Hallam University as an accredited Centre of Excellence for learning and teaching in architectural technology.
Full time – September start – typically 12 months
Full time – September start – typically 16 months
Part time – September start – typically 36 months
The course provides knowledge and skills for a range of careers. These can include senior positions in architectural practice, setting up your own company or moving into college or university level teaching.
Specialist careers include • architectural conservation • practice management • digital design • environmental design and consultancy.
You can also use the course to move from your current career into a more architecture-related one. This is particularly relevant if you currently work in areas such as building surveying, construction or some forms of engineering.