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Course content


  • Refine your writing across a range of styles and genres
  • Understand where your work fits in the diverse world of publishing
  • Be inspired and encouraged by guest writers, editors and literary agents 

Creative and Critical Writing at Winchester offers you the opportunity to evaluate and improve your creative writing in a dynamic, supportive environment. The programme is taught by professional writers: novelists, scriptwriters, poets and writers of creative nonfiction, as well as cultural critics and playwrights. There are opportunities to meet agents, editors and published writers, and as your knowledge of the publishing industry expands, find out where your work fits within the market. 

You study twentieth century and contemporary literature, which allows you to explore different styles and genres and gain a critical foundation for your own writing while increasing your knowledge of the publishing world. The structure of the programme enables you to focus on one or more genres (for example, fiction, creative non-fiction, scriptwriting or poetry) during the year. 

Throughout the course, you create and workshop your work in an encouraging group of peers, starting in the first semester with a module that focuses on contemporary fiction alongside a module about research and what this means for you as a writer. In the second semester you choose from options including Contemporary Non-Fiction, Contemporary Scriptwriting for Film and Television, Creativity Writing and Teaching and Advanced Contemporary Poetry. Through the Publishing Project you engage with writers, agents and editors through readings and workshops, exploring publishing opportunities for your own work. You can also volunteer at the Winchester Writers’ Festival on campus. 

The Independent Study Preparation module is designed to help you prepare for your Creative Writing dissertation – an independent project of your choice of up to 30,000 words which constitutes nearly half of the MA. This could be the first part of a novel, a collection of short stories, a portfolio of poetry or a script, completed with full tutor support. 

Graduates of the course frequently obtain publishing contracts, while others work in other aspects of publishing, or in teaching, media, the arts and business.


Graduates are increasingly obtaining publishing contracts, while some go into other occupations which may include publishing, teaching, media, the arts and business.

Pre-approved for a Masters

If you study a Bachelor Honours degrees with us, you will be pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible, you will need to apply by the end of March in the final year of your degree and meet the entry requirements of your chosen Masters degree.


Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work placements

Students have the opportunity to volunteer at the Winchester Literary Festival on campus, working with a range of writers, publishers and agents and industry professionals.

Learning and teaching

Start date: September

Teaching takes place: Evenings

The academic staff are professional novelists, scriptwriters, poets and writers of creative non-fiction, as well as cultural critics and playwrights. They are supported by guest writers, editors and literary agents. This course has long enjoyed a vibrant programme of visiting speakers. 

Students have the opportunity to develop their creative work, give and receive feedback in weekly workshops, and work with lecturers who are all practitioners. 


Taught elements of the course take place at King Alfred or West Downs, Winchester.


Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.

Each module typically comes with a creative writing assignment, or an assignment plus rationale (reflective piece) of approximately 4,000 words in total.

Students undertake a Dissertation between 20,000-30,000 words as part of their independent study with full tutorial support.

We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures

Visit the Creative & Critical Writing - MA page on the University of Winchester website for more details!





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