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  Creative Writing: First Novel - MA/PGDip/PGCert

St Mary’s University, Twickenham    Faculty of Education, Theology and the Arts

Full time & Part time September PGDip, MA, PGCert 1 year full time, 2 years part time
Creative Arts & Design (9) Languages, Literature & Culture (21)

FindAMasters summary

Are you a budding novelist with a burning idea that you're itching to bring to life? Look no further than our Creative Writing: First Novel programme. Unlike other postgraduate courses, we offer a highly personalized experience with one-to-one tuition from our team of award-winning, published writers. This means you'll receive expert guidance throughout the journey of writing your first draft. No short stories or poetry here - just a laser focus on developing your novel. With industry connections and seminars with top agents and publishers, you'll be well-equipped to navigate the publishing world. Entry requires a good first degree and a strong writing sample, so if you're ready to embark on your novel-writing adventure, get in touch today.

About the course

Our Creative Writing: First Novel Master's degree works with a very small cohort. This means you'll receive one-to-one tuition on a far more regular basis compared to many other Creative Writing postgraduate courses.

Here, you will be personally guided through the journey of your first draft, rather than being another student at the back of a large class. No short stories, no poetry, no screenplay, just your novel.

Your novel deserves a tutor that understands all - not just some of its parts - and you deserve a tutor who will coach not just the first draft of your novel, but also the development of your creative process.

Why St Mary's?

Our tutors are practising writers, and have between them written best-selling novels and won major literary awards. Drawing on our connections with the industry you'll also have seminars with some of the most sought-after agents and publishers in London.

When you have finished the degree, you can choose to continue workshopping and drafting with the dedicated cohorts we establish every year. We are passionate about our craft and about your craft too. That's why our first PhD student in Creative Writing struck a major two-book deal with Canongate and sales in multiple foreign territories.

Current students are receiving visits from high profile industry experts from the publishing world throughout this semester. These include visits, Q&As and masterclasses from Conville and Walsh, Canongate, Bookouture, Janklow and Nesbit, Little Brown, Corsair and Atom and Picador, and pitching opportunities to top agents and publishers: Hellie Ogden, Jo Unwin, Francesca Main, James Gurbutt, Natalie Butlin, Jessie Botterill, Sophie Lambert

We want to hear about your novel – the one you know you have to write. Pick up the phone or email the Programme Director: or call 020 8240 4380.

Course Content

A full list of modules is available on our website:


Each module produces a creative element of your draft which will be assessed. In the seminar modules, you will also be assessed by presentation to the group.

One-to-one tutorial feedback and support is essential for the writer aiming to complete a productive draft in just one year.

In formal assessment, each module will produce a mixture of creative submission to deadline, workshop engagement, critical reflection and seminar presentation. The weight of marking always rests with creative submission and the aim is to complete a draft of a novel through continuous assessment.
Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

Writers should begin the degree with an idea they are burning to realise. This is a particularly focused degree and we are looking for candidates who have written in short form but never attempted a novel, or who have written a work of novel length but want to start again and improve their working practice. A good first degree and strong sample submission are the only requirements for entry. However, the individual journey that you want to take is important and so that we can meet expectations candidates will be selected by interview and on the strength of their work.


Please see St Mary's website

 Course Content

Visit institution website

Where will I study?

Where is St Mary’s University, Twickenham


Student Profile

Jennifer Small

I selected the Creative Writing First Novel MA as it's specifically designed for those who are attempting to write their first novel. It is a very small cohort of writers, which not only allows us all to get to know each other's work, but also allows for close contact with the tutors.

I gained an insight into the inner workings of the novel, a greater understanding of the writing process, along with the confidence to write.

It's a valuable opportunity to hone your writing skills and gain support and feedback from experienced, established authors and tutors, as well as sharing the writing experience with your peers on the course.

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