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Course content

A course may be the first step towards a writing career, or a chance for more experienced writers to develop their work from a new perspective. The School of English at Bangor University offers a range of opportunities for postgraduate study in a dynamic critical and creative environment. One of the first institutions in the UK to offer creative writing at degree level, Bangor has significant experience in this discipline and a flourishing postgraduate community.

Specialist writing staff are closely involved in teaching and supervision, and have a range of expertise in poetry, fiction, literary editing and the interface between creative and critical writing. Staff members are published and award-winning authors, and are also involved in a variety of editing and judging activities; Zoe Skoulding is editor of Poetry Wales, Ian Gregson is editor of Salt Wales and Kachi Ozumba was a judge for the Commonwealth Short Story competition in 2010 and 2011. The school benefits from the presence of the poet Professor Carol Rumens as a visiting professor, and the frequent visits of honorary professor Philip Pullman, who offers both readings and workshops.

Our students are successful. A number of recent or existing postgraduate students have successfully published collections of poems or short stories that have arisen from their studies here at Bangor. These include John Tanner, Zoe Skoulding, and Nessa O’Mahoney. Others have published stories including Terri Lee Hackman, Zoe Perrenoud, and Lisa Blower (who won the 2009 Guardian Short Story Competition) or individual poems and other forms of writing.

The environment in Bangor couldn’t be better for studying creative writing, situated as it is between the mountains and the sea. It is a place where creativity is the norm rather than the exception.

Further Details

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Course Content

The MA in Creative Writing consists of two parts. Part One must be successfully completed before proceeding to the second part, the dissertation.

Part One:

For the first part of the MA, four modules are taught in small groups or through individual supervision:

  • Creative Writing: Poetry (30 credits): A series of group seminars invites students to experiment with a range of approaches to poetry, from the use of traditional forms to innovative techniques for exploring language. Participants read and discuss contemporary poetry, and develop a portfolio of their own work with individual supervision.
  • Creative Writing: Prose (30 credits): Taught initially by seminar, followed by individual supervision, this module presents advanced fiction writing techniques, focusing on how character, plot, setting, tone and style contribute to compelling narrative, and on how conventions of genre may be challenged. Assessment is by a portfolio of fiction.
  • Introduction to Literary Theory, Scholarship and Research (30 credits): This module offers the opportunity to study alongside MA students in English Literature, and to share ideas about authorship, the history of the book, and some key contemporary perspectives on the relationship between literature and the culture in which it is produced. For writers, this module offers a valuable insight into how your creative work relates to its wider context.

Optional modules:

  • Open Essay/Portfolio (30 credits): A supervised essay or piece of creative writing on a topic/theme of the student’s own choice.
  • Transcreative Writing (30 credits): This module is taught in conjunction with the School of Modern Languages, but no foreign language skills required.
  • Modules may also be taken from any part of the MA in English programme.

Part Two:

The second part of the MA is the Dissertation, which is a chance to develop a longer piece of creative writing (20,000 words) in consultation with a supervisor. It will involve a series of one-to-one supervisory meetings during the summer, once Part 1 has been completed successfully.

Modules for the current academic year

Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Creative Writing Modules page.

Careers and Employability

An MA in Creative Writing may lead to a career as a novelist, poet or playwright. Planning and developing a substantial writing project is a good preparation for future funded or commissioned writing, as well as for an academic career in practice-based research. This course also offers a range of skills that can be applied in other contexts, for example editing, publishing, journalism and arts administration. The ability to use language fluently and persuasively is essential for success in almost any field, and the flexibility of working across genres in this course offers an excellent grounding in creative language use.

Research / Links with Industry

Practising writers are regularly invited to share their insights with students.


Visit the Creative Writing - MA/PGDip page on the Bangor University website for more details!

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