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Creative Writing (MA)

Course Description

Hone your writing and expand your opportunities for publication. Our workshops will help you to develop your self-editing and refine your work using feedback from your peers and tutors. Get advice from our team of specialist lecturers, study classic and contemporary authors, and learn about the modern publishing industry.


If you’re a practising writer, this course will allow you to develop your craft in a supportive literary environment.

You’ll get the chance to work on your existing projects or try out something completely new, working across a range of styles and genres. Your first modules will focus on novels and short stories, while Special Topic and dissertation projects can range from drama and screenwriting to graphic novels and performance poetry*.

You’ll share your work with, and get invaluable feedback from, our experienced teaching team as well as your fellow students, giving you a unique perspective on how your work is read by different audiences.

All your writing will be supported by a close study of the most distinguished writers and works in each form. You’ll learn to reflect critically on other people’s writing, and through this discover new ways to understand and improve your own.

If you want to get published, you can get advice from our team of specialists, led by Laura Dietz, Una McCormack and Colette Paul, as well as our current Royal Literary Fund Fellows. We’ll introduce you to the writing industry through talks, masterclasses and networking opportunities with agents, publishers and established fiction writers. Our past tutors and speakers have included writers like Rebecca Stott, Toby Litt, Shelley Weiner, Martyn Waites, Julia Bell, Chris Beckett, Graham Joyce and Esther Freud.

You can choose to study this course in Cambridge (full- or part-time) or Chelmsford (part-time only).


This course will prepare you for a career as a creative writer or in related areas such as publishing and the media, but will also give you critical and analytical skills valued by many employers.

For an idea of how past students have moved from MA study to careers as published authors, read more about Kaddy Benyon, Penny Hancock and Kate Swindlehurst.


Core modules:
Patterns of Story: Fiction and its Forms
Master's Project in Creative Writing

Optional modules:
Workshop: the Short Story
Workshop: the Novel
Special Topic in Creative Writing/English Literature

Or change one of the above options to:
Renaissance Drama and Cultures of Performance
Re-reading Modernism, Practising Postmodernism
Creativity and Content in Publishing
The Long 19th Century: Controversies and Cities
The Business of Publishing
Independent Learning Module


On each core module, you’ll show your progress through one or more pieces of writing. For the Patterns of Fiction module, this will be a single critical essay including samples of your own writing. For the other three modules you’ll submit one creative portfolio of up to 4,500 words, plus a critical reflection on your work and writing process.

You can also take several optional modules from our MA Publishing or MA English Literature courses.

The major project at the end of the course will allow you to present up to 15,000 words of your chosen writing project, including a critical commentary.

Cultural activities and events

In addition to our Creative Writing and Publishing events series, the department organises many extra-curricular activities, like the annual three-day trip to Stratford-upon-Avon, poetry and writing evenings, and research symposia and conferences.

You’ll also be able to join the Anglia Ruskin Literary Society, which arranges trips to local plays and poetry readings, organises workshops, and hosts guest speakers and performance evenings.

As a founding member, we also host events for CAMPUS, Cambridge’s only publishing society.

Visit the Creative Writing (MA) page on the Anglia Ruskin University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Guin Glasford-Brown

871.jpg Taking the MA Creative Writing at Anglia Ruskin University is, without doubt, one of the best decisions I have made in recent years.

The MA has been pivotal to my development as an early career writer. It has provided me with a core set of skills on which to build and feedback to enable me to refine my work, to find its hard, bright edge. One of the most valuable aspects of the course has been the opportunity for me to develop my interest in art and writing. I am now writing a series of stories that explore the work of British artist, Julian Opie.

I failed English Literature at school and I don't have a literary background, so putting my work 'out there' alongside published writers was extremely daunting. I want to thank the students I work with, because I have had great support from them, and the teaching staff on the MA who have shown me tremendous encouragement. I am thrilled to have won this award and for my work to be recognised in this way.*

(* Guin won first prize in the National Galleries of Scotland prize for a story she wrote that responds to a painting, 'Imagine You Are Driving', in the gallery. The competition is co-sponsored by the Scottish Poetry Library and English Speaking Union and The Scotsman. Guin's story will be published in The Scotsman and in a collection of winning work later next year. )


Entry Requirements

If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 7.0 overall (Academic level) with 7.0 in the writing component or equivalent English Language qualification as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University. A good honours degree (or equivalent), normally in a related subject. Applicants with professional experience are also encouraged to apply.

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