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Full time & Part time See Course MA 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

About the course

Have you got a story to tell? Or poems that you want to shape into a collection? This degree will help you develop your creative writing practice. You’ll experiment with a wide variety of forms to help you discover your preferred mode of writing.

Why study MA Creative & Life Writing at Goldsmiths?

  • You may be writing regularly; you may be returning to it after concentrating on your career. Whatever your background, if you're serious about your writing, we can help you to develop your practice.
  • Goldsmiths is ranked in the world’s top 100 for English Language and Literature (QS World University Subject Rankings 2021).
  • Our students bring with them a lively range of interests, cultures and experiences. We welcome students of any age who share the drive to take their writing seriously.
  • You’ll have
Read more about this course

Entry Requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in a relevant/related subject.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.


 Course Content


Where is Goldsmiths, University of London

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Student Profile(s)

Claire Adam

The MA in Creative & Life Writing at Goldsmiths was a huge turning point for me. I'd been writing on my own for ages, and I'd managed to produce two novels, but I knew they weren't very good and I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I'd been reluctant to enrol in a Creative Writing course, because I worried that a teacher would walk into the classroom and start instructing us on "rules" of creative writing, but luckily the Goldsmiths MA isn't like that!

There are all the usual components of a Creative Writing MA, I suppose – workshops, reading, essays, one-to-one sessions with tutors, guest lectures, opportunities to meet published authors, literary agents, etc – but what I liked about the Goldsmiths MA was the space, and freedom, and the respect with which the tutors treated our work. It was a good year, a year of figuring my writing out. I started work on Golden Child while I was at Goldsmiths, and it's just been awarded the 2019 Desmond Elliott Prize for best debut novel.

Jack

My route to the MA Multilingualism, Linguistics and Education (MLE) was quite meandering in many ways. My background had been in English Literature and I had spent the last few years teaching in a South London primary school, increasingly within the field of English as an Additional Language (EAL).

I was itching to start delving into research and theory that I could apply to my evolving practice as a teacher. I had looked around at many MAs which offered a straight-up 'teaching practice' and supporting EAL learners in the school or EAL in practice. What caught my eye about the MA MLE was the breadth of what you can cover and its interdisciplinary and inter-departmental approach.

It was a place where I could develop my knowledge in sociolinguistics (an area I’d always wished I'd gone down in my first degree) as well as look, through an international lens, at multilingual education systems and practices. This international dimension was one of the great positives about the course: getting to compare and contrast different educational systems across the globe (and not just on a Western axis of Europe, USA and Australia), as well as how multilingual the student body was: we would share first-hand experiences of education from places as diverse as China, India, Turkey and Chile. In many of the modules we did not shy away from vital questions of teacher and student reflexivity in relation to race, gender and class, which was also something that seemed lacking from more narrow and 'neutral' (of course there is no such thing) looking MAs I researched.

I also enjoyed how much I was able to delve into my arts-based education interests, as I was able to get involved with the Education department's Multilingual Digital Storytelling Global project. I felt my voice and ideas were really valued in this project.

Through a module called Children’s Literature and Cultural Diversity, I was also able to explore how to use filmmaking and creative writing can be used effectively for critical pedagogy in the classroom.

Tom

The MA in Multilingualism, Linguistics & Education provided me with an exciting opportunity to gain a solid foundation in the field of applied linguistics with a particular focus on its use in the educational context. The course has encouraged my critical thinking and given me the right tools to embrace the diversity of the globalized world that we live in. Engaging in lively discussions with other students from various backgrounds and our tutors made me look at different polemics from a variety of new and eye-opening angles.

The variety of modules allowed me to choose the ones that fit my needs and interests best. Throughout the year, there were a number of opportunities to hear guest speakers leading their respective field. It was a truly inspiring to be in an environment that allowed me to ask questions, with great tutors helping me acquire the necessary tools to answer them.

For your end of year thesis, which may seem like a daunting endeavour at first, you really get all the freedom you want to explore research questions that you are passionate about and you get all the guidance you need to find answers to them. Your lecturers guide and support you throughout the entire process and they are always available to answer any questions you may have. I couldn’t be more thankful for them. The course gave me the academic confidence and curiosity to pursue a PhD in the field of applied linguistics, which I don’t think would have been possible without the support from my supervisors during this degree.

The special focus on multilingualism couldn’t be more fitting for a university located in the heart of South East London where cultural and linguistic diversity can be found all around. Even after graduating, the area still feels like home and I always look forward to any opportunity to go back.

Sally Eales

This MA not only provided me with an extremely wide ranging and solid foundation in Sociocultural Linguistics but also with many other crucial aspects needed to help this particular student through a year’s academic study. Classes that were engaging, inclusive and stimulating; tutors who were interesting, informed and supportive and fellow students who were diverse, interesting and well, just very likeable, we explored so many interesting topics such as the use of ‘three part lists’ in rhetoric!

It was fun too, discussions often spilled out from the classroom into one of the many local restaurants, cafes and bars in the immediate vicinity and continued late into the evening.

I came from the Open University having completed a BA in English Language and Literature and, unsure of where I should head next, one visit to Goldsmiths had me hooked. It’s a well-structured degree consisting of both core and option modules, giving students both a good grounding in the core topics whilst also allowing them to specialise in areas that they are particularly interested in.

Its flexibility, with the facility for students to audit other modules, resulted in a module switch for me in a direction I hadn’t initially expected to go but which proved to be one of the most enjoyable and interesting areas I studied. Overall, my year at Goldsmiths was a great experience and the MA provided me with enough of a foundation and confidence in Sociocultural Linguistics to continue on my academic journey to Sheffield where I am now reading for a PhD, one which directly employs some of the linguistic tools we were introduced to on this course, such as discourse analysis and politeness theories. Who isn’t interested in language, what we do with it and how we use it?

From analysing conversations, to the examination of political and ideological implications of language use, to the relationship between language, culture and thought, this MA really does have something for everyone.

Carter

My path to linguistics was not a classic one – if there is such a thing. That’s not a thing, right? Okay great. Before coming to Goldsmiths to study Sociocultural Linguistics I spent four years in an acting conservatory in New Jersey. My path was clear: I was going to be a professional actor. A professional actor who spent all of his free time reading books on accents and dialects and feeding his yet undiscovered desire to be a linguist. I had always loved language, but specifically accents and how they shaped identity.

After drama school I was ready to dig deeper in a different field of study. When I found the MA in Sociocultural Linguistics at Goldsmiths my interest was piqued. I was excited by the idea of being able to study language and culture in an international university, with students and lecturers from around the world. The year did not disappoint.

Strangely - though it is very clearly stated in the title of the course - I did not expect to feel like a linguist when I finished the course. I guess I thought I’d feel more like a Jane Goodall of language, observing it in its natural habitat and quietly noting its intricacies. Or maybe I thought I’d be more of a language Malcolm Gladwell, retelling clever stories from my obscure language adventures, illuminating the joys of language for all to share. Never have I been so pleased to be wrong. On this course I became a Linguist; one dedicated to exploring my own interests and passions with the knowledge and analytical skill gained on this MA.

Throughout the year you are given the tools to study language from the ground up. ‘Core Issues in English Language Linguistics’ explores language from phonology to pragmatics; investigating how and why language is structured. In the second term, ‘Language in its Sociocultural Context’ uses all that you have learned in the previous term to explore how language and culture interact and influence one another. In the first term I took the module ‘English in a Multilingual World’ which explored English as a lingua franca and the role colonisation plays in shaping the Englishes of the world. In the second term, 'Analysing Discourse and Identity in Spoken Interaction', which was equally fascinating and explored the various means of analysing discourse and how identity is constructed in interaction.

Joanna

I completed my BA in Sociology and Movement Studies twenty years ago and I've been a PE/Sociology teacher since that time. Three years ago I completed a TEFL course which peaked my interest in linguistics. The Goldsmiths MA in Sociocultural Linguistics was the perfect mixture of my interests and has allowed me to explore themes related to both sport and education.

As a mature student I was keen to fully throw myself into being a full time student and as well as completing modules on spoken discourse and identity and written discourse and ideology I was also allowed to audit the other modules. The emphasis is very much placed on you to complete compulsory and additional reading, as well as gathering your own data to analyse. There were also opportunities to hear guest speakers who are at the forefront of their field. The two core modules gave me a thorough overview of general linguistics and the specialist modules allowed me to focus on my areas of interest in terms of methodology and topic. The classes were enjoyable and engaging and allowed plenty of opportunities for me to clarify and develop my ideas in discussion with other students and the tutors. All the course tutors are highly knowledgeable and extremely supportive and the one to one sessions and feedback I received when preparing my dissertation were invaluable.

The other students in my cohort came from a wide range of areas and this added to the enjoyment and interest I got from the course. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this course to anyone interested in the social aspects of language and linguistics. I still use the skills that I developed completing the MA, particularly critical thinking skills, analysis of everyday discourses and evaluation of texts. I wish I could start it all over again!

Giuseppina

The most positive experience during my MA was meeting people that are fully involved in the translation environment. We had experts coming from Asymptote, translation agencies and even other countries, such as Spain, to share with us their knowledge. What was absolutely fantastic for me was meeting Dr Andrew Walsh from Universidad Pontificia Comillas, Madrid, who shared with us his experience in gastronomic, literal and football translation. Further, he gave us some advice on how to behave in the translation world and to handle pressure and time constraints.

The absolute surprise and benefit was to develop my professionalisation step-by-step throughout the modules. The first module was based on translation theories and it was extraordinary to see how those theories were applicable to every text (technical or literal) we analysed. Having started a work experience placement soon after the end of the modules, thanks to Dr Sarah Maitland, I discovered how much translation studies has helped me to build my translation process and my research work.

Sarah Hirsch

This course was genuinely life changing. It opened up so many new pathways for me to explore both creatively and academically as well as challenging every aspect of my practice to make me a far better writer, teacher and all round human. The unique balance between writing and education, the opportunities to grow and develop and the diversity and quality of the tutors all contribute to a top notch masters programme. I am richer for the experience (emotionally speaking, I am still a writer after all).

Sania Riaz

I thoroughly enjoyed the MA in Creative Writing and Education. I have always been fascinated by the creative writing process and was eager to learn how I could encourage students to feel the same. Each module taught me a different aspect regarding writing creatively and teaching it.

Learning from modules such as Children's literature, Culture and Diversity, and Creative Writing Pedagogies, I am now confident in planning lessons, projects, and group activities that will excite students and produce great writing.

I always loved the idea of working in publishing, but only saw it as a pipe dream. However, I am now employed as an Editorial Assistant at Bonnier Books UK, and I am certain my MA credentials supported my break through into the publishing industry.

Michael Kelly

My name is Michael Kelly. I completed the Writer/Teacher MA programme [now called the MA Creative Writing & Education] from 2014-16. After 33 years of teaching, latterly as an AST in Tower Hamlets primary schools, I found “My People” at Goldsmiths: they were my tutors and my fellow students.

Teaching can be an isolating experience. This is paradoxical given the collaborative nature of classroom learning. But years of specialisation can do this. How stimulating to discover vocational teachers, writers, and spoken word educators with experience and passion to share. No matter how tired I was from the day job when I arrived at Goldsmiths, I almost always left the class feeling refreshed and energised.

On the MA, a structured critique and appreciation of creative writing practices contextualised much of our educational debate. I discovered research evidence to open up theory that had become important to me, covering learner agency, personal growth, creativity and aesthetics, collaboration, voice, culture and heritage, bilingualism, story, and spoken word. Most importantly, I had access to practical models to support and challenge my practice.

Visiting lecturers covered important and cutting-edge areas of creative writing and how it can be taught effectively. At a time when my experience was of debate being closed down and uniformity of teaching practice being advocated, the course of study at Goldsmiths was a massive relief.

The quality of the teaching was consistently excellent. Skilful course management allowed for proper devolution of responsibility and learner ownership throughout. To spend time in the company of Vicky Macleroy, Ardu Vikal, Michael Rosen, Maggie Pitfield, Francis Gilbert, and Blake Morrison was a joy.

Goldsmith alumni from our course form an active community of Writers, Educators, and Poets. We are socially engaged and recognise learners as experts in their own lives. Ours is a rich and diverse group. We regularly meet to workshop our writing; we meet to hear each other's spoken word poetry; we visit each other's schools and PRUs.

My son recently completed GCSE English Literature. When I discussed poetry with him he said, “it’s interesting Dad, but it’s not on the mark scheme”.

“Too right son”, I said. “It is interesting.”

Edwina Bowen

Edwina Bowen was born in Dublin. Her first degree was a B.Comm with French at UCD, which led to a career in financial services in London. She now works part-time as an executive coach. She completed an M.Res in Creative Writing at Roehampton University, where she started working on the novel which forms the basis of her MPhil/PhD.

The creative element of her PhD thesis is a novel, a love story set in Dublin and London in the early nineties, which develops two inter-related themes: the role of trauma memory in the search for self, and how that is troubled by the mother-daughter relationship. The critical essay looks at Trauma Memory as Abject, examining these themes in her own work and that of selected contemporary female Irish writers.

Jessica

I found out about Goldsmiths through the work of Sara Ahmed. I chose to come because of the innovative program MA Black British Writing, the first and only program of its kind in the UK. Before Goldsmiths, I was working as an arts practitioner in Berlin. My course is incredible, full of rich resources from an incredible canon of phenomenal literature. Goldsmiths, however, is not providing enough resources for its black student body. I plan to work within arts institutions to establish racial equity.

Scholarships

Successful applicants will be selected on a competitive basis.

Initial shortlisting by eligibility criteria will be completed by our Scholarships Co-ordinator. All applicants who meet the eligibility criteria are then forwarded to the next selection stage.

Applications will then be considered by the relevant Head of Academic Department. They understand that applicants will have a broad range of differing skills, attributes and experiences, so they will give equal consideration to both the applicant’s academic record and their answers to the questions posed in the award application form. They also understand that what is important is the content of the answers and their relevance to the questions, not the standard of writing.

Applications will be considered against the stated criteria. Final award recipients and reserve candidates will then be decided.

Please note that part-time students will receive the £1,000 fee waiver over two years.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£1,000

Eligibility

You must meet the general eligibility criteria and regulations. You must also:

- Be holding an offer of study on a taught Masters programme at Goldsmiths
- Be eligible for Home fees

Application Procedure

Applications open 12 March 2021. The deadline for applications is 28 May 2021 at 12.00pm BST.

When applications open you can apply through your MyGoldsmiths account. This is the online account that you created when you applied for a course at Goldsmiths.

As part of the application, you will be asked to answer three questions relevant to the award that you are applying for. Our scholarships are very competitive, so it's important to include as much detailed information as you can.

Further Information

https://www.gold.ac.uk/fees-funding/scholarships/goldsmiths-masters-scholarships/

Successful applicants will be selected on a competitive basis.

Initial shortlisting by eligibility criteria will be completed by our Scholarships Co-ordinator. All applicants who meet the eligibility criteria are then forwarded to the next selection stage.

Applications will then be considered by an awarding panel. All panel members understand that applicants will have a broad range of differing skills, attributes and experiences, so they will give equal consideration to both the applicant’s academic record and their answers to the questions posed in the award application form. Panel members also understand that what is important is the content of the answers and their relevance to the questions, not the standard of writing.

The panel will consist of representatives from Admissions, Widening Participation, and an academic department. The panel will assess the applications against the stated criteria.

Final award recipients and reserve candidates will be decided by the panel.

Value of Scholarship(s)

£2,000

Eligibility

You must meet the general eligibility criteria and regulations. You must also:

- Be holding an offer of study on a taught postgraduate programme at Goldsmiths (excluding PGCE programmes)
- Be a UK citizen and eligible for Home fees
- Be new to postgraduate study
- Be experiencing financial difficulties
- Not be in receipt of any Goldsmiths funding

Application Procedure

Applications open 12 March 2021. The deadline for applications is 28 May 2021, 12.00pm BST.

When applications open you can apply through your MyGoldsmiths account. This is the online account that you created when you applied for a course at Goldsmiths.

As part of the application, you will be asked to answer three questions relevant to the award that you are applying for. Our scholarships are very competitive, so it's important to include as much detailed information as you can.

Further Information

https://www.gold.ac.uk/fees-funding/scholarships/https://www.gold.ac.uk/fees-funding/scholarships/goldsmiths-company-postgraduate-bursaries/

The awards are worth £2,000, £4,000 and £5,000: Applicants who have accepted their offer for postgraduate taught and Graduate Diploma programmes may be eligible to receive awards of £2,000 and £4,000 Applicants who have accepted their offer for undergraduate degree programmes and International Foundation Certificate programmes may be eligible to receive awards of £2,000 and £5,000

Value of Scholarship(s)

£2,000 - £5,000

Eligibility

You must meet the general eligibility criteria and regulations. You must also be eligible to pay international fees (this includes international fee-paying students from within the EU) and have accepted an offer on an eligible Goldsmiths programme:

- Postgraduate taught degree programmes (excluding Fine Art and Design programmes)
- Graduate Diploma programmes (excluding Design)
- Undergraduate degree programmes (excluding Fine Art, Design and Fine Art Extension programmes)
- International Foundation Certificate programmes (excluding Design)

Application Procedure

You can apply by completing our application form.

You will be sent instructions after you have been made an offer of an academic place at Goldsmiths.

Applications will open on December 1 2020 and consist of two rounds.

If you apply by 31 March 2021, 11.59pm GMT, you will hear back about your application in w/c 19 April 2021. If you apply by 17 May 2021, 11.59pm BST, you will hear back about your application on or around 1 June 2021.

Further Information

https://www.gold.ac.uk/fees-funding/scholarships/goldsmiths-international-scholarships/

10% fee discount to home students and the equivalent amount in pounds sterling to international students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% fee discount to home students and equivalent amount in pounds sterling to international students

Eligibility

The award is available to:

Home and international students (full-time and part-time) who received a first class undergraduate honours degree from a British higher education institution

You must be applying for a taught Masters programme (MRes and PGCE programmes are not included).

Read the full definitions for the eligibility criteria of the Goldsmiths Excellence Fee Waiver on our website.

Application Procedure

You do not need to apply for the Excellence Fee Waiver, Awardees must meet all other eligibility criteria at the point of enrolment or they will no longer be eligible for the award.

Please ensure you upload your final degree transcript or certificate as proof of your classification to your MyGoldsmiths account. The fee waiver will not be applied unless proof of your classification has been provided.

Awardees must meet all other eligibility criteria at point of enrolment or they will no longer be eligible for the award. The fee discount will then be applied automatically after full enrolment has been completed.

Please note: this award cannot be combined with the Goldsmiths Alumni Fee Waiver.

Further Information

https://www.gold.ac.uk/fees-funding/scholarships/goldsmiths-excellence-fee-waiver/

10% fee discount to home alumni, and the equivalent amount in pounds sterling to international alumni.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% fee discount to home alumni, and the equivalent amount in pounds sterling to international alumni.

Eligibility

The award is available to the following Goldsmiths graduates:

- Home and international graduates (full-time and part-time)
- Study Abroad graduates
- Goldsmiths, University of London LaSalle graduates
- Goldsmiths, University of London Distance Learning programme graduates who have been awarded a BA in English, BSc in Computing and Information Systems, or a BSc in Creative Computing

You must be applying to start a taught Masters programme (MRes and PGCE programmes are not included).

Application Procedure

The fee discount will be applied automatically after full enrolment has been completed.

Please note: this award cannot be combined with the Goldsmiths Excellence Fee Waiver.

Further Information

https://www.gold.ac.uk/fees-funding/scholarships/goldsmiths-alumni-fee-waiver/

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