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MA Creative Writing

Course Description

Fulfil your creative talent and ambitions as a writer on a professionally focused course that has produced a number of notable authors, poets and scriptwriters. You study writing and develop your practice with the guidance of an internationally acclaimed team of authors.

• Suitable for anyone with ambitions to become a professional writer.
• Join one of the longest established masters in the U.K.
• Study on a course that has produced a number of acclaimed writers.

The MA Writing is a professionally-focused course which treats your ambition as a writer seriously. Our students come from a range of backgrounds including the arts, teaching, law, journalism, history and writing. The course is for anyone with a professional interest or ambition in writing.

Some of our most successful students include best-selling author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Marina Lewycka, T.S. Eliot short-listed poet Frances Leviston and Radio 4 and BBC TV script writer Sharon Oakes.

Our internationally-acclaimed team of professional writers publish and teach in all areas of contemporary literary practice. They include
• Mike Harris – Sony Award winning scriptwriter and theatre director
• Chris Jones – Forward prize-nominee poet
• James McCreet – literary detective fiction writer
• John Milne – award-winning TV dramatist and novelist
• Conor O'Callaghan – prize-winning poet and memoirist
• Maurice Riordan – poet, editor of The Poetry Review
• Jane Rogers – novelist, short-story writer and playwright (fellow of the Royal Society of Literature)
• Felecity Skelton – published short fiction writer and poet
• Harriet Tarlo – environmental poet and editor and critic
• Linda Lee Welch – novelist, poet, editor and critic

The E.A Markham Award

The E.A Markham Award means that one of our students will study the course for free. The award covers the full-time study fees and is awarded solely on merit and potential. It is offered in honour of Professor Emeritus E.A Markham who was a respected tutor here who worked to shape the development of this course.

In January 2015 the prize will be awarded to the entrant who submits the best poetry with their application form and in January 2016, to the entrant with the best short story.

Download the E.A Markham award guidance for more information.

Short course – single modules

If you are not able to commit to the whole course, you can apply to take a single module. Choose a genre from the optional modules listed in the course content and apply as normal. Your portfolio needs to include examples of writing in your chosen genre. The credit you gain for completing one module will count towards the full MA should you choose to pursue this at a later date.

Publications and prizes

The literary agency, A.M. Heath, reads a selection of our strongest students’ novels each year and offers a prize to the best of them. We also award the Ictus Prize in Poetry to the best poetry collection, this consists of a small chapbook or pamphlet publication. Every year, we publish the Best of M.A. in-house publication, as recommended by tutors, and Matter, a stylish anthology, edited and designed by students, and sold and promoted in bookshops. If you would like to see a sample copy of this, email the course leader


Submission of written work to specified word lengths with accompanying critical commentaries.

Visit the MA Creative Writing page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A folder of original writing demonstrating postgraduate level potential and, normally, a first degree in English or related discipline.If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS 6.0 score with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.0 or equivalent we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score. You must apply by 1 November for the January intake and by 4 April for the September intake.

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