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Our MA in Creative Writing is unique in bringing together the following:

  • Teaching by a strong and diverse group of internationally recognised writers
  • The rich resources of a world-leading Russell Group university with a top-rated English Department
  • The chance to live and work in a beautiful West Country location in a vibrant cathedral city

Whether you are interested in fiction, non-fiction, poetry or screen writing, Exeter offers you a thriving and supportive writing community. Our team of prize-winning and best-selling authors are highly experienced and will help you develop your writing towards publication. Our strong links with the worlds of publishing, literary journalism and broadcasting, book festivals and prizes will provide valuable insights into the workings of the literary marketplace and open many opportunities to establish the contacts necessary for successful publication.

Learning and teaching

Whether you already know what kind of books or screenplays you wish to write, or are still searching for the best form in which to express your creativity, we offer the chance to try your hand in a range of genres, and to benefit from feedback tailored to your writing needs.

Our MA can be taken over one year full time, or two years part time. In the course of your study you will build a portfolio of creative work for possible publication, including a dissertation in your chosen genre. You will also be able to take a range of optional modules and explore literary genres and forms with a mutually supportive, like-minded group of fellow writers.

You will be taught not only by our teaching staff, but also by a range of visiting authors, literary agents and publishers. The roll call changes every year to reflect both our students’ interests and new trends. Recent guest lecturers have included the Booker prize winning novelist Hilary Mantel; the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winning novelist Hisham Matar; the Pulitzer Prize winning US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey; the writer, editor and publisher Richard Cohen, and many others.

Programme structure

MA Creative Writing students study 180 credits in total. This includes a 60 credit dissertation and 120 credits of optional modules. At least 90 credits of your optional modules will be in Creative Writing modules. You are able to choose 30 credits from our MA English Literary Studies programme or from other MA modules offered at the University (subject to availability, and where appropriate, the required prerequisites).

Compulsory modules

  • Creative Writing Dissertation

Optional modules

Some examples of the optional modules are as follows:

  • Prose Writing Workshop
  • The Poetry of Events
  • Structures of Realism
  • Writing for the Screen

See more modules on our website.

The modules listed here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.

Research areas

All members of staff are active researchers and their interests as a whole encompass all the varieties of Anglophone culture not only in Britain, but in the US and elsewhere. This variety is reflected in the range of topics currently being studied by students, from poetry to drama, novels to films, medieval manuscripts to the internet, and from creative and life writing to the study of panoramas and magic lantern shows. It is also reflected in the number of research and reading groups organised by students and staff and by the number of conferences, talks and guest lectures that take place each year.


Visit the MA Creative Writing page on the University of Exeter website for more details!

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