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Course content

The Masters in Writing at the University of South Wales is tutored by significant writers; our graduates have published more than fifty books since 2010.

Notable achievements of our graduates and current students include major literary awards – first prize in the Manchester Poetry Prize and the Troubadour International Poetry Prize (both 2015) and the Dundee International Book Prize (2014) as well as bursaries in England, Wales and the Irish Republic. Novels and poetry have been published by leading publishers including Bloodaxe, Canongate, Carcanet, Faber, Harper Collins and Heinemann.

Guest writers at Masters residencies have included established names like Helen Dunmore, Andrew Davies and Michael Morpurgo, as well as new emerging talents and industry professionals.

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What you will study

The course involves two elements – a writing project and a critical study based on research into published writers’ work. You will get academic guidance during the weekend residencies.

Learning and teaching methods

There will be a cohort of eight or nine students in each year. You will need to spend about 18 hours studying and writing per week and will be assigned a personal supervisor who will guide and direct your progress by distance learning means, using e-mail, phone or post as appropriate. Previous students have been based in the UK, the USA and continental Europe. Each year, you need to attend three two-day writing residencies at the University (Friday and Saturday). These sessions include intensive workshops, personal tutorials, and visits by writers and professionals offering practical insights into the publishing world. Between your first and second year of study, you will also take part in a five-day writers’ week at Ty Newydd in North Wales, the last home of Lloyd George, situated on the Llyn Peninsula on the edge of Snowdonia National Park. The two elements of your work are linked in a final submission that can be submitted up to four years from your enrolment date.

Additional costs

The course fees include all tuition at and in between the residencies.

Students are responsible for arranging and covering their own accommodation costs for residencies; both near the University for the three weekend residencies (one night each) and for the summer residency at Ty Newydd. Full board lodging for the summer residency is offered by Ty Newydd at very reasonable rates.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

Graduates can become published writers in their chosen medium or find work as critics, journalists or writing educators. The MPhil also offers a valuable qualification for those wishing to enhance their career prospects in publishing, editing and teaching, or proceed to PhD study.

Assessment methods

Your writing project will be a book-length manuscript and may be a novel, short stories or poetry. The critical study, of around 10,000 words, may be on any writer, movement, genre or theme relevant to your creative project, as agreed with the Director of Studies. As is usual for research degrees, the final assessment will be by oral examination of your written submission by two impartial examiners, one from inside the University, one outside (i.e. no one who has taught you on the course), hosted by an independent Chair.


Individual supervisions are decided in the application and interview process. After acceptance onto the course you will know who your main supervisor is. You will be assigned a second supervisor for input on particular aspects of the writing or the research. In workshops you will also have responses from other tutors and of course your fellow students.

Visit the Writing (MPhil) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!




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