• Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
  • Jacobs University Featured Masters Courses
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Cambridge Featured Masters Courses
  • FindA University Ltd Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
King’s College London Featured Masters Courses
University of Northampton Featured Masters Courses
University of St Andrews Featured Masters Courses
Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
Bath Spa University Featured Masters Courses

MA Creative Writing

Course Description

Postgraduate degrees in Creative Writing at the University of Surrey:

Creative Writing at Surrey encourages practice-based work involving found materials, site-specific work, performance, the use of visual and other materials, field research and intermedial projects. Experimental use of language is encouraged.


Our Creative Writing programme will build your confidence and technical ability in composing creative prose and poetry, while also developing a deeper and more extensive critical awareness of the cultural, literary and theoretical history of text production.

The programme is designed to assist aspiring writers with honing and developing their writing skills in prose fiction and poetry. We will help you to locate your work in its historical and cultural context, and you will become familiar with the history of literary production.

The programme will equip you with the research and writing skills you will need to produce both critically informed prose or poetry and creative criticism. You will also have the chance to reflect productively on both the creative process itself and the finished work that has resulted from it.

The MA in Creative Writing is taught by published writers and research-active academics expert in their fields.


The MA in Creative Writing provides a strong foundation in the core skills necessary to embark upon PhD research or a career in writing, communications, publishing, marketing, advertising, journalism or teaching.

English at the University of Surrey is a dynamic and innovative discipline, with established undergraduate and postgraduate research programmes in both English Literature and Creative Writing.

Teaching is research-led, reflecting the individual expertise and passion of the members of staff who teach on it.

As a student on this Masters, you will benefit from the expertise of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of published academics and authors.

You will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year. These events cover a range of topics to broaden your thinking in the fields of literature, language and linguistics, cultural studies and creative writing. Writers to have recently visited the University of Surrey Surrey include the novelists Iain Sinclair, Monica Ali, Jaspreet Singh and Nikita Lalwani, poets J.H. Prynne, Robert Fitterman, Allen Fisher and Gilbert Adair and critics Rod Mengham, Bernard O’Donoghue and Barbara Hardy.

Each year’s cultural activities begin with the Morag Morris Poetry Lecture on campus by a visiting speaker and feature readings by students at the Guildford School of Acting.

The annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/englishandlanguages/literature_events/surrey_new_writers_festival/) and Surrey Poetry Festival (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/englishandlanguages/literature_events/surrey_poetry_festival/) – both affiliated with the Creative Writing programmes at the University of Surrey – aim to engage with writing and creativity in dynamic ways, and involve readings, book signings, performances, panel discussions and more.

Module Overview

Compulsory Modules:

- Creative Writing Workshop
- Research Skills
- Literary Scholarship and Creativity
- Creative Writing Portfolio (including Reflective Critical Commentary (15,000 words in total)

Optional Modules:

Students have an opportunity to choose from a range of optional modules offered by the Creative Writing, English Literature and other programmes in the School of English and Languages.

Particular strengths in Surrey’s Creative Writing programme include:

- The novel
- Humour
- Genres
- Realism
- Contemporary and innovative poetry
- 20th & 21st-century writing
- Creative non-fiction
- Theories of the body
- Print culture
- Publishing

Creative Writing options this year include:

- Realism and its Critics
- Beat Writing
- Narrative and the Body
- Found Materials

The wider English programme includes:

- 19th-Century Literature and Culture
- Contemporary Literature and Culture
- Transnational and World Literatures in English
- Postcolonial Studies
- Travel Writing
- Creative Writing
- Gender and Sexuality

Other optional modules offered this year include:

- Theorizing Gender and Sexuality
- Identity: Marketing and Communication in Practice
- Organisations and Written Communications
- Issues in Literary Translation

In addition, there are options for individual student-led practice based research as part of the Creative Writing MA in our ‘Open Creative Piece’, ‘Open Essay’ and ‘Special Author’ modules each semester, in which a student chooses a specific writing project or topic and is guided by an expert in the field. These modules are suited to students who like to work independently or to test their ability to conduct creative research independently, those who wish to study a specific author or topic in depth with expert supervision, as well as those looking to develop longer pieces of writing. They are also relevant to those students who might wish take a first stab at something relevant for further study or to gain specific knowledge useful for a particular future career.

Where appropriate, students will also have the option of choosing modules offered by the MA in Creative Writing and other MA programmes in the School.


The MA in Creative Writing provides both structure and flexibility, combining specially designed core modules with the opportunity to select further options from across the range of MA subjects and topics in Creative Writing and English Literature.

The core modules – Creative Writing Workshop, Research Skills, and Literary Scholarship and Creativity – are designed to facilitate the development of creative writing practices, texts and research, considering how texts are produced, disseminated and received. The Creative Writing Workshop, in particular, is a great environment in which to produce, discuss and develop creative work in a workshop setting with the added benefit of expert tutor (and peer) feedback.

Students will then have an opportunity to choose from a range of optional modules that focus on specific writerly styles and practices, periods, theoretical paradigms or individual authors.

Provision is in small group seminars and/or one-on-one tutorials and supervisions.


With the exception of the dissertation proposal and the dissertation itself, the 15-credit modules will normally be assessed by a 2,500 word portfolio of creative work (or equivalent for poetry), plus a 500 work reflective critical commentary.

Students will normally produce non-assessed creative work each week for scheduled class modules.

Our Creative Writing team
This graduate program is delivered by the University's Creative Writing team, all of whom are published authors and poets (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/englishandlanguages/research/english_languages_research/creative_writing/). We also have a Poet in Residence (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/englishandlanguages/literature_events/poets_in_residence/).

- Dr Paul Vlitos, Lecturer in Creative Writing - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/englishandlanguages/staff_list/complete_staff_list/paul_vlitos/

- Dr Holly Luhning, Lecturer in Creative Writing - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/englishandlanguages/staff_list/complete_staff_list/luhning_holly_english/

- Dr Stephen Mooney, Lecturer in Creative Writing and former Poet in Residence - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/englishandlanguages/staff_list/complete_staff_list/stephen_mooney_profile/

- Dr Angela Szczepaniak, Lecturer in Creative Writing


Our Admissions Policy (http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/policies/postgraduate-admissions-policy) provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.

Further information for applicants - http://www.surrey.ac.uk/apply/postgraduate

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

(Student Profile)

Doreen Raine

"I’m a mature student with an atypical background. I do a lot of other things such as being a self-employed language editor/ translator of medical/veterinary research papers, and Chairman of the Dorking district U3A (University of the Third Age).

I chose the course as a dedication to a friend who was dying - I felt I should get on with something I had been meaning to write for a very long time as my friend no longer had the opportunity.

My main focus was to develop my ability to write creatively, but exposure to a historical approach to literature has influenced my direction. I’ve really enjoyed all of the new literature and concepts. The library is very impressive and I was pleased to be given a one to one session with a librarian who talked me through how to use all the resources.

The most challenging part of the course has been developing my confidence in my work. Some friends think I’m mad going to University but I believe that learning should never stop whatever age you are."

(Student Profile)

Christina Webb

I wanted to experience life at a campus university, and have fond and funny memories of getting involved with all kinds of events at Surrey - from fancy dress to raising money for charities.

What attracted you to choose the University of Surrey and to study your course here?

The English Literature undergraduate course was the major factor in that it was very contemporary, thought-provoking and had a diverse range of culturally-significant topics. Secondly, Surrey’s employment factor. For me it was hugely important to focus on the future and results, so Surrey’s top employment statistics were essential. The gorgeous campus was also a pull. I wanted to experience uni life at a campus university, and have fond and funny memories all over it.

What is your strongest memory of your time at Surrey – what do you picture first when you think of being here?

Too many things – I’m torn! Lunches with friends on campus, creative discussions, that feeling of handing submissions in, Rubix nights. I’d have to say the overall strongest memories are of getting involved with various events at Surrey. From fancy dress to raising money for charities and more specifically the newspaper/radio/TV media party, a formal casino night and theme park rides and dressing up at graduation ball.

What were the best things about your course?

The contemporary reading list, as mentioned before. The fact I meandered into creative writing alongside English literature and took up a Creative Writing MA at Surrey afterwards. Making like-minded friends for life. The lecturers who were always happy to informally chat about your individual development and ideas. Opening up to new ideas and theories I wouldn’t have found before. I Loved it.


TECHNE (AHRC) Studentships - No. of awards TBC

As a member of the TECHNE Doctoral Training Partnership, University of Surrey students are eligible to apply for Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentships (stipend and fee waiver). TECHNE is a consortium of seven universities in London and the South East offering a rich and diverse training programme for doctoral students with a focus on interdisciplinarity and developing career potential both in and beyond higher education. Studentships are awarded by TECHNE to the best students put forward by its member universities. The TECHNE training programme is enhanced by input and placement opportunities provided by TECHNE’s 13 partner organisations (including the Barbican, Natural History Museum, Museum of London, BFI and Science Museum) in the cultural sector. Please visit TECHNE to find out more about the aims and opportunities of TECHNE.TECHNE – the Consortium is named in reference to the Greek term for craft – will create a new model for collaborative research skills training for PGR students across seven higher education institutions (Royal Holloway, Brighton University, Kingston University, Roehampton University, Royal College of Art, University of Surrey, University of the Arts London). TECHNE’s vision is to produce scholars who are highly motivated and prepared for academic, public or professional life. Students will benefit from a diversity of training opportunities and be able to draw on supervisory expertise from across the Consortium.It is not possible to apply directly to TECHNE for a studentship; applications for students wishing to be based at Surrey must be made via the University of Surrey. Your TECHNE application will therefore go through a two-stage process, being considered firstly by either the School of Arts or the School of English and Languages, to go forward to TECHNE and, if successful, secondly by a panel of subject specialists from TECHNE members.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Fee and Maintenance


Open to Home and EU candidates; please see guidance on residency requirements outlined in the RCUK’s Conditions of Research Council Training Grants
Studentships will be awarded on the basis of the academic excellence of both the candidate and the research proposal. This is an extremely competitive process and only very high calibre candidates will be successful

Application Procedure

The first step for all Candidates is to approach their prospective academic school and supervisor.
More Information is available at: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/fass/research/studentships/ahrc/index.htm

Further Information



Faculty Studentship Competition - No. of awards TBC

Faculty Studentships are available in the following areasSchool of Arts:Cultural Production, Creative Practices, Dance, Digital Arts, Film, Interdisciplinary Arts, Music, Performance, Sound Recording, Theatre.School of English and Languages:English Literature, Creative Writing, Translation Studies, Modern Languages, Theoretic Linguistics (Morphology) and Applied Linguistics (Intercultural Communication).School of Social Sciences:Criminology and Criminal Justice; Developments in Methodology; Identities, Diversities, and the Life Course; Media, Culture and Communication; Science, Environment and Technologies; European politics; International politics; Social politics and methodology

Value of Scholarship(s)



Under the FASS Studentship Scheme Home / EU and International Students are eligible to apply for 2016 entry. Successful International students will be awarded a fees at the Home / EU Rate and a stipend. Please note that full international fees are not covered: candidates should ensure that they are in a position to cover the outstanding costs.Studentships will be awarded on the basis of the academic excellence of both the candidate and the research proposal. This is an extremely competitive process and only very high calibre candidates will be successful.

Application Procedure

The first step for all Candidates is to approach their prospective academic school and supervisor.More information is available at: http://www.surrey.ac.uk/fass/research/studentships/faculty/index.htm

Further Information



Discounts for Surrey graduates - No. of awards TBC

If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford, you could be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught postgraduate Masters programme fees. This scheme is for applicable to Postgraduate Taught entry students only and is reviewed annually.Students who graduated in 2013 are eligible, as well as alumni from previous years, on receipt of evidence of the award from Surrey and where we can identify that you actually studied in Guildford. Students from SII-DUFE are eligible for this scheme.Associated Institution students are not eligible. Not available to modular self-pacing students.

Value of Scholarship(s)

10% tuition fee discount


If you are a self-funded UK, EU or international student who has studied for an undergraduate degree at the University of Surrey campus in Guildford

Application Procedure

If you have any enquiries regarding this matter please contact the Student Fees and Funding Office on [email protected]

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a first or 2.1 degree (or equivalent) and will be asked as part of the application procedure to provide a portfolio of creative material (5,000 words prose or equivalent). In exceptional cases, students with a proven commitment to creative writing but no first degree may also be admitted.

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of Surrey
Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.
Email Sent

Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X