MA Creative Writing
Year of entry: 2020
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- Degree awarded
- 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time
- Entry requirements
We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent in a humanities-based subject area.
- Number of places/applicants
Please note that we receive a large amount of applications for this course each year. You are advised to apply early in order to avoid disappointment.
- How to apply
- Apply online
|Full-time||Part-time||Full-time distance learning||Part-time distance learning|
- Engage with practicing writers, leading editors and agents.
- Become part of a network of alumni that includes Sophie Hannah, Susan Barker, Chris Killen, Rebecca Perry, Jess Moor and Joey Connolly.
- Learn from a distinguished team that includes novelists Jeanette Winterson CBE, Ian McGuire, Beth Underdown and Kamila Shamsie, and poets John McAuliffe, Frances Leviston, Vona Groarke and Michael Schmidt.
- Discover the rich literary fabric of Manchester, a UNESCO City of Literature, through our Literature Live reading series and partners such as Manchester Literature Festival, The Manchester Review, the International Anthony Burgess Foundation and local publishers.
Each year, there are two Open Days for SALC master's programmes: November and May.
The details for the May Open Day will be posted here as soon as they are finalised.
Our open days are designed to enable you to:
Get an overview of both the University as an institution and the School that houses the subject area in which you are interested.
Explore available funding options and find out how to apply.
Discover more about course content through subject specific talks or taster sessions.
Meet academics and current students and find out more about life as a postgraduate student at Manchester.
Find out more about our world-leading research.
For entry in the academic year beginning September 2020, the tuition fees are as follows:
UK/EU students (per annum): £9,500
International students (per annum): £19,000
UK/EU students (per annum): £4,750
The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.
All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.
Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.
Policy on additional costs
All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).
Each year the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures offer a number of School awards and Subject-specific bursaries (the values of which are usually set at Home/EU fees level), open to both Home/EU and international students. The deadline for these is early February each year. Details of all funding opportunities, including deadlines, eligibility and how to apply, can be found on the School's funding page where you can also find details of the Government Postgraduate Loan Scheme.
See also the University's postgraduate funding database to see if you are eligible for any other funding opportunities.
For University of Manchester graduates, the Manchester Alumni Bursary offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a 1st within the last three years and are progressing to a postgraduate taught masters course.
The Manchester Master's Bursary is a University-wide scheme that offers 100 bursaries worth £3,000 in funding for students from underrepresented groups.
- School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
- Contact name
- PG Taught Admissions
- +44 (0)161 275 0322
- +44 (0)161 275 3098
See: About us
Courses in related subject areas
Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.
Academic entry qualification overview
We normally expect students to have a First or Upper Second class honours degree or its overseas equivalent in a humanities-based subject area.
An overall grade of 7.0 (with a minimum writing score of 7) in IELTS is required or 100+ in the TOEFL iBT with a minimum writing score of 25.
If you have obtained a different qualification, please check our English language requirements to ensure that it is accepted and equivalent to the above requirements.
English language test validity
Other international entry requirements
Application and selection
How to apply
Advice to applicants
You should include a personal statement (no more than 500 words) that demonstrates your understanding of the subject and your motivation for wanting to study the programme.
If your academic background is not directly related to the programme, you should supply an academic-standard writing sample on a subject related to the programme.
If English is not your native language, then you should provide an academic-standard writing sample in English directly related to the subject.
For more advice on the application process, please visit our Applying page.
How your application is considered
Applications are mainly considered on the basis of an assessment of past and predicted academic achievements, the academic reference(s) and any other supplementary evidence that supports the application. For Creative Writing, this would be a portfolio (details below). Once we have an application that is ready for a decision, the admissions tutor (often the Programme Director) will relay the decision to the admissions team, who will send you this decision.
Please note that your application is usually received by the School 24 to 48 hours after the time you submit it. If you have not provided documentation that allows the admissions tutor to make a decision, we will contact you.
Overseas (non-UK) applicants
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries that equate to a UK 2.1. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .
If English is not your first language, please provide us with evidence of:
- an overall grade 7.0 (with a minimum writing score of 7) in IELTS; or
- 100+ in the IBT Internet-based TOEFL).
The other language tests we accept can be found here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/new-approved-english-tests.pdf
Exceptions to needing a language test (if English is NOT your first language) are:
if you have successfully completed an academic qualification deemed by UK NARIC as equivalent to at least a UK Bachelors Degree or higher from one of the following countries:
Antigua & Barbuda; Australia; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; UK; USA.
All applicants without exception must provide a portfolio of either:
- 3,000 words prose, or
- 7/8 poems, or
- a combination of the two.
The portfolio is a fundamental part of the admissions decision making process and it will therefore be assessed by an academic within the department. The final date for submission of a portfolio is the last day in July. Any work submitted with funding applications will not be taken as the final submission for a decision of a place unless specifically requested by the applicant.
Study on our MA Creative Writing master's course and you'll be part of the prestigious Centre for New Writing, where we bring together world-famous writers to teach people how to produce novels, short stories, poems and screenplays.
It's a place where talented writers and critics can meet to exchange ideas and opinions. The Centre is founded on the simple but important principle that good writing and good reading go together.
The course will see you study literary technique through reading and discussing the work of other contemporary writers in seminars, and you will have the opportunity to develop your own work via regular workshops and individual tutorials. Writers may choose to work on writing a novel and/or short stories and/or poems.
You'll benefit from seminars with Jeanette Winterson, workshops in fiction and poetry writing led by published, award-winning writers, and intensive, one-to-one instruction from writers-in-residence.
You will also have access to Literature Live, a fortnightly reading series bringing the best contemporary novelists and poets to Manchester, skills-related sessions delivered by professionals in the publishing industry, and regular visits from literary agents and editors.
We work with talented, committed students - whatever their style or genre - and we pride ourselves on giving students detailed, individual feedback both in writing and face-to-face.
Manchester Literature Festival holds literary events across Manchester throughout the year, many in partnership with the University. The Centre for New Writing also hosts a regular public event series, Literature Live, which brings contemporary novelists and poets to the University to read and engage in conversation.
Find out more about literature in Manchester .
The Manchester Anthology
As an MA student at the Centre for New Writing, you will get the opportunity to have a piece of fiction or poetry published in The Manchester Anthology when you graduate.
Learn from experts
You will have the opportunity to engage in masterclasses and regular events with world-renowned Professor of Creative Writing, Jeanette Winterson. We also host a series of talks by visiting agents from the publishing industry, and you could undertake intensive one-to-one instruction from the writer in residence .Find out more about our people .
Teaching and learning
You will learn through a variety of teaching methods depending on the units you choose, including seminars, lectures and independent study.
Please note that both the full and part-time options are taught between 9am to 5pm. We do not offer evening classes.
Coursework and assessment
All poetry and fiction writing workshops meet for two hours per week, and are worth 30 credits. You will also be offered three individual half-hour tutorials per semester to discuss the progress of your writing. Each workshop is assessed by a portfolio of poetry or fiction.
Seminars also meet for two hours per week and are also worth 30 credits. They will usually be assessed by one 6,000-word essay or the equivalent.
Over the summer, you will complete a 'dissertation' of 12,000 to 15,000 words of fiction or 15-20 poems. This is worth 60 credits.
Course unit details
You will undertake units totalling 180 credits. Core units combine to make 120 credits, with the remaining 60 credits allocated to the dissertation.
There are no mandatory units as part of this course. Students are required to choose a combination of workshops and seminars based on their individual focus, either poetry or fiction writing.
You may choose to take two workshops - one in fiction writing and one in poetry - or you may take one workshop and one seminar. Typical seminars will be The Art of Short Fiction and Poetics.
Students wishing to focus on poetry writing will take a poetry workshop and a seminar on Contemporary Poetry.
Students wishing to focus on fiction writing will take a fiction writing workshop and a seminar in Contemporary Fiction.
Your dissertation will comprise 15,000 words of your own fiction writing, or 16 to 25 poems.
Course unit list
The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.
|Forms of Writing I||ENGL70041||30||Optional|
|Forms of Writing II||ENGL70042||30||Optional|
|Workshop in Fiction Writing I||ENGL71411||30||Optional|
|Workshop in Fiction Writing II||ENGL71512||30||Optional|
|Writing Poems I||ENGL71721||30||Optional|
|Writing Poems II||ENGL71732||30||Optional|
|Creative Non-Fiction Workshop||ENGL71742||30||Optional|
What our students say
Since I finished the MA, I finished a book, I got an agent and I had the book published.
My relationship with the staff at the Centre for New Writing was a big part of how much I enjoyed the course and how successful I was to go on to be.
Those who continue to work and really take as much from the course as they can, are in such a good position to achieve the success that they're after.Marli Roode
Take your inspiration from one of the best university libraries in the country, as well as the Whitworth Art Gallery, the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama and the special collections at the John Rylands Library, which include Shakespeare folios and a Guttenberg Bible.
Attend lectures and exhibitions at the internationally renowned Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies, as well as cutting-edge research talks at the English Research Seminar and Critical MASS: the American Studies research seminar.
Away from campus, the city of Manchester is home to an excellent network of public libraries , as well as a wealth of literary and arts institutions, venues and attractions such as the Portico Library , the International Anthony Burgess Foundation , Elizabeth Gaskell's House , HOME and Chetham's Library .
You will also find independent publishers such as Comma Press, Carcanet Press, Cillian Press and Saraband in Manchester, along with bookshops such as Blackwell's (which is located on campus), Waterstones, Chorlton Bookshop and Chapter 1 Books.
Manchester Literature Festival holds events featuring an array of authors each year, while other literary events also take place around Manchester throughout the year, including talks and spoken word events.
Learn more about our facilities .
Some students pursue their literary careers and go on to become published writers, while others follow their passion through publishing, journalism and careers in the arts sector.
Other graduates undertake PhD study or follow careers in law, librarianship and teaching. Our alumni include Rebecca Perry, Sophie Hannah, Chris Killen, Emma Jane Unsworth, Jenn Ashworth, Evan Jones, Rory Gleeson, Joey Connolly and Marli Roode.
Upon successful completion of their course, many postgraduates go on or return to jobs as teachers or librarians, continue their research, or go on to academic jobs. Career paths are extremely varied, and other fields include law, publishing and retail.