MA Creative Writing / Application and selection

Year of entry: 2021

Coronavirus information for applicants and offer-holders

We understand that prospective students and offer-holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The University is following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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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. This can also be used for your funding case for support. Guidance on what makes a good personal statement/case for support can be found here:

            Personal Statement Advice   

  • a sample of recent creative work, 2,000-3,000 words of prose (fiction or non-fiction), or seven or eight poems.

For more advice on the application process, please visit our Applying  page.

How your application is considered

Entry to the course is competitive and there are always many more applicants than places. Applications are mainly considered on the basis of their portfolio, an assessment of past and predicted academic achievements, the academic references and any other supplementary evidence that supports the application. ). Once we have an application that is ready for a decision, the admissions tutor will relay the decision to the admissions team, who will send you this decision.

Because of the competitive nature of this course, we assess applications together at three separate points in the year:

  • In the first two weeks of January (15 January, 2021)

  • In the Easter holidays whenever they fall (29 March, 2021)

  • In the first week of August (6 August,2021)

You will be notified of the process of your application shortly after whichever of these dates comes first after you have applied.

On each of these three assessment periods we will offer no more than twelve places, though if you are not offered one of these, you may be offered a chance to become a reserve candidate which could turn into an offer of a place in August if the course is not filled by then. If you apply after the first week of August you will not be considered for a place until the following academic year.

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.

The final submission date for applications for the 2021/2 academic year is 6 August, 2021.

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:

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.



Applicants may defer entry for 12 months provided they contact the admissions administrator before September 1st. Please note that applicants are subject to the fees for the entry year they will start the course.


If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Portfolio requirements

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.