MA Creative Writing / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course description

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, creative non-fiction, 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 creative non-fiction 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.

Special features

Literature events

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.

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 writing workshops meet for two to three 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 meet for three 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.

Semester 1

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.

Semester 2

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.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation (MA) ENGL60010 60 Mandatory
Forms of Fiction ENGL70041 30 Optional
Literature and the Contemporary Literary Industry ENGL71212 30 Optional
Workshop in Fiction Writing I ENGL71411 30 Optional
Workshop in Fiction Writing II ENGL71512 30 Optional
Reading Poems: Lyric and the Anthropocene ENGL71611 30 Optional
Writing Poems I ENGL71721 30 Optional
Writing Poems II ENGL71732 30 Optional
Creative Non-Fiction Workshop ENGL71742 30 Optional
Trans Theory ENGL71831 30 Optional
Publishing: History, Theory, Practice SALC63312 30 Optional
Displaying 10 of 11 course units


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, a Gutenberg Bible and extensive modern literary archives.

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 Carcanet Press, Comma 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 .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: