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Contact Schools Directly - Compare 9 Distance Learning Masters of Arts  (MA) in Creative Writing 2024

9 Distance Learning MA Programs in Creative Writing 2024

Many creative writing programs supplement classroom instruction with interactive hands-on events, so students can see writing in action. Students are encouraged to attend theater performances, poetry readings, film screenings and prose performances throughout the surrounding community.

An MA is a master’s degree awarded to students that have completed a program studying humanities or fine arts subjects such as history, communications, philosophy, theology or English. A Master of Arts degree typically requires coursework, research and written examinations.

Online learning refers to use of electronic media and information and communication technologies (ICT) in education. With online learning one has the flexibility to access their studies at any time and from anywhere they can log on.

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MA Contemporary Creative Writing

Northeastern university london.

Northeastern University London

  • London, United Kingdom

Full time, Part time

The Master of Arts in Contemporary Creative Writing at Northeastern University London equips students with the knowledge, craft skills and discipline needed to be a creative writer now. There are more routes to publication available than ever before. However, navigating the twenty-first century literary marketplace requires specialist skills and knowledge alongside artistic prowess.

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MA in Creative Writing

Open university.

Open University

  • Online United Kingdom

This qualification is an opportunity to develop your skills as a writer in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and scriptwriting for film, radio and the stage. You'll be able to write in a genre of your choice and experiment with at least one other through practical and inspiring activities. You’ll work towards producing a substantial piece of your own creative writing to a professional standard. You'll also hone your practice through sharing, reading and critiquing the writing work of your peers in online forums.

Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester Metropolitan University

  • Manchester, United Kingdom

Distance Learning, On-Campus

Join our community of internationally renowned, award-winning writers at the Manchester Writing School, where collaboration and experimentation are at the heart of what we do.

University of Hull Online

University of Hull Online

  • Hull, United Kingdom

Harness the power of language and develop your distinctive voice as a writer. Transform your passion for reading into the ability to produce prose worthy of public recognition. Whatever your genre of preference, be it literary fiction, nonfiction, or the likes of fantasy, mystery or romance – you will have the opportunity to hone your writing skills and discover the techniques seminal writers have used to significant effect.

MA in Creative Writing - Distance Learning

Kingston university.

Kingston University

  • Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom

The Creative Writing MA (Distance Learning) offers you the chance to study with a range of well-established and award-winning writers in a dynamic writing environment, but without having to relocate or give up current commitments.

Master of Arts in Writing

Johns hopkins university, advanced academic programs.

Johns Hopkins University, Advanced Academic Programs

Johns Hopkins' Advanced Academic Programs nine-course online or on-campus MA in Writing program reflects the school's international reputation for academic rigor and creative innovation. This workshop-centered, 3-year program offers a concentration in fiction or nonfiction and includes summer residency options abroad. Some graduates use the advanced writing skills they develop in journalism, teaching or corporate writing jobs. Others go on to write nonfiction, short stories, novels, and other works.

Comedy Writing MA (Online)

Falmouth university.

Falmouth University

Get the skills, tools and industry insights to push your projects to the top of the commissioning editor’s pile and get your comedy script green-lit. Interrogate big ideas like sex, politics, religion and family through comedy. Or just write a show that's unashamedly stupid! There are lots of opportunities right now and a great need for new comedy writers. Who knows; you could see yourself on the way to the BAFTAs, Oscars or Golden Globes with the next Fleabag, VEEP, Modern Family or Father Ted. Throughout this Comedy Writing course, you'll get writing tips and career guidance masterclasses from the very best in the industry. Guests have included the likes of sketch comedy heroes French & Saunders, Emmy and BAFTA-winning comedy writer Simon Blackwell, Radio 4 comedy commissioner Sioned Wiliam and former head of BBC and Sky comedy commissioning, Lucy Lumsden. This online MA has been developed by award-winning comedy producer and executive producer Simon Nicholls. Simon has 20 years' comedy industry experience, developing and selling comedies in the UK and US.

Teesside University

  • Middlesbrough, United Kingdom

This supportive and non-residency online creative writing course is your opportunity to develop your writing practice at the times that work for you, wherever you are in the world. The course is taught by distance learning with no requirement to attend classes at a set time.

Master of Arts in Professional and Creative Writing

North central college.

North Central College

  • Naperville, USA

The online Master of Arts in professional and creative writing helps writers be successful, whether they are looking to write a novel or polish their professional writing skills. Our program cultivates the writing, reading, and critical thinking skills necessary for business professionals and creative writers. Our students are often both. Our classes center on a community of writers who share common goals and practices, and they are led by faculty mentors, who publish widely and who care deeply about the success of each student. There’s a strong emphasis on personal development and skill enhancement. The degree honors the entirety of the writer who aspires to write for internal and external audiences within and beyond the workplace.

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Related fields of study

MA in Creative Writing (Online)

Transform your passion for reading into the ability to produce prose worthy of public recognition . 



Course details

Additional costs:   due to the nature of the subject, and copyright restrictions placed on institutional libraries by some publishers, students will need to purchase some core texts.

Support with your application:   Contact our course adviser team today for application advice.


Why this MA in Creative Writing?

It was Hull where Philip Larkin lived and worked at the University's Brynmor Jones Library for 30 years, writing most of his best work. A seafaring city that connected outwards and brought some of the exotic back to northern England.

Embracing Hull's global-facing outlook, MA Professor and accomplished author Martin Goodman describes the University's MA Creative Writing as an inspiring and collegial environment for online students who want to develop their distinctive voice as a creative writer.

There is also the option to attend face-to-face events , as you seek public recognition and become a valued, active member of a vibrant international creative writing community.

What you learn

Transform your passion for reading into the ability to produce prose worthy of public recognition. Whatever your genre of preference, be it literary fiction, nonfiction, or the likes of fantasy, mystery or romance – you will have the opportunity to hone your creative writing skills and discover the techniques seminal writers have used to significant effect:

push your creative boundaries and give shape to a strong and original creative voice

expand your knowledge of the literary canon and acquire the art of reading as a literary writer 

gain an in-depth knowledge of structure which will help you towards a deeper understanding of your writing process 

become conversant with a range of textual elements such as the use of dialogue, point of view, perspective and sensory detail and apply learned technique to your preferred writing genre 

take your place within the international creative writing community. Critique the work of others and engender the view of published writers as colleagues from who you can learn 

  • develop your practice as a creative writer, understand the editing and re-drafting process necessary to produce prose of a publishable standard.

Your questions answered Programme Director Dr Chris Westoby answers some key questions about the course, including which modules you'll study, how you'll learn online, and the entry requirements.


[upbeat music plays throughout]

Dr Chris Westoby: So there are five modules over the course of two years. You're introduced to the programme with The Writer's Craft, which is designed by our programme founder, Martin Goodman. The Writer's Craft teaches you key writing concepts at MA level, how to analyze the work of exemplary authors and locate what makes their writing successful, so that you may apply such skills within your own practice, and you work upon and strengthen your unique writing voice.

This acts as your your foundation, your springboard, from which you launch into the central three genre specific modules. So you have Writing the Short Story, Writing from Life and Writing the Novel where you study and practice specific modes of writing in-depth.

By the end of these four taught modules, you'll be well equipped and raring to embark upon The Writer's Portfolio. This double length and double weighted module sees you liftoff into an extended writing project of your own design.

With the support of a supervisor chosen to help bring out the very best in your work. You learn through a a combination of writing exercises, lectures, guided critical reading, discussion, forums, workshops and webinars.

Well, this is hard to quantify because everyone works at different speeds, which is absolutely fine and part of what we're proud to accommodate. There are also extra elements to each model, which some students may wish to engage in such as further recommended reading.

Our standard entry requirements are a 2:2 BA honours degree or international equivalent.

However, we also recognize other forms of prior experience and therefore encourage anyone who is interested in the programme to get in touch.

Your application may discuss where your career has taken you so far and why this equips you with the skills designed to join this program. You might discuss other writing courses you've attended, which have provided a strong foundation. You might discuss inroads you have made into publication, all of which shows that you are ready to start sharing your work and have practiced polishing it.

Or you may simply demonstrate the strength of your potential as a writer through your creative writing sample.

Even without the standard entry requirements, you may be the ideal candidate for this programme. There are a number of non standard ways in which you may be considered, so please do get in touch.

Your assigned course advisor will help you form an application that lets your unique strengths shine.

Student work

Jinny Alexander - Dear Isobel

Dear Isobel

Sonia Ferrigno - Bedtime stories for kids

Bedtime Stories for Kids

The Watcher of the Night Sky - Rachel Pudsey

The Watcher Of The Night Sky (Book 1)

Post-Midnight Blues - Rae Toonery

Post-Midnight Blues

Eileen Dunne Crescenzi - Festa

Festa: A Year of Italian Celebrations - Recipes and Recollections

Ian Cartwright - Mental Health Home Group Material

Mental Health Home Group Material

Sarah Jane Wilson - Out there

Into Your Blues

Pack of Lies - Roz Levens

Pack of Lies

The Twinkling of an Eye - Sue Brown

The Twinkling Of An Eye

Thin - Ann K. Morris

Distant Voices: An anthology of stories

Course modules.

This masters degree allows you to develop your confidence and craft as a writer within a supportive, creative environment.

You study the following compulsory modules.

Because writing takes fire in the readers' mind, in this module, you will examine a wide range of literary works. Focusing primarily on textual elements including; sentence length and flow, perspective, choices of tense you will develop an understanding of how writers achieve their effects. Presented with sections of exemplary writing, you will move from your own visceral responses (e.g., excitement, intrigue, fear) to tracking how the writer deploys elements of craft to trigger desired emotions and atmosphere.

Short stories allow emerging writers to complete narrative arcs and establish a reputation through published works before tackling the longer form of a novel. In this module not only will you develop an appreciation of short stories from a range of international writers, but you will take the short story form and make it your own. Note that this module will also cover two sub-genres within the form; micro-fiction and flash fiction.

This module will introduce you to a wide range of nonfiction prose with a particular focus on travel writing, the essay, memoir, nature writing, and true-crime. You will produce your portfolio of work while practising a range of narrative nonfiction forms within a supportive, peer-driven environment.

What is it about an opening chapter of a novel that makes it virtually impossible to put it down? Throughout this module, you will improve upon your novel writing skills. The critique of your writing in a workshop setting will help you develop a keen awareness of narrative and narration along with a deep understanding of archetypes as an essential part of storytelling. As you develop plot and structure, you will employ editing and redrafting techniques to produce work you are proud to publish.

Creative writing is a rewarding process which requires immense personal discipline. In this module, you will receive guidance on how to structure your writing practice in this respect. Your prose portfolio (up to 15,000 words) represents the culmination of your MA Creative Writing programme. Here you will demonstrate your originality of ideas, grasp of technique and craft, presenting a unique and accomplished body of work to a publishable or near publishable standard.

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What are the entry requirements.

A minimum 2.2 Bachelor Honours degree  or international equivalent . Applicants who do not meet this requirement may still be considered, but will need to present examples of relevant published work with their application

A creative writing sample (fiction or non-fiction) of 1,500 to 2,000 words

  • A personal statement of around 300-500 words. Click here for details of what should be included

An IELTS 6.0 score (with minimum 5.5 in each skill) if your first language isn’t English (or other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by the University of Hull )

One professional or academic reference

If you're unsure whether you're eligible to apply, please get in touch with our friendly course adviser team for advice:


“I chose Hull because I wanted to study somewhere where I would be pushed to break free from my comfort zone."

How you're assessed.

All assessments for the course are based on coursework and submitted online. There are no exams. 

Assessment methods

Your performance on the course will be assessed through a range of methods including:

ongoing tutor and peer feedback

practical work, including group projects and discussion forums

Written assessments

You’ll also be asked to complete a variety of written assessments including:

Critical and creative responses, where you provide examples of crafting skills in work that interests you, and then provide short writing samples that utilise those techniques in your own work

Prose portfolios, comprising one or two pieces of original work

Commentary pieces, describing your ambitions and intent for your prose portfolios

Get more detailed information on the course assessment methods page:


Teaching team

Martin Goodman

Professor Martin Goodman

Christopher Westoby

Dr Christopher Westoby

Karina Lickorish Quinn

Dr Karina Lickorish Quinn

Mick Jackson

Dr Mick Jackson

Kate Horsley

Dr Kate Horsley

Barbara Henderson

Barbara Henderson

Tim Hannigan

Tim Hannigan

Megan Hayes

Dr Megan Hayes

Gaar Adams

Dr Elizabeth Watkinson

KR Moorhead

KR Moorhead

Maggie Hamand

Maggie Hamand

Broaden your horizons with face-to-face events.

At the University of Hull, we believe it’s important for students to feel a sense of connectedness, whether they’re studying on campus or online. This is why we hold up to two face-to-face events per year with creative workshops, talks from visionary academics, and a glance into the UK’s thriving creative writing community. Students from previous events have:  

  • Formed lasting friendships with fellow creatives  
  • Refined their creative writing style on the back of discussion and constructive criticism  
  • Drawn inspiration from new perspectives and literary genres  
  • Picked up insider knowledge on how to get their work published   

Want to flex your creative muscles, meet your tutors in-person, or form a rapport with like-minded people? You can do all this and more, while exploring topics outside of your course modules. Stay tuned for updates on our face-to-face events – we’d love to have you join us!  


What makes this course stand out? Hear from Programme Founder Professor Martin Goodman about what sets this Creative Writing masters degree apart.

[inspirational music plays throughout]

Hello I'm Martin Goodman, Professor of Creative Writing here at the University of Hull. I'm Director of this MA Online Creative Writing program. And I'm a writer like you. So part of our program here is to welcome fellow writers and encourage you to be the best writer you can be. This course for anybody who wants to take their creative writing seriously, for whom it's something very important. It's probably been very private 'til now, but you're ready to share it, and you're ready to share it, ideally in this online environment. This suits you. Writing is quite a private thing that happens on paper. But we know we have to share it at some times if we're going to reach other readers. So this is what we aim to do with you. The way this course works is to bring you through several different modules. The first one is writer's craft, where we will examine other writers and exemplary pieces of writing and their techniques, how they make their writing work and other readers' minds. And then you build up these skills as you're going through modules about writing the story of writing the novel, writing from life, and then you're released into an extended piece of writing, and that is where you're following the form that most appeals to you. We designed this course to help you build yourself into being the complete prose writer. For me, it's actually been very important to try out all of these fields. So I write novels, I write short stories. I also write non-fiction, I write biographies, I write travel pieces, I write reviews. All of these things are part of what makes a writer able to sustain a living in the world. And you don't have to always be working from your imagination. There's always something you can go to. And in each of these, you're also building up your own skills. So if your main desire in life is to be a novelist, the skills that you can find from learning how to write the creative nonfiction, writing from life, or how to build a little character arc within a short story. These are all essential to you. Every little piece of skill that you develop in writing any form will go into the form of your choosing. It's very important to me that we create a protected space around you. So you're not writing according to what some publisher takes as being that fits my box. You're writing the best work that can emerge from yourself inside this protected space, so it's not judgmental at all. We're completely free. We're saying, begin to yourself and write from that hidden space inside of you. I know that a lot of students are really bursting with their creative writing and looking for feedback, but they find it very hard to get into the classroom. Sometimes it's not good if you're a quiet person to have to face the bustle of a classroom, to have to put out your writing at this particular moment. It's much simpler to do that in your own time, to sort of breathe in. You post it online, and then other people can review it in their own time. That's really what this online course is doing. It is connecting the world through brilliant writers. 

Career prospects

By studying this course, you should gain the confidence and practical skills necessary to produce creative writing of a publishable or near-publishable standard, in your genre of choice.

Want to get published?

Programme Director Dr Chris Westoby discusses how studying creative writing at Hull led to his first book:


You'll also gain valuable transferrable skills which are in-demand across the creative industries and beyond.

MA Creative Writing graduates often go into successful careers in a broad range of industries, such as

professional writing/authorship

marketing and PR

heritage and tourism

journalism and broadcasting

museum curating

Ready to apply?

Our step-by-step application process is easy to follow.

The University of Hull and its digital courses provider, Hull Online Limited, delivered in partnership with Cambridge Education Group Digital (CEGD), will only use your personal data to contact you in relation to our courses. For further information, please see the privacy policy .

Southern New Hampshire University

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Zuri Wilson-Seymore, 2016 graduate of the online Master's in English and Creative Writing program, working with a colleague on a creative project.

Master's in Creative Writing Online MA Degree Program

Clock Icon

Earn a Master's in Creative Writing

  • $637/credit (36 credits)
  • Inclusive creative writing community
  • 24/7 online access – attend class at your convenience
  • 100% online – no residency required
  • 4 genre options for concentrations
  • Complete in as few as 15 months, or at your own pace

Master's in Creative Writing Online Program Overview

Ignite your imagination and jump-start your professional writing career with a Master of Arts (MA) in English and Creative Writing online at Southern New Hampshire University. Learn to use the written word to effectively tell your story and share your ideas with the world. By studying literature and the way accomplished authors have perfected their art, you'll be prepared to enter a number of industries as a creative writer. 

This English and creative writing graduate program fosters your imagination and creativity with a perfect balance of critical analysis and craft, along with an emphasis on literary theory and the history of the English language. You also have the freedom to choose from 4 genre concentrations or to combine your choice of genre courses if, for example, you're interested in both fiction and screenwriting.

This specialized creative writing master's degree can help you develop an ability to communicate in any career path you choose to follow, including:

  • Marketing and communications

If you've always dreamed of starting your own novel, writing a collection of poetry or developing your screenplay, you'll gain the foundation you need through this program.

At the end of the program, you'll either complete a creative thesis or submit a portfolio of creative writing, along with a retrospective essay.

.st0{fill:#21386D;} What You'll Learn

  • Integrate form, language and literary works into writing style and voice
  • Expand upon your own creative process
  • Create original literary works of publishable quality
  • Reflect on goals, process and ethos as a creative writer
  • Use technology as a tool to stylize and promote creative work

.cls-1 { fill: #21386d; } How You'll Learn

At SNHU, you'll get support from day 1 to graduation and beyond. And with no set class times, 24/7 access to the online classroom and helpful learning resources along the way, you'll have everything you need to reach your goals.

Concentration Options

You'll also have the option to master a specialized skill set with one of our 4 genre-focused concentrations .

Fiction Literature has long been a source of inspiration, both for readers and writers. In Southern New Hampshire University's online MA in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Fiction degree, you can find your creative voice and tell your story. Your knowledge can grow beyond a basic understanding of plot building, narrative, voice and character as you push your creative boundaries. Hone your craft for the kind of fiction you've always dreamed of bringing to life through novels, short stories, children's literature and more. In this degree program, you'll have the opportunity to explore whichever genres in fiction pique your interest, from horror and sci-fi to fantasy, young adult, romance and more.  The art of storytelling has deep historical and societal roots, and it is critical to cross-cultural communication. In your MA in Creative Writing online degree program, you’ll study the work of published writers to help you develop your own creative writing skills. You’ll focus on why authors make specific creative decisions to develop a deeper understanding of fiction in all of its forms, all while writing your own works of fiction. If you decide to pursue this concentration, you'll take a capstone course designed around completing your thesis in your fiction genre of choice. At the culmination of your coursework, you’ll create your own manuscript and apply what you've learned about your own creative voice to your work. If you feel it's time to put pen to paper to tell a tale, this program is for you. "I chose the fiction concentration [because] I believe it will give me a wider range in skills and training that will make me more attractive as a writer," said student Joshua Yarbrough . "Great and imaginative storytelling is always needed, and by having this concentration, it will open doors and avenues in a wide range of projects." Career outlook: Whether you're looking to pen the next great fiction novel, or you'd like to specialize in short stories that capture the imagination for a period of time, this concentration can give you the tools you need to become successful in your field. The MA in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Fiction can also lead to numerous career opportunities, as this program does more than just expose you to literature and help you develop new writing skills. You can apply the creative skills you gain to any profession, from scriptwriting to marketing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median wage for writers and authors was $69,510 per year in May 2021. 1 Courses include: Fiction Fundamentals Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Other Popular Fiction Fiction Thesis Writing Fiction Thesis Completion Request Info Apply Now Nonfiction In the MA in English & Creative Writing with a concentration in Nonfiction degree, you'll learn how and why writers craft nonfiction narratives. These tools can help you develop factual material based on research and experiences of your own - or someone else's. The creative writing master's degree can help you gain insights into publishing, broadcasting and professional production while you explore your creative boundaries. At the culmination of the program, you'll develop your own professional-quality piece of nonfiction, one that takes you deep into subjects that matter to you and helps you develop the skills you need for great storytelling. MA English & Creative Writing nonfiction graduate Alec Biron '17 '21G particularly enjoyed the combined emphasis on creative writing and literature. "While the curriculum allowed me to select a unique genre of creative writing to develop my nonfiction thesis," he said, "it also allowed me to explore traditional forms of literature that I love, such as medieval British and feminist genres." Career outlook: Nonfiction is the art of telling real stories - ones that people can learn from, relate to and understand. It covers a wide range of styles and subjects, encompassing everything from personal essays, autobiographical writing and memoirs, to marketing, travel writing and magazine features. Given the many career paths you could take by adding a concentration in nonfiction writing to your degree, it's worth noting some potential career paths you could explore. During a time when remote work is on the rise, you could consider a career writing freelance nonfiction stories for traditional print magazines and digital publications. Or, if telling stories for brands excites you, you could work in advertising as a copywriter and see your words on websites, billboards, emails, commercials and other types of advertisements. "Employers have been impressed by not only my achievement of a master’s degree, but also by the publications I've subsequently written for following my education," said Biron. If technical writing is up your alley, and you enjoy finding ways to make factual yet complex topics more digestible, the BLS reports as of May 2021, technical writers earn a median pay of $78,060 per year. 1 Courses include: Non-Fiction Fundamentals Non-Fiction Thesis Writing Non-Fiction Thesis Completion Request Info Apply Now Poetry Develop the skills you need to convey your poetic vision with a MA in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Poetry . The poetry concentration within our online creative writing graduate program can take you to a new level of analysis, appreciation and understanding of this art form. Foster your love of verse with the inspiration, passion and creative peer collaboration that only SNHU's concentration in poetry can bring. This curriculum focuses your study of literature on a genre where every word and line counts. Here, you'll be able to use your imagination to create imagery that moves and inspires readers and writers alike. This creative writing graduate program challenges you to gain an appreciation for how the unique craft and vision of poetry is critical to learning to think, understand and communicate with the world at large. Throughout this online program, you’ll broaden your understanding of the art of poetry. You'll also dive deeper into structure, tone and rhythm while analyzing the work of renowned poets. Upon completion of the program, you’ll develop your own manuscript of poetry, one that allows you to expand on subjects you're passionate about. "I chose a poetry concentration because I am a poet at heart, and my career revolves heavily around creative writing, specifically poetry and accessible arts programming," said NaBeela Washington '21G . "I wanted to make sure that my studies preserved time to truly focus on poetry and developing my manuscript and network and connection to other authors." Career outlook: Whether it's getting your own poetry published or becoming the next great poet laureate that interests you, a career in poetry is sure to be one filled with passion for your work. You could work for nonprofits to promote local poetry in your area, or become the poetry curator for an array of journals, magazines and even bookstores. And the ability to write clever, concise and compelling copy is also a great fit for advertising and marketing positions. "Before SNHU, I hadn’t been published since middle school," said Washington. "And before completing the program, I would be invited to read my work at a Poetry Series in Takoma Park, MD; I would start a literary journal, Lucky Jefferson, and I would go on to be published several more times in publications like The Cincinnati Review and The Washington Writers’ Publishing House, even winning an award for my journal and building a network of more than 6,000 writers and artists." Her list of accomplishments doesn't stop there. "I’ve been invited to speak on panels about my work in the literary world as well as to help found a roundtable for Editors of Color," she said. "It's really nice realizing that I could accomplish my goals and that I believed in myself." Courses include: Poetry Fundamentals Poetry Thesis Writing Poetry Thesis Completion Request Info Apply Now Screenwriting We live in an increasingly visual society. The online Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Screenwriting program at Southern New Hampshire University is an advanced exploration of the world of film and video, from shorts and episodic serials to feature-length blockbusters and documentaries. This concentration is based on a comprehensive study of film, with a special focus on story structure, character development and creative writing. At the culmination of the degree program, you'll have developed your own screenplay that you can then share with others and put out into the world if you so choose. While an understanding and analysis of literature – whatever the genre – is at the core of this MA degree, the screenwriting concentration places a special emphasis on visual storytelling. Designed by experienced and distinguished faculty, this master’s in screenwriting program can give you a powerful understanding of how story, character, theme, action, visuals and dialogue intertwine to create an immersive experience. In this concentration, you'll also have the opportunity to work closely with peers and faculty to workshop your pieces, which can help push your creative work to new heights. Take it from José Roldan Jr. '17G who, with the support of his friends, family and his SNHU advisor, was able to enroll in the online MA in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Screenwriting program while balancing his full-time job and full-time performance schedule, along with additional acting gigs and auditions.  "That support just allowed me the strength to say, 'You know what? I can get this done. There are so many people who believe in me to do it, that I can get it done,'" Roldan said. "It wasn't easy, but it's possible. It's possible." Career outlook: Whether you dream of writing for the big screen one day or writing scripts at a regional level, in the screenwriting concentration you can hone your craft for television, commercials, news, feature films, short films and even video games. There are multiple ways you could use this degree in the media world, from adapting an existing work into a movie or writing your own script, to working closely with producers on funding and producing projects. While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median wage for writers and authors is $69,510 per year as of May 2021 1 , it also reports people in the production industry earn a median wage of $79,000. 1 Courses include: Screenwriting Fundamentals Fiction and Film Screenwriting Thesis Writing Screenwriting Thesis Completion Request Info Apply Now if (typeof accordionGroup === "undefined") { window.accordionGroup = new accordion(); } accordionGroup.init(document.getElementById('322677cfabe042d9a55551dc7b079012')); Career Outlook

Whether it's telling your story or telling someone else's, your online master's in creative writing can equip you with detailed knowledge about the worlds of publishing, communications, copywriting and the role of the professional writer. As world markets continue to shift toward a demand for online education and digital media technology, the technical skills learned in this program should continue to be in demand for a long time. The enhanced writing and communication skills you'll develop can be applied to many professions, from publishing, print and film to journalism and marketing.

Jacob Powers with the text Jacob Powers

"The major takeaway I have gotten from my classes is that there is a viable career in literature, creative writing, and English," said student Joshua Yarbrough . "I feel confident in having the necessary skills to either work for myself or an employer and the training I have received at SNHU has made it possible."

.cls-1 { fill: #21386d; } Job Growth

According to the BLS, employment of writers and authors is projected to grow 4% from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations.¹

.cls-1 { fill: #21386d; } Salary

The BLS reports that the median wage for writers and authors is $69,510 per year as of May 2021.¹

Understanding the numbers When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors—like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

The master's in creative writing is also ideal if you're interested in pursuing your PhD or teaching at the collegiate level. Additionally, the MA in Creative Writing is also a great option for high school instructors or other educators who wish to level up their salaries, as well as those whose districts require a Master of Arts for sustained career growth.

"I believe there’s a nice balance here for the program — for students who wish to pursue publication, we offer the tools, resources and faculty to help guide them. For students who wish to advance in their current career, or learn creative writing skills but also strengthen other skills (like editing, proofreading, etc.), the program offers that, as well," Powers said.

SNHU does not guarantee that the completion of this program will result in endorsements or rank and salary increases for teachers and strongly encourages interested individuals to contact their state education licensure board prior to enrolling. SNHU provides additional information for education-related outcomes on our Licensure and Certification Disclosures page.

Where Could You Work?

Graduates of the online master's in English and creative writing program will find that, according to the BLS¹, there is opportunity for employment in a variety of fields, including:


Tech companies, public relations, start your journey toward an online english and creative writing degree, why snhu for your master's in creative writing flexible with no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7. affordable as part of our mission to make higher education more accessible, we’re committed to keeping our tuition rates low. in fact, we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation. prior coursework and work experience could also help you save time and money. snhu’s transfer policy  allows you to transfer up to 12 credits from your previous institution. you could also earn college credit for previous work experience . respected founded in 1932 , southern new hampshire university is a private, nonprofit institution with over 160,000 graduates across the country. snhu is accredited by the new england commission of higher education (neche), a regional accreditor, which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.  recently, snhu has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education: “most innovative” regional university honors from u.s. news & world report each year since 2015 a $1 million grant from google.org to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth recognition as a 2017 digital learning innovator by the online learning consortium network at southern new hampshire university, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 300,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities. 93.6% of online students would recommend snhu (according to a 2022 survey with 17,000+ respondents). discover why snhu may be right for you . admission requirements expanding access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. that’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials: completed free application undergraduate transcripts, which we can retrieve for you by submitting a transcript request form acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 5 graduate terms . master's degree candidates must also submit a personal statement. students with an undergraduate gpa below 2.75 are eligible for provisional acceptance. how to apply if you’re ready to apply, follow these simple steps to get the process going: complete free graduate application submit undergraduate transcripts work with an admission counselor  to explore financial options  and walk through application process if (typeof accordiongroup === "undefined") { window.accordiongroup = new accordion(); } accordiongroup.init(document.getelementbyid('e835202be13f4497bc29372de09b8f42')); get the skills you need.

Alec Biron '17 '21G

"The skills that I learned in nonfiction writing have helped me to build a career in freelance journalism and content writing."

Courses & Curriculum

The master's in creative writing online exposes you to powerful examples of writing and provides you with an outlet to refine your skills as a writer. SNHU is home to the New Hampshire Writer’s Project and is also a destination for nationally recognized writers who perform readings and participate in workshops and lectures. This can give you additional context and insight into the industry you'll eventually be joining. All of our courses were also created by subject matter experts in their field, many of whom are critically acclaimed writers themselves.

Not only are the courses created by experts, they're taught by them, too. Just ask student Joshua Yarbrough .

"I have worked with professors who are well versed and accomplished in their field," he said. "They have provided valuable feedback to me in terms of preparing for my next steps as a writer and educator."

If you're looking for a degree program with collaboration built in, look no further. The online MA in English and Creative Writing has an added emphasis on peer workshops for additional feedback. Each concentration requires students to take three workshops, so you'll have the chance to fine-tune your editing and proofreading skills both for your peers and for yourself.

You'll also be required to take one of two teaching courses, Seminar in Writing Instruction or Online Teaching Experience . This can give you a background for teaching creative writing or English composition, depending on which interests you more. As a whole, this degree program is highly customizable, allowing you to focus on what types of creative writing interest you most.

In addition to working on your writing craft, you'll take several literary courses that focus on analysis and reflection, while learning about the history of the publishing industry. This can give you the chance to sharpen your editing and professional communication skills, while also giving you the edge you need to advance your writing career.

Graduate Alec Biron '17 '21G agrees. "One course that stood out to me, in particular, was “The Editor”. This course was both writing and editing intensive, allowing us to review the work of our peers while optimizing our own narratives," he said. "The Editor went beyond simple proofreading, and taught me how to edit for structure, character development, syntax, language and tone."

You'll also have the choice of four literary genres:

  • Screenwriting

Or, you can customize your program and study multiple genres.

What's more, there's plenty of opportunity to build your network and hone your craft outside of normal class time. Once enrolled, you'll have access to SNHUconnect, a community built exclusively for our online learners. With plenty of clubs and events at your disposal, you might find that the Creative Writing Review Club is right up your alley. Wrote a few poems and want a critique? Need an audience to run your plot ideas by? Here, you can share your nonfiction, fiction, poetry and screenplay works – and even seek peer revising if you desire.

Minimum Hardware Requirements Component Type   PC (Windows OS)   Apple (Mac OS)   Operating System  Currently supported operating system from Microsoft.   Currently supported operating system from Apple.  Memory (RAM)  8GB or higher  8GB or higher  Hard Drive  100GB or higher  100GB or higher  Antivirus Software  Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.  Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.  SNHU Purchase Programs  Visit Dell   Visit Apple   Internet/ Bandwidth  5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency  5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency  Notes:   Laptop or desktop?   Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.  Note:   Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.  Office 365 Pro Plus  is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for  Microsoft 365 plans  for business, education and government.  Antivirus software:  Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.  if (typeof accordionGroup === "undefined") { window.accordionGroup = new accordion(); } accordionGroup.init(document.getElementById('f756dce5bd874c61855f6f6e92d88470')); University Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs: Course Materials ($ varies by course). Foundational courses may be required based on your undergraduate course history, which may result in additional cost.

Frequently Asked Questions

Adanze Chukwuocha '23G, SNHU master's in English and creative writing graduate, in a cap and gown

SNHU Spotlight: Adanze Chukwuocha, MA in English and Creative Writing Grad

Lawrence Michael Mazza II in a graduation cap and gown at his SNHU Commencement ceremony.

SNHU Spotlight: Lawrence Michael Mazza II, BA in English Grad

A diverse group of cartoon style people surrounded by thought bubbles full of different communication styles

Types of Communication Styles And How to Identify Them

1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:

  • https://www.bls.gov/OOH/media-and-communication/writers-and-authors.htm (viewed Oct. 27, 2022)
  • https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/technical-writers.htm (viewed Oct. 27, 2022)
  • https://www.bls.gov/OOH/entertainment-and-sports/producers-and-directors.htm (viewed Oct. 27, 2022)
  • https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/editors.htm (viewed Oct. 27, 2022)
  • https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/reporters-correspondents-and-broadcast-news-analysts.htm#tab-2 (viewed Feb. 22, 2023)

Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.

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Creative Writing MA (Distance Learning)

Home > Postgraduate study > Postgraduate courses > Creative Writing MA (Distance Learning)

Creative Writing MA (Distance Learning)

Why choose this course.

The Creative Writing MA (Distance Learning) offers you the chance to study with a range of well-established and award-winning writers in a dynamic writing environment, but without having to relocate or give up current commitments. Taught in our virtual forums and classrooms, modules can be accessed at a time of the week to suit your schedule.

You will learn in workshops, one-to-one or in small groups, with support from practising and published writers and fellow students. Our award-winning former creative writing students include Booker-shortlisted Oyinkan Braithwaite, Joe Pierson, who won the Bridport Prize, Stefan Mohammed, awarded the Dylan Thomas Prize, Bafta-winner, Sarah Woolner, the acclaimed poet Dom Bury and celebrated novelist Faiqa Mansab. 

The non-compulsory campus days give you a chance to visit the campus and attend a relevant lecture, as well as to meet fellow workshop students. Those travelling longer distances who wish to stay longer and explore the cultural opportunities that London offers, or simply to write, are also welcome to attend events taking place on campus for the rest of the week, featuring staff, writers in residences, students and guests.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • Delivered by Distance Learning, this Creative Writing MA helps you to develop the craft of creative writing, either on a general level or through specialising in your chosen genre. Taught in virtual forums and classrooms, your studies can suit your schedule, and you will not have to relocate or give up your job.
  • The creative dissertation and critical essay give you the chance to further specialise. You also explore writing in a range of forms and styles and take a module exploring critical theory and experimental/avant-garde writing.
  • You will become part of Kingston's thriving community, with events such as readings, lectures from published authors, editors and agents, masterclasses and enriching discussions.
  • You will have the opportunity to contribute to Kingston University's publication, Ripple, which includes fiction, poetry, reviews and creative non-fiction and is edited by students on the course.
  • You'll study in workshops, learning one-on-one or in small groups with experts in your chosen area. The course is taught by a combination of:
  • appointed staff - many are published authors or active researchers, which keeps your learning dynamic.
  • peer review - giving you the chance to discuss your own and other students' work in a mutually-supportive environment.

The Art School Experience

As part of  Kingston School of Art , students on this course benefit from joining a creative community where collaborative working and critical practice are encouraged.

Our  workshops and studios  are open to all disciplines, enabling students and staff to work together, share ideas and explore multi-disciplinary making.

Two students collaborate on a design project.

What our students say

In this video, one of our creative writing alumna and a current student discuss why they chose the course, what they enjoyed about it and why they'd recommend it to future applicants.

What you will study

The Creative Writing MA (Distance Learning) follows the same course structure as the successful and popular Creative Writing MA. You'll be taught through individual tutorials, streamed lectures and readings held at or sponsored by the University.

The Writers' Workshop module will encourage you to develop your writing 'voice' through engagement with fellow students across a range of genres (in fiction or creative non-fiction), while the Special Study module enables you to specialise in one genre, such as fiction, non-fiction, poetry or drama.

You will learn the elements of fiction, poetry and drama as well as studying relevant critical theory and trying out your own fictional experiments in the Critical Challenges module. You'll take part in online masterclasses and put all you have learned into practice in the dissertation module. It is possible to use both workshop modules and the dissertation together to work towards a substantial part of a longer piece such as a novel.

This Creative Writing MA will give you the knowledge and confidence to enter the cultural debate and to begin to identify outlets for your own writing.

Full-time students can attend two campus days, scheduled annually, usually in November and February.

Part-time students normally attend the November campus day in the first year and the February campus day in the second year.

Full-time students take two 30-credit modules each semester, including a Special Study workshop on a particular genre e.g. poetry, drama or fiction, in the second semester. You'll participate in general workshops, reading sessions and tutorials with your assigned dissertation supervisor throughout the course.

You may then choose to complete a 15,000-word 60-credit dissertation accompanied by a 3,000-word critical review, for which you'll receive one-to-one supervision as you work towards a September completion.

Core modules

Creative writing dissertation.

This module focuses on your own creative writing and research into your chosen form or genre, developed in consultation with your supervisor. You learn via one-to-one tutorials with your personal supervisor. You produce two pieces of writing:

  • a creative dissertation – a portion of a novel, a body of poetry, a play screenplay or other creative form of no more than 15,000 words; and
  • a critical essay of approximately 3,000 words – considering the relationships between your own writing and the literary contexts/theoretical concerns that inform published writing in your chosen genre or form.

Your supervisor must agree in advance the final structure, approximate word length and for presentation conventions of these pieces.

Special Study: Workshops in Popular Genre Writing

This online workshop module will be devoted to the creative writing of students all working in the same form and genre of their choice.  It will enable students to develop drafts in their chosen form and genre, and to master its specific codes and conventions. Draft work to be reviewed may include, for example, poetry, prose fiction, non-fiction, writing for the stage, or screenwriting, perhaps in a choice of genres such as crime writing, fantasy fiction, writing for children, historical fiction, science fiction, romance and autobiography. Students will be advised how best to strengthen their knowledge of that form or genre in order to reflect critically and constructively on their own writing.  Attention will then be given to the production of a substantial piece or a collection of pieces of creative writing that reflects their knowledge of and engagement with their chosen form or genre.

Writing the Contemporary

This module provides the opportunity to examine ways in which reading is essential to writing practice and teaches you to apply literary techniques and strategies from contemporary fiction, life writing and poetry texts to your own work. You will develop the concept of ‘reading as a writer' in order to explore how contemporary concerns are brought to the fore by artistic strategies, and examine how an understanding of these can provide models for your own creative practice. You will submit work including a reflective reading journal as well as a creative piece in a genre of your choice.

Writers' Workshop

This is a workshop-based online module in which students will present and discuss their own work and that of their peers within a group of students writing in a variety of genres and forms. The draft work presented in the module will normally include forms such as poetry, prose fiction, non-fiction, writing for the stage or screenwriting, in a variety of genres, but it may also include genres such as science fiction, romance, crime fiction, writing for children, historical fictional, and autobiography. Students will develop a strong knowledge of the writing workshop ethos, its requirements and etiquette as mutual practical criticism of peer writing will be accompanied by discussion of the scope or constraints of the various genres as well as the implications of working in various forms. Attention will be paid to the relevant components of good writing: appropriate use of language, narrative pace, dialogue, expression, characterisation and mood.

Critical Challenges for Creative Writers

The module is designed to introduce students to some issues of critical and literary theory. The module is also designed to make students more aware of how their work impacts upon wider literary, cultural, political and philosophical issues. Awareness of these theories and of some of the issues surrounding the production and reception of literary texts will stimulate them, encouraging creative and conceptual thinking. The module will explore debates about literature and the practice of creative writing through readings of essays and texts that are relevant to criticism and theory. The academic component of the assessment will support the creative work with the objective that students will also have to demonstrate critical, academic, analytical skills.

Entry requirements

Typical offer.

We normally expect applicants to have:

  • a second class degree or above, or equivalent, in creative writing, English literature, literature and language, drama or theatre studies or a similar subject; and/or
  • a demonstrable interest in creative writing.

You must also submit a 3,000-word sample of creative writing, a personal statement (1,000 words).

Additional requirements

We normally invite applicants for an interview with the admissions director or another senior member of the teaching team. We will ask you to submit a creative writing sample of up to 3,000 words with your application.


All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall with 7.0 in Writing and 5.5 in all other elements. Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements , which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

Applicants from one of the recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

  • Middle East

Teaching and assessment

Continuous assessments in individual accredited modules plus assessment of final dissertation.

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically involves reading and analysing articles, regulations, policy documents and key texts, documenting individual projects, preparing coursework assignments and completing your PEDRs, etc.

Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the University's online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

At Kingston University, we know that postgraduate students have particular needs and therefore we have a range of support available to help you during your time here.

Your workload

Year 1: 5% of your time is spent in timetabled learning and teaching activity.

  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 93 hours

Guided independent study (self-managed time): 1,707 hours

For part time students

  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 44 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 556 hours
  • Scheduled learning and teaching: 49 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 1,151 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

Full time - Year 1

Part time - year 1, part time - year 2.

  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 1707 hours
  • Guided independent study (self-managed time): 1151 hours

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises portfolios and a dissertation.

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course in each full time or part time year:

Type of assessment

  • Coursework: 100%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

Class sizes are kept small for this course and usually limited to 10. However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course?

This course is delivered by Kingston School of Art. As a student on this course, you will benefit from a lively study environment, thanks to the wide range of postgraduate courses on offer. The combination of academics and practitioners makes it a unique environment in which to further your studies and your career.

The University provides a vibrant and forward-thinking environment for study with:

  • courses designed in collaboration with industry professionals  –  enabling you to keep right up to date with the latest developments in the creative and professional writing environment;
  • established connections with the London arts and media scene  –  with a range of guest speakers, professors and lecturers visiting the University; and
  • committed and enthusiastic staff  –  many of whom are expert practitioners as well as leading academics and researchers.
  • opportunity to contribute to Kingston University's publications, such as Ripple. They include fiction, poetry, reviews and creative non-fiction and are edited by postgraduate creative writing students.

Postgraduate students may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

ma creative writing online

Dr Wendy Vaizey

Course leader.

ma creative writing online

Mr Oludiran Adebayo

ma creative writing online

Mr Steven J. Fowler

ma creative writing online

Dr Marina Lambrou

Fees for this course, 2023/24 fees for this course, home 2023/24.

  • full time £9,860
  • part time £5,423

International 2023/24

  • full time £16,200
  • part time £8,910

2022/23 fees for this course

Home 2022/23.

  • MA full time £9,620
  • MA part time £5,291

International 2022/23

  • MA full time £15,800
  • MA part time £8,690

Tuition fee information for future course years

If you start your second year straight after Year 1, you will pay the same fee for both years.

If you take a break before starting your second year, or if you repeat modules from Year 1 in Year 2, the fee for your second year may increase.

Postgraduate loans

If you are a UK student, resident in England and are aged under the age of 60, you will be able to apply for a loan to study for a postgraduate degree. For more information, read the postgraduate loan information on the government's website .

Funding and bursaries

Bursaries are available from the School of Arts, Culture and Communications for students working on the Kingston University Press (KUP), Ripple magazine or other related activities (find out more and apply after you have enrolled).

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan . You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

After you graduate

Some of our departmental graduates have achieved notable successes, having published short stories and novels which were started as part of their degree, and attracted good literary agents, for example:

  • Oyinkan Braithwaite 's novel,  My Sister the Serial Killer , reviewed by The New Yorker and BBC Radio 4's Open Book and Front Row, has won the Crime and Thriller book of the year at the British Book Awards; Oyinkan is the first black woman to do so.  
  • Grainne Murphy has recently signed a two-book deal with Legend Press. Her debut novel,  Where the Edge Is , was published in September 2020, with The Ghostlights to be published in 2021. 
  • Ben Halls ' debut  The Quarry  was book of the day in The Guardian in March 2020. 
  • Amy Clarke has signed a two-book deal.  Like Clockwork  is a psychological suspense novel about a true-crime podcast host who's obsessively trying to solve the decades-old cold case of a notorious Minnesotan serial killer whose victims were each one year younger than the last. It is due to be published in March/April 2021 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, with a second book to follow. 
  • A story Seraphina Madsen wrote for the MA Critical Challenges module was published in the UK's pre-eminent literary journal, The White Review, and secured her an agent and a book deal. 
  • Stevan Alcock is another MA student whose debut novel – workshopped on our MA – was published by 4th Estate.  
  • Hannah Vincent is a former MFA student with novels out with Myriad Editions and Salt. 
  • Myriad Editions also run a writing competition each year aimed at finding new writers, with MFA student Karly Stilling winning in 2015. This year the award was won by another current Kingston student, Sylvia Carr . Former MA (now PhD student) Joseph Pierson was a recent runner-up. 
  • Julia Lewis is a former MFA student and experimental poet who has gone on to publish a wide range of work. She also rewrote MA tutor James Miller's novel Lost Boys as a collection of experimental poetry. 
  • Stefan Mohamed won the Dylan Thomas Prize and has gone to have a successful career as a writer of YA fiction. 
  • MA student Vicky Newham signed a two book deal for her crime series. Vicky is on the Daggers longlist for the best crime novel by a first-time author. 
  • Faiqa Mansab published her debut novel  This House of Clay and Water in Pakistan and India to great acclaim and it  has been optioned by the talented Sheherzade Sheikh for screen adaptation. 
  • Other successes include Susie Lynes and Lauren Forry . 
  • Other former students have gone on to work in editorial posts in the publishing industry.

Why I chose Kingston

What our students and graduates say

Initially, it was a bit daunting returning to university as a mature student (in my early 50s) but as there were quite a number of us older students we soon formed a little group and in fact became quite good friends. The thing I possibly enjoyed most about Kingston was the number of workshops on offer pretty much throughout my time there. I found myself signing up for everything, from fiction to thriller to life writing courses. I just loved the vibe of being in that academic and literary environment. It was a huge privilege being able to attend workshops, free of charge, presented by some of the most esteemed literary personalities. In addition, there were publishing events that put us in direct contact with editors, agents and publishers. Weekly events hosted by Kingston Writing School were also hugely inspiring. Listening to authors relating their journeys about the long road from writing to being published was hugely encouraging and something I rarely missed.

The actual MA course and the various modules we had to complete pushed me beyond my comfort zone, particularly in poetry, which is something I'd never had a penchant for. But, thanks to my accomplished lecturers, I ended up enjoying every single one of them.

However, it was one of the extra-curricular workshops that inspired my book, Secrets of a Stewardess . The memoir/life writing workshop was hosted by John Man, author of more than 13 books. I was convinced that I was in the wrong class as I felt that I had absolutely no story to tell, but he somehow managed to coax out of me my years as an airline stewardess in the ‘80s. I also wrote a children's book (which was signed up by an agent) while I was at Kingston University, but used the memoir as part of my dissertation.

I can honestly say that completing my MA in Creative Writing at Kingston University and then being published is one of the most rewarding things I have done. It taught me that you are never too old to achieve your goals - you just need to set them and then work towards them. Studying creative writing gave me the confidence to believe that I actually could write and the whole support system offered at Kingston University, finally helped me to get published.

Secrets of a Stewardess has been published by The History Press who has done an outstanding job of marketing it. WHS Smith Travel bought 2,500 copies upfront; I have been interviewed on BBC Radio 4; I have featured on BBC World Services', The Conversation; I have been interviewed live on Talk Radio Europe; I have had a feature in The Daily Mail newspaper; I have been interviewed and photographed by The Sun newspaper and I featured in Prima magazine's August edition.

Gretchen Ryan

Links with business and industry

A range of additional events and lectures will enhance your studies and add an extra perspective to your learning. Activities for this course include:


Live online masterclasses in each teaching block with distinguished professors and researchers such as Hanif Kureishi and Paul Bailey.

Distance Learning students who attend Campus Days are able to attend events and readings with publishing specialists and professionals that take place on these days. These have included agents such as Briony Woods, Jemima Hunt and others.

Overseas student visiting for Campus Days who wish to stay for a few days longer will find other lectures and events of interest to attend.

Students within reach of London are also welcome to attend events on campus such as talks from writer and film director Shelagh McLeod, Influx Press editor Sanya Semakula and writers Michael Hughes, Catherine McNamara and Susan Lynes.

Guest lectures

Weekly guest lectures by leading journalists including:

  • Samira Ahmed , an award-winning journalist with 20 years' experience in print and broadcast;
  • David Jenkins , editor of Little White Lies, a bi-monthly movie magazine powered by illustration;
  • Richard Moynihan , Head of digital journalism, The Telegraph and
  • Alex Stedman , fashion blogger at The Frugality and former style editor at Red magazine.

Regular readings through Writers' Centre Kingston, which offers an annual programme of events from talks to workshops and festivals, hosted and curated in partnership with institutions local to Kingston University and in London, from The Rose Theatre to the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation, from the Museum of Futures to Kingston First.

Lunchtime lectures

Frequent philosophy lunchtime lectures which focus on a major figure in the history of Western philosophy, introducing students to that thinker's work, usually through the discussion of one of her or his emblematic works. There are also weekly Journalism lunchtime lectures with a range of industry experts.

Ripple magazine

The literary magazine Ripple is edited by MA students, providing a platform for the publication of creative work; and a chance to get hands-on experience of the publishing process.

Research areas

Research in English literature and creative writing at Kingston University covers the following areas:

  • 19th and 20th century British and American fiction;
  • fictions of globalisation;
  • gothic writing;
  • travel writing;
  • women's writing from the 18th century to the present;
  • New Woman and fin de siècle fictions;
  • Shakespeare;
  • literature of the English Reformation period;
  • postcolonial studies;
  • theories of gender;
  • life writing and trauma;

It focuses around the following research initiatives:

  • Iris Murdoch Studies - research on the Iris Murdoch archives acquired by Kingston University in 2003/04).
  • Life Narratives Research Group - bringing together best practice from all genres of life narrative work.
  • Cultural Histories at Kingston - centred around the concept of the 'cultural text', the group includes scholars from the fields of literature, film, media, history, music, dance, performance, and journalism.
  • Writers' Centre Kingston - a literary cultural centre dedicated to creative writing in all its forms, with an annual programme of events, talks, workshops and festivals.
  • Race/Gender Matters - captures and concentrates research on theoretical, critical and creative engagements with the materiality of race, gender and language.

We also hold regular seminars and host presentations by visiting speakers.

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course.  Course changes explained .

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course  can be found on our website.

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Secondary Teaching leading to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) PGCE English

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  • MA Creative Writing

Creative Writing

Join our community of internationally renowned, award-winning writers at the Manchester Writing School, where collaboration and experimentation are at the heart of what we do.

Course overview

At the heart of the Manchester Writing School are our masters programmes in Creative Writing, available to study on campus in Manchester and also from anywhere in the world via online distance learning. 

On our Master of Arts (MA) Creative Writing programme, you will explore and practice techniques and styles of modern and contemporary writing and apply these through the development of your own creative work. You will undertake a taught element blending writing workshops with reading units and an elective, and then complete your studies through submission of an extended piece of writing from a proposed full-length book or script. 

You will specialise in one of the following routes: Novel (including Short Fiction), Poetry, Writing for Children & Young Adults, Scriptwriting (...

What you need to know

  • When does the course start? January 2024 September 2024 January 2025

1 year full-time (campus) 2 years part-time (campus or online)

Students can begin studying in January or September.

  • Where will I study this course? Manchester , Online

Features and benefits

"One of the greatest pleasures of my working life continues to be the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University, a department with a real sense of family, achievement and celebration, and an ethos of nurturing and innovation." Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE – Creative Director of the Manchester Writing School

Course Information

At the heart of the Manchester Writing School are our masters programmes in creative writing, available to study on campus in Manchester, and also from anywhere in the world via online distance learning.

MA Creative Writing can be tailored to suit your writing preferences by following a specialist route in novel (including short fiction), poetry, writing for children & young adults, scriptwriting (for stage, screen or radio) or creative non-fiction. Watch our playlist to find out more about each route.

This MA blends writing workshops, where you produce and develop your own work-in-progress with regular feedback from tutors and fellow students, with reading courses, which look at the techniques, forms and styles used by a range of writers in modern and contemporary literature. All students also take 30 credits of optional units and can choose from a range of 15- and 30-credit creative writing units or options from courses across arts and humanities subjects. The final piece of work for the MA is the dissertation – an extended piece of creative writing from a proposed full-length book or script. 

The MA is available to complete in one year full-time or two years part-time. The novel and poetry routes are available to study on campus (full-time or part-time) or online (part-time only). The writing for children and creative non-fiction routes are online (part-time) only. The scriptwriting route is available to study on campus only. We have intakes to the programme in September and January each year. 

Visit the Manchester Writing School for more information, including profiles of staff and published students, news, events and projects.

Please visit our scholarships page for information on funding opportunities .

The programme leader for this course is James Draper . 

Classes for core Workshop and Reading units take place in the evenings (6-8pm UK time) during the autumn and spring semesters. Full-time students take all of their units in a single year and usually have classes two evenings per week. Part-time students spread these units over two years (study pattern may vary depending on specialist route) and usually have classes one evening per week. All students take 30 credits of option units, which run in the spring semester; delivery models and scheduling vary depending on choice and availability. The MA concludes with the Creative Dissertation, completed through independent study with one-to-one support from a Dissertation Supervisor.

Creative Dissertation (60 credits)

This unit will build on and progress material produced during the Workshop units. You will compile and edit your creative writing into a substantial, continuous extract from a proposed longer work-in-progress and provide a Genesis Document: an account of the origins of and inspirations for your writing.

Reading Unit 1 (30 credits)

This route-specific unit looks at the forms, themes, styles and techniques used by a range of writers in literature. Outstanding writing is considered in terms of composition, process and presentation, and its relevance to your own work-in-progress. 

The Workshop (2 x 30 credits)

Workshops are led by established practitioners in the specialist literary field (Novel, Poetry, Writing for Children/Young Adults, Scriptwriting or Creative Non-Fiction), giving you a committed editorial readership of professionals and peers, and generating and developing material for a proposed full-length book or script. It is expected that the creative work generated will eventually contribute to your Creative Dissertation.

Option units

Creative project.

On this unit, you will be asked to devise, scope, plan, conduct, report and reflect on a creative project of your own choosing. The project should involve a significant stretch from your core work on the programme and explore a new practice. This can be either working in a writing discipline different to your main route through the course, or by adapting or applying your work in a new context.

Green Writing (15 credits)

This unit will explore how creative writers can engage with ecological emergency during a time of crisis. The unit will examine different approaches to writing about nature, ecology and the environment, and demonstrate ways to respond creatively to contemporary climate science. You will study key texts in the field and produce your own original creative work using techniques drawn from those materials, learning how to bring traditionally ‘non-fiction’ perspectives into the realm of fiction.

Reading Unit 2 (30 credits)

Remaking games: creativity, play and communication (15 credits).

This unit explores the theory and practice of hacking and making games as a research method and mode of creative practice. It considers the intersection between creative writing and game design. In the unit we introduce students to reading and making games as a new methodology that combines creative and critical thinking with public engagement and impact at the point of research. For creative writers, the unit helps develop new ways to explore narrative and storytelling through interactive fiction, videogames and analogue games. You will develop new communication skills as part of the research process, creating games to share with other students and wider audiences as a way of engaging the public with your research.  

Teaching Creative Writing (15 credits)

This unit introduces techniques for developing and delivering creative writing workshops in a range of settings and considers how to encourage would-be participants to produce original writing in a variety of styles and genres. Consideration of key pedagogic theories and analyses of demonstrations will offer background context and enable critical reflection on workshop practice.

The Industry (30 credits)

You will learn and acquire practical information about various aspects of the publishing, literary, arts and related industries through seminars and Q&A sessions with guest speakers. These may include agents, editors, publishers, publicists, booksellers, directors, producers, broadcasters, filmmakers, freelancers, performers, artists and illustrators. This unit is designed to give you a broad overview of the state of the industry, as well as some specialist knowledge about opportunities available for those working in your specialist area, as you complete your manuscript.

Writing About Relationships (15 credits)

This course unit explores writing about love and partnership and is designed to help you gain confidence, avoid cliché and improve the quality of your prose style as you write about human relationships and intimacy. 

Study and assessment breakdown

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A masters qualification typically comprises of 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits and an MFA 300 credits. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

  • Full-time 34% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 66% independent study
  • Part-time 34% lectures, seminars or similar; 0% placement; 66% independent study
  • Full-time 100% coursework; 0% practical; 0% examination
  • Part-time 100% coursework; 0% practical; 0% examination

Placement options

The Manchester Writing School is one of the UK's leading schools of creative writing. It is also home to ground-breaking outreach activities, international writing competitions, a series of city-wide literary events, innovative publishing projects, the Manchester Children's Book Festival , and the new Manchester Poetry Library . These activities provide you with many opportunities to get involved and develop your experience in a number of exciting directions.

Whether you've already made your decision about what you want to study, or you're just considering whether postgraduate study is right for you, there are lots of ways you can meet us and find out more about postgraduate student life at Manchester Met.

  • a virtual experience campus tour
  • chats with current students

Taught by Experts

Your studies are supported by a department of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field.

We often link up with external professionals too, helping to enhance your learning and build valuable connections to the working world.

Entry Requirements

In order to apply, you will need to submit a completed application form, a sample of creative writing, a critical review and one reference. You can apply online or download an application form here:  mmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/postgraduate-taught-course .

On the application form, you will be asked to give a personal statement and should use this to tell us a bit about yourself and give a good sense of what you have been reading and writing, what has led you to apply for our course, and which one of our specialist routes you are applying for. Personal statements should be up to 500 words long.

For the creative sample , applicants to the Novel, Children's/YA and Creative Non-Fiction routes should submit up to 2,000 words of prose (a complete piece, or an extract/extracts from a longer work); poetry applicants should submit up to 15 poems; and scriptwriting applicants should submit up to 15 minutes running time of script (a complete piece, or an extract/extracts from a longer work).

The critical review should focus on a piece of 21st century work, be up to 500 words long, and show evidence of close reading, explaining what it is about the piece you find useful as a writer. Both the creative and critical samples should be relevant to the specialist route to which you are applying (Novel OR Poetry OR Writing for Children/YA OR Scriptwriting OR Creative Non-Fiction). 

Your reference can be from anyone of professional standing (e.g. a current/former employer or tutor) who can vouch for your suitability for study at postgraduate level or the quality of your writing, or, if you are unable to obtain a reference from someone who is familiar with your written work, simply verify your identity.

Please collate and submit the application form, writing sample, review and reference, where possible. It will not speed up the processing of your application if you send some elements now with others to follow.  

We have intakes into the programme in September and January each year. For application deadlines, please see the 'How to Apply section'. We normally aim to respond to applications within four weeks of receipt of all four elements: application form, writing sample, review and reference, although it may take a little longer outside of term time. 

In each application assessed we will be looking for evidence of:

A very high standard of written English; 

Creative talent and potential; 

Control of form, style and technique; 

Commitment to the craft of writing and willingness to engage with the editorial process of receiving feedback and redrafting work-in-progress;  

Experience of the development of writing skills through workshops, supervision, mentoring or previous study;

Substantial reading within the relevant field.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to produce evidence of English Language proficiency. Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5, with no sub-component below 5.5, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed  here .

If your application meets these criteria, a tutor may contact you to arrange a telephone or face-to-face interview at a mutually convenient time.

Fees and Funding

Uk and channel island students.

Full-time fee: £9,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time fee: £1500 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Distance learning fee: £1500 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

EU and Non-EU International Students

Full-time fee: £17,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time fee: £2834 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Distance learning fee: £2834 per 30 credits studied per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Costs

Specialist costs.

Compulsory estimate : £300

Optional estimate : £2200

Books (novels, poetry collections, children/young adult books, scripts in print, or books of creative non-fiction depending on the specialist route of study) for study on Reading units (10 books per unit for two units). Costs spread across years one and two for part-time students. There is also a list of additional, optional recommended reading for each unit. Students can access much of this via the Manchester Met library (either by loaning books or via the e-book system). All students will require access to a computer in order to undertake their studies (accessing online resources, forums and communication systems). Students can loan laptops on campus. Students will also need access to broadband internet. While most students choose to purchase these for home use, computers with internet access are available to use on campus. While most assessed work will be submitted and completed electronically, students taking the dissertation or manuscript units will be asked to submit printed and bound copies of their work.

placement Costs

Compulsory estimate : £100

There is an optional summer school each year, where students are invited to spend two full days on campus for a suite of masterclass workshops, talks and social activities. Attendance at the school is free of charge, but students are asked to make their own arrangements for travel, accommodation and food. Some of the elective units will run as intensive residentials over three days on campus in Manchester. This means that online distance learning students, and those who live beyond commuting distance, and who wish to take these particular units, will need to arrange overnight accommodation in the city and make arrangements for travel and food. Students taking the Creative Project unit and undertaking projects which involve creating artwork, producing objects, or travelling to conduct research or interviews etc. will need to cover the costs of any materials used and also make arrangements for accommodation, travel and food. There may be occasional, optional residential writing weeks held at writing centres across the UK. Students who wish to attend are asked to cover the costs of accommodation, food, travel and tuition for these.

other Costs

Optional estimate : £500

Students may be invited to take part in optional public events (e.g. reading from their own work), or attend meetings for extra-curricular projects (e.g. the Rosamond Prize) and are expected to cover the costs of travel, accommodation and food.

Career Prospects

More than 100 of our students and graduates have embarked upon publishing careers, launching first books, with many more achieving publication in journals and magazines, winning writing awards and prizes, and setting up small presses and anthologies. Our alumni include winners of the Costa First Novel Award, Forward Poetry Prize and Yale Windham-Campell Prize, and a long-listing for the Man Booker Prize. 

Our School plays a leading role in establishing Manchester as a city of writers with a commitment to finding diverse new voices and creating opportunities for writer development, enabling new writing and building audiences for the next generation of talent. Manchester has been designated a UNESCO City of Literature in recognition of its thriving live literature scene, with a year-round programme of author events, writers’ forums, networking opportunities and open mic nights. 

We are home to a suite of ground-breaking outreach projects including the Manchester Children’s Book Festival and Mother Tongue Other Tongue , an international multilingual poetry competition that celebrates cultural diversity and the many languages spoken in schools in the UK. Our Manchester Poetry Library holds over 12,000 books and recordings that can be explored through our online catalogue, in person and through our annual events programme. Our School has a strong Manchester presence, with links to many of the city’s major cultural and arts organisations, and also a global reach with students and alumni based across the UK and continental Europe, and in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australasia.

Our strong partnerships and innovative projects mean that you will have plenty of opportunities to develop your industry experience and network.  

On completion of this course you may decide to pursue PhD study, or to develop a career in bookselling, agenting, publishing, editing, the media, or in teaching creative writing. You will have access to the Careers and Employability Hub located in the Business School at Manchester Met, offering a host of information resources, one-to-one careers support, and employability events throughout the year. This service is also available for up to three years after you graduate. 

The Power of Words Led by Professor Carol Ann Duffy DBE (UK Poet Laureate 2009-2019), the Manchester Writing School is the beating literary heart of a city alive with culture. Find out more about its prestigious past, present and future by watching our video, 'The Power of Words'.   Watch the video Manchester Writing School

Want to know more

Register your interest, got a question.

Please contact our course enquiries team.

Please remember to tailor your application to one of our specialist routes (Novel, Poetry, Writing for Children, Scriptwriting or Creative Non-Fiction) and to include a creative sample and critical review relevant to that chosen route.

Please upload your two samples of work under the 'Degree Transcript' section of the application portal. 

The novel and poetry routes are available to study on campus (full-time or part-time) or online (part-time only). The writing for children and creative non-fiction routes are online (part-time) only. The scriptwriting route is available to study on campus only.

Application deadlines for January 2024 entry

  • International students - midnight on Thursday 30 November 2023
  • UK and Channel Island students - midnight on Sunday 31 December 2023

This course may close before the advertised deadline if capacity is reached.  Please apply as early as possible.

Get advice and support on making a successful application.

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

Manchester is your city, be part of it

Your new home, your new city, why university, related courses, english studies.

Programme Review Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions .

Important Notice This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at officeforstudents.org.uk .

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan .

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Creative Writing (Distance Learning)

  • Entry Year 2024
  • Duration Part time 24 Months

Top reasons to study with us

World Top 40 QS World Subject Rankings 2023 (English Language & Literature)

Enjoy literary events in Lancaster's Castle Quarter

Partners with Wordsworth Grasmere in the English Lake District

Why Lancaster?

  • Study from anywhere in the world, whenever it suits you, with our online tutorials and conferences
  • Sharpen your writing with detailed individual feedback from a published author in your chosen genre
  • Join us for a summer school on campus to spend time with our friendly community, share your work and learn from brilliant writers
  • Learn from published writers who specialise in long prose fiction, memoir, short stories, poetry and work for stage and screen
  • Work towards your ambition of being a published writer – we’ll help you turn your passion into a career path

We believe distance learning should be like a book – you should be able to pick it up and put it down when it suits you. By studying with us, you can benefit from invaluable one-to-one support from one of our published writers and work on your writing project without changing your lifestyle.

A global community

The DLMA Creative Writing at Lancaster has an established track record of success: our list of graduates who have published their work speaks for itself. Studying with us, you’ll become part of our diverse community of students who connect with each other from all corners of the globe, each bringing their unique personal experiences and cultural perspectives to the course.

Supporting your success

To support your writing project, you’ll learn from detailed online one-to-one tutorials and group conferences. We’ll match you with a published writer in your chosen genre who will be your personal tutor throughout the programme. As well as this one-to-one support, you’ll take part in virtual conferences where you’ll share your work with other students and members of our expert team.

Unmissable summer school

In the summer term of your first year, we run a week-long summer school on campus. Past students have travelled to Lancaster from locations ranging from the USA to Singapore. While this is an optional part of the programme, previous participants have said this is a highlight of the programme as they have the chance to meet other students in person, join interactive workshops and review their progress face-to-face.

During this exciting week, you’ll also benefit from interacting with professionals such as agents, publishers and writers who join us from across the UK. You’ll also take part in a field trip to the Wordsworth Trust in the beautiful Lake District.

Your department

  • English Literature and Creative Writing Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

The DLMA Creative writing is taught by a dedicated team of award-winning, critically-acclaimed authors of fiction, poetry and script. The staff may change from time to time, but the following gives you a good idea of our current team.

by Professor Jenn Ashworth

ma creative writing online

by Sarah Corbett

ma creative writing online

by Tajinder Hayer

ma creative writing online

by Conor O'Callaghan

ma creative writing online

by Professor Paul Farley

ma creative writing online

by Michelene Wandor

ma creative writing online

by Eoghan Walls

ma creative writing online

by Professor Emeritus & Course Founder Graham Mort

ma creative writing online

Many of our past students have gone on to publish their work and make a career out of their passion for writing. So, if you’ve always wanted to get your work published, this course is for you.

We’ll give you the support you need to become the best writer you can be, and our staff will share their own experiences with you to inspire you on your journey.

Other students have combined their writing with careers in teaching. Journalism and the media are also potential career paths.

Published graduates

Many of our graduates have gone on to successful publishing careers. You too might become one of these.

by Amali Rodrigo

ma creative writing online

by Barbara Schoichet

ma creative writing online

by Ruth Taaffe

ma creative writing online

by Nguyan Phan Que Mai

ma creative writing online

by Jacob Anthony Ramirez

ma creative writing online

by Helen Taylor

ma creative writing online

by Liz Monument

ma creative writing online

by Gail Kirkpatrick

ma creative writing online

Entry Requirements

Academic requirements.

2:1 degree in a related subject is normally required. We will also consider applications on an individual basis where you have a degree in other subjects, have a 2:2 or equivalent result or extensive relevant experience. You should clearly be able to demonstrate how your skills have prepared you for relevant discussions and assessments during postgraduate study.

Please contact us for more information.

If you have studied outside of the UK, we would advise you to check our list of international qualifications before submitting your application.

Additional Requirements

As part of your application you also need to provide

  • A portfolio of original writing (no more than 12 poems or 20 pages of prose/scriptwriting) showing potential for publication.
  • An outline (approximately 300-400 words) of your proposed project, which is the single point of assessment and is submitted at the end of the course. This could be a collection of short stories, poems, a script, extracts from a longer fiction, creative non-fiction, or life writing piece.

English Language Requirements

We may ask you to provide a recognised English language qualification, dependent upon your nationality and where you have studied previously.

We normally require an IELTS (Academic) Test with an overall score of at least 7.0, and a minimum of 6.5 in each element of the test. We also consider other English language qualifications .

Contact: Admissions Team +44 (0) 1524 592032 or email [email protected]

Course Structure

You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.

Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.

The distance learning MA in Creative Writing is a two-year part-time course. It allows the convenience of study from home, enabling online tutorials with a professional writer who will respond to your work through detailed written reports. The course accommodates a range of writing, from poetry to fictional forms and is mediated through a simple virtual learning environment. Our approach is student-centred and designed to support a writing project that you will outline at the point of application.

Personal online tutorials are held twice a term and you will also participate in termly online conferences, sharing work and critical perspectives with other students. There is a week-long optional Summer school at the end of the first year. This takes the form of an intensive week of workshops, and provides a valuable addition to the course when you can meet your tutors and fellow students as well as industry professionals such as writers, editors and agents.

Fees and Funding

There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.

Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.

College fees

Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small College Membership Fee  which supports the running of college events and activities. Students on some distance-learning courses are not liable to pay a college fee.

For students starting in 2023 and 2024, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2025 have not yet been set.

Computer equipment and internet access

To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated  IT support helpdesk  is available in the event of any problems.

The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.

For most taught postgraduate applications there is a non-refundable application fee of £40. We cannot consider applications until this fee has been paid, as advised on our online secure payment system. There is no application fee for postgraduate research applications.

For some of our courses you will need to pay a deposit to accept your offer and secure your place. We will let you know in your offer letter if a deposit is required and you will be given a deadline date when this is due to be paid.

The fee that you pay will depend on whether you are considered to be a home or international student. Read more about how we assign your  fee status .

If you are studying on a programme of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. Read more about  fees in subsequent years .

Scholarships and Bursaries

You may be eligible for the following funding opportunities, depending on your fee status and course . You will be automatically considered for our main scholarships and bursaries when you apply, so there's nothing extra that you need to do.

Unfortunately no scholarships and bursaries match your selection, but there are more listed on scholarships and bursaries page.

If you're considering postgraduate research you should look at our funded PhD opportunities .

We also have other, more specialised scholarships and bursaries - such as those for students from specific countries.

Browse Lancaster University's scholarships and bursaries .

Related courses

English literature and creative writing.

  • Creative Writing PhD
  • Creative Writing (modular) MA
  • Creative Writing with English Literary Studies MA
  • English Literary Research MA
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  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
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  • MA in Creative Writing

This qualification is an opportunity to develop your skills as a writer in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and scriptwriting for film, radio and the stage. You'll be able to write in a genre of your choice and experiment with at least one other through practical and inspiring activities. You’ll work towards producing a substantial piece of your own creative writing to a professional standard. You'll also hone your practice through sharing, reading and critiquing the writing of your peers in online forums. You’ll work towards producing a substantial piece of your own creative writing to a professional standard.

  • Develop writing skills and awareness of approaches to writing
  • Progress and hone sophisticated writing skills in at least one genre
  • Gain a sound knowledge of, and ability in, a secondary genre
  • Engage in sharing, critiquing and reviewing a variety of writing by your peers.

Study for free We’ve a limited number of scholarships available to UK students for the 2023/24 academic year. If you’re passionate about creative writing, you could be eligible for an Open Futures Scholarship. To apply, visit our Creative Writing Scholarship page. Applications close on 24 July 2023.

How to register

Select the module you will study first, read the full description, and follow the instructions to register.

To gain the 180 credits you require for this qualification, you must study the modules in the order shown below and pass part 1 before progressing to part 2:

Please note that MA Creative Writing part 2 (A803) is worth 120 credits. Module fees for postgraduate modules are based on the number of credits you study. Therefore the fee for this 120-credit postgraduate module will be double that for the 60-credit module MA Creative Writing part 1 (A802).

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer  website.

On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded the Master of Arts in Creative Writing, entitling you to use the letters MA (CW) (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony. If you leave the programme before you qualify for a degree you can qualify for a  Postgraduate Certificate in Humanities (C20)  after successfully completing 60 credits.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations  website. 

We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us . This description was last updated on 14 March 2023.

You must hold a UK honours degree (or equivalent), preferably with at least a 2:1 classification. Although your degree does not need to be in Creative Writing or a closely related subject, you will need some knowledge of the subject to successfully complete this qualification, as the MA in Creative Writing assumes all candidates have the knowledge and skills usually acquired by pursuing the subject at undergraduate level. Please note that this is not a qualification for those who are just starting to write creatively

If your degree is not in Creative Writing or a closely related subject, we strongly recommend that you read the preparatory work indicated on the MA Creative Writing part 1 . Alternatively, you could undertake our open-access creative writing courses on OpenLearn  and FutureLearn to ensure your skills (writing, reading, editorial, reflective, analytical) are at an appropriate standard. If you don’t have a Creative Writing degree, please also make sure that you provide evidence of your experience of writing when you apply – whether through short courses, workshops, or publications.

How long it takes

You will be able to complete this masters qualification within two years by studying one module each year. If you do not study the modules consecutively, you must complete them in a maximum of 10 years to qualify for the degree.

Career relevance

If you wish to pursue a freelance writing career this Masters degree will equip you with necessary writing and editorial skills, as well as equipping you with a raft of highly valued transferable communication and collaborative skills necessary to the modern writer’s usual portfolio of occupations.

If you are aiming for an academic career in higher education, this qualification will provide a route towards a higher level research or writing practice degree (e.g. PhD), which is essential for such a career. A Masters degree can help to enhance your career prospects as a teacher in secondary and higher education (HE); most HE creative writing teaching now demands an MA in the subject.

If your aim is to enter professions associated with the media, culture, creative or knowledge industries, or if you already have a career in one of these areas and are seeking a further qualification as a means of career development, then a Masters degree, supplemented by relevant skills and experience, can prove invaluable. This degree is pertinent to those careers that directly call upon knowledge of the craft of writing, editing and critiquing (for instance, journalism, publishing, copywriting). It may also be relevant for careers that demand skills in the creative use and analysis of texts of various sorts, critical thinking and organisation, and understanding of culture in a broad sense.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.

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Teesside University

Creative Writing (Online)

Creative Writing (Online) MA

This supportive and non-residency online creative writing course is your opportunity to develop your writing practice at the times that work for you, wherever you are in the world..

Enquire now

100% online English & Creative Writing

  • Apply now to start in September, January or May. Apply now

Course details

Entry requirements, employability, learning platform, course overview.

MA Creative Writing, 100% online

Jenna Clake, course leader for Teesside University’s MA Creative Writing (Online), talks about working with authors and academics to develop your own kind of writing in your own time. Apply now and start in September 2023.

The course is taught by distance learning with no requirement to attend classes at a set time. You can access the course space and complete the coursework in your own time, whatever your work or personal commitments. Each module enables you to experiment and develop your interests, whether these are in prose fiction, poetry, creative life writing, dramatic writing and screen writing or in using writing to work with people in personal and professional development and healthcare settings. The emphasis is on developing practical writing skills and techniques whilst gaining an understanding of your own work within a critical context and framework. The flexible design of the course means that it is highly suited to teachers; writers developing their teaching and workshopping skills to work in the community; and those using writing in therapy, healthcare and other professional settings. If your job has a requirement to work on live briefs and projects with an imaginative or research element, you will also find the transferable skills offered by this MA a natural fit. The course will help you if you want to develop a career using writing, many students take our MA to extend their skills for their own personal development and fulfilment.

Top reasons to study this course > Study this course and you may be eligible for a £2,500 Sir Keith Skeoch postgraduate scholarship. > Flexibility around your commitments – learn and complete course work at a time that suits you. > The teaching team are practicing creative writers. > Career routes are wide and eclectic including publishing, editing and freelance writing, wider creative industries (television, journalism, new media) and professions that require advanced writing skills. > Unique focus on helping you develop a professional plan that you can go on to implement after the course.

Download pdf

Course structure

Core modules.

Core Skills and Techniques

This introductory module allows you to explore and express your ideas in a supportive environment. Learning activities are designed to support you in establishing or deepening your creative practice and gathering ideas with an emphasis on developing your confidence, identifying your core strengths and interests, and extending your skills and knowledge. You are encouraged to experiment with a range of forms, techniques and approaches designed to help you to develop new ideas and ways of working. You will gain skills and experience in crafting, redrafting and editing, learning to become a constructive reader of your own and others' work through our supportive learning community and workshop environment. You gain skills in advanced critical and reflective practices, helping you to begin to develop your analysis and understanding of your own creative work and process. By the end of this module, you will have established or enriched your creative writing practice and be beginning to think about what motivates you to write and the context and future direction of your work.

Creative Writing Project

This project draws together the learning and development you have gained throughout the course. You complete this independent research project under the supervision of your tutor. With regular guidance and support you develop an initial project proposal outlining your key aims and objectives, and work this into a final portfolio of creative writing (in any form or genre), of publishable standard. You also produce an accompanying reflective and critical analysis of your work. This forms your final submission for the master’s award.

The Professional Writer in the World

You consider and frame your writing within contemporary contexts, developing the skills you need to thrive as a professional writer in the world. You explore some of the many ways and contexts in which writers work, and the skills required to make an income as a writer or enjoy a sustainable writing life. We help you to gain the knowledge and skills needed to market, publish and/or self-publish your writing; and we give you insights into the many other ways in which you can work with others using writing, from work in schools and the community to therapeutic settings. If you are already a teacher or writing facilitator, this is an opportunity to reflect on your practice and develop it further. If you are just starting out, we will help you to acquire the tools and skills you need. We will guide you towards the development of a professional plan that you could go on to implement after the course is over. In the past, students have used this module as a springboard to launch professional web sites, writing retreats, podcast series, workshops, events and festivals.

Writing and the Self

You explore the connections between creativity, writing and the self, and reflect on the idea of the self in the writing process and use key ideas and theories drawn from literary autobiography, life writing, autofiction, narrative theory and the psychology of creativity to develop your work and process. Writing exercises, prompts and selected readings are designed to help you to let go of any unhelpful self-concepts about yourself as a writer that may be getting in the way of you producing imaginative work. Ideas explored in this module often help people to overcome blocks, access greater fluidity and flexibility in their writing, develop imaginatively and creatively, and rediscover the sheer pleasure of the writing process. You explore approaches such as writing identity, writing the body, fictionalising from self-experience, objectifying and shaping the stories of our lives on the page and exploring personal metaphor. Concepts such as personal truth, inner dialogue and helpful distance allow you to deepen your writing and write from a felt sense.

Writing Specialism

  • Prose/Fiction (including life writing, memoir and creative non-fiction).

Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

  • a short introductory video, in which your tutor introduces the week’s key themes
  • writing prompts and exercises
  • supporting materials, reading questions and suggestions for further reading and research to discuss in the discussion forum
  • a dedicated private space to workshop your ideas and writing-in-progress with the tutor and fellow students.

You will also receive help, support and feedback on your work directly from the tutor, both through the online course space and by email. You don't need to be a technology expert to take this course. All you need is a PC, laptop or tablet to access the course materials and forum and share your writing with the tutors and your peers.

How you are assessed

Each taught 30-credit module is assessed against clear learning outcomes through written assignments, usually consisting of both creative work and some critical or reflective work. In addition to the taught modules, you produce a final project (60 credits) in your chosen form and genre.

You should normally have an undergraduate degree in a cognate discipline or other relevant experience - or equivalent qualifications. Our tutors will be happy to discuss entry requirements with you. Please provide a portfolio of your creative writing of up to and no more than 2,000 words in any one or two forms or genres, for example poetry, prose fiction, life writing. Please include this portfolio in your online application.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

Career opportunities

MA Creative Writing graduates go on to a wide choice of professions and careers. Apart from the more obvious routes of publishing, editing and freelance writing, many work in the wider creative industries (television, journalism, new media) or in workplaces that require advanced writing skills.

Our virtual learning environment (VLE) is the platform you use to access your online course

Teesside University online learning courses are delivered through the Brightspace Learning Environment.

Here are some of the benefits.

  • You can use it on your smartphone, tablet and computer.
  • And you can use it anytime, so that you can plan your learning to fit your own schedule.
  • It's easy to use and navigate.
  • Modules are set out by topics and themes. You can use the progress bar to understand where you are in your modules, and appreciate your achievements.
  • We support you to become familiar with your VLE, helping you to start learning quickly.
  • You get feedback, help and guidance from tutors throughout your course through the VLE, and you can ask questions at any time.
  • Our tutors use a live activity feed to keep you updated about your course.
  • You can create a student profile, collaborate with other students and take part in online discussion forums.

Software requirements

Online learning

Online learning allows you to get a university-level qualification from the comfort of your own home or workplace. You'll have access to all of the world-class teaching and support that Teesside University has to offer, but all of your lectures, tutorials and assessments will take place online.

Find out more

University of the Year

Teesside University was named University of the Year at the Edufuturists Awards 2022.

Edufuturists Awards 2022

  • Not available full-time

2023/24 entry

Fee for all applicants £810 for each 30 credits

£4,860 in total

More details about our fees

2024/25 entry

  • Length: 2 years or 14 months
  • Attendance: 100% online
  • Start date: September, January or May
  • Semester dates

Apply now (part-time)

Please choose the relevant option below:

Apply online (part-time)

Choose Teesside

Teesside University ranked in the top 50 for online learning in the Uswitch Online Learning Index 2022.

Ranked in the top 350 list of global universities aged 50 years or under.*

Over 1,000 students enrolled on our open learning courses

High-quality, stand-alone, open learning education for over 30 years

More information

  • English & Creative Writing More courses in English & Creative Writing

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