MA Creative Writing
- Programme director
- Paul Vlitos
- Programme length
- Full-time: 12 months, Part-time: 24 months
- Programme start date
- September 2013
Equipping you with the research and writing skills required to produce both critically informed prose or poetry and creative criticism.
Our Creative Writing programme will build your confidence and technical ability in composing creative prose and poetry, while also developing a deeper and more extensive critical awareness of the cultural, literary and theoretical history of text production.
The programme is designed to assist aspiring writers with honing and developing their writing skills in prose fiction and poetry. We will help you to locate your work in its historical and cultural context, and you will become familiar with the history of literary production.
The programme will equip you with the research and writing skills you will need to produce both critically informed prose or poetry and creative criticism. You will also have the chance to reflect productively on both the creative process itself and the finished work that has resulted from it.
The MA in Creative Writing is taught by published writers and research-active academics expert in their fields.
Applicants should have a first or 2.1 degree (or equivalent) and will be asked as part of the application procedure to provide a portfolio of creative material (5,000 words prose or equivalent). In exceptional cases, students with a proven commitment to creative writing but no first degree may also be admitted.
English language requirements
IELTS minimum overall: 7.0
IELTS minimum by component:
We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
Fees and funding
All fees are subject to increase or review for subsequent academic years. Please note that not all visa routes permit part-time study and overseas students entering the UK on a Tier 4 visa will not be permitted to study on a part-time basis.
|Programme name||Study mode||Start date||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees|
|MA Creative Writing||Full-time||Sept 2013||£4,765||£12,130|
|MA Creative Writing||Part-time||Sept 2013||£2,385||£6,065|
Subject to the ongoing Faculty review of postgraduate bursaries, we aim to offer a competitive scholarship scheme.
Creative Writing Workshop
Weekly themed workshops in which all students read from and discuss work produced and circulated in advance of the class.
Literary Scholarship and Creativity
A joint seminar with students from the MA in English Literature, exploring the ways in which changing modes of text production and circulation have shaped the course of literary history, from Caxton to Kindle.
A joint seminar with students from the MA in English Literature, introducing key techniques and approaches shared by both critical and creative writing. Over two semesters, these seminars take students all the way through the composition process, from the initial research, planning and plotting stages to revising and editing an extended and highly developed finished piece of writing.
Optional modules will vary from year to year but include some of the following:
- Advanced Studies in 19th-Century Literature and Culture
- Advanced Studies in 20th and 21st-Century Literature and Culture
- Contemporary British and American Poetry
- Creative Identities
- Creative Non-Fiction
- Critical and Cultural Theory
- Genre Writing
- Humour in Literature
- Realism and its Critics
- Theorising Gender and Sexuality
- Semester-long ‘Special Author’ Critical Studies and Creative Pieces
The programme consists of three compulsory modules each semester and a choice of two optional modules over the course of the academic year.
All students are expected to produce a creative writing dissertation – an extended piece or portfolio of prose work or poetry with self-reflexive critical commentary.
The MA in Creative Writing provides a strong foundation in the core skills necessary to embark upon PhD research or a career in writing, communications, publishing, marketing, advertising, journalism or teaching.
English at the University of Surrey is a dynamic and innovative discipline, with established undergraduate and postgraduate research programmes in both English Literature and Creative Writing.
Teaching is research-led, with the MA in Creative Writing designed to reflect the individual expertise and passion of the members of staff who teach on it.
As a student on the MA Creative Writing, you will benefit from the expertise of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of academics.
You will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year. These events cover a range of topics to broaden your thinking in the fields of literature, language and linguistics, cultural studies and creative writing. Writers to have recently visited the University of Surrey include the novelist Monica Ali and the poet and critic Rod Mengham.
Each year’s cultural activities begin with a poetry lecture on campus by a visiting speaker and feature readings by students at the Guildford School of Acting.
They reach a climax with the summer’s annual Morag Morris Poetry Festival, held in Guildford, which combines readings and performances by prominent, innovative and up-and-coming poets with the opportunity for Creative Writing students to present their own work in public.
This event is organised and hosted by our poet-in-residence – a position that is held by a different poet each year. English at Surrey also has a close relationship with English PEN, the charity dedicated to promoting literature and human rights.
With the exception of the dissertation proposal and the dissertation itself, modules will be assessed either by a 3,000 word essay or a 3,000 word (or equivalent) creative writing submission, including between 500 and 1,000 words of critical self-reflection.
The Creative Writing dissertation will contribute a third of the final grade for the MA. It is expected to be 12,000 to 15,000 words in length. Creative work should make up 9,000 to 13,000 words of this (or equivalent for poetry), along with 2,000 to 3,000 words of self-reflexive critical commentary.
The word count for students submitting a poetry dissertation will be negotiated with their supervisor, although as a rule of thumb, 5,000 words of prose is felt to be the equivalent of 150 lines of poetry.