Creative Writing MFA

Why choose this course?

The MFA (Master of Fine Arts) Creative Writing programme at the University of Surrey is a two-year, full-time course of study that offers you a unique opportunity to enhance your creative, critical and professional skills as a writer.

Teaching is research-led, so you will be mentored by passionate, dynamic writers and academics with multidisciplinary expertise, as well as our Distinguished Writer in Residence and Poet in Residence.

What you will study

Our MFA Creative Writing programme will expose you to the practical skills and challenges involved in a specific branch of creative practice (such as poetry or screenwriting) and offers the option to gain hands-on experience in a creative industry relevant to your own practice, to better prepare you for a wide variety of careers.

In your first year, you will study alongside students in the MA programmes in Creative Writing and English Literature, where you will hone your research skills to produce critically informed creative work and deepen your practice as a writer. To prepare for your second year, an academic adviser will offer guidance on choosing an appropriate form of Situated Professional Practice and your summative creative portfolio proposal.

During your second year you will work on producing an extended creative portfolio and critical commentary, as well as complete the Situated Professional Practice of your choice.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
MFA Full-time 24 months Oct 2018
Stag Hill

Global opportunities

There may be opportunities to acquire valuable European experience by working or conducting research abroad during your degree or shortly afterwards. It is possible to do this in the summer period with an Erasmus+ grant working on your dissertation or as a recent graduate. In order to qualify your Erasmus+ traineeship must be a minimum of two months.

Academics and events

As a student on the MFA Creative Writing, you will benefit from the expertise of a vibrant, multidisciplinary group of academics and published authors.

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.

The annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival – affiliated with the creative writing graduate programmes at the University of Surrey – aims to engage with writing and creativity in dynamic ways, and involves readings, book signings, performances, panel discussions and talks by writers, thinkers, editors and literary agents.

The year’s activities culminate in the 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.

Programme leader

SZCZEPANIAK A Dr (Lit & Langs)

Our students

  • Jonathon Crewe, PhD Creative Writing

    The best part of the experience has been the relationship with my supervisor who has consistently shaped and guided my research.

    Read more

  • Lamia Hamini, PhD English Literature

    "My supervisors push me further to refine and sharpen my ideas, and encourage me to think ahead and to view my PhD as not only as a degree, but as an opportunity to become part of a larger group of world-leading researchers."

    Read more

Our graduates

  • Dr Liam Murray Bell, PhD Creative Writing

    Dr Liam Murray Bell is author of So It Is, written during his Creative Writing doctoral studies at the University of Surrey and shortlisted for Scottish Book of the Year 2013 in the First Book Category.

    Read more

Discover

  • My Surrey experience: Jonathon Crewe, Creative Writing PhD

    Read more

  • Why study for a Masters degree in English literature or creative writing?

  • Monica Ali – Distinguished Writer in Residence 2016

The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.

Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Timetable

Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators.

Policies and regulations

Please refer to our academic regulations and student policies and regulations. These may be amended from time to time.

Learning and disability support

We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.

Student Personal Learning and Study Hub

SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can assist you in developing your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.

Find out more about the study support available.

Additional Learning Support

ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).

Students are encouraged to disclose their condition and register with the service so that they can be appropriately supported during their studies.

The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also provided to students where appropriate.

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

Entry requirements

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.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 7.0 overall, 7.0 in Writing, 6.0 in each other component (or equivalent)

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.

Recognition of prior learning

The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims. 

Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.

Fees

Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time Oct 2018 £7,000 £14,100

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2018-19 only. Annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught programmes.

Funding

Discounts for Surrey graduates

Thinking of continuing your education at Surrey? As an alumnus of Surrey you may be eligible for a ten per cent discount on our taught masters programme fees.

For more details

Loans, scholarships and financial support

There are many streams of funding for postgraduate students including awards, scholarships and loans.

For more details

Admission information

Our postgraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students. You can also read our postgraduate applicant guidance.

Contact us

Admissions enquiries

+44 (0)1483 682 222

admissions@surrey.ac.uk

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