Why choose this course

No matter what inspires you as a writer, our MFA (Master of Fine Arts) Creative Writing course affords you a rare chance to develop your creative abilities, critical thinking and your professional skills within a structured academic environment. 

Supported by our research, this course gives you the chance to learn from and share ideas with passionate, published writers and academics with their own unique research interests and skills, including our own Distinguished Writer in Residence and Poet in Residence.

What you will study

This course will expose you to the practical skills and challenges involved in a particular type of creative writing, such as poetry or screenwriting, while also giving you hands-on experience in a creative industry that’s relevant to your studies to enhance your employability.

In your first year you’ll study alongside students in our MA Creative Writing and MA English Literature courses. You’ll learn how to craft a research-based creative work, enhancing your ability to turn thorough research into creative ideas and helping to craft your writing with attention to detail, originality and authority.

For your second year, an academic adviser will offer guidance on which practical industry experience would best suit your interests while also offering you guidance with your creative portfolio proposal.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Placement Start date
MFA Full-time 24 months October 2019

Study and work abroad

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

Choosing our MFA Creative Writing course allows you to benefit from the experience of our multidisciplinary academics and published writers. We focus on community and sharing ideas, and you’ll have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops throughout the year that will inspire fresh ideas and encourage you to think big. These cover topics such as literature, language and linguistics, cultural studies and creative writing. Some interesting recent visits to the University from writers include the novelist Monica Ali and the poet and critic Rod Mengham.

Our annual cultural activities start with a poetry lecture on our campus by a visiting speaker and feature readings by students at the Guildford School of Acting. We also have the annual Surrey New Writers’ Festival which is connected with the creative writing graduate courses that we have at the University. The festival engages with various types of writing and creativity for you to enjoy, including readings, book signings, performances, panel discussions and talks by writers, thinkers and literary agents. 

The end of the year culminates in our annual Morag Morris Poetry Festival. This takes place in Guildford and combines readings and performances from prominent or up-and-coming poets. You will have the opportunity, alongside your fellow students, to present your own work in public. 

This event is organised and hosted by our poet-in-residence, a position held by a different poet each year. The English Department 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)

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.

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Our students


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.


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. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).

Learning and disability

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 help you develop 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).

If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.

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

See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.

Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:1 UK honours degree, or a recognised equivalent international qualification.

As part of the application procedure, applicants will be asked to provide a portfolio of creative material (5,000 words prose or equivalent).

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).

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.

Selection process

Applicants will be asked to submit a piece of written prose in support of their application.

Credit transfer

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.


Study mode Start date Placement UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time October 2019 £7,500 £14,500

Please note:

  • These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2019-20 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
  • If you are on a two-year full-time Euromasters or MFA programme, or a two-year or three-year part-time masters programme (excluding modular/self-paced/distance learning), the annual fee is payable in Year 1 and Year 2 of the programme.

View the list of fees for all postgraduate taught programmes.

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.

Postgraduate open afternoon

Visit the University to find out more about studying here


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Find us

01SE01, Senate House
University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH