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Postgraduate Course

Creative Writing MA

Unleash your creative potential and pursue your passion for writing.

Overhead view of a student writing work at a desk.

Taught by award-winning authors with specialisms in fiction, poetry, non-fiction and scriptwriting, this course is a fantastic opportunity for you to learn the craft of creative writing and explore the theory behind it.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time, 2 years part time
  • Start date – September 2024, September 2025
  • School – School of Humanities

Minimum entry requirements

    2:2 honours degree in a related subject

    Sample of creative writing

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £8,000 full time

    International 2024-25 £11,300 full time

Discover Creative Writing

Abi Curtis, Professor of Creative Writing, introduces us to Creative Writing at York St John University.

Course overview

Join our thriving literary community and grow your creative potential. You will develop your skills as a writer and explore the theory and practice of writing in the contemporary world through taught modules, independent study, writing and research.

Through this course you will develop transferable skills, work on a publication and complete your own final project. You will work on a longer portfolio in depth, supervised by a dedicated member of staff.

You may write in any form on any given module. You will be encouraged to be open minded and flexible in choosing different styles of writing. There are also modules designed to enhance your employability. These are ideal if you have an interest in either running groups for writers or learning about how to operate in the publishing industry.

The portfolio project is an opportunity for independent and in-depth development of a writing project, supervised by a writer on the team, and supported by 3 workshops, spread throughout the year.

Your experience on the course will be enhanced by further opportunities including:

  • A writing retreat
  • Opportunities to meet with an agents, publishers and editors
  • A wealth of brilliant events through the York Literature Festival

You will be able to take part in one-to-one sessions with your tutors throughout each semester. The final assignment is independently led and is a chance to invest in a project of your choice.

Course structure

How you will study

You can study this postgraduate course full time or part time. This allows you to fit your studies around other commitments.

If you choose to study full time the course will take 1 year to complete. You will study:

  • 3 compulsory modules
  • 2 optional modules

If you choose to study part time the course will take 2 years to complete. The modules will be split over both of those years.

You can find out which modules are available in each term in the Course Specifications.


Credits: 30

Compulsory module

On this module, you will gain an understanding and examine the key concepts of creative writing in an academic environment. You can explore your writing practice and engage with ideas of creativity and authorship. You will develop drafting, group work-shopping and editing skills and discover how to reflect on your work and write critical commentaries.

Credits: 30

Compulsory module

Here you will engage with the written voice in your work and the work of others. You will deconstruct the idea of the writer’s voice and consider practical issues relating to the expression of voice on the page. In addition, you can study creative language in a cultural context, the use of speech and the voice, while examining the importance of speech-like forms in published work and your own writing.

You will critically analyse examples of voice across fiction and non-fiction genres, including poetry, prose and scripts, and consider, through these, the performative nature of language.

Credits: 30

Optional module

On this module, you will consider wider contexts for your writing, such as working with vulnerable groups, schools and hospitals. You will explore how to get published across different mediums, working with other practitioners and writing in various contexts. You will have the opportunity to meet industry professionals, from agents and publishers to facilitators and collaborators. This is an opportunity for you to explore possible routes for employability.

Credits: 30

Optional module

On this module, you will analyse environmental concerns across multiple fiction an non-fiction genres. You will produce your original work in response to a variety of environments, thinking in both critical and creative terms. Areas for study include:

  • Climate change fiction
  • Literature of and approaches to space and place, in particular the North of England
  • Psychogeographies

You will will build upon the skills developed on Critical Approaches to Creative Writing, whilst developing your verbal presentation skills.

Credits: 30

Optional module

On this module you will explore a range of texts which might be thought of as 'speculative', texts which ask 'what if?' and explore possible worlds. Such texts might include science fiction, fantasy, climate change fictions, and political dystopias. Through this you will discover the power of writing to imagine the world differently.

Credits: 30

Optional module

Since Freud's 1919 essay exploring why some texts and experiences give us a weird, unfamiliar yet familiar feeling, writers and artists have been fascinated with the concept of the uncanny. In this module you will explore the origins of the term and delve into contemporary texts that unsettle us, while also writing your own uncanny pieces of writing. Genres which may be explored include folk horror, ghost stories and contemporary spooky tales.

Credits: 60

Compulsory module

This is your opportunity to develop a professional portfolio of creative writing, while conducting research to support your work. The portfolio may consist a collection of works, be a continuous work or an extract from a larger piece. Through 1 to 1 supervisions, you will develop, discuss and perfect your portfolio. Your supervisor will support you in your project research.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

The year is organised across 3 terms: autumn, spring and summer, with the MA starting in the final week of September. There will be 1 module per term for part time and 2 modules per term for full time students. Sessions are typically taught from 6.00pm to 8.00pm on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings.

Sessions are taught in small groups run by an expert member of the writing team. In these groups, you will share your work, whilst taking part in writing exercised that have been designed to inspire your creativity. You will also learn how to edit and perfect your work and prepare for submission or dissemination.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


You will be assessed on portfolios of original creative writing. The creative text will be in response to the concepts, ideas and themes explored in the module. Your portfolio will also contain a reflective document, in which you discuss your creative process and inspirations.

In each case, you will be supported with formative activities helping you to develop these skills, and your writing practice, in order to produce your best work in terms of both creative output and reflective discourse. From semester 2, modules have an oral presentation component. Here you will pitch your written creative work and develop your verbal presentation skills.

Throughout the course, you will have multiple opportunities for one to one formative feedback sessions with your academic tutor.

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    2:2 honours degree in a related subject

    Sample of creative writing

If your degree is in an unrelated subject, but you can provide evidence of relevant professional experience, your application may still be considered.

International students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Additional requirements

For entry onto this course, you will also need:

  • A sample of creative writing, either in prose, script or poetry of at least 1,000-2,000 words, or 3 poems

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you might be able to provide evidence of professional experience in the subject as an alternative way to meet the entry requirements. This is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Appropriate references and records of employment would need to be presented to support your case for admission.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page

Fees and funding

UK 2024 - 2025 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £8,000 for full time study
  • £4,000 per year for part time study

These costs apply to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

Funding opportunities

International 2024 - 2025 entry

The tuition fee for 2024 entry to this postgraduate course is:

  • £11,300 for 1 year of full time study

These costs apply to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

International Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £8,000 full time

    International 2024-25 £11,300 full time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for alumni

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Where could Creative Writing take you?

By developing your writing and creative process, you will be well positions to enter into a various careers. Your skills in critical analysis, working to deadlines and both independent and collaborative work will can be applied in industries such as:

  • Journalism
  • Copywriting
  • Academia
  • Political analysis

There is also the option of continuing with your academic studies and heading down the route towards a PhD in a specific area of creative writing research.

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £6,500 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2022).

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

For postgraduate degrees you must apply directly to York St John University using the links below. This will take you to the application form you need to fill out for this specific course. 

To complete the online application form you will need to create login details. 

Please contact 2 referees before submitting your application. An automated request for a reference will be emailed to them as soon as you submit. Your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Fees and key information

Apply now

Course highlights

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