Creative Writing MA

Our MA in Creative Writing offers a distinctive and flexible pattern of study which will meet the needs of a wide range of students wishing to extend or develop their interests in Creative Writing.

York St John University
Course fees
2018 - 19 Full-time Home & EU students: £4,000, International (non EU) students: £12,500 per annum
Full-time & Part-time options available
Start date
September 2019
Humanities, Religion & Philosophy

Course overview

Our MA courses emphasise the importance of creative practitioners and are enhanced by regular visits from contemporary writers. Visiting writers have included York-born award-winning novelist Kate Atkinson; poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan; novelist and poet Michèle Roberts; novelist Joe Dunthorne; graphic novelist and illustrator Graham Rawle; and award-winning poets Simon Armitage and Daljit Nagra. York St John University maintains links with the regional literary community through events such as York Literature Festival. Modules are supplemented by visiting industry professionals, agents and publishers.

The staff team of award-winning writers have an exciting and diverse approach to creative writing and are able to supervise a huge range of proposed projects. Current full-time staff members include: 

Discover some of our student success stories on our Beyond the Walls: The Creative Writing blog

Find out more about York St John's thriving and inspiring literary community at the York Centre for Writing

Course structure

This programme provides you with the opportunity to gain a higher degree through a combination of taught modules, independent study, writing and research. The MA in Creative Writing offers the opportunity to develop your skills as a writer and to explore the theory and practice of writing in the contemporary world.

The degree normally consists of four taught modules and a portfolio. All modules are normally assessed by essay or portfolio.

How will I study?

Study is normally part-time over two years, but there is also provision for full-time study over one year. A range of teaching methods are used including seminars, lectures and occasional day schools. You will be encouraged wherever possible to practise independent learning strategies.

Modules on the MA programme are normally taught in the evening between 6.30pm - 8.30pm on a weekly basis over a ten-week term. Full-time students take two taught classes in Term 1 and one taught class plus dissertation supervision in terms 2 and 3. Part-time students take one taught module per term (terms 1,2,3) in their first year of study; in their second year of study they take one taught module in term 4 and dissertation supervision in terms 5 and 6.

This flexible programme is designed to allow you to combine study with full or part-time employment.

Modules include:

Critical Approaches to Creative Writing - A foundational module in which you situate your writing within the context of contemporary literature. You will have the opportunity to explore the relationship between critical thinking and creative writing, and to develop your writing practice. 

Writers, Readers and Audiences - Considers the writer/audience relationship in prose fiction and scriptwriting through reading, discussion and practice. You will explore through your own writing the concepts and conventions relevant to the effective creation of fiction and scripts for performance.

Writing the Voice - Explores the connections between the way we speak now and the way we write, with an emphasis on your own writing in a range of genres.

The Contemporary Writer - Considers the world of contemporary publishing through an engagement with recent writing. Equips you with the skills and knowledge to take your writing further.

Programme specification

Further information on this course is available in the programme specification. Please note that the programme specification relates to course content that is currently being studied by students at the University. For new programmes, the programme specification will be made available online prior to the start of the course.

Disability Advice

York St John University works hard to create an inclusive environment for all our students. We offer a range of disability advice services to assist students throughout their studies.

Entry requirements

UK/EU Students

Applicants should have a first degree in a relevant area at 2:1 or above, and a portfolio of creative writing up to 2,000 words, representing one or more of the following genres: scriptwriting, prose writing, poetry. 

International Students

International students will need to demonstrate that they have equivalent experience /qualifications as home students (ie the same entry criteria as above). If their first language is not English they must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. These can be accessed through our Admissions webpages.

Visit York St John.

Discover life as a York St John student by visiting us. You’ll be able to explore our beautiful city-centre campus, meet our friendly staff and find out more about your chosen course.

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

UK & EU 2019 / 20

The tuition fee for 2018 entry to this postgraduate course is £4,000 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

For part-time options, see the Fees & Funding webpages for more information

Postgraduate Loan: A Postgraduate Loan is available to help you pay for your Master’s course. Find out more about the postgraduate loan.

A 10% discount is applicable to all YSJU Alumni (subject to a minimum of 120 credits and achievement of a recognised award) undertaking PG level study (excludes PGCE).

Overseas 2019 / 20

The tuition fee for 2018 entry to this postgraduate course is £12,500 for international students.

Due to immigration laws, International Students on a Tier 4 visa must be studying full-time. For more information about Visa requirements and Short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration webpages.

International Fees & Funding

How to Apply

You can apply directly to the course via our Apply Now links. You will need to create a login and password and complete the online form. Please contact two referees in advance of submitting your application as an automated request will go out as soon as you submit, and your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Apply now: Full time


Ask a question

Do you have a question about this course? Fill out our form to send a question to our Admissions team. Alternatively, you can call us on 01904 876922.

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