International Institute of Modern Letters

Master of Arts (MA) in Creative Writing

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Introduction to the MA

The Master of Arts (MA) in Creative Writing (CREW) is offered in two streams:

For general information or advice about this programme of study, please see the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences MA page.

This one year full-time graduate research degree gives recognition to work in creative writing.  It is built around a strong workshop culture, reflecting our belief in the importance of nurturing individual voices within a lively community of writers.

30 places are available each year: 20 in the Page stream and 10 in the Scriptwriting stream. Selection is competitive and the quality of your writing sample and other application material will be central to the selection process. Your writing sample should demonstrate your ability to write in the genre or medium in which you intend to specialise. To be considered you will also normally need to have a university degree, in any subject.

The MA in Creative Writing does not teach a specific set of predetermined skills; rather, it encourages writers to identify and articulate, as appropriate, their own distinctive voices in their chosen medium.

The information on this page applies to both the Page and Scriptwriting streams of the MA. Additional information and advice for Scriptwriting applicants can be downloaded below.

Document File size File type
PDF icon. Additional advice for Scriptwriting applicants (from Michael Hirschfeld Director of Scriptwriting, Ken Duncum) 281 KB PDF

Elements of the MA Programme


Each week you will attend a three-hour workshop. At workshops a range of exercise work is presented and discussed; and you present for discussion your own portfolio work-in-progress.

Reading Programme

You are required to read and/or view extensively in an area related to your writing project, usually following an individually tailored programme. You report either in two formal 3000-word essays or through an extensive Reading Journal which you keep throughout the year.

Reading Programme Meeting

This weekly meeting is an opportunity for the discussion of literary, craft or industry issues and of works and authors from individual reading lists. It provides a forum for guest visits by writers and industry professionals. During the year each member of the class leads a seminar relating to an aspect of their reading/viewing list or their portfolio project.


Although you will discuss your portfolio work at workshop meetings, you will also be assigned a supervisor, with whom you will meet regularly. As against the diversity of views you are likely to meet in workshops, your supervisor provides the response of a single, continuing reader. Your supervisor will respond to your work as you write it and will act as one of your final readers when the folio is submitted.

Industry Placements

Each student in the scriptwriting stream of the MA will also complete about 40 hours of industry placement. Arrangements will be negotiated at the beginning of the academic year, but please note that placements will normally be organised for the June/July mid-year break.

Visiting Writers

Each year, leading international writers across a range of genres are invited to teach masterclasses for current MA in Creative Writing students.  See International Guest Writers for more.

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Hear from our Students

Find out more about our students - their projects and experiences of the course, and what they’re doing now - in their own words.

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How to Apply

Visit our How to Apply page for application deadlines, requirements and forms.