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54 MA Programs in Creative Writing 2024
An MA, or Master of Art, is a type of degree that can be finished in about one to three years. Generally pursued after the completion of a bachelor’s degree, this sort of credential indicates that a student has acquired a deep knowledge of his or her chosen field. There are degree programs available in many different subjects. You might be curious: What is an MA in creative writing? This degree focuses on the creation of works such as novels, short stories, poetry, essays, articles, novellas, flash fiction, screenplays, scripts, and other forms of writing. You may learn about important concepts such as characterization, point of view, plot development, structuring, and narration, as well as minor details such as grammar and punctuation. Other topics covered might include literary analysis and allusions. In one of these programs, you might be required to read a variety of works or to submit your own writing to a workshop. Many benefits might be available through one of these programs. The most prominent is the chance to improve your writing abilities and sharpen certain technical skills that are useful in the professional world. Additionally, this kind of program can provide valuable insights into what makes certain types of writing more effective than others. The cost of an MA in Creative Writing can depend on a range of potential factors. Be sure to contact your chosen institution in order to ask them for accurate and up-to-date financial information. Admissions officers can provide a detailed breakdown of tuition, fees, and other expenses. What careers can be pursued with a creative writing MA? Many students go on to become novelists, playwrights, essayists, screenwriters, poets, or authors; others apply their writing skills in a number of other industries. A graduate might also be able to become a literary analyst, English teacher, book reviewer, librarian, or editor. Working for a publishing company or literary agency is another option. Ready to get started? Just search for your program below and contact directly the admission office of the school of your choice by filling in the lead form.
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Creative Writing: Writing the City MA
University of westminster.
Full time, Part time
The Creative Writing: Writing the City MA is the only Creative Writing MA course to focus entirely on the city of London. It will allow you to explore the city as a subject matter from a range of perspectives and across all genres. It will also give you a theoretical and practical platform from which to develop your understanding and become part of the London writing scene. Taught by professional writers and researchers, our course offers plenty of opportunities to network with other writers, agents, TV producers and performance poets. As part of the MA, you'll be part of the team managing the Wells Street Journal, our student-led in-house magazine. You'll be based in the University's headquarters building at 309 Regent Street, which means you'll be writing about the city in the heart of London, with ready access to the capital's excellent academic, social and cultural opportunities, including the vibrant West End theatre scene. You can begin in January or in September. To receive your Master's award, you'll need to complete taught modules for a total of 120 credits, covered by three 40-credit core modules, and the 60-credit Writing Project (giving a total of 180 credits). The workshop-based structure of the course will allow you to learn through interactive practice. Classes are weekly and normally last two or three hours. Teaching will also include visits to selected London institutions to support certain aspects of writing, and you'll be encouraged to use various archives, theatres and galleries. Assessment methods include coursework portfolios, reflective logs, essays, and workshop leader, as well as the 10-12,000-word writing project. There are no formal exams.
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MA Contemporary Creative Writing
Northeastern university london.
- London, United Kingdom
- Distance Learning
The Master of Arts in Contemporary Creative Writing at Northeastern University London equips students with the knowledge, craft skills and discipline needed to be a creative writer now. There are more routes to publication available than ever before. However, navigating the twenty-first century literary marketplace requires specialist skills and knowledge alongside artistic prowess.
MA Creative Writing
University of lincoln.
- Lincoln, United Kingdom
Our MA in Creative Writing is an innovative and exciting course that provides opportunities to work closely with practising creative writers and professionals from the publishing industry. It is designed to encourage you to improve your craft as a writer, develop your philosophy of composition, and explore contemporary forms of literature and the creative industries. The course has a strong focus on employability and aims to prepare you for a professional writing or publishing career.
MA Creative Writing: First Novel
St mary’s university twickenham, london.
- Twickenham, United Kingdom
Begin to write your first novel in a year with the input and supervision of published writers and industry experts. While most creative writing Master's degrees encourage students to sample a variety of written forms, our creative writing degree focuses on the novel, pure and simple.
MA English - Creative Writing
Queen's university belfast.
- Belfast, United Kingdom
If you have a commitment to imaginative writing, if you would like to develop your artistic practice, build your professional skills as an author and engage with the vibrant creative community of the Seamus Heaney Centre, then the MA in English (Creative Writing) is for you. The programme includes prose writing (fiction and creative non-fiction) and script writing (screen and stage), and invites you to explore all these modes of writing before choosing a specialism.
MA Media and Creative Cultures
The university of greenwich.
This MA in Media and Creative Cultures explores the latest digital and media research methods and helps you engage with critical materials and cultural developments. You'll not only analyse media, but also create and curate media, assisted by innovative research projects and visits to media institutions across London.
Royal College of Art
Consider the MA Writing programme part of the ongoing occasion of your learning, one which you have already begun, will share with us for a year, and which will then continue — irrevocably changed — once you leave. While you’re with us you will be taught a lot, but you will learn a great deal more.
MA in Black British Literature
Goldsmiths, university of london.
This degree is a world first. There’s nowhere else you can study black British writing in such an in-depth way – in the actual country where the writing is produced. We trace diasporic and aesthetic routes and draw upon the expertise of literary and drama specialists.
MA in Creative Writing
- Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom
You will learn in workshops, one-to-one or in small groups, with support from practising and published writers, and fellow students. Our award-winning former creative writing students include Booker-shortlisted Oyinkan Braithwaite, and Joe Pierson, who won the Bridport Prize, Stefan Mohammed, awarded the Dylan Thomas Prize, Bafta-winner, Sarah Woolner, the acclaimed poet Dom Bury and celebrated novelist Faiqa Mansab.
- Ramat Gan, Israel
The two-year program, housed in the Department of English Literature and Linguistics at Bar-Ilan University, offers an MA in English Literature with specializations in Literary Fiction, Poetry or Creative Nonfiction.
- Online United Kingdom
This qualification is an opportunity to develop your skills as a writer in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and scriptwriting for film, radio and the stage. You'll be able to write in a genre of your choice and experiment with at least one other through practical and inspiring activities. You’ll work towards producing a substantial piece of your own creative writing to a professional standard. You'll also hone your practice through sharing, reading and critiquing the writing work of your peers in online forums.
University of Roehampton London
This MA responds to the very latest trends in Creative Writing. If you enjoy writing within the realms of psychological or gothic horror, thriller and domestic noir, fantasy, literary and weird fiction, we may well have the perfect MA for you. MA Creative Writing at Roehampton is one of the longest-running and most innovative PG programmes in the country. Throughout the programme, you will be working with established, successful writers, all of whom are here to help you take your writing to the next level. Successful writers who have graduated from the programme include Holly Pester, Rachel Knightley, and Nikki Dudley.
University of Manchester
- Manchester, United Kingdom
This one-year postgraduate course offers access to specialist teaching from leading writers and poets.
University of Hull Online
- Hull, United Kingdom
Harness the power of language and develop your distinctive voice as a writer. Transform your passion for reading into the ability to produce prose worthy of public recognition. Whatever your genre of preference, be it literary fiction, nonfiction, or the likes of fantasy, mystery or romance – you will have the opportunity to hone your writing skills and discover the techniques seminal writers have used to significant effect.
University of Winchester
- Winchester, United Kingdom
Creative Writing at Winchester offers you the opportunity to evaluate and improve your creative writing in a dynamic, supportive environment. The programme is taught by professional writers and highly experienced practitioner-academics in Creative Writing, with a particular focus on fiction and literary non-fiction. There are opportunities to meet editors and published writers and, as your knowledge of the publishing industry expands, find out where your work fits within the market.
- Master Degrees
- Masters of Science
- North America
- United Kingdom
Related fields of study
January and Spring Term 2024 course registration is now open!
Creative Writing and Literature Master’s Degree Program
11 out of 12 total courses
One 1- or 3-week residency in summer
$3,220 per course
Unlock your creative potential and hone your unique voice.
Build a strong foundation in literary criticism and writing across multiple genres — including fiction, nonfiction, and drama — in our live online writing and literature program with an in-person writer’s residency at Harvard.
Through the master’s degree in creative writing and literature, you’ll hone your skills as a storyteller — crafting publishable original scripts, novels, and stories.
In small, workshop-style classes, you’ll master key elements of narrative craft, including characterization, story and plot structure, point of view, dialogue, and description. And you’ll learn to approach literary works as both a writer and scholar by developing skills in critical analysis.
Instructors who are published authors of drama, fiction, and nonfiction
A community of writers who support your growth in live online classes
Writer's residency with agent & editor networking opportunities
Personalized academic and career advising
Thesis or capstone options that lead to publishable creative work
Harvard Alumni Association membership upon graduation
Customizable Course Curriculum
As you work through the program’s courses, you’ll enhance your creative writing skills and knowledge of literary concepts and strategies. You’ll practice the art of revision to hone your voice as a writer in courses like Writing the Short Personal Essay and Writing Flash Fiction.
Within the creative writing and literature program, you will choose between a thesis or capstone track. You’ll also experience the convenience of online learning and the immersive benefits of learning in person.
11 Online Courses
- Primarily synchronous
- Fall, spring, January, and summer options
A 1- or 3-week summer master class taught by a notable instructor, followed by an agents-and-editors weekend
Thesis or Capstone Track
- Thesis: features a 9-month independent creative project with a faculty advisor
- Capstone: includes crafting a fiction or nonfiction manuscript in a classroom community
The path to your degree begins before you apply to the program.
First, you’ll register for and complete 2 required courses, earning at least a B in each. These foundational courses are investments in your studies and count toward your degree, helping ensure success in the program.
We invite you to explore degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.
A Faculty of Creative Writing Experts
Studying at Harvard Extension School means learning from the world’s best. Our instructors are renowned academics in literary analysis, storytelling, manuscript writing, and more. They bring a genuine passion for teaching, with students giving our faculty an average rating of 4.7 out of 5.
Playwright and Screenwriter
Talaya Adrienne Delaney
Lecturer in Extension, Harvard University
Elisabeth Sharp McKetta
Our community at a glance.
80% of our creative writing and literature students are enrolled in our master’s degree program for either personal enrichment or to make a career change. Most (74%) are employed full time while pursuing their degree and work across a variety of industries.
Course Taken Each Semester
Work Full Time
Would Recommend the Program
Professional Experience in the Field
Pursued for Personal Enrichment
Career Opportunities & Alumni Outcomes
Graduates of our Creative Writing and Literature Master’s Program have writing, research, and communication jobs in the fields of publishing, advertising/marketing, fundraising, secondary and higher education, and more.
Some alumni continue their educational journeys and pursue further studies in other nationally ranked degree programs, including those at Boston University, Brandeis University, University of Pennsylvania, and Cambridge University.
Our alumni hold titles as:
- Marketing Manager
- Director of Publishing
- Senior Research Writer
Our alumni work at a variety of leading organizations, including:
- Little, Brown & Company
- New York University (NYU)
- Bentley Publishers
Career Advising and Mentorship
Whatever your career goals, we’re here to support you. Harvard’s Mignone Center for Career Success offers career advising, employment opportunities, Harvard alumni mentor connections, and career fairs like the annual on-campus Harvard Humanities, Media, Marketing, and Creative Careers Expo.
Your Harvard University Degree
Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, you will earn the Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Creative Writing and Literature.
Expand Your Connections: the Harvard Alumni Network
As a graduate, you’ll become a member of the worldwide Harvard Alumni Association (400,000+ members) and Harvard Extension Alumni Association (29,000+ members).
Harvard is closer than one might think. You can be anywhere and still be part of this world.
Read Julia Antuerpem's Story
Tuition & Financial Aid
Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.
After admission, you may qualify for financial aid . Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.
What can you do with a master’s degree in creative writing and literature?
A master’s degree in creative writing and literature prepares you for a variety of career paths in writing, literature, and communication — it’s up to you to decide where your interests will take you.
You could become a professional writer, editor, literary agent, marketing copywriter, or communications specialist.
You could also go the academic route and bring your knowledge to the classroom to teach creative writing or literature courses.
Is a degree in creative writing and literature worth it?
The value you find in our Creative Writing and Literature Master’s Degree Program will depend on your unique goals, interests, and circumstances.
The curriculum provides a range of courses that allow you to graduate with knowledge and skills transferable to various industries and careers.
How long does completing the creative writing and literature graduate program take?
Program length is ordinarily anywhere between 2 and 5 years. It depends on your preferred pace and the number of courses you want to take each semester.
For an accelerated journey, we offer year round study, where you can take courses in fall, January, spring, and summer.
While we don’t require you to register for a certain number of courses each semester, you cannot take longer than 5 years to complete the degree.
What skills do you need prior to applying for the creative writing and literature degree program?
Harvard Extension School does not require any specific skills prior to applying, but in general, it’s helpful to have solid reading, writing, communication, and critical thinking skills if you are considering a creative writing and literature master’s degree.
Initial eligibility requirements can be found on our creative writing and literature master’s degree requirements page .
Harvard Division of Continuing Education
The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) at Harvard University is dedicated to bringing rigorous academics and innovative teaching capabilities to those seeking to improve their lives through education. We make Harvard education accessible to lifelong learners from high school to retirement.
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Creative Writing Graduate Programs in America
1-25 of 224 results
Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Cambridge, MA •
Harvard University •
- • Rating 4.75 out of 5 8 reviews
Other: I am Harvard Extension School student pursuing a master degree, ALM, in sustainability. I have achieved a 3.89 in this program so far and have qualified, applied, and accepted as a 'Special Student' in the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Through this School, I will be focusing my time at the John A. Paulson school of Engineering & Applied Sciences. Looking forward to wrapping up my final year on campus! ... Read 8 reviews
Harvard University ,
Graduate School ,
CAMBRIDGE, MA ,
8 Niche users give it an average review of 4.8 stars.
Featured Review: Other says I am Harvard Extension School student pursuing a master degree, ALM, in sustainability. I have achieved a 3.89 in this program so far and have qualified, applied, and accepted as a 'Special Student'... .
Read 8 reviews.
Brown University Graduate School
Providence, RI •
Brown University •
Brown University ,
PROVIDENCE, RI ,
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences
Evanston, IL •
Northwestern University •
Northwestern University ,
EVANSTON, IL ,
College of Charleston
Graduate School •
- • Rating 4.33 out of 5 15
- • Rating 4.52 out of 5 23
Houston Christian University
- • Rating 4.17 out of 5 24
College of Arts and Science
Nashville, TN •
Vanderbilt University •
Vanderbilt University ,
NASHVILLE, TN ,
Washington University in St. Louis - Arts & Sciences
St. Louis, MO •
Washington University in St. Louis •
Washington University in St. Louis ,
ST. LOUIS, MO ,
College of Arts and Letters - University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN •
University of Notre Dame •
- • Rating 4.5 out of 5 2 reviews
Doctoral Student: The faculty at Notre Dame is excellent. The student to professor ratio makes for a wonderful one to one interaction between students and teachers. At Notre Dame, my interests, dreams, goals, research and career path matter. I loved this most. I feel taken seriously and supported with every possible resources for my mental, academic and career success. One gets many opportunities to grow talents through research, and presentations with helpful and supportive feedback from students and professors. For these reasons, I find it a place to be! On the down side, the weather is at first always a challenge for one who is not used to the harsh and gloomy midwestern winter. ... Read 2 reviews
University of Notre Dame ,
NOTRE DAME, IN ,
2 Niche users give it an average review of 4.5 stars.
Featured Review: Doctoral Student says The faculty at Notre Dame is excellent. The student to professor ratio makes for a wonderful one to one interaction between students and teachers. At Notre Dame, my interests, dreams, goals, research... On the down side, the weather is at first always a challenge for one who is not used to the harsh and gloomy midwestern winter. .
Read 2 reviews.
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Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Los Angeles, CA •
University of Southern California •
University of Southern California ,
LOS ANGELES, CA ,
Cornell University College of Arts & Sciences
Ithaca, NY •
Cornell University •
Cornell University ,
ITHACA, NY ,
Rackham School of Graduate Studies
Ann Arbor, MI •
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor •
- • Rating 5 out of 5 1 review
Current Master's student: The coursework is rigorous and challenging due to the focus on theoretical statistics. The department provides many resources for support and there are many opportunities for learning and collaborating with fellow students and professors. ... Read 1 review
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor ,
ANN ARBOR, MI ,
1 Niche users give it an average review of 5 stars.
Featured Review: Current Master's student says The coursework is rigorous and challenging due to the focus on theoretical statistics. The department provides many resources for support and there are many opportunities for learning and... .
Read 1 reviews.
Krieger School of Arts & Sciences
Baltimore, MD •
Johns Hopkins University •
- • Rating 4.5 out of 5 18 reviews
Master's Student: I have yet to enroll for Fall 2023 after receiving my acceptance letter due to a delay in my need-based financial aid from JHU. However the Homewood Campus in Baltimore is beautiful and my Student Advisor, Alexis has been extremely helpful in initiating my enrollment process and answering all of my questions in a timely matter. My intended Advanced Academic Program is the accelerated (2 semester), dual-modality, 40-credit M.S. in Biotechnology, Biodefense concentration. All of the anticipated course subjects are diverse and there's even a customizable core lab course on campus (at least until Summer 2024). I can't wait and I wish you all the best in your search for academic programs or professional certifications. ... Read 18 reviews
Johns Hopkins University ,
BALTIMORE, MD ,
18 Niche users give it an average review of 4.5 stars.
Featured Review: Master's Student says I have yet to enroll for Fall 2023 after receiving my acceptance letter due to a delay in my need-based financial aid from JHU. However the Homewood Campus in Baltimore is beautiful and my Student... .
Read 18 reviews.
The Graduate School of Arts & Sciences - University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA •
University of Virginia •
- • Rating 4 out of 5 1 review
Alum: Very good in some areas, excellent in other areas, many academic choices available in all areas of study ... Read 1 review
University of Virginia ,
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA ,
1 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.
Featured Review: Alum says Very good in some areas, excellent in other areas, many academic choices available in all areas of study .
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences - New York University
New York, NY •
New York University •
- • Rating 4.82 out of 5 11 reviews
Alum: NYU has a strong brand name internationally, and in my honest opinion it remains among those few private institutions where you can still get the return on your investment for your education. I secured a Research Assistant Technician job for two years directly after graduating from GSAS, and the combined experiences enabled me to get into medical school after reapplication. For "city kids", New York University is the school for you. New York City is your campus, which may not be for everyone, especially those who want the traditional 'college quad' setup like at an Ivy League school or small liberal arts school. I was able to commute to school from Brooklyn. Bobst Library is like a church to me. Thank you, NYU, for helping me get a 2nd chance at becoming a doctor! I went from a failed Princeton premed to a successful University of Rochester School of Medicine alum who has gone on to becoming a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon in solo private practice. ... Read 11 reviews
New York University ,
NEW YORK, NY ,
11 Niche users give it an average review of 4.8 stars.
Featured Review: Alum says NYU has a strong brand name internationally, and in my honest opinion it remains among those few private institutions where you can still get the return on your investment for your education. I... For "city kids", New York University is the school for you. New York City is your campus, which may not be for everyone, especially those who want the traditional 'college quad' setup like at an Ivy... Thank you, NYU, for helping me get a 2nd chance at becoming a doctor! I went from a failed Princeton premed to a successful University of Rochester School of Medicine alum who has gone on to becoming... .
Read 11 reviews.
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College of Liberal Arts - University of Texas - Austin
Austin, TX •
University of Texas - Austin •
University of Texas - Austin ,
AUSTIN, TX ,
College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences
Blacksburg, VA •
Virginia Tech •
Virginia Tech ,
BLACKSBURG, VA ,
Liberal Arts and Sciences - University of Florida
Gainesville, FL •
University of Florida •
University of Florida ,
GAINESVILLE, FL ,
Graduate School of Arts & Sciences - Boston University
Boston, MA •
Boston University •
Boston University ,
BOSTON, MA ,
College of Letters & Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI •
University of Wisconsin •
- • Rating 4.2 out of 5 5 reviews
Master's Student: My program is specialized in dairy science research and I have unlimited opportunity and resources provided to me from the department and faculty. Such a supportive environment to develop the best researcher skills and critical thinking. The department truly sets the students up for success and is willing to help any student with their questions or concerns. The University of Wisconsin- Madison has a huge connection to the agriculture community surrounding it, which supplies me plenty of resources for research and a future career. The worst part of my experience has been the lack of parking access, prices of fees and parking, and the commute to campus. ... Read 5 reviews
University of Wisconsin ,
MADISON, WI ,
5 Niche users give it an average review of 4.2 stars.
Featured Review: Master's Student says My program is specialized in dairy science research and I have unlimited opportunity and resources provided to me from the department and faculty. Such a supportive environment to develop the best... .
Read 5 reviews.
College of Liberal Arts & Sciences - University of Illinois
Urbana, IL •
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign •
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ,
URBANA, IL ,
College of Arts and Sciences - University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL •
University of Miami •
- • Rating 4.67 out of 5 6 reviews
Master's Student: I am in graduate school and needed something online but also wanted something that was going to challenge me and provide me with a step further than my undergrad school provided. I compared many MPA programs and chose the University of Miami because the program was so similar to the in-person MPA program, taught by the same professors, and included the same courses. While entirely online, I have come to know my fellow graduate students and come to know the faculty in each of the courses I have taken. I'm currently half-way through the program and cannot wait to complete this degree! ... Read 6 reviews
University of Miami ,
CORAL GABLES, FL ,
6 Niche users give it an average review of 4.7 stars.
Featured Review: Master's Student says I am in graduate school and needed something online but also wanted something that was going to challenge me and provide me with a step further than my undergrad school provided. I compared many MPA... .
Read 6 reviews.
BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications
Provo, UT •
Brigham Young University •
Brigham Young University ,
PROVO, UT ,
College of Liberal Arts - University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Minneapolis, MN •
University of Minnesota Twin Cities •
University of Minnesota Twin Cities ,
MINNEAPOLIS, MN ,
University of Washington College of Arts & Sciences
Seattle, WA •
University of Washington •
University of Washington ,
SEATTLE, WA ,
College of Humanities and Social Sciences - NC State University
Raleigh, NC •
North Carolina State University •
Graduate Student: NC State's MSW program will prepare you to handle a wide variety of social work careers. The professors are amazing and teach students how to engage in various social justice activities on multiple levels. This grad program was an excellent career decision. ... Read 1 review
North Carolina State University ,
RALEIGH, NC ,
Featured Review: Graduate Student says NC State's MSW program will prepare you to handle a wide variety of social work careers. The professors are amazing and teach students how to engage in various social justice activities on multiple... .
College of Arts and Humanities - University of Maryland
College Park, MD •
University of Maryland - College Park •
University of Maryland - College Park ,
COLLEGE PARK, MD ,
Florida State University - The College of Arts and Sciences
Tallahassee, FL •
Florida State University •
Florida State University ,
TALLAHASSEE, FL ,
Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences
Lesley University •
- • Rating 4.75 out of 5 4
Queens University of Charlotte
- • Rating 4.84 out of 5 19
- • Rating 3.84 out of 5 19
Showing results 1 through 25 of 224
Creative Writing, Master's degree in Europe
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- Stockholms Län
- Stockholm BarAkademi
- Stockholm College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Stockholms Dramatiska Högskola
- Stockholms fria Universitet
- Stockholms Hotell- och restaurangskola
- Stockholms Musikpedagogiska Institut
- Grillska Komvux
- Stockholms tillskärarakademi
- Stockholms universitet
Schools (90), master's program in film and television - screenwriting.
- Master's degree
- Espoo, Finland
MA in Creative Writing
- Bath, England
Specializing Master International Screenwriting and Production
- Milan, Italy
Master's Program in Film and Television - Film Editing
Creative writing ma.
- Limerick, Ireland
Creative Writing (Taught)
- Cardiff, Wales
- Swansea, Wales
MA Creative Writing
- Portsmouth, England
MA Writing, Editing and Mediating
- Groningen, Netherlands
Creative Writing - MA
- Canterbury, England
MA Creative and Critical Writing
- Ipswich, England
Creative Writing MLitt
- St Andrews, Scotland
Creative Writing (F71) (Taught)
- Buckinghamshire, England
- Online / Distance
MA Creative & Life Writing
- London, England
MA Creative Writing & Education
- Leicester, England
MA Script Writing
Nature and travel writing ma, ma in writing for young people.
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MFA in Creative Writing Program Guide
www.bestcolleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Turn Your Dreams Into Reality
Take our quiz and we'll do the homework for you! Compare your school matches and apply to your top choice today.
Whether focusing on poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, a creative writing degree prepares students for a multitude of career options. Spanning two years, a master of fine arts (MFA) program trains you to become a skilled writer, communicator, and editor who can receive and apply feedback effectively. This adaptable skill set enables you to work in industries like education, publishing, and journalism. Professionals in these fields flourish in business, where they can apply their skills to promote products, reach consumers, and maintain a company's brand. A creative writing degree can also bolster a student's chances of obtaining a publishing deal.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects growth for master's in writing careers through 2026, including an 8% increase for writers and authors , a 9% increase for public relation specialists , and an 11% increase for technical writers . This guide provides prospective students with the academic and career information necessary to find the MFA program that best suits their needs.
What are the best MFA programs? Here are our top 5:
- #1 Arizona State University Campus Immersion $10,710 / $28,800
- #2 East Carolina University $4,452 / $20,729
- #3 Texas Tech University $8,683 / $20,953
- #4 The University of West Florida $3,735 / $16,004
- #5 University of Louisiana at Monroe $5,788 / $17,888
Popular Online Master's in Writing Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Should I Get an MFA in Creative Writing?
Creative writing degrees are highly versatile. Students of all academic and professional backgrounds may enroll in an MFA program to strengthen their writing, develop editing skills, and cultivate professional relationships. In addition to gaining in-depth knowledge of literary genres, students benefit from classes in technical, journalistic, and business-oriented writing. Regardless of what areas they specialize in, writers learn to articulate complex and artistic ideas persuasively, which enables them to pursue occupations with nearly any company or organization.
Master's in writing programs also incorporate experiential learning and professional development opportunities into their curricula. Students attend writing conferences, writers' retreats, and guest speaker sessions. These events allow them to meet other writers and professionals in the field. It also exposes them to career opportunities. Additionally, MFA candidates benefit from university fellowships and internships, which typically center on editing, publishing, and teaching.
Creative writing degrees represent one of the fastest growing university programs in the U.S. According to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) 2015 report, 30% of MFA full-residency programs enjoyed an enrollment increase. Distance education represents a viable option for students, especially low-residency programs that allow working professionals to earn their degrees while maintaining career and family responsibilities.
On the other hand, campus-based options offer opportunities for students to directly collaborate with a community of artists. This camaraderie empowers students and cultivates creative and professional relationships that last long after graduation. Traditional MFA programs especially suit learners who transition into graduate-level academics immediately after earning their bachelor's.
What Can I Do With an MFA in Creative Writing?
Through MFA programs, students develop creative writing, editing, critical-thinking, and professional leadership skills. Though common perceptions of writers paint them as loners, creative writing degrees necessitate collaboration. Students discuss famous literary works and each other's writing in workshops that help them become better orators and listeners. Even the thesis process requires communication because candidates must work with their advisers to revise their projects and prepare them for publication. Therefore, MFA graduates become exceptional team members, who give, take, and apply criticism effectively. These writers also possess strong grammatical and rhetorical skills, which they apply to diverse genres, including poetry, memoir, search engine optimization, and grant writing.
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These writers create content for blogs, journals, magazines, films, video games, and television series. They can also sell their own fiction, nonfiction, and poetry through either a publishing firm or a self-publishing platform. Depending on their specific position, authors can work independently or in project teams with technicians, designers, and managers. Median Annual Salary: $61,820*
Also referred to as technical communicators , these writers craft how-to manuals and instruction guides for companies and organizations. Technical writers ensure that these materials are standardized and dispersed across all of a company's channels. Though students can pursue this career with a bachelor's, an MFA opens more doors through advanced skill and leadership training. Median Annual Salary: $70,930*
As a terminal degree, the MFA prepares students for work as college and university instructors . Professors teach courses in their own genre, such as conventional literature classes or writing-intensive workshops. They also pursue creative projects, research, and publication. Like other educators, postsecondary teachers develop curricula, assess testing standards, and support university administration. Median Annual Salary: $76,000*
Public Relations Specialist
These professionals work in teams to cultivate and maintain a positive public image for their business or organization. Their work involves creating and implementing promotional and social media branding campaigns. Public relations specialists also handle press releases, field requests from news outlets, and write speeches for the company's top executives. MFA graduates typically need additional training to obtain this position, either through on-the-job experience or a certificate program. Median Annual Salary: $59,300*
These leaders work with teams of writers , graphic designers, sales agents, and advertisers to create and actualize promotional campaigns. They also negotiate marketing contracts, maintain budgets, and train employees. Additionally, marketing managers analyze brand effectiveness using data-analytical methods. As a high-level career, these professionals need a graduate degree, extensive continuing education, and at least five years of relevant work experience. Median Annual Salary: $129,380*
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
How to Choose an MFA in Creative Writing Program
When researching prospective master's in writing programs, students need to consider cost, length, and location. In general, graduate students can secure substantial funding through scholarships, grants, and fellowships. The most competitive MFA programs boast full tuition coverage and stipends. However, students should look at their financial situation practically, discerning how much they can afford without resorting to loans. They should also seek out private scholarships through local companies and professional organizations.
Most universities follow a two-year timeline as established by the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the first accredited MFA program in the U.S. However, creative writing represents a highly malleable field with different pedagogical philosophies and curricular design choices. Certain programs last three years, while others last up to five. Relatedly, prospective students should consider whether they want to enroll part or full time. Online and low-residency MFA programs often facilitate part-time enrollment, while traditional programs often require full-time participation.
Distance learners should note that remote creative writing degrees typically use a hybrid format, requiring them to attend conferences and summer retreats. Coursework and specializations reflect other important considerations. These factors fluctuate based on faculty interests and the school's overall direction. Some master's in writing programs highlight the American literary canon, while others focus on works from writers who occupy marginalized identities. And still others break with tradition altogether, emphasizing experimental writing styles and multimedia forms.
Finally, MFA applicants need to factor in location. For traditional students, this includes heightened tuition prices due to out-of-state residency status. Learners should also look into job prospects and cost of living. Many of the most popular programs are located in cities where rent is high and employment is competitive.
Programmatic Accreditation for MFA in Creative Writing Programs
To confer valid degrees, colleges and universities need to earn accreditation at the national, regional, and/or programmatic level. Schools with a religious or vocational focus typically seek out national accreditation. Schools may also earn the more prestigious regional accreditation from one of six organizations depending on their location. Students should look for nonprofit higher education institutions with national or regional accreditation. Students should confirm a school's accreditation status before starting the admission process.
In addition to national and regional backing, colleges and universities may also receive programmatic accreditation. For example, teaching programs usually need to earn the support of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation if they want to uphold state licensure standards. Creative writing degrees stand out because they do not subscribe to formal programmatic accreditation. However, many MFA programs are AWP institutional members . Students who enroll at participating schools benefit from scholarship opportunities, writer-to-writer membership programs, and conference discounts.
MFA in Creative Writing Program Admissions
Creative writing degrees generally require standard admission materials. These comprise academic transcripts, resume/CV, recommendation letters, personal statement, and standardized test scores. Candidates should consult their prospective schools' websites for details, including the admissions deadline.
Conventional requirements aside, the most important part of an MFA candidate's application is their writing sample. Programs typically require students to declare genre specialization in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. A student's choice dictates the bulk of classes they take and their thesis requirement. Specifics vary by program, but poets can expect to submit around 10-15 pages worth of poetry. Fiction and nonfiction writers usually turn in 25-30 pages of prose. Crafting an effective writing sample requires time, so students should plan accordingly. They should also look into the program's guiding aesthetic. Some MFA programs prefer traditional works, while others find experimental narratives more engaging and indicative of a writer's potential.
Bachelor's degree, professional experience, minimum gpa, admission materials, application:, transcripts:, letters of recommendation:, test scores:, application fee:, what else can i expect from an mfa in creative writing program.
Graduate creative writing degrees center on three specializations: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. However, MFA programs aim for a holistic approach to the writing craft. This means that a poet must also take fiction and nonfiction classes, whether they be literature seminars or intensive writing workshops. Students also pursue coursework outside the three genres. Beyond some core classes, topics vary greatly based on faculty specializations.
Courses in an MFA in Creative Writing Program
While coursework differs based on the individual program, an MFA degree plan typically breaks down into four parts: literature courses, writing workshops, independent study, and thesis hours. Students can expect literature classes to encompass both classic and modern works. Independent study allows students to take classes outside the three main genres. Possible topics include journalism, gender studies, technical writing, and grant writing.
Reading Across Genres
MFA programs operate under the philosophy that experimenting across genres builds better writers. In this class, students learn how to effectively interact with works in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Learners also develop the skills to analyze how such fundamental ideas, like plot, character, and point of view, operate in each genre to achieve desired effects.
This class provides students who already write poetry with the knowledge and practice to advance their art. Unlike the workshop, this craft class emphasizes literary analysis that enables writers to break down a poem into component parts. Topics include meter, rhyme, rhythm, stanza pattern, and lineation. Students also delve into traditional and experimental poetic forms.
As one of the most popular creative nonfiction forms, the memoir tells the personal story of an individual or a community. In this course, writers learn the art of memoir through ideas like tone, voice, structure, and subtext. They also develop knowledge of subgenres, including the autobiographical memoir and those that deal with food, travel, family, addiction, and grief.
The Short Story
This narrative form represents the premier learning tool for MFA fiction students due to its relative brevity and popularity with literary magazines. This course provides writers with an in-depth study of the short story form, focusing on narrative arc, pacing, characterization, and internal/external action. Students also learn about short story history by reading the works of famous authors, such as Donald Barthelme, Alice Munro, and Octavia E. Butler.
While the structure of the workshop varies by MFA program and individual professors, this course always focuses on providing students with the feedback needed to improve their writing. Workshops also help students develop skills as editors and book reviewers. In addition to submitting creative work, students need to turn in written analyses of other students' writing.
How Long Does It Take to Get an MFA in Creative Writing?
Like other master's programs, creative writing degrees typically take two years, or 36 credits. Some schools follow a three-year curriculum. A student's enrollment status affects the timeline. Online and low-residency MFA programs provide more flexibility, allowing students to accommodate busy schedules by taking courses part-time. They may also offer accelerated degree plans that let students finish seminars and workshops in as few as 12 months.
Full-residency programs prefer a structured approach, similar to cohort learning, in which all students in the program take the same classes every semester, advancing through their degree work at a communal pace. Relatedly, MFA candidates who receive fellowships may not take more than the standard course allotment each term due to how university tuition waivers work.
Finally, the nature of a student's capstone project also affects their degree timeline. Many writers want their MFA thesis to be publishable manuscript, so they often take additional semesters to polish their work before submission and defense.
How Much Is an MFA in Creative Writing?
According to Peterson's , a higher education organization, graduate students who attend a public university pay $30,000 in average annual tuition, while those who attend private institutions pay $40,000 each year. However, prices vary with individual schools. The University of New Orleans and Columbia University offer two popular creative writing degrees. UNO's yearly graduate tuition is $8,892 for Louisiana residents and $13,462 for non-residents. Columbia charges $28,230 per semester.
MFA programs operate under the jurisdiction of the college of liberal arts or arts and sciences. This means they usually charge rates that match other graduate programs in that area. The most renowned and competitive creative writing degrees offer every student a full tuition waiver and monthly stipends. Other MFA programs provide institutional and departmental scholarships. Students should also seek out awards from professional organizations and businesses.
Beyond tuition and related fees, students need to consider cost of living, particularly housing. Websites like Payscale and Numbeo allow students to calculate living expenses using city-specific data. They can also compare prices between locations. MFA students should set aside money from conference attendance because these events represent important professional development opportunities for new writers. Research and technology costs also warrant consideration. Fortunately for writers, their field does not require expensive machinery or software. However, they should prepare to face high printing costs.
Certifications and Licenses an MFA in Creative Writing Prepares For
American grant writers' association (agwa) certified grant writer.
Organizations highly value grant writing, making it one of the most lucrative professions for freelancers. AGWA's certification series offers courses on proposal writing, program development, and review. Candidates take the exam in person, which comprises handwritten and computer-based sections. Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree to qualify for the program.
American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) Medical Writer Certified
AMWA operates an intensive, exam-based certification program that enables writers to demonstrate their knowledge and improve their marketability. The in-person test consists of 125 multiple-choice questions and takes 2.5 hours. To be eligible, applicants need to possess at least a bachelor's degree in any field and two years of paid medical communication experience.
Society for Technical Communication (STC) Certified Professional Technical Communicator
Operated by STC, this program offers technical writers three certification levels: foundation, practitioner, and expert. The foundation certification exam covers such topics as project planning, analysis, content management, organizational design, and written and visual communication. The exam costs $250 for STC members and $495 for nonmembers.
American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI) Copywriting Certifications
AWAI offers multiple training and certification options for copywriters. These include an accelerated foundation program, a master's program, and an advanced training program for seasoned professionals. Copywriters can also pursue training in specialized topics, such as web/online content, business-to-business copywriting, grant writing, resume writing, and event travel writing. Furthermore, AWAI offers membership that comes with benefits like discounts and a career database.
American Copy Editors Society (ACES) Certificate in Editing
Through ACES , writers can enroll in fundamental and advanced certification programs. Fundamental level classes cover topics like clarity, accuracy, and search engine optimization. The advanced program comprises courses in copyright/fair use, fact-checking, and numeracy. To obtain the certificate, students need to pass individual assessments that come after every module.
Resources for MFA in Creative Writing Students
Duotrope provides the tools writers need to locate agents and publishers. The website also operates a massive database of literary magazines and journals, which writers use to submit and track work for publication.
Poets & Writers
Poets & Writers offers the resources writers need to publish, promote, and develop their art. The organization also operates writing contests, workshops, networking events, and a database of MFA programs.
This organization regularly publishes articles on writing tips, literary discussions, and new books. Writer's Digest also operates numerous writing competitions, including those for poetry, fiction, and self-published books. Writers can strengthen their craft through free webinars and paid workshops.
Literary Hub provides an interactive platform for writers to discuss craft, design, and literary criticism. The website also highlights relevant pop culture and political issues. Additional resources include book reviews, daily fiction, and podcasts.
Facilitated by Information Today Inc., Literary Marketplace operates the world's largest searchable database of publishers, literary agents, and industry events. Users benefit from 180 search terms, enabling them to find publishers by size, location, and genre.
Professional Organizations for MFA in Creative Writing Students
MFA programs offer valuable academic training and networking opportunities, which new writers can bolster through engagement with professional organizations. These organizations facilitate literary databases, award competitions, topical webinars, and in-person writing workshops. Furthermore, students can take advantage of insider information and first-hand accounts to find the master's in writing programs that best suit them. Perhaps the greatest benefit of writer's organizations is their networking and community-building events. These include readings, guest speaker series, and annual conferences, like the AWP Conference and Bookfair which draws over 12,000 attendees each year.
Association of Writers and Writing Programs
Individual membership provides access to the writer's calendar, job list, and the writer to writer mentorship program. Members also enjoy career guidance and discounts on literature and conference attendance. Students can take advantage of the organization's comprehensive guide to writing programs.
Academy of American Poets
As the largest professional organization for poets, the academy offers up-to-date publishing news, award programs, and job opportunities. Members also benefit from a variety of creative networking events.
National Writers Union
Established in 1981, the NWU advocates for the rights and economic advancements of its members, who work in diverse writing and education fields. Operating 12 regional chapters, the union provides members with legal advice and promotional support. Emerging writers benefit from a searchable talent database.
The Authors Guild
As the oldest and largest professional organization for writers, the Authors Guild offers legal assistance, online seminars, media liability insurance, and an expansive resource library. Members also gain access to discounts, conferences, and awards.
The organization supports independent workers through government policy advocacy and community engagement programming. Members benefit from health, dental, and life insurance assistance. Freelancers Union also provides retirement support. Membership is free.
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MSt in Creative Writing
- Entry requirements
- Funding and Costs
- How to Apply
About the course
The MSt in Creative Writing is a two-year, part-time master's degree course offering a unique combination of high contact hours, genre specialisation, and critical and creative breadth.
The emphasis of the course is cross-cultural and cross-genre, pointing up the needs and challenges of the contemporary writer who produces their creative work in the context of a global writerly and critical community.
The MSt offers a clustered learning format of five residences, two guided retreats and one research placement over two years. The research placement, a distinguishing feature of the course, provides between one and two weeks' in-house experience of writing in the real world.
The first year concentrates equally on prose fiction, poetry, dramatic writing and narrative non-fiction. There is a significant critical reading and analysis component, which is linked to the writerly considerations explored in each of the genres. In your second year you will specialise in one of the following:
- short fiction
- radio drama
- stage drama
- narrative non-fiction.
The residences in particular offer an intensive workshop- and seminar-based forum for ideas exchange and for the opening up of creative and critical frameworks within which to develop writerly and analytical skills. There is a strong element of one-to-one tutorial teaching. Tutorials take place within residences and retreats, and relate to the on-going work produced for the course.
You will be assigned a supervisor who will work closely with you throughout the development of the year two final project and extended essay. All assessed work throughout the two years of the course is subject to one-to-one feedback and discussion with a tutor. This intensive, one-to-one input, combined with the highly interactive workshop and seminar sessions, is a distinguishing feature of the course.
The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Department for Continuing Education and this role will usually be performed by the Course Director.
You will be allocated a supervisor to guide and advise you on your creative and critical work throughout the second year.
It is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Department for Continuing Education.
The MSt is assessed by coursework. In the first year, four assignments (two creative, two critical), one creative writing portfolio and one critical essay are submitted. Work is set during each residence and handed in for assessment before the next meeting. Feedback on work submitted is given during tutorials within the residence or retreat. In the second year, submissions comprise one research placement report, one extended critical essay, and a final project – a substantial body of creative work in the genre of choice.
You will be set specific creative and critical work to be completed between residences and handed in to set deadlines. Creative submissions in the first year must be in more than one genre. In the second year, submitted work focuses around the genre of your choice.
Graduate destinations have included publishing creative work in a chosen field, careers in arts/media, and doctoral programmes in creative writing.
Changes to this course and your supervision
The University will seek to deliver this course in accordance with the description set out in this course page. However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after registration. The safety of students, staff and visitors is paramount and major changes to delivery or services may have to be made in circumstances of a pandemic, epidemic or local health emergency. In addition, in certain circumstances, for example due to visa difficulties or because the health needs of students cannot be met, it may be necessary to make adjustments to course requirements for international study.
Where possible your academic supervisor will not change for the duration of your course. However, it may be necessary to assign a new academic supervisor during the course of study or before registration for reasons which might include illness, sabbatical leave, parental leave or change in employment.
For further information please see our page on changes to courses and the provisions of the student contract regarding changes to courses.
Entry requirements for entry in 2024-25
Proven and potential academic excellence, degree-level qualifications.
As a minimum, applicants should hold or be predicted to achieve the following UK qualifications or their equivalent:
- a first-class or upper second-class undergraduate degree with honours in a related field.
For applicants with a degree from the USA, the minimum GPA normally sought is 3.6 out of 4.0.
If your degree is not from the UK or another country specified above, visit our International Qualifications page for guidance on the qualifications and grades that would usually be considered to meet the University’s minimum entry requirements.
GRE General Test scores
No Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or GMAT scores are sought.
Other qualifications, evidence of excellence and relevant experience
- Assessors are looking for writers with a proven record of commitment to their craft, whose work demonstrates significant creative promise. You should be a keen reader, and bring an open-minded, questioning approach to both reading and writing. You will not necessarily have yet achieved publication, but you will have written regularly and read widely over a sustained period. You will be keen to dedicate time and energy and staying-power to harnessing your talent, enlarging your skills, and aiming your writerly production at consistently professional standards. It is likely you will have a first degree, or equivalent, although in some cases other evidence of suitability may be acceptable.
- Applicants do not need to be previously published, but the MSt is unlikely to be suitable for those who are just starting out on their writerly and critical development.
English language proficiency
This course requires proficiency in English at the University's higher level . If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence that you meet this requirement. The minimum scores required to meet the University's higher level are detailed in the table below.
*Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) † Previously known as the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)
Your test must have been taken no more than two years before the start date of your course. Our Application Guide provides further information about the English language test requirement .
Declaring extenuating circumstances
If your ability to meet the entry requirements has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (eg you were awarded an unclassified/ungraded degree) or any other exceptional personal circumstance (eg other illness or bereavement), please refer to the guidance on extenuating circumstances in the Application Guide for information about how to declare this so that your application can be considered appropriately.
You will need to register three referees who can give an informed view of your academic ability and suitability for the course. The How to apply section of this page provides details of the types of reference that are required in support of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.
You will be required to supply supporting documents with your application. The How to apply section of this page provides details of the supporting documents that are required as part of your application for this course and how these will be assessed.
Performance at interview
Interviews are normally held as part of the admissions process.
For those applying by the January deadline, interviews are generally held in February and March. For March applicants, interviews are generally held in March and April.
The decision to call an applicant for interview is based on the University Admission Board's assessment of your portfolio, statement of purpose, academic and professional track record and references. Interviews will be conducted in person or by telephone. All applicants whose paper submissions indicate they are qualified for entry will generally be interviewed, either in person or by telephone/Skype. There are always two interviewers. Interviews usually last up to approximately 30 minutes and provide an opportunity for the candidate to discuss his/her application and to explore the course in more detail.
The interview is designed to ascertain, through a range of questions, the shape and emphasis of the candidate's writing and reading, and general suitability for the demands of the MSt.
How your application is assessed
Your application will be assessed purely on your proven and potential academic excellence and other entry requirements published under that heading.
References and supporting documents submitted as part of your application, and your performance at interview (if interviews are held) will be considered as part of the assessment process. Whether or not you have secured funding will not be taken into consideration when your application is assessed.
An overview of the shortlisting and selection process is provided below. Our ' After you apply ' pages provide more information about how applications are assessed .
Shortlisting and selection
Students are considered for shortlisting and selected for admission without regard to age, disability, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins), religion or belief (including lack of belief), sex, sexual orientation, as well as other relevant circumstances including parental or caring responsibilities or social background. However, please note the following:
- socio-economic information may be taken into account in the selection of applicants and award of scholarships for courses that are part of the University’s pilot selection procedure and for scholarships aimed at under-represented groups ;
- country of ordinary residence may be taken into account in the awarding of certain scholarships; and
- protected characteristics may be taken into account during shortlisting for interview or the award of scholarships where the University has approved a positive action case under the Equality Act 2010.
Processing your data for shortlisting and selection
Admissions panels and assessors
All recommendations to admit a student involve the judgement of at least two members of the academic staff with relevant experience and expertise, and must also be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies or Admissions Committee (or equivalent within the department).
Admissions panels or committees will always include at least one member of academic staff who has undertaken appropriate training.
Other factors governing whether places can be offered
The following factors will also govern whether candidates can be offered places:
- the ability of the University to provide the appropriate supervision for your studies, as outlined under the 'Supervision' heading in the About section of this page;
- the ability of the University to provide appropriate support for your studies (eg through the provision of facilities, resources, teaching and/or research opportunities); and
- minimum and maximum limits to the numbers of students who may be admitted to the University's taught and research programmes.
Offer conditions for successful applications
If you receive an offer of a place at Oxford, your offer will outline any conditions that you need to satisfy and any actions you need to take, together with any associated deadlines. These may include academic conditions, such as achieving a specific final grade in your current degree course. These conditions will usually depend on your individual academic circumstances and may vary between applicants. Our ' After you apply ' pages provide more information about offers and conditions .
In addition to any academic conditions which are set, you will also be required to meet the following requirements:
If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a Financial Declaration in order to meet your financial condition of admission.
Disclosure of criminal convictions
In accordance with the University’s obligations towards students and staff, we will ask you to declare any relevant, unspent criminal convictions before you can take up a place at Oxford.
The department is committed to supporting you to pursue your academic goals.
The Rewley House Continuing Education Library , one of the Bodleian Libraries, is situated in Rewley House. The department aims to support the wide variety of subjects covered by departmental courses at many academic levels. The department also has a collection of around 73,000 books together with periodicals. PCs in the library give access to the internet and the full range of electronic resources subscribed to by the University of Oxford. Wi-Fi is also available. The Jessop Reading Room adjoining the library is available for study. You will have access to the Central Bodleian and other Bodleian Libraries.
The department's Graduate School provides a stimulating and enriching learning and research environment for the department's graduate students, fostering intellectual and social interaction between graduates of different disciplines and professions from the UK and around the globe. The Graduate School will help you make the most of the wealth of resources and opportunities available, paying particular regard to the support and guidance needed if you are following a part-time graduate programme. The department’s graduate community comprises over 600 members following taught programmes and more than 70 undertaking doctoral research.
The department provides various IT facilities , including the Student Computing Facility which provides individual PCs for your use. Many of the department's courses are delivered through blended learning or have a website to support face-to-face study. In most cases, online support is delivered through a virtual learning environment.
Depending on the programme you are taking with the department, you may require accommodation at some point in your student career. Rewley House is ideally located in central Oxford; the city's historic sites, colleges, museums, shops and restaurants are only a few minutes’ walk away. The department has 35 en-suite study bedrooms, all with high quality amenities, including internet access.
The Rewley House dining room has seating for up to 132 people. A full meal service is available daily. The department operates a Common Room with bar for students.
Department for Continuing Education
The need for new learning opportunities throughout life is now recognised throughout society. An intensive, initial period of higher education is not always enough in times of rapid social, economic and technological change. The Department for Continuing Education is known worldwide as a leading provider of extended learning for professional and personal development.
The department provides high-quality, flexible, part-time graduate education, tailored for adults. Students can undertake graduate-level certificates, diplomas and taught master’s degrees in a wide range of subjects. Increasing numbers of courses are delivered in mixed mode, combining intensive periods of residence in Oxford with tutored online study.
The department recruits adult students of all ages on a regional, national and international level. Many courses are offered jointly with other academic departments around the University. Courses are offered in the following areas:
- Mathematical, physical and life sciences
- Medical and health sciences
- Social sciences .
All postgraduate students on the department's courses are members of its Graduate School. The Graduate School aims to provide a stimulating and enriching environment for learning and research. It also fosters intellectual and social interaction between students coming from different disciplines and professions. Interdisciplinary research seminars, training opportunities and other events are offered by the Graduate School in support of this goal.
All masters' and DPhil applicants are considered for Clarendon Scholarships . The department is committed to seeking scholarship support for other students wherever possible.
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The University expects to be able to offer over 1,000 full or partial graduate scholarships across the collegiate University in 2024-25. You will be automatically considered for the majority of Oxford scholarships , if you fulfil the eligibility criteria and submit your graduate application by the relevant December or January deadline. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and/or potential.
For further details about searching for funding as a graduate student visit our dedicated Funding pages, which contain information about how to apply for Oxford scholarships requiring an additional application, details of external funding, loan schemes and other funding sources.
Please ensure that you visit individual college websites for details of any college-specific funding opportunities using the links provided on our college pages or below:
Please note that not all the colleges listed above may accept students on this course. For details of those which do, please refer to the College preference section of this page.
Further information about funding opportunities for this course can be found on the department's website.
Annual fees for entry in 2024-25
Further details about fee status eligibility can be found on the fee status webpage.
Information about course fees
Course fees are payable each year, for the duration of your fee liability (your fee liability is the length of time for which you are required to pay course fees). For courses lasting longer than one year, please be aware that fees will usually increase annually. For details, please see our guidance on changes to fees and charges .
Course fees cover your teaching as well as other academic services and facilities provided to support your studies. Unless specified in the additional information section below, course fees do not cover your accommodation, residential costs or other living costs. They also don’t cover any additional costs and charges that are outlined in the additional information below.
Where can I find further information about fees?
The Fees and Funding section of this website provides further information about course fees , including information about fee status and eligibility and your length of fee liability .
This course has residential sessions (residences and retreats) in Oxford. You will need to meet your travel costs in attending these sessions. The tuition fee includes the cost of board and lodging during the residences and retreats (eg for a four day residence, three nights accommodation will be provided). Further, as part of your course requirements, you will need to complete a research placement in the second year. For this placement you will need to meet your travel and accommodation costs, and any other incidental expenses. You may be able to apply for small grants from your department and/or college to help you cover some of these expenses. Further information about departmental funding can be found on the department's website. Please check with your specific college for bursary or other funding possibilities.
In addition to your course fees, you will need to ensure that you have adequate funds to support your living costs for the duration of your course.
For the 2024-25 academic year, the range of likely living costs for full-time study is between c. £1,345 and £1,955 for each month spent in Oxford. Full information, including a breakdown of likely living costs in Oxford for items such as food, accommodation and study costs, is available on our living costs page. The current economic climate and high national rate of inflation make it very hard to estimate potential changes to the cost of living over the next few years. When planning your finances for any future years of study in Oxford beyond 2024-25, it is suggested that you allow for potential increases in living expenses of around 5% each year – although this rate may vary depending on the national economic situation. UK inflationary increases will be kept under review and this page updated.
If you are studying part-time your living costs may vary depending on your personal circumstances but you must still ensure that you will have sufficient funding to meet these costs for the duration of your course.
Students enrolled on this course will belong to both a department/faculty and a college. Please note that ‘college’ and ‘colleges’ refers to all 43 of the University’s colleges, including those designated as societies and permanent private halls (PPHs).
If you apply for a place on this course you will have the option to express a preference for one of the colleges listed below, or you can ask us to find a college for you. Before deciding, we suggest that you read our brief introduction to the college system at Oxford and our advice about expressing a college preference . For some courses, the department may have provided some additional advice below to help you decide.
The following colleges accept students on the MSt in Creative Writing:
- Brasenose College
- Campion Hall
- Harris Manchester College
- Keble College
- Kellogg College
- Lady Margaret Hall
- Oriel College
- Regent's Park College
- St Catherine's College
- Somerville College
- Wadham College
- Wycliffe Hall
Before you apply
Our guide to getting started provides general advice on how to prepare for and start your application. Check the deadlines on this page and the information about deadlines in our Application Guide. If it's important for you to have your application considered under a particular deadline – eg under a December or January deadline in order to be considered for Oxford scholarships – we recommend that you aim to complete and submit your application at least two weeks in advance .
Application fee waivers
An application fee of £75 is payable per course application. Application fee waivers are available for the following applicants who meet the eligibility criteria:
- applicants from low-income countries;
- refugees and displaced persons;
- UK applicants from low-income backgrounds; and
- applicants who applied for our Graduate Access Programmes in the past two years and met the eligibility criteria.
You are encouraged to check whether you're eligible for an application fee waiver before you apply.
Do I need to contact anyone before I apply?
You do not need to make contact with the department before you apply but you are encouraged to visit the relevant departmental webpages to read any further information about your chosen course.
If you have any questions about the course, these should be directed to the course administrator via the contact details provided on this page.
Completing your application
You should refer to the information below when completing the application form, paying attention to the specific requirements for the supporting documents .
If any document does not meet the specification, including the stipulated word count, your application may be considered incomplete and not assessed by the academic department. Expand each section to show further details.
Referees: Three overall, academic and/or professional
Whilst you must register three referees, the department may start the assessment of your application if two of the three references are submitted by the course deadline and your application is otherwise complete. Please note that you may still be required to ensure your third referee supplies a reference for consideration.
Your references will support your commitment to creative writing and suitability to pursue a course of this nature at graduate level. Both professional and academic references are acceptable.
Your transcripts should give detailed information of the individual grades received in your university-level qualifications to date. You should only upload official documents issued by your institution and any transcript not in English should be accompanied by a certified translation.
More information about the transcript requirement is available in the Application Guide.
A CV/résumé is compulsory for all applications. Most applicants choose to submit a document of one to two pages highlighting their academic and writerly achievements and any relevant professional experience.
Statement of purpose: A maximum of 750 words
The statement of purpose should contain sufficient detail to allow it to be assessed against the indicated criteria.
Your statement should be written in English and explain your motivation for applying for the course at Oxford, your relevant experience and education, and the specific areas that interest you and/or in which you intend to specialise.
If possible, please ensure that the word count is clearly displayed on the document.
This will be assessed for:
- your reasons for applying
- evidence of motivation for and understanding of the proposed area of study
- the ability to present a reasoned case in English
- commitment to the subject, beyond the requirements of the degree course
- capacity for sustained and intense work
- reasoning ability and quality of written expression
- capacity to address issues of writerly and critical significance.
Written work: A maximum of 2,000 words of prose fiction or narrative non-fiction or 10 short poems or 15 minutes of dramatic writing (stage, screen, radio or TV)
Your portfolio of creative writing for assessment can be in any of the four genres, or in more than one. It should be clearly indicative of your ability in creative writing.
This will be assessed for excellence in creative writing.
Start or continue your application
You can start or return to an application using the relevant link below. As you complete the form, please refer to the requirements above and consult our Application Guide for advice . You'll find the answers to most common queries in our FAQs.
Application Guide Apply
Open to applications for entry in 2024-25
12:00 midday UK time on:
Friday 19 January 2024 Latest deadline for most Oxford scholarships
Friday 1 March 2024 Applications may remain open after this deadline if places are still available - see below
A later deadline shown under 'Admission status' If places are still available, applications may be accepted after 1 March . The 'Admissions status' (above) will provide notice of any later deadline.
*Three-year average (applications for entry in 2021-22 to 2023-24)
Further information and enquiries
This course is offered by the Department for Continuing Education
- Course page and blog on department website
- Funding information from the department
- Academic staff
- Departmental research
- Continuing Education Graduate School
Advice about contacting the department can be found in the How to apply section of this page
✉ [email protected] ☎ +44 (0)1865 280145
See the application guide
Visa eligibility for part-time study
We are unable to sponsor student visas for part-time study on this course. Part-time students may be able to attend on a visitor visa for short blocks of time only (and leave after each visit) and will need to remain based outside the UK.