Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2 years
£6,300 for the full course or £700 per 20 credits* (2021/22)
£14,700 for the full course (2021/22)
Kedleston Road, Derby Campus
100% of students said that they were satisfied with the overall quality of this course, according to the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey, 2019
The programme offers you a range of tutor and peer-led opportunities to produce new writing and critically reflect on that practice. We focus on the expressive potential and persuasive power of language whilst encouraging you to critically explore texts and their relationship to the world.
- The course will develop writing; be that in prose, poetry, life writing, creative non-fiction, script-writing or in combination or discussion across these forms. In addition, two industry-specific pathways have been developed to focus on employability in specific sectors:
- Creative Writing for Gaming focuses on character and narrative design, gamification and digital games.
- Creative Writing with Publishing allows students to work on the production of books by taking two modules from our successful and well regarded MA Publishing.
The degree without a specialist pathway maintains a strong focus on employability. All students receive advice and guidance from working writers who will take you through contracts and tax, the business of publishing and how to run a workshop.
The course gives all students the opportunity to undertake arranged work experience in the arts or in communication. Graduates leave this MA with a portfolio of their own writing, prepared for a career as arts professionals (including but not limited to publication) and progression to doctoral level study
Innovative specialised pathways
The MA Creative Writing has a core programme (the MA Creative Writing) and two pathway awards: Gaming and Publishing. All of the core programme modules are specifically designed to suit their purpose and carefully integrated with each other. The programme takes into account on going research as well as developments, trends and innovations within the discipline and industries which it attends to.
The core programme is modular, offering the flexibility to study in more than one writing form or genre, or focus on a single project. The teaching method encourages a gradual specialisation over the three trimesters. You participate in a core workshop in the first, where you read and respond both to published work and the work of peers. In the second trimester you work with supervisors who develop your writing in smaller group apprenticeships. In the summer you work on a significant writing project on your own or in partnership with a community or industry.
Every student develops and reflects on their own writing and the writing of others by attending writing workshops. Depending on their pathway, students have the option of learning about voice and narrative, critical theory, writing for clients and publishing. All students have the opportunity of engaging in work experience. Professional development ranges from learning about publishing, Arts Council and literary agency interactions to writing in the community and collaborative projects.
Each pathway, including the central award, consists of four core 20 credit modules, two option choices from four 20 credit modules and one option choice from two 60 credit modules. All of the pathways and the core award allow students to choose from two modules from the MA Publishing. The Publishing pathway allows students to specialise further in publishing by taking another module from the MA Publishing. In this way students are able to specialise in industry applications of creative writing.
Take a look at what our staff and students had to say about Creative Writing at Derby:
100%overall satisfaction for support with learning*
In the autumn trimester everyone takes:
- Writing Workshop (20 credits)
- Working as a Writer (20 credits)
Then one of the following modules from the MA Publishing:
- Books and Society (20 credits)
- Editorial and Editing (20 credits)
In the spring trimester your module choice depends on your pathway. Everyone takes:
- Writing Apprenticeship (20 credits)
Everyone chooses between:
- Writing Commission (20 credits)
- Work Experience (20 credits)
In the summer trimester everyone chooses between:
- Independent Project (60 credits)
- Research Project (60 credits)
Assessments are often pathway specific so you further specialise in your subject as you take each module.
Then each pathway has its own module:
- What is the Imagination For? for MA Creative Writing
- Writing for Digital Games for MA Creative Writing (for Gaming)
- Magazine Publishing for MA Creative Writing (with Publishing)
Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.
The teaching on this programme will take a wide variety of forms, each designed to prepare you for the creative, intellectual and practical challenges you will face in your future career. You will also be taught by tutor-led lectures, where you will learn both theoretical concepts and industry-specific information and skills. Some sessions take the form of tutor- or student-led seminars in which, typically, writing on an issue or topic are presented to the group followed by in-depth discussion and exploration. In modules where the perspectives of industry professionals is regarded as helpful, guest speakers are invited to share their knowledge and insights. During formal sessions there will be opportunities for you to practice your skills of presentation, debate and oral communication. With reference to the University of Derby Teaching and Learning Strategy your experience will consist of:
- Formal lectures, covering contextual/historical/cultural material, technical aspects of writing, guest speakers and readings;
- Small group work, for close reading and editorial/peer feedback, planning discussions, and project work;
- Small group tutorials;
- Individual tutorials [the importance of individual attention to creative writing students should not be underestimated];
- Self-directed learning;
- Mentoring of projects and other work by industry specialists;
- Off campus visits – theatre, performance poetry, readings, talks, galleries or festivals.
As is appropriate for a programme at this level of study, you will develop the ability to apply theoretical principles critically to writing, to show originality in the application of knowledge, demonstrate self-direction in managing projects and solving problems, and to deal with complex issues both creatively and systematically. In order to facilitate your progress toward these goals, the learning and teaching on this programme will be heavily student-centred and carefully modulated to stimulate clear progression and advancement in terms of critical thinking, skills of project management and teamwork, and communication skills.
Formative and summative assessment
During each module you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your levels of knowledge and understanding when completing the various components of the module assessments. These ‘summative’ assessments are detailed in each module specification.
Regular and frequent interaction with module tutors and other students will enable you to demonstrate and deploy your understanding of your own writing, not to mention the theories and concepts being studied, as well as helping you to reflexively evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, abilities and talents. It is in the nature of Master’s programmes that formative activity is a central part of both formal teaching sessions and one-to-one tutorials, and the module tutors will be mindful to give you timely and ample feedback on your learning. Formative assessments are not graded.
The entry requirement to this programme is a good honours degree (1st or 2:1) in any subject, or its international equivalent. Applications may be considered if you have a 2:2 honours degree and/or can demonstrate significant experience with creative writing or related industry experience or aptitude. Such students would have plans for a creative project, which they would wish to follow through to completion.
The university welcomes applications from every sector of society. It is important that we get to know you, your aspirations and your expectations. Therefore, before being accepted on to the programme all applicants will be invited to an informal interview to discuss the course, the nature of the programme, and what will be expected of you during it. You may be expected to bring a small sample of your writing, between 1,000 to 2,000 words to this interview, which will normally take place at the university campus, but special arrangements may be made if you have difficulty attending.
While a good, competent all round standard of English is expected, if English is not your first language you will need to have passed the International English Language Teaching System (IELTS) at the overall level IELTS 6.5, including a minimum score of 5.5 in each test category. (Where appropriate the university’s International Admissions office can give further details, including information regarding approved IELTS test centres.) The English language qualification required by this programme is at a higher level than that required for other university programmes: the reason for this is that throughout the MA Creative Writing programme you will have to work with the English language at an advanced level.
2021/22 Fees (August 2021 - July 2022)
£6,300 for the full course or £700 per 20 credits*
£700 per 20 credits
£14,700 for the full course
Please note fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.
* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable
Additional costs and optional extras
About postgraduate awards
Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.
|Postgraduate Certificate||60 Credits|
|Postgraduate Diploma||120 Credits|
|MA or MSc||180 Credits|
This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.
Funding your studies
Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.
Find out about funding your studies
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out about the Alumni discount
When applying you will be required to provide a short sample of your writing. This will be an example of your original writing, in any form or genre (poetry, prose, non-fiction etc). You may have completed this work for your BA or for any other purpose. It may have been published. Please keep the length of the document at approximately 1,000 words of prose or approximately three sides of A4 if in another form such as poetry or scriptwriting. It’s important you keep to the word count. It does not have to be a complete piece and it may be a work in progress. Please attach this as part of your supporting documents.
Considerable care and attention have been devoted to ensuring that graduate employability is a central feature of the MA Creative Writing programme. When recruiting graduates, UK employers place particular emphasis on the specific skills, the professional experience and the area of degree specialisation of students; these are central and fundamental to this programme of study. Not only is the programme orientated towards employability via the prescribed module 'Working as a writer', each pathway imparts specific skills, intellectual abilities and industry-specific knowledge in order to help prepare you for publication, employment, freelance work, self-employment, or business set-up.
Invaluable work experience
You will all have the opportunity to engage in work experience as one of your optional modules. These opportunities are managed by the Creative Writing team in collaboration with the University's Careers and Employment Service. Guidelines describing the coordination and management of work experience are available on the Course Resources page for the programme. They contain information on safeguarding and details the responsibilities between the programme team, CES, the provider and yourself. In addition, this module is supplemented by our Writing commission module, which gives you the opportunity to write for a specific context or publication.
Transferrable skills for any workplace
Following successful completion of the prescribed modules for each pathway you will have gained a broad-ranging and well-balanced understanding of the key employment functions within the areas in which writers work, from publishing your own work to publishing others’ through to employment as an arts professional. These modules progress and advance your skills and knowledge in your chosen areas and successful completion will equip you to enter more specific roles. Throughout the programme too, your transferable skills will be developed and honed. You will be challenged to think what skills you have developed and can apply in other arenas and be given the opportunity to showcase your work to potential employers.
Beyond seeking employment as a writer or an arts professional, you might wish to consider several other options, and your tutors and the University Careers and Employment Service will be happy to explore these with you. Freelancing, or setting up a business, for example, is a career path chosen by many. By these means, the MA Creative Writing will prepare you for a wide variety of roles and positions. The Careers and Employment Service will advise you on all of these possibilities, while the University also offers business incubation units for graduates.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.
Included in your fees
- Your course fee includes any mandatory study visits and some social events
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- There may be minimal printing costs starting at 5p per sheet
Optional costs not included in your fees
- It is possible that you will have minor costs from engaging in work experience
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.