Course details

Study options

Full-time: 1 year, Part-time: 2 years

UK/EU fee

£630 per 20 credits* (2018/19)

International fee

£13,500 for the full programme (2018/19)

Course level




Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

The MA Creative Writing has a core programme (the MA Creative Writing) and three pathway awards: Advertising, 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.

The programme provides carefully balanced curricula for all three stages, PG Cert, PG Dip and MA. Every student develops and reflect 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.

What you will study

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 for Audiences (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
  • Clients and Communities for MA Creative Writing (for Advertising)
  • Writing for Digital Games for MA Creative Writing (for Gaming)
  • Magazine Publishing for MA Creative Writing (with Publishing)

How you will learn

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:

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.

The principal elements of the programme have been ordered in such a way that there is clear progression in knowledge and intellectual skills, with ever greater autonomy of study, thought and research culminating, for Master’s students, in the research and critical analytical skills that you will demonstrate in Trimester 3 in completing your Independent project/Research project.

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.

During each module and when completing the summative assessments, however, a considerable amount of formative activity and assessment will also take place. Formative assessments by the teaching staff are important to support your learning. Such assessments are often contained within the workshop process. When they are not they are often relatively small-scale, such as providing a concise summary of a concept or writer. 

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.

Entry requirements

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.

Interview information

Fees and funding

2018/19 Fees (August 2018 - July 2019)


£630 per 20 credits*

£630 per 20 credits*


£13,500 for the full programme


*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 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.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Find out about funding your studiesFind 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 discountFind out about the Alumni discount

Scholarships and bursaries

We also offer a number of funding opportunities for all International students, including discounts, scholarships and bursaries.

Find out about scholarships and bursariesFind out about scholarships and bursaries

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

Programme leader

Dr Matthew Cheeseman

Contact us

Course: Dr Matthew Cheeseman (programme leader) E: Tel: +44 (0)1332 591642

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.

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† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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, state-of-the-art 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.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

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.

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