Course details

Study options

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

UK fee

£9,450 for the full course* (2024/25)

International fee

£14,900 for the full course (2024/25)

Course level




Start date



Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

"The programme continues to provide students with the opportunity to engage in modules that are at once challenging and nurturing, and to develop their skills as writers across a wide range of contexts and in close communication with a clearly dedicated team of staff. The programme’s outlook is striking for its combined emphasis on the practical real-world aspects of being a writer and the possibilities of experiment, conceptual and theoretical interrogation, and creative risk-taking."

—Dr Honor Gavin, External Examiner Report 2020.

Take a look at what our staff and students had to say about Creative Writing at Derby:

A video about studying Creative Writing at Derby

View Creative Writing video video transcript

100%overall satisfactionMA Creative Writing, Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2021
Multi-Faith Centre, Kedleston Road

Postgraduate Open Event

Join us at an upcoming Postgraduate Open Event, where you will get the opportunity to meet our expert academics and find out more about your course.

Book your Postgraduate Open EventBook your Postgraduate Open Event

What you will study

The programme offers the flexibility to study in more than one writing form or genre. The teaching method encourages a gradual specialisation over the three trimesters. You participate in workshops where you read and respond both to published work and the work of peers. You also work with supervisors on an individual basis and in small groups. In the summer you work on a significant writing project for your dissertation.

In the autumn trimester everyone takes:

  • Writing Workshop (20 credits)
  • Working as a Writer (20 credits)
  • Editorial and Editing (20 credits)

In the spring trimester your module choice depends on your pathway. Everyone takes:

  • Writing Apprenticeship (20 credits)
  • Writing Commission (20 credits)

In the summer trimester everyone takes:

  • Independent Project (60 credits)

The MA Creative Writing has a core programme (the MA Creative Writing) and two pathway awards: Gaming and Publishing. Each pathway has its own module in the Spring trimester:

  • What is the Imagination For? for MA Creative Writing
  • Writing for Games for MA Creative Writing (for Gaming)
  • Magazine Publishing for MA Creative Writing (with Publishing)

The teaching takes a variety of forms, preparing you for the creative, intellectual and practical challenges of working as a writer You are taught by lectures, tutor-led seminars and workshops, where students reflect on critical approaches to literature or create and share work in response to briefs and exercises. Guest speakers enrich student experience by adding their knowledge and insights to industry-focused modules.

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.

How you will learn

The teaching takes a variety of forms, preparing you for the creative, intellectual and practical challenges of working as a writer You are taught by lectures, tutor-led seminars and workshops, where students reflect on critical approaches to literature or create and share work in response to briefs and exercises. Guest speakers enrich student experience by adding their knowledge and insights to industry-focused modules.

Your teaching staff

Dr Christos Callow Jr is a scriptwriter, theatre maker and researcher, and the artistic director of the contemporary Greek and science-fiction theatre company Cyborphic. The focus of his own writing practice is science fiction, utopian/dystopian literature and science fiction theatre.

Dr Matthew Cheeseman is a novelist. He works across fiction and non-fiction, drawing on critical theory and cultural studies, often collaborating with others to create books and pamphlets. He runs the small press Spirit Duplicator and loves making things.

Matthew Clegg is a narrative and lyric poet and performer. His creative practice touches on edge-land landscapes, human predicaments (especially the marginalised or disenfranchised), and the relationship between voice, personae, and place. His influences are catholic, including the classics in translation, Romantic, Modernist and contemporary poetry, New Nature Writing, and Psychogeography.

Dr Simon Heywood is a novelist and storyteller. He holds a PhD on contemporary storytelling from Sheffield University’s National Centre for English Cultural Tradition. He is the author of 'The Legend of Vortigern' (History Press, 2012) and 'South Yorkshire Folktales' (with Damien Barker, History Press 2014). He has toured nationally and internationally in live and contemporary storytelling, and is currently engaged in original research on modern and historical Jewish storytelling and oral tradition.

Dr Moy McCrory is a short story writer and creative writing researcher. She is interested in Irish writing with special attention to the role of women within the Irish diaspora. She has also collaborated on a number of graphic novels.

Who will teach you

Christos Callow Jr, lecturer in creative writing at Derby

Dr Christos Callow Jr
Programme leader

As a Lecturer in Creative & Professional Writing, Dr Christos Callow teaches scriptwriting BA modules and supervises creative writing MA students via creative workshops, seminars and lectures.

View full staff profileView full staff profile

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. You are expected to send a small sample of your writing, 1,000 words maximum along with your application,

The university welcomes applications from every sector of society. Depending on your qualifications, experience and your writing sample, you may be invited to attend an informal interview before being offered a place. The interview provides an opportunity to discuss the course, and what will be expected of you during it.

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 due to the advanced level required to produce creative writing at MA level.

Interview information

Fees and funding

2024/25 (August 2024 - July 2025)


£9,450 for the full course*

£1,050 per 20 credits


£14,900 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

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 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.

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

Students chatting to each other

International student scholarships

We have a range of scholarships and discounts available to international students which can be used together to offer a reduction in your tuition fees.

Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship Find out if you're eligible for an international scholarship

How to apply

Please look at our application deadlines before you apply.

Important information

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, maximum 1000 words (or 3 A4 pages for scripts and poems). You may have completed this work for your BA or for any other purpose or it may have been published. Please attach this as part of your supporting documents.


Our programme is unique in being orientated towards your future as a writer whilst pushing you creatively and conceptually. Beyond working as a writer and an arts professional, you can consider several other options, such as freelancing or setting us a business in the arts, and your tutors and the University Careers and Employment Service will be happy to explore these with you. The MA Creative Writing will prepare you for a wide variety of roles and positions while the Careers and Employment Service will advise you on all of these possibilities. The University also offers business incubation units for graduates.

Contact us

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.

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