- The course gives all students the opportunity to undertake arranged work experience in the arts or in communication. In 2022/2023, students were given the opportunity to work on the prestigious Writer’s Conference with the organisation Writing East Midlands. Graduates leave this MA with a portfolio of their own writing, prepared for a career as arts professionals or for progression to doctoral level study and teaching.
"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:
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 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.
Who will teach you
Adrian Buckner is a poet. He is particularly interested in the exemplary power of poetry to inspire students. His most recent collection, Downshifting, was published by Five Leaves Press in April 2107. Adrian is also an extremely enthusiastic amateur cricketer of long experience and notably limited ability.
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.
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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. Prior to formal acceptance, applicants will be invited to an informal interview 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.
2023/24 Fees (August 2023 - July 2024)
£6,950 for the full course or £775 per 20 credits*
£775 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 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, 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.
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.
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.