The Aberystwyth Masters’ in Creative Writing will help you develop your creative vision and writing abilities through a balanced programme of reading, analysis and writing workshops. You will be exposed to a range of contemporary writers of both prose and poetry, so that your own creative approach may be stimulated and developed into a more mature form. You will also engage in discussions about technique and undertake an exploration of the wider issues related to the practice of writing, such as the significance of myth, autobiography and publication.
You will receive individual tuition from the excellent Departmental staff, many of whom are published creative writers. Under their guidance, you will produce a substantial portfolio in the form of poetry or prose fiction. In addition, you will develop a host of key transferrable skills that you may deploy in a range of academic or employment contexts.
Twelve months full-time. The academic year (September to September) is
divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June;
June to September.
Assessment takes the form of: portfolios of prose and poetry, including
critical commentaries and annotated bibliographies; a case study of a
research project; and a study of a particular publisher of creative
writing or type of publication. In the third semester, each student will
complete a Writing Portfolio of creative writing with a critical
commentary. The Portfolio can be in the form of poetry (10,000 words) or
prose fiction (20,000 words), but not a combination of the two. Read
more about this here.
Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5
or above in a related subject. European and International applicants
can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. In addition please see the overview tab for further application details.
English Language Requirements:
If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.
Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must
take a University-recognised test of academic English language
proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.
Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.
You will study two core modules together with four option modules from the Department’s portfolio of MA provision or other relevant study areas. The core modules will cover the essential subjects of narratology and poetics to illuminate theoretical approaches to writing, and the option modules will enable you to direct your study into areas of specific interest. Each module comprises five weeks of study with a weekly two-hour group meeting and provision for tutorial consultation. This framework for learning will inspire you to widen your artistic horizons and push you to develop your abilities within a constructive critical environment.
The department has a proud tradition of research excellence, as demonstrated in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment. It found that 97% of research assessed was found to be of international standing or higher.
The centrally important component of the course is your Writing Portfolio. This piece, to comprise either prose or poetry, will be accompanied by a critical commentary explaining the work in its context and in appropriate analytical terms. We will take great care in assigning a supervisor to guide you whose interests will be as closely matched to your own as possible.
In addition to completing the standard University application package (How to apply), candidates are asked by the Department to supply the following supplementary documents:
(1) A letter of application (1 side of A4) that explains why you want to enrol on the Creative Writing MA. It should include a brief account of your creative work to date, touching on relevant literary issues as appropriate – you might mention, for example, the authors who have influenced you, or themes and ideas of particular significance to you. The account will be important in helping us to arrive at a decision about your general suitability for the programme.
(2) A representative sample of creative work, written during the past three years, to include:
EITHER 5–6 poems of not more than 40 lines each
OR two prose pieces of 1,500 to 2,000 words each
OR one prose piece of 3,000 to 4,000 words in total
You are allowed to send work submitted as part of a previous degree. If your work has been published we should like to see a copy, in its published form; this will be returned
All academic staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Welsh medium modules available
Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.
Year 1 Core (40 Credits) You must take the following
If you want comprehensive training in methods of creative writing
If you want to develop your creative vision and writing skills
If you are looking for a detailed and constructive critique of your work
If you want to work within a dynamic structure for producing a portfolio of creative writing
Every MA course at Aberystwyth University is specifically designed to enhance your employability. In addition to developing your writing and research abilities, this course will help you to master key skills that are required in almost every postgraduate workplace. You will be pushed to improve your approaches to planning, analysis and presentation so that you can tackle complex projects thoroughly and with professional independence, and confidently present robust projects to the scrutiny of a group. Your MA in Creative Writing will place you in the jobs marketplace as a professional writer with highly desirable skills suitable for a career in the arts, literature, journalism or many other fields.
Key Skills and Competencies
Study Skills Upon graduating from this MA in Creative Writing, you will have mastered an array of technical and creative skills relating to writing. You will be highly competent in factual research, evaluative writing and problem-solving with the process of writing. You will understand genre and register, narrative viewpoint and voice, and be able to justify your creative choices within your chosen form. You will possess an awareness of your intended readership and identify your place in the wider context of literary fiction and/or poetry. You will also have experience in giving and receiving stringent but supportive criticism within a positive group setting.
Self-Motivation and discipline
Studying at MA level requires high levels of discipline and self-motivation from every candidate. Though you will have access to the expertise and helpful guidance of Departmental staff, you are ultimately responsible for devising and completing a sustained programme of scholarly research in pursuit of your MA degree. This process will strengthen your skills in planning, executing and analysing work projects in ways that reflect standard practice in the world of employed work.
The MA is designed to give you a range of transferable skills that you can apply in a variety of academic and employment contexts. A significant proportion of postgraduate jobs demand both particular expertise and strength in breadth. Therefore, as a trained writer with proven creative abilities, you will be desirable to any employer seeking individuals who can balance creative flair and artistic vision with a dependable work ethic and highly adaptable writing skills.
How to Apply
Postgraduate applicants can submit their application either on-line or off-line. Please see our How to Apply page for further information.