MA Literature and Creative Writing

An MA Literature and Creative Writing (Q340) student smiling at the camera with her notes in front of her on a table

The MA Literature and Creative Writing at Aberystwyth is your opportunity to combine expert tuition in the practice of creative writing with an in-depth exploration of literary studies. You will engage with the work of a range of inspiring writers and learn new writing techniques so that you can develop your own creative approach and improve the quality of your own work. You will also engage in discussions about the wider issues of textual analysis and the craft of writing, including writing for publication and advanced research skills. 

You will receive individual tuition from expert departmental staff and, under their guidance, produce a substantial dissertation or portfolio of creative writing.  In addition, you will develop a host of key transferable skills which will help you excel in further academic study or employment.

Key Facts

Duration:

12 months full-time; 24-36 months part-time. The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June; June to September.

Assessment:

Assessment takes the form of: research proposals, including an annotated bibliography; oral presentations; and essays of 3,000-5,000 words. Each student will produce a substantial final project piece, in the form of either a literary studies dissertation or a creative writing portfolio.

Entry Requirements:

Good Undergraduate degree: II,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 'How to Apply' 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.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.

Funding:

Funding opportunities may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.

Overview

This MA course is designed to help you develop your creative vision and critical approach to both writing and textual analysis. In a balanced programme of writing workshops and study of literary texts, you will choose modules to a total of 60 credits in Creative Writing and a total of 60 credits from Literary Studies. You will then demonstrate your learning through the completion of a 60-credit project in the form of a Creative Writing portfolio or a Literary Studies dissertation. By the time you graduate, you will be a more productive writer, reader and researcher, capable of constructive and critical evaluation of your own and others' work.

An important part of the MA is your Literary Studies dissertation or Creative Writing portfolio. Aberystwyth University takes great care in assigning a supervisor to each student whose interests will be as closely matched to yours as possible. In tackling the subject, you will be required to produce original writing that is rigorously researched, and justified in appropriate analytical terms. This piece may define your way forward into writing-related work or further study, either as a writer or critic and researcher. 

Our Staff

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.

Course Content

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 (20 Credits) You must take the following module in semester 1

Semester 1

Research Skills ENM0120

Year 1 Options Please choose two modules for first semester and two for second semester

Semester 1

Postwar American Fiction ENM1220

Medieval Lives ENM1320

Women, Fiction And Female Community, 1660-1792 ENM1620

Writing Fiction: Methods And Techniques ENM6020

Writing Poetry: Rhymes And Reasons ENM6220

Semester 2

Postmodern Genres ENM1420

Romantic Radical Cultures ENM1520

Sensational Sales: Victorian Popular Literature 1848-1894 ENM1720

Writing Ireland, Writing Wales ENM1820

Writing Fiction: Wider Explorations ENM6120

Writing Poetry: Modes In Contemporary Poetry ENM6320

Understanding Creativity ENM6420

Year 1 Core (20 Credits) You may choose either of these two modules

Semester 2

Research Skills In English Studies (2): Tackling Textuality ENM0620

Writing And Publication ENM6520

Year 1 Core (60 Credits) You must take either of these two modules

Semester 3

Master's Dissertation ENM0560

The Writing Portfolio ENM0660

Employability

Qualification: MA in Literature and Creative Writing

This degree will suit you:

  • If you want comprehensive training in methods of creative writing
  • If you want to develop your critical faculties in the context of literary studies
  • If you are looking for a detailed and constructive critique of your work
  • If you want to inform your creative choices with a sophisticated understanding of literary theory

Employability

Every Master's 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 Master's in Literature and 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 and many others.

Key Skills and Competencies

Study Skills

Upon graduating from this Master's in Literature and Creative Writing, you will have mastered an array of critical and creative skills relating to writing and other forms of texts. You will be highly competent in factual research, evaluative writing and problem-solving in 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. Your abilities in critical appreciation will be sharpened by your study of literary theory, and you will gain first-hand experience of giving and receiving stringent but supportive criticism within a positive group setting. 

Self-Motivation and Discipline

Studying at Master’s 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 Master’s 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.

Transferable Skills

The Master’s 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 and researcher with proven creative and analytical 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.

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Departmental contact details 

Tel: (01970) 621945

Fax: (01970) 622530

Email: jxr@aber.ac.uk

Department of English and Creative Writing

Aberystwyth University

Penglais Campus

Aberystwyth

SY23 3DY

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If you'd like to see how we assess your application please click and watch our Application videos.

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Further Information

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