Creative writing student between bookshelves

Mode of Study

Full-time, Part-time

Duration

1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Start date

September 2023

Overview

Where better to take your writing to the next level than the home city of literary greats like Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle?

On this MA Creative Writing degree course, you'll study the genres that inspire you the most – from poetry and historical fiction, to screenwriting and crime – as well as genres you may not have explored, taking your writing in new directions.

You'll spend plenty of time writing and reviewing work and benefit from the help and experience of our expert lecturers. You'll develop the confidence to become a better writer by learning to critique your own work, and that of your peers. There's even the chance to take up a placement at a famous literary magazine.

If you're imaginative, ambitious, and ready to devote yourself to improving your writing, it's time to take your studies to the next level with us. This Master's in creative writing will give you the tools you need for a successful career as a writer, or in fields such as publishing, media, and education.

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Build confidence as a writer and consolidate your creative writing skills
  • Get to grips with different writing techniques and study contemporary skills to inspire and entertain your audience through the power of the written word
  • Complete a major project in the form of your own novel, screenplay or poem
  • Participate in writers' workshops, where you'll develop your own skills and constructively contribute to the work of others
  • Learn from our expert lecturers and creative writing academics, all of whom are published authors with a vast wealth of experience in the industry within their specialisms
  • Learn about the market and current debates within differing genres
  • Hear from accomplished guest speakers from the worlds of publishing and writing
Graduation Class of 2021

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

What you'll study on this MA Creative Writing degree course

Full-time

All modules on this MA Creative Writing course are core.

Additional content
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Identify various critical approaches to creative writing, know the background to them, and recognise their place in relation to other forms of critical reading
  • Analyse the work of other writers in multiple critical contexts
  • Proficiently construct a critical argument and deliver it as an oral presentation
  • Exhibit a range of advanced transferable skills in reading, research, writing and speaking for both academic and professional contexts

Explore this module

Additional content
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically appraise and analyse the key theories in the context of creative writing
  • Write critically about a key theory relevant to their creative writing practice
  • Judiciously employ primary and secondary research sources in scholarly writing

Explore this module

Additional content
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Create a sophisticated original body of writing that synthesises the ongoing process of crafting, development and reflection
  • Analytically apply critical understanding and self-reflexion to their original written works, with reference to, and employing the conventions of, their chosen genre
  • Effectively manage sustained independent study

Explore this module

Additional content
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Write creatively in a variety of forms, and identify key characteristics of a variety of creative writing genres, forms and styles
  • Articulate and evaluate different creative writing approaches for different purposes
  • Complete creative writing in a proficient, professional manner that is reinforced by formative draft work

Explore this module

Additional content
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically reflect upon their creative practice and on the creative process
  • Judiciously synthesise knowledge of genres, decide upon, and execute, appropriate pre-writing or exploratory work that relates to a future creative project
  • Reflect upon the process of drafting, re-honing, the critical judgements of others, and apply this reflection to their own creative writing

Explore this module

Part-time

All modules on this MA Creative Writing course are core.

Additional content
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Write creatively in a variety of forms, and identify key characteristics of a variety of creative writing genres, forms and styles
  • Articulate and evaluate different creative writing approaches for different purposes
  • Complete creative writing in a proficient, professional manner that is reinforced by formative draft work

Explore this module

Additional content
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically reflect upon their creative practice and on the creative process
  • Judiciously synthesise knowledge of genres, decide upon, and execute, appropriate pre-writing or exploratory work that relates to a future creative project
  • Reflect upon the process of drafting, re-honing, the critical judgements of others, and apply this reflection to their own creative writing

Explore this module

All modules on this MA Creative Writing course are core.

Additional content
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically appraise and analyse the key theories in the context of creative writing
  • Write critically about a key theory relevant to their creative writing practice
  • Judiciously employ primary and secondary research sources in scholarly writing

Explore this module

Additional content
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Identify various critical approaches to creative writing, know the background to them, and recognise their place in relation to other forms of critical reading
  • Analyse the work of other writers in multiple critical contexts
  • Proficiently construct a critical argument and deliver it as an oral presentation
  • Exhibit a range of advanced transferable skills in reading, research, writing and speaking for both academic and professional contexts

Explore this module

Additional content
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Create a sophisticated original body of writing that synthesises the ongoing process of crafting, development and reflection
  • Analytically apply critical understanding and self-reflexion to their original written works, with reference to, and employing the conventions of, their chosen genre
  • Effectively manage sustained independent study

Explore this module

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Careers and opportunities

Careers this Master's in Creative Writing prepares you for

As a successful graduate of this course, you'll have experienced an exciting immersion into writing, with the freedom and discipline of writing across multiple forms to express your unique narrative voice.

Through workshops, independent writing and critical analysis, this creative writing Master's course will help you to develop your own skills and constructively contribute to the work of other writers.

When you graduate, you'll have completed a major project in the form of your own novel, screenplay or poem, and have developed the necessary confidence and critical skills to continue a career in writing, or in fields such as publishing, media, and education.

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles in:

  • Publishing
  • Editing
  • Teaching
  • Media
  • Writing
  • Journalism
  • Public Relations (PR)
  • Education

Recent graduates of this course have found jobs such as:

  • Account Executive
  • Article portfolio writing
  • Freelance sports journalist
  • Freelance writer
  • Lecturer
  • Social Media Manager

9 reasons to do a Master's

Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.

Career planning

During your course, you'll have expert career support from your tutors and from our Careers and Employability Centre, which you can access for 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking events and industry links, including the opportunity to attend five industry parties at The London Magazine
  • 1-to-1 appointments
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • Support starting your own business
Learn more about your career support

Placements and industry connections

There is the opportunity to either work in London at The London Magazine offices for a two-week placement, or undertake a virtual placement working at The London Magazine dealing with submissions to the magazine.

All teaching staff are published authors and have a vast wealth of experience in the industry within their specialisms.

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to be on campus and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change. You should receive your full timetable several weeks before you start with us.

It is our expectation that all international students will join us here on campus in Portsmouth.

Course structure

This Master's degree will take:

  • 1 year (full-time study)
  • 2 years (part-time study)

You can expect:

  • 1 day of teaching per week (pro rata for part time students)
  • Around 20–25 hours of dedicated independent study each week (pro rata for part time students)

At the moment, teaching takes place on Fridays, leaving you the rest of the week for self-guided study.

Teaching

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree, but the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • workshops
  • independent writing
  • critical analysis

Assessment

You'll be assessed through:

  • creative writing projects
  • final creative writing project

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:

User profile default icon

Dr Steven O'Brien

Senior Lecturer

Steven.Obrien@port.ac.uk

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Thomas Gerald Charlesworth Sykes Portrait

Dr Tom Sykes

Senior Lecturer

Tom.Sykes@port.ac.uk

PhD Supervisor

Read more

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project/dissertation.

See key dates

Facilities

Writing and scripting software

Pen film, TV and stage masterpieces using industry-wide scriptwriting software such as Celtx and Final Draft.
Script writing
Explore Celtx

Open Access Suite

Our open-plan space includes PCs and Macs equipped with Adobe Creative Suite and other professional software.
Open Access Suite
Explore Suite

University Library

Our University Library is home to not only publications you'll need for your studies but also rare archives and special book collections that will help kindle your writing fire.
Library
Explore Library

Supporting your learning

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

You'll have regular contact with your personal tutor in learning activities or scheduled meetings. You can also make an appointment with them if you need extra support.

In addition to the support you get from your personal tutor, you’ll also have access to a Faculty student support advisor. They can give you confidential, impartial advice on anything to do with your studies and personal wellbeing and refer you to specialist support services.
If you need support with software and equipment or you want to learn additional skills (including skills not covered on your course), our creative skills tutors provide free workshops, activities and one-on-one tutorials. Skills you can learn include life drawing, film camera operation and video production.

You'll have help from a team of faculty academic skills tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques
Computing support staff are always available to give technical support in the Faculty's computer suites during normal working hours. There's also some support available from 5.00pm to midnight at busy times of the year.

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2023 start)

  • Full-time: £7,800
  • Part-time: £5,200 in Year 1 (120 credits) and £2,600 in Year 2 (60 credits)

 

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £7,800
  • Part-time: £5,200 in Year 1 (120 credits) and £2,600 in Year 2 (60 credits)
  • Full-time: £17,200
  • Part-time: £11,470 in Year 1 (120 credits) and £5,730 in Year 2 (60 credits)

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

If you're a UK student who achieved a first in your undergraduate degree you may be eligible for a £3,000 University of Portsmouth scholarship.

Loans, scholarships and bursaries

Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.

Explore funding

Funding for international students

Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.

international business students
Discover your options

Fees and funding for postgraduate taught courses

Discover how you can fund your postgraduate studies at Portsmouth – including loans, scholarships and bursaries – and read our guidance on topics like how to budget, and how to get support if you're disabled or have dependents.

Explore funding

Entry requirements​

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start date in September, as long as there are places available. If you wait until September to apply, you may find that the course is full.

If you're applying as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Standard applications

Start this course in September 2023

Apply now (Full-time)

Apply now (Part-time)

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2021, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.