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MA Creative Writing

Fulfil your creative talent and ambitions as a writer on a long-standing course that has produced a number of notable authors, poets and scriptwriters. You will study writing across a plethora of genres and forms, and ultimately refine your knowledge of contemporary literature and your own creative practice under the guidance of an internationally-acclaimed team of authors.

Course length 12-36 Month(s)
Location City Campus

Course description

The MA Creative Writing is an intensive course which treats your ambition as a writer seriously. Our students come from a range of backgrounds including the arts, teaching, law, journalism, history and writing. The course is for anyone with an interest in or ambition towards writing.

Some of our most successful students include best-selling author of A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, Marina Lewycka, T.S. Eliot short-listed poet Frances Leviston and Radio 4 and BBC TV script writer Sharon Oakes.

Our internationally-acclaimed team of published writers teach in all areas of contemporary literary practice. They include
• Chris Jones – Forward Prize nominee
• Conor O'Callaghan – poet and novelist
• Maurice Riordan – poet, former editor of Poetry London and The Poetry Review
• Julianne Pachico – short story writer and novelist
• Harriet Tarlo – environmental poet, editor and critic

The E.A Markham Award
The E.A Markham Award means that one student each year will study the course for free. The award covers the full-time study fees and is awarded solely on merit and potential. It is offered in memory of Professor E.A Markham, a respected tutor here who worked to shape the development of this course.

Download the E.A Markham award guidance for more information.

Short course – single modules
If you are not able to commit to the whole course, you can apply to take a single module. Choose a genre from the optional modules listed in the course content and apply as normal. Your portfolio needs to include examples of writing in your chosen genre. The credit you gain for completing one module will count towards the full MA should you choose to pursue this at a later date.

Publications and prizes
The Ictus Prize in Poetry is awarded to the best poetry collection – this consists of a small pamphlet publication. Every year, we publish Matter, a stylish anthology, edited and designed by students, and sold and promoted in bookshops. If you would like to receive a sample copy of this, email the course leader c.ocallaghan@shu.ac.uk

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

A folder of original writing demonstrating postgraduate level potential and, normally, a first degree in English or related discipline.

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS 6.5 score with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in all other skill areas or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.0 or equivalent we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

If you do not have such academic qualifications we may consider your application individually, based on your personal, professional and work experience, and other formal qualifications. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

Application guidance
When applying, you need to submit a completed application form, which includes a section requesting further information in support of your application. This part of the form should use tell us who you are, describe your relationship with writing, and what you hope to achieve on the course.

You also need to provide a sample of your original writing. Your sample is the most important part of the application, and you should use the opportunity to show us what you can do and persuade us that you have what it takes to thrive on the course.

We require two from the following
• 3,000 words of prose – two short stories, two chapters from a children’s book, novel or memoir
• ten poems
• a twenty minute script of a one-act play or radio play

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Full time - September start - typically 12 months

Part time - September start - typically 24 or 36 months

Typical modules may include

Core modules

The contemporary writer
You debate a selection of contemporary literary texts and issues under the guidance of our writers and academics. This module provides a framework for discussing current trends in publishing, the media and internet developments. You also present and discuss your own work in the context of influences and interests.

The craft: poetry and short story
Engage in workshops that make poems inventive and memorable, informed by contemporary practice. Explore theories of the short story, both new and the best of older writing, developing your own writing style and concerns.

The craft: novel and script
Explore plot and structure, character, setting and style, reading and discuss a wide range of contemporary fiction. Explore writing for radio, screen and theatre.

The workshop
Begin working on final project ideas in your elected genre in a multi-disciplinary workshop, with feedback from tutors and peers.

Writing up
You are supported throughout by one-to-one tutoring from practicing, published writers on your extended final project.

Assessment Submission of written work to specified word lengths with accompanying critical commentaries.


By enhancing your skills in writing, literary revision and reflection, you are preparing for a number of roles where knowledge of writing and the processes of writing are important such as

• writers of fiction, poetry, script, children's writing and memoir
• editing anthologies and journals online and in print
• teaching creative writing at all levels including schools community groups adult education FE, HE and professional training
• going on to further research at PhD and postdoctoral level at Hallam and elsewhere
• writing for online forums writing blogs
• taking up writers in residence posts
• theatre in education
• copyediting, proofreading, ghost-writing
• organising literary festivals and events
• scripting advertisements
• reviewing online and in print


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

2016/17 academic year

Full-time typically £5,100 for the course

Part-time typically £1,700 a stage for PgCert, PgDip and MA stages

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are available across the majority of subject areas. Please note that for 13 month courses your loan will be paid to you over the duration of two years.

2017/18 academic year

Full-time typically £5,180 for the course

Part-time typically £2,590 for 2 years or £1,730 a year for 3 years

International student

2016/17 academic year

Typically £12,500 for the course

2017/18 academic year

Typically £13,250 for the course

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

Complete the application form available at www.shu.ac.uk/study/form

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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