University of St Andrews

University of St Andrews

Creative Writing

The MLitt in Creative Writing encourages the development of students' original work while providing intensive critical and creative study in poetry, prose or writing for performance. The course consists of two semesters with taught components followed by an individual creative writing project taking place over the whole year, but with particular focus during the last three months. Teaching methods include seminars, workshops and individual tutorials. Class sizes typically range from three to ten students, ensuring high levels of individual attention. Modules are assessed through coursework essays, original writing and the final dissertation. Writing for Performance students will participate in a number of theatre visits and will be required to meet costs of approximately £200.

Entry requirements

A good UK Honours degree or equivalent. Overseas applicants whose 1st language is not English must provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English: IELTS of 8 or above; or grade A in the Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Candidates with a Master's in creative writing can apply for entry to year 2 of the MFA programme.

Course modules

MLitt

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue.

Compulsory module: Research Skills for Creative Writers: an introduction into gathering IT resources and library materials; primary skills such as proofreading, copy-editing and basic literary theory; the literary marketplace, and the roles of editors, publishers, agents and festival organisers.
Optional modules: 1. Students choose two optional modules in a chosen subject area (prose, poetry or writing for performance) to take over both Semesters 1 and 2.
2. Writing Prose 1 and 2: a critical and practical study of the writing of literary prose, including short and long fiction, as well as the literary essay, life writing and other non-fiction forms.
3. Writing Poetry 1 and 2: a range of essential topics in poetry and its composition, including the creative process, sound and sentence, the poetic line, imagery, metaphor, metre and meaning.
4. Writing for Performance 1 and 2: introduces key playwriting and screenwriting skills as well as writing for younger audiences and radio.
Dissertation: In August, students will submit an original piece of work in one of the following forms:
1. Poetry: a collection of at least 20 shorter poems. Candidates who opt to submit a long poem or poems should do so only after consultation with their supervisor.
2. Novel: a novel extract of around 15,000 words. It need not be the opening of the book, but it should be a continuous excerpt and it must be supported by a one-page outline or synopsis showing the intended development of the book.
3. Short stories: one or more stories of 15,000 words in total. Prose work in other forms (for example, creative non-fiction) may be submitted but should be discussed in detail with a supervisor. 4. Writing for performance: a dramatic piece of about 45 minutes of performance time (8,000 to 10,000 words). This should be developed in consultation with a supervisor.

MFA

The degree has three distinct streams: Poetry, Prose and Writing for Performance, and prospective students should apply for one stream only. For their final submission, students on the prose track will submit a thesis (of 'publishable quality') of around 40,000 words; for poetry, a thesis of c. 40 pp. of verse; for Writing for Performance, a thesis of approximately 90 minutes performance time. A crucial component of MFA study will be hands-on experience in the business of publication itself, in the form of an on-line magazine edited and published by the MFA Year 2 cohort.

Assessment methods

MLitt

MLitt: 9 months of continuous assessment followed by a dissertation of up to 15,000 words, normally completed in the final 3 months. MLitt students will, on the successful completion of an upgrade procedure, have the option to transfer into the MFA programme, where their MLitt year will count as MFA Year 1.

MFA

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a two-year postgraduate degree, and consists of two distinct phases of study. MFA Year 1 is taught through technical seminars, workshops and individual tuition; MFA Year 2 consists of two semesters of postgraduate supervision, at the end of which students will submit a substantial piece of creative work. In addition, there are two 'career skills' modules - in MFA Year 1, 'Research Skills for Creative Writers'; in MFA Year 2, 'Practical Pedagogy for Creative Writers'. 'Practical Pedagogy for Creative Writers' will also contain a publication project in the form of an online magazine edited by MFA Year 2 students.

Sponsorship information

The Urquhart scholarship; Carnegie-Cameron bursaries; entrant accommodation bursary; Formula Santander postgraduate scholarship; recent graduate discount; Thomas and Margaret Roddan Trust bursary.

Qualifications

Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MFA Full-time September 2017 GBP 16,250 per Year 1 (International) 1 years
MFA Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 years
MFA Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 years
MFA Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 years
MFA Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (EU) 1 years
MFA Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (England) 1 years
MLitt Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (EU) 1 years
MLitt Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (England) 1 years
MLitt Full-time September 2017 GBP 16,250 per Year 1 (International) 1 years
MLitt Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 1 years
MLitt Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (Scotland) 1 years
MLitt Full-time September 2017 GBP 6,800 per Year 1 (Wales) 1 years
MLitt Part-time September 2017 GBP 3,400 per Year 1 (Northern Ireland) 2 years
MLitt Part-time September 2017 GBP 3,400 per Year 1 (Scotland) 2 years
MLitt Part-time September 2017 GBP 3,400 per Year 1 (Wales) 2 years
MLitt Part-time September 2017 GBP 3,400 per Year 1 (EU) 2 years
MLitt Part-time September 2017 GBP 3,400 per Year 1 (England) 2 years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
University of St Andrews St Andrews KY16 9AX Scotland

Get in touch

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Key information

Contact: 
Postgraduate Secretary
Telephone number: 
01334 462668