Creative Writing MA

Creative Writing MA

The Creative Writing MA is for those who want to expand their writing practice through innovative taught themed modules, and have the opportunity to write a long-project in a chosen genre.

Postgraduate Coffee Morning: 10am-1pm on Saturday 11 January 2020. Book your place


Reasons to study Creative Writing MA at DMU:

  • Specialist areas of study 
    provide an opportunity to develop advanced skills in your chosen genre, and to experiment with different forms of writing.
  • Specialist staff with international reputations 
    as published writers in areas ranging from poetry, fiction, memoir, script to graphic novels
  • Research and transferable skills 
    are developed through creative projects, practical training in writing for publication, professional and theoretical strands to the programme
  • Work experience and placement opportunities
    are available to all MA students
  • Preparation for further study 
    as the MA, with its focus on individual research, provides ideal preparation for progression to PhD
  • International opportunity
    through DMU Global where you will have the opportunity for a meaningful international experience

The Creative Writing MA is a practice led programme with taught modules and extended projects, giving students the chance to develop their writing in chosen areas, or experiment with new forms and genres. Students will follow craft and writing industry focused modules, and have the chance to explore other specialisms via a module audit, or a carry out a negotiated project driven by their own interests. There are modules in research skills for writers, which help students shape and grow their projects and give them a theoretical basis to discuss and conceptualise their own work. Towards the end of the course, students have the chance to carry out an extended piece of creative work independently, with tutor guidance and feedback. 

The course is ideal for students wishing to enrich or expand their current creative practice, but also a very thorough preparation for those who wish to go on to a PhD in Creative Writing. For part time students, we offer different attendance patterns in the afternoon or evening throughout the course, to make it easier to fit your learning around work and other commitments. 


At DMU, we are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study.

Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship
Up to 50 per cent of tuition fees offered to Home/EU DMU alumni for students who wish to continue their studies at DMU by enrolling on a Postgraduate taught course. For more information visit our Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship page.

Vice-Chancellor's Sports Scholarship
Apply for the Vice-Chancellor's Sports Scholarship, worth up to £6,000.

More courses like this:

Humanities research degree MPhil/PhD
English Language Teaching MA
Sports History and Culture MA

  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Duration: One year full-time, two years part-time.

Start date: September 2020

Fees and funding: For 2020/21 tuition fees for UK/EU students will be £8,100 (full-time) per year, £4,050 (part-time) per year

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Key facts for international students

Duration: One year full-time

Start date: September 2020

Fees and funding international: For 2020/21 tuition fees will be £14,100 per year

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Additional costs: Here at DMU we provide excellent learning resources, including the Kimberlin Library and specialist workshops and studios. However, you should be aware that sometimes you may incur additional costs for this programme.

Contact us: For more information complete our online enquiry form or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

Entry criteria

Typical entry requirements 

You will be asked for a sample of creative work and a personal statement. Recent graduates should have the equivalent of a 2.2 or above UK bachelor’s honours degree, although we welcome students without a degree who can evidence an ongoing writing practice. If you have other professional qualifications and/or industry experience we will consider your application on an individual basis. 

International students

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with 5.5 in each band or equivalent when you start the course is essential. English Language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning, is available both before and throughout the course if you need it.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessments

Programme structure 


Module overview

Developing Writing 1: Craft, Form and Genre / Exploratory Writing
This module aims to develop students’ writing practice and craft skills in their chosen genre(s). It will also encourage experimentation with writing, both in terms of pushing students’ current practice in new directions, and in trying new forms and ideas. Module teaching will involve workshops, discussions, exploratory exercises, example case studies and writer talks. There will be a focus on craft skills, as well as philosophical discussion around established conventions and the current received wisdom about what makes ‘good writing’ in an international context. It is envisaged that, in this module, students will be able to pursue their chosen writing pathways but also have the space to experiment and try new things. Subject areas covered will include fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, scriptwriting, new media writing and experimental forms.

The Writing Ecosystem 1: Navigating networks
This module will focus on markets for creative writing in terms of publishing and production of written work. It will also investigate local, national and international ecosystems that provide paid commissions, professional development and support for writers. We will look at submitting work for publication, applying for grants, writing as a business and the publishing/production industries. We will also explore the avenue of producing your own work independently, both in terms of self-publishing and indie filmmaking via crowdfunding etc. The module will be taught by Creative Writing staff members but enhanced by visits from writing and publishing professionals.

Researching as a Writer 1: Icebergs and Audience
This is one of two creative writing research modules and takes as its focus Hemingway’s model of the iceberg; the idea that only an eighth of what the writer knows is visible to the reader. Students will understand, through practice, what the other seven-eighths consists of in terms of the practical, historical, and speculative research necessary to bring a piece of creative writing to life for a reader.  It will involve looking at how writers build worlds, characters and stories, how they research settings, time periods and ideas. We will consider the use of archives, mood boards, video resources, images, paintings, newspapers, other fictional texts, websites, wider reading and experiences to aid them in creation of believable worlds, characters and stories, imagery, voice, or supplementary knowledge in poetry/experimental work. It will also look at the ways writers work to find creativity and ideas, and habits they use to enhance their practice.

The Writing Ecosystem 2: Performance, Presentation, Pedagogy
In the current professional landscape, it is imperative that writers are able to present themselves and their work, as they will need to be involved in events and promote their work and profile. This module prepares students for this aspect of writing life. Most writers also end up talking about their process and answering questions, running workshops or even teaching creative writing as part of a portfolio career. So, in addition to the presentational and networking skills, we will also consider teaching creative writing and pedagogy.

Developing Writing 2: Case Study / Negotiated Module
This module allows students to investigate other subjects that will feed into the final dissertation. Possibilities for this module may include: auditing a course elsewhere (for example, forensic science, or an undergraduate writing module); learning a language; a work placement; or experimenting in creative writing pedagogy. This module will be supported by collective sessions, and will be assessed by a creative or critical assignment, individually negotiated.

Researching as a Writer 2: Practising ideas, articulating practice 
The second research module tackles how students approach understanding and articulating the research issues and questions that underpin specific projects, and their emerging sense of their wider writing practice. It gives students the opportunity to situate their writing, and thinking, amongst contemporary issues and ideas. These concerns may range across considerations of creativity, play, knowledge, gender, identity, sexuality, class, and the relationship between aesthetics and politics. Students will also explore the tradition of manifestoes, and the rich international heritage of ‘poetics’ as a speculative hybrid discourse, a mid-point between ‘theory’ and ‘practice’. They will experience leading a workshop discussion of reading they may select, and write an extended ‘essay’ that might itself be formally experimental, or contain aspects of manifesto and poetics.

The final dissertation module is an extended creative project. This might be a collection of poems or short stories, a novel extract, a creative non-fiction piece, or an experimental cross-platform/genre piece, supported by a critical or reflective commentary. The module gives students the chance to develop extensive work in their chosen genre and form with the expert help of a supervisor. The word count is usually 20,000-25,000 words, although extent is more important than count; thus a poetry collection might have the appropriate extent, even though the word count is significantly lower.

Note: All modules are subject to change in order to keep content current.



This taught MA will strengthen your existing writing practice, grant space to larger projects you want to pursue, and push your work into new areas through modules organized thematically and conceptually. Our craft modules allow students to pursue their own established interests but also encourage experimentation with new areas of writing. There are two modules anchored in research: one which focuses on writerly craft and Hemingway’s ‘iceberg’ concept, and one that concerns itself more with ideas, theory and poetics. This enables students to contextualize and discuss their own practice, and preparing them for potential work at PhD level. Our Writing Ecosystems modules are professionally focused. Finally, there are two modules which allow students to set their own agenda, work independently and flourish. The first of these is a negotiated module, where students choose a practical study to prepare themselves both for their final dissertation and their ongoing career as a writer. The final dissertation gives students a chance to work on an extended project, with the guidance and help of a supervisor.

Contact hours
In your first two terms you will normally attend an average of 4-6 hours of timetabled taught sessions each week, depending on your choice of optional sessions (2-3 hours for part time study). This will include lectures, tutorials and workshop and studio sessions each week. You will also be expected to undertake at least 30 hours of independent study each week (15 hours for part time). There will also be optional seminars, writer visits and events, which you are encouraged to make the most of. Your third term will be pre-dominantly self-directed (including meetings with your supervisor), during which you can expect to undertake 35 hours of independent study each week.



Full-time students:

The first half of semester 1 lays the groundwork in research for creative writing. We explore the kind of research that will inform your creative work, but also give you a toolbox for discussion of your practice from a theoretical perspective.

During the second half of semester 1 and the first half of semester 2, we focus on creative work and practical projects. You will study craft, form and genre, as well carry out a self-directed project in a subject area of your choice.

At the end of semester 2, the course focuses on professional skills for writers. The modules here focus on performance, publication and other career aspects of creative writing, such as teaching. 

Semester 3 is devoted to the final dissertation, which will be an extended creative project (word count dependent on genre/form) and a piece of reflective writing 

Part-time students:

We have endeavoured to make our curriculum practical and accessible for part time students. For this reason, part timers can choose to attend in the afternoon OR the evening, so that you can fit study around your other commitments. This means that, depending on your attendance route, you may do aspects of the course in a slightly different order.

In the first half of semester 1, you will start a research module, either with a focus on writerly research, or on theory and articulating practice. You will do one of these related modules in your first year, and the other in your second year.

In the second half of semester 1 and the first half of semester 2, you will either focus on craft, genre and form, or you will carry out a practical project in a subject are of your choice. You will do one of these related modules in your first year, and the other in your second year.

Semester 2 (second half): This part of the course is focused on professional skills for writers. There are two related modules, one of which you’ll do in your first year, the other in your second year of study.

Semester 3 is devoted to the final dissertation, which will be an extended creative project (word count dependent on genre/form) and a piece of reflective writing 

Facilities and features


The course has a visiting lecturer programme, which enhances learning and provides contact for students with industry professionals. There may also be opportunities for other projects, research trips, performances and publications, in line with students' interests. Every year, we host the States of Independence, a writing festival in a day involving independent publishers; there are seminars, talks, launches, panels, screenings and book stalls as part of this event. We have strong relationships with Five Leaves Publications and Bookshop, as well as Leicester Writers' Club, the Nottingham Writers' Studio and the National Association of Writers in Education. All of our tutors are published and practising writers. 

The Creative Writing Centre in the Clephan Building is available to postgraduate students in negotiation with tutors and contains reference books, break out space, tea and coffee making facilities, as well as a number of computers and a printer.


The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (other than in exceptional circumstances) and offers a huge range of online resources, all of which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose.

The library is run by dedicated staff who offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching and reference management and assistive technology, and mathematical skills for non-maths students. There is also a Just Ask service for help and advice, available via email or telephone.


Learning zones

Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.

There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.

You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.


Opportunities and careers



Starting a business
If you are thinking of starting your own business or working for yourself, the Enterprise Team can help provide you with the right advice and guidance to get your business off the ground.



DMU Global

This is our innovative international experience programme which aims to enrich your studies and expand your cultural horizons – helping you to become a global graduate, equipped to meet the needs of employers across the world.

Through DMU Global, we offer a wide range of opportunities including on-campus and UK activities, overseas study, internships, faculty-led field trips and volunteering, as well as Erasmus+ and international exchanges.



Graduate careers

Students can undertake careers in a range of areas, including events management, teaching and further research including PhD research.They may also find publication or production opportunities for their writing, or may also choose to publish, crowdfund or perform their work independently. Many writers create their own portfolio career, with activities and self-employment in a number of areas.

DMU Open events

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How to apply 

We welcome applications from students with a wide range of qualifications and experience.

Find out more

More about your DMU

Leicester Centre for Creative Writing
States of Independence
Leicester guide


Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship
Up to 50 per cent of tuition fees offered to Home/EU DMU alumni for students who wish to continue their studies at DMU by enrolling on a Postgraduate taught course. For more information visit our Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship page.


Leicester Centre for Creative Writing

Creative Writing at De Montfort University has a sustained record of promoting and contributing to the cultural health of the East Midlands and beyond. Find out more

States of Independence

States of Independence

Leicester Centre for Creative Writing’s major event is our Independent Publishers’ day, States of Independence. Find out more


Leicester guide

Studying here gives easy access to the vibrant hub of entertainment, shopping and culture that is Leicester. There are clubs, bars and pubs, as well as festivals, live music, theatres and cinemas. Leicester City Football Club play in the Premier League while Leicester Tigers are one of Europe’s biggest rugby clubs. Find out more.

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