MA Creative Writing
Full time 1 year|
Part time 2 years
Our MA in Creative Writing is unique in bringing together the following:
- Teaching by a strong and diverse group of internationally recognised writers
- The rich resources of a world-leading Russell Group university with a top-rated English Department
- The chance to live and work in a beautiful West Country location in a vibrant cathedral city
Whether you are interested in fiction, non-fiction, poetry or screen writing, Exeter offers you a thriving and supportive writing community. Our team of prize-winning and best-selling authors are highly experienced and will help you develop your writing towards publication. Our strong links with the worlds of publishing, literary journalism and broadcasting, book festivals and prizes will provide valuable insights into the workings of the literary marketplace and open many opportunities to establish the contacts necessary for successful publication.
MA Creative Writing students study 180 credits in total. This includes a 60 credit dissertation and 120 credits of optional modules. At least 90 credits of your optional modules will be in Creative Writing modules. You are able to choose 30 credits from our MA English Literary Studies programme or from other MA modules offered at the University (subject to availability, and where appropriate, the required prerequisites).
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
Learning and teaching
Whether you already know what kind of books or screenplays you wish to write, or are still searching for the best form in which to express your creativity, we offer the chance to try your hand in a range of genres, and to benefit from feedback tailored to your writing needs.
Our MA can be taken over one year full time, or two years part time. In the course of your study you will build a portfolio of creative work for possible publication, including a dissertation in your chosen genre. You will also be able to take a range of optional modules and explore literary genres and forms with a mutually supportive, like-minded group of fellow writers.
You will be taught not only by our teaching staff, but also by a range of visiting authors, literary agents and publishers. The roll call changes every year to reflect both our students’ interests and new trends. Recent guest lecturers have included the Booker prize winning novelist Hilary Mantel; the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize winning novelist Hisham Matar; the Pulitzer Prize winning US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey; the writer, editor and publisher Richard Cohen, and many others.
Whether your ambition is to become a full-time writer, a teacher of writing, or to develop a creative career which includes writing in one of its many forms, we have a strong track record of supporting our students through to publication and doctoral level work.
Former University of Exeter students who have gone on to develop a writing career include poets such as Luke Kennard, Abi Curtis, Eleanor Rees, Izzy Galleymore, Jaime Robles, Jos Smith, Sally Flint, and Samuel Tongue; novelists Virginia Baily, Lucy Wood, and Ruth Gilligan; and non-fiction writers such as Miriam Darlington.
Many of our former students now work in film, broadcasting, advertising, journalism, PR, publishing, teaching – including the teaching of creative writing – as well as other careers in the growing number of fields where good writing is an asset.
Careers and employment support
While studying at Exeter you can also access a range of activities, advice and practical help to give you the best chance of following your chosen career path. For more information visit our Careers pages.
Exeter’s creative writing staff practise and publish in a range of literary genres. Their experience of the literary world is not limited to writing and teaching. They also worked – and continue to work -- as editors, publishers, agents, radio producers, and journalists. This wealth of experience is reflected in the vibrancy and diversity of our workshops and tutorials.
Our acclaimed department includes:
Andy Brown has a notable national reputation as a poet, poetry commentator and poetry tutor. He is the author of 10 poetry collections and editor of several anthologies, including A Body of Work: Poetry & Medical Writing, for Bloomsbury. He has interests in Ecopoetics, and the Medical Humanities, and often collaborates with scientists. He is also a musician who performs regularly around the region.
John Wedgwood Clarke is an award-winning poet, prose nonfiction writer and broadcaster. His full poetry collections include Ghost Pot (2013) and Landfill (2017) both of which explore place, ecology and the relationship between science and poetry. He regularly works across disciplines and has led major Arts Council-funded arts projects including Dictionary of Stone and Sea Swim. He presented The Books that Made Britain (2016) & Through the Lens of Larkin (2017), both for BBC4.
Jane Feaver is a novelist and short story writer. Her first novel, According to Ruth (2007) was shortlisted for the Author's Club Best First Novel Award and the Dimplex Prize. Love Me Tender (2009) was shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She is interested in the connections between place, voice and memory, and the darker side of pastoral literature.
Vesna Goldsworthy is a prize-winning poet, memoirist, novelist and broadcaster. Her books have been translated into twenty languages and serialised by the BBC. Before becoming an academic in English Literature and Creative Writing, Vesna spent fifteen years in publishing and as a producer at the BBC.
Sam North has written eight novels, two books on the craft of writing, and two films. In 2010 he won an Eric Gregory Award; in 2004 his novel The Unnumbered was long-listed for the Man-Booker prize. His first novel won the Somerset Maugham Award.
Wendy O’Shea-Meddour is an internationally successful children’s writer, as well as an academic with nearly twenty years lecturing experience. Since her debut in 2012, Wendy has published 15 children’s books and her work has been translated into 16 languages. Award-winning titles include: A Hen in the Wardrobe (2012), the Wendy Quill series (2013-2015), and How the Library (not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel (2015).
As a creative writing student you will also benefit from the academic expertise of the many world leading scholars working in the English Department and the College of Humanities at our Exeter Campus, a lively community of doctoral students, and the activities of four dedicated research centres: the Medieval and Renaissance Research Group; the 18th-Century Narrative Consortium; the Victorian Studies Research Group; and the 20th and 21st Century Literature, Creative Writing and Film Research Group.
As well as our Creative Writing community you will also become a part of our wider English Department, which will give you some interesting opportunities, such as the chance to study the practice of writing alongside the literature of the 20th and 21st centuries.
You will be able to use the whole range of Library services during your time at Exeter. We have modern study spaces, an extensive Academic Library, inter-Library loan system, and an extensive Digital Library all of which you will have full access to.
The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, housed within the University’s Old Library, holds a unique archival collection with particular strength in the area of British Film.
The University also houses its own Special Collections which includes original papers relating to important South West literary figures such as Ted Hughes, Daphne Du Maurier, John Fowles, John Betjeman, Agatha Christie, and Henry Williamson.
You will also have access to use the new £1.2 million Digital Humanities Lab and research space for the examination and preservation of important historical, literary and visual artefacts. The lab will allow you to use high-tech equipment to find out more about our cultural heritage, examine in greater detail and share discoveries with the public. For more information view our Digital Humanities Lab page.
Normally a minimum 2:1 Honours degree, preferably in English, although other subjects are considered.
We also welcome applications from industry professionals interested in the academic study of the subject or looking to enhance your CV with an academic qualification. We also welcome applications from individuals with suitable skills and experience of writing creative works.
Candidates may be called for interview (which may be by telephone or video link).
Requirements for international students
If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.
English language requirements
Overall score 7.0 with a minimum score of 6.5 in the writing component and all other sections no less than 6.0.
Overall score 100 with minimum scores of 25 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.
Pearson Test of English (Academic)
65 with no less than 58 in all communicative skills.
Other accepted tests
Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.
Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.
Fees and funding
Tuition fees per year 2019/20
- UK/EU: £8,300 full-time; £4,150 part-time
- International: £17,700 full-time
Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. You will also be required to pay a tuition fee deposit to secure your offer of a place, unless you qualify for exemption. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.
UK government postgraduate loan scheme
Postgraduate loans of up to £10,609 are now available for Masters degrees. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
Global Excellence Scholarship
We are delighted to offer Global Excellence Scholarships for students of outstanding academic quality applying to postgraduate Taught programmes starting in autumn 2019.