- Teaching delivered by a strong and diverse group of internationally recognised writers
- Opportunity to experiment in new genres
- Excellent links with the worlds of publishing, literary journalism and broadcasting, book festivals and prizes providing insights into the workings of the literary marketplace
- Opportunities to establish the contacts necessary for successful publication
4th in the UK for research power
Research Excellence Framework 2014-2018
Top 100 in World
QS World University Subject Rankings 2020
Taught by international award-winning authors
£1.2m external research funding awarded over the past 4 years
Normally a 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject.
Applicants will be asked to submit a sample of Creative Writing, which can be roughly 2000 words of prose or 3-4 poems.
The programme is divided into units of study called modules which are assigned 'credits'. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.
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.
- May suit you if you prefer to carry out an independent research project under the supervision of an academic
- Assessed by a written dissertation of up to 40,000 words
- Formal qualification without the long-term commitment of a PhD
- Successful completion could lead to further doctoral research
UK fees per year:
£9,200 full-time; £4,600 part-time
International fees per year:
The University of Exeter is offering scholarships to the value of over £4 million for students starting with us in September 2021. Details of scholarships, including our Global Excellence scholarships for international fee paying students, can be found on our dedicated funding page.
Teaching and research
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 join a vibrant postgraduate and research community. The Department hosts a series of events, conferences and symposia every year and is home to several research groups and centres, including the Centre for Victorian Studies, The Centre for Interdisciplinary Film Research and the Centre for Literature and Archives. We are a world-leading English and Film Department for research, with extensive expertise that stretches from medieval to modern literature and culture.
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.
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.
Sam 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.
Associate Professor (E&S)
Our writing community
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.
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.
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One University, two locations
We have around 20,000 students across our three campuses in Devon and Cornwall which means we offer the academic excellence and facilities you'd expect of a major university but also a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.