- Teaching delivered by a strong and diverse group of internationally recognised writers
- Experiment in new literary genres, and study and respond to diverse contemporary writers
- Excellent links with the worlds of publishing, literary journalism and broadcasting, book festivals and prizes providing insights into the workings of the literary marketplace
- Establish the contacts necessary for successful publication
88% of our English research is internationally excellent
Top 100 in the world for English Language and Literature
A thriving and supportive writing community - our team of prize-winning and best-selling authors will help you develop your creative writing skills.
Top 10 in the UK for English
We are looking for graduates with a 2:2 Honours degree with 53% or above in their first degree in a relevant subject area. While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.
Applicants will be asked to submit a sample of creative writing which can be roughly 2,000 words of prose or 3-4 poems.
Entry requirements for international students
English language requirements
International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile E. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.
The MA in Creative Writing is designed for students to develop a longer piece of work during the MA, or find out what their strengths are in the different forms. It is for people, of any age, whether recent graduates or older, who wish to grow their talent quickly by acquiring knowledge and practice in the art of fiction, poetry, life-writing, nature writing or the writing of screenplays.
Our Creative Writing staff are well-published, practicing writers who take great pride in designing and delivering modules in their specialist areas.
Full time students take two modules in term 1, two modules in term 2, and write their dissertations in term 3. Each module has one two-hour seminar per week, with homework set that involves intensive, self-motivated practice and research.
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.
UK fees per year:
£12,000 full-time; £6,000 part-time
International fees per year:
£24,300 full-time; £12,150 part-time
We invest heavily in scholarships for talented prospective Masters students and have Global Excellence Scholarships available for international fee paying students applying for January 2024 entry and September 2024 entry.* For more information on scholarships, please visit our scholarships and bursaries page.
*Please see the Terms and Conditions for each scheme for further details of eligible programmes and candidates. Awards may vary from year to year.
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.
A programme of visiting speakers takes place throughout the academic year with writers, publishers and agents coming to talk to students about the next steps in their careers. 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.
Our MA can be taken over one-year full time, or two years part time. During 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.
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.
As a creative writing student, you will also benefit from the academic expertise of the many world-leading scholars working in the English Department 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.
John Wedgwood Clarke
Andy 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
John 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.
A prize-winning poet, memoirist, novelist and broadcaster. Vensa’s 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 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.
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).
Ellen’s first novel, The Invisible Crowd (Harper Collins, 2017) was awarded a Victor Turner Prize. Her first book, Saffron Shadows and Salvaged Scripts: Literary Life in Myanmar Under Censorship and in Transition (Columbia University Press, 2015) was the first to explore this literary culture through interviews and translations. Her new book, Live Literature: The Experience and Cultural Value of Literary Performance Events from Salons to Festivals (Palgrave, 2021), uses literary ethnography to explore participant experience, and has been described as ‘groundbreaking’, ‘stylish’, and ‘compelling’.
Nazneen Ahmed Pathak
Ben’s debut novel Doggerland uses the lens of speculative fiction to engage with pressing contemporary issues such as renewable energy, ocean waste, climate change and the scale-effects of the Anthropocene. It was selected as a Guardian Book of the Year 2019.
Nazneen Ahmed Pathak
Nazneen writes fiction for children and poetry for adults. Her first book, City of Stolen Magic, a historical fantasy for middle-grade readers, comes out with Puffin in summer 2023. She is represented by Louise Lamont at LBA Books, and currently holds the post of Hampshire Poet for 2022-23.
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.
While at Exeter, our MA students publish their creative work in RIPTIDE and in the new postgraduate journal EXCLAMATION. The Creative Writing Society also run a journal called Enigma.
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 Careers pages.