MSt in Creative Writing
This course is not open for online applications. If you would like to enquire about this course please do so using the ‘Ask a question’ button.
The Master of Studies (MSt) in Creative Writing is designed for those who wish to develop high-level skills in creative writing both in fiction and non-fiction literatures. The MSt is taught over two years in short, intensive study blocks. It has been designed to be accessible to those in full- or part-time employment and to international students.
Progression for students who have completed this course is provided in a number of ways: some students may use this course as a progression route into a PhD in Creative Writing or in English Literature at other Universities, or they could go on to study the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching Creative Writing at ICE.
Course delivery: We plan to deliver our postgraduate and MSt qualifications in-person in the academic year 2022-23. Please note that this will be reviewed in line with the latest public health guidance available at the time. If required, to ensure the health and safety of students, we may look to utilise alternative teaching formats and will contact students if we expect changes to the course delivery.
You will be guided in the production of creative work in a range of genres and styles, and also in critical reflection on your own work and that of other writers. The course tutors and guest speakers are all established literary professionals.
Who is the course designed for?
The MSt aims to facilitate students’ creative practice, whether for their own personal creative development as writers or because their professional work impinges on these areas.
Aims of the programme
By the end of the course students should have:
- Developed their own writing and self-editing skills in a range of fiction and non-fiction genres
- Developed a solid and substantial understanding of the history (in terms of innovative developments) of fiction and non-fiction writing and of critical, analytical and narrative theory
Teaching and learning
The MSt in Creative Writing is structured around four modules taught during year 1 of the course and a presentation module during year 2, each of which students must attend. In the first year, each of the four modules is preceded by guided preparatory reading and other activities, and followed by two writing assignments: one critical and one creative.
A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) offers learning support to students while they are on the programme, including learning resources, and peer-to-peer and student-to-tutor discussion between modules to build a virtual community of practice.
The first year is characterised by variety. Students will engage and experiment with a wide variety of genres, building on existing strengths and exploring unfamiliar territories.
Module 1: Writing for readers: the art of poetry and the craft of criticism (12 – 15 September 2022)
This module will combine close critical reading of selected examples of poetry and autobiographical prose with the writing of both by students.
Module 2: Writing fiction: imagined worlds (21 – 24 November 2022)
This module focuses on prose fiction, examining the relationship between memory, imagination and research and exploring the essential concerns of the fiction-writer, including plot and narrative, voice and character and the importance of place.
Module 3: Writing for performance: monologue and polyphonic scripts (6 – 9 February 2023)
This module explores various forms of writing for an audience, encompassing writing for radio, theatre, television, cinema and other forms of scripted public address and performance.
Module 4: Writing life: creative non-fiction (8 – 11 May 2023)
This module explores the concept of creative non-fiction and examines examples drawn from a range of sub-genres. These are likely to include biography, memoir, travel-writing and writing about the environment. Sessions on study and research skills will prepare students for Year 2. Visiting speakers for this module will include those from the world of publishing.
The second year is characterised by focus on a specialist genre. Students will work independently to explore further and develop their own literary and critical skills, resulting in an extended piece or portfolio of writing. They will work under the supervision of an expert in their chosen field with whom they will have regular contact.
Students will have five supervisions in the second year. Supervision dates will be arranged between students and supervisors (these can be face-to-face or via Skype). The fifth and final supervision will usually take place at around the time of the only module in the second year, the Presentation and Discussion of Portfolios date in April 2024 TBC
It is essential that students attend all modules on the dates given above as their ability to complete the course will be severely compromised by missing any of these.
Find out more
If you have any questions about this course, would like an informal discussion on academic matters before making your application, or would like to know more about the admissions process, please complete this enquiry form with your questions.
Following the first module, students will produce 750 words of poetry and a critical commentary of 3,000 words. For each of the following three modules students will produce 4,000 words of creative prose and a critical commentary of 3,000 words.
Students will produce a portfolio consisting of 15,000 words of creative prose (or an equivalent quantity of poems) and a 3,000-word critical commentary.
Students are given formal written feedback on their assignments and informal feedback throughout the course, including during tutorials and supervisions. Tutors produce a report for each student at the end of Year 1 and supervisors produce termly reports for each student during Year 2.
Expected academic standard
Applicants for this course will normally have achieved a good UK 2.i honours degree or overseas equivalent.
There is provision to accept non-standard applicants who do not satisfy the standard academic criterion. Such applicants must produce evidence of relevant and equivalent experience and their suitability for the course.
- IELTS Academic: Overall band score of 7.5 (with a minimum of 7.0 in each individual component)
- CAE: Grade A or B (with at least 193 in each individual element) plus a language centre assessment
- CPE: Grade A, B, or C (with at least 200 in each individual element)
- TOEFL iBT: Overall score of at least 110 with no element below 25
The fees for 2022 will be £8,001.00 per annum for Home students (total Home course fee across the 2 years being £16,002.00) and £13,752.00 per annum for EU/Overseas students (total EU/Overseas course fee across the 2 years being £27,504.00). The combined graduate fee includes college membership. The fee can be paid in eight equal instalments. Students on this course can apply to Wolfson, St Edmund’s, Selwyn or Lucy Cavendish. Please note there are only a limited number of college places available for this course for Selwyn college so please indicate a second choice of college on your application form if you are selecting Selwyn College as your first choice.
Students will be expected to cover the application fee (£75 online), accommodation whilst in Cambridge and any costs of travel to Cambridge. Bed and breakfast accommodation may be available at Madingley Hall during the modules (assuming that face-to-face teaching has resumed by that point) at a 10% discount from the normal rate. Please note that, although you will be a member of a college, you will not be entitled to college accommodation.
For information on a loan from Student Finance England for course fees and a contribution towards living costs, please see https://www.ice.cam.ac.uk/info/student-loans
The Institute of Continuing Education does not offer any of its bursaries for this course.
Applications will be accepted online until Monday 17th January 2022. Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held in late February/early March either in person at Madingley Hall or by remote software if candidates are unable to attend in person. Candidates will be contacted to arrange convenient times during the previous week.
You are required to provide supporting documents as part of your application.
Please ensure that you have your CV, two writing samples, research proposal and personal statement ready before you start your application, as they will be submitted as part of the application form and cannot be submitted later.
Apply online when you are ready to start the application process.
Student visa sponsorship is not offered for this course. International students who do not already hold a UK visa or immigration status that permits study may enter the UK as a visitor in order to attend teaching sessions.
The visitor immigration route is used to support students on part-time courses longer than 6 months where the majority of time is spent outside the UK and attendance in Cambridge is only required for short teaching sessions. To meet the requirements of holding this immigration status for study purposes, students are expected not to remain in the UK for extended periods of time. It is not possible as a visitor on a course of more than 6 months to make the UK your main study location or residence or make frequent or successive visits to stay in the UK for extended periods.
Please read the information about Visas for International Students
How often do the MSt courses run?
All of the MSt programmes in the Creative Writing portfolio currently have an annual intake.
Is the course taught online, or is it possible to complete the course by distance-learning?
The MSt is not a distance-learning course. You will be required to attend teaching sessions in Cambridge as long as face-to-face teaching is permitted. Should there be government/University restrictions in place that do not permit face-to-face teaching (such as has been the case during the Covid-19 pandemic), teaching sessions will be delivered via Zoom. These Zoom sessions are live and interactive and your participation in those sessions will be expected.
Can I complete the course on a full-time basis in one year?
No, the MSt is only available as a two-year, part-time course.
Are there any sources of funding available?
There aren’t currently any sources of funding available through the University of Cambridge or ICE to support entry on the MSt programmes in creative writing.
How many applications do you receive in relation to places available per year?
This varies between programmes and depending on the year. For the 2021 cohort of the MSt in Creative Writing there were roughly 6 applications for each place being offered.
How many references are required?
We require two references. References need to be submitted from professional e-mail addresses, so please ensure that you enter the relevant details into the online application form.
What kind of references should I provide?
We prefer academic references from people who, if at all possible, are able to comment on your writing skills and experience, and your ability to study at Master’s level.
What happens if I am not able to provide academic references?
We can accept professional references.
Can I nominate an ICE tutor as my referee?
Yes, you may nominate an ICE tutor to act as your referee.
How long should the Personal Statement be?
As a guide, we suggest that the Personal Statement is 500-1000 words long. We would ask you not to exceed 1000 words. An ability to write to a specific word count is an important part of studying at Master’s level as it is in the life of a professional writer!
Is there an advantage to submitting my application early?
No, all applications will be considered together after the closing date of the course. While there is no advantage to submitting your application early, we would recommend you do not leave submission until the last minute to avoid any technical difficulties.
What is the time commitment outside of the teaching modules?
The teaching teams can provide more specific guidance about what is expected but there is a difference in focus between year 1 and year 2 of each course. Year 1 is based around blocks of teaching and shorter assignments whilst year 2 is the dissertation year where students work on their dissertations with regular individual supervisions.
Can I attend modules on one of the other MSt in creative writing programmes?
No, you will only be able to access the teaching sessions that form part of the MSt course onto which you are admitted.
What happens outside of the taught modules?
You will be reading extensively and working on assignments, the details of which will be given to you at the end of each module. You will also be encouraged to engage with tutors and fellow students via the course’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) platform.
Can I apply for multiple courses?
Yes, you are welcome to submit applications for more than one course, although you would not normally be permitted to undertake more than one MSt at the same time. You are recommended to apply for the course that is most suited to your interests and skills.
Can I use the same referees and writing samples for each separate application?
Yes, providing they meet the criteria set out for each application within the Supporting documents file (available on the website).
Can I complete more than one MSt?
Although you are welcome to apply for and complete a second MSt course in a subsequent year, it should be noted that you cannot be awarded more than one MSt from the University of Cambridge.
Do I need to have studied creative writing beforehand?
You do not need to have previously studied creative writing; however, you would be expected to demonstrate an interest in creative writing and you will be required to provide recent samples of writing as part of your application.
Will I become a College member and do I need to pay College fees?
Yes, all of our MSt programmes are matriculated courses meaning that College membership is a requirement. At the time of applying, you will be asked to specify your College preference from a list provided. College places are limited and we liaise with Colleges on your behalf. College fees are included in your course fees.
Will I meet publishers and agents?
Yes, there will be opportunity to meet with publishers and agents. During each of the intensive 4-day modules you will have opportunity to hear from numerous guest speakers on a variety of topics and from a variety of genres.
Grade 11 English Language Arts
In this lesson, students examine Woolf’s point of view and use of rhetoric. Students focus on a selection from of A Room of One’s Own in which Woolf develops her point of view about why it would have been “impossible” for a woman to write Shakespeare’s works during his time.
Resources may contain links to sites external to the EngageNY.org website. These sites may not be within the jurisdiction of NYSED and in such cases NYSED is not responsible for its content.
Common Core Learning Standards
|RI.11-12.1||Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as.|
|RI.11-12.6||Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly.|
|W.11-12.9.b||Apply grades 11–12 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the.|
To see a list of all New York State Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), please visit our CCLS Search page