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Masters in creative writing europe

MA Programs in Creative Writing in Europe 2022

Masters degrees, commonly known as MA, are postgraduate degrees lasting at least one year and sometimes two years, they are taught degrees normally requiring some actual research. MA is the most common name for a Masters degree and is often used. Students who complete a program in creative writing can often find work in a variety of writing positions across different industries. Students may find… Read more

Masters degrees, commonly known as MA, are postgraduate degrees lasting at least one year and sometimes two years, they are taught degrees normally requiring some actual research. MA is the most common name for a Masters degree and is often used.

Students who complete a program in creative writing can often find work in a variety of writing positions across different industries. Students may find professional opportunities in areas such as teaching, publishing, journalism and marketing.

Master of Fine Arts

An MFA is a higher credential than the MLitt, and is the internationally recognized standard for teachers of Creative Writing in secondary and tertiary higher education; most consider the MFA the qualification required to teach creative writing in North America and Europe.

St Andrews is one of the first universities in the UK to confer an MFA degree. Within the programme, students will be able to focus on producing a substantial piece of creative work under the supervision of a world-class writing faculty, and on preparing themselves as teachers of writing in a variety of instructional contexts. Since our MFA Year 1 students complete the same taught classes as our MLitt students, there is a far stronger emphasis placed on contact time than in other universities.

The School offers two Master of Fine Arts degrees:

  • Creative Writing
  • Playwriting & Screenwriting.

About the MFAs

Both Masters of Fine Arts degrees are two-year postgraduate degrees, and consist of two distinct phases of study. In addition, there are two career skills modules – in MFA Year 1, ‘Research Skills for Creative Writers’; in MFA Year 2, ‘Practical Pedagogy for Creative Writers’.

  • MFA Year 1 is taught through technical seminars, workshops and individual tuition.
  • MFA Year 2 consists of two semesters of postgraduate supervision, at the end of which students will submit a substantial piece of creative work. In MFA Year 2 there will be the opportunity to be involved in the practical business of publishing an online magazine.

MLitt students will have the option to transfer into the MFA programme upon successful completion of the taught element of their course, where their MLitt year will count as MFA Year 1. Students who already hold a Masters level degree in Creative Writing may apply directly into Year 2 of the MFA. Please mark this clearly on your research proposal document.

The MFA in Creative Writing has two separate streams: Poetry and Prose, and prospective students should apply for one stream only. For their final submission, students on the prose track will submit a thesis of publishable quality of around 40,000 words; for poetry, a thesis of about 40 pages of verse.

Students taking the MFA in Playwriting & Screenwriting will submit a thesis of approximately 90 minutes performance time.

MFA applications

MFA entry requirements

MFA Year 1 entrants – Normally a good honours level undergraduate degree or equivalent

MFA Year 2 entrants – Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a Masters degree in Creative Writing at distinction level grade.

How to apply

MFA study Applications should be submitted via the research degree option of the fully automated online application system and you should ensure that you have all additional documents required available for upload at point of application.

The writing samples provided within your application are incredibly important in the assessment process. Ideally, this should be a piece of distinction-grade writing which you have recently completed, and must be on a theme related to your programme intention.

Application document requirements

  • CV or resume
  • 2 academic references (directly from referees via the automated system)
  • An academic critical writing sample of approximately 2,000 words which should be on an English literature topic.
  • A portfolio of original verse, prose, playwriting or screenwriting (approximately 10 poems or around 10-15 pages of prose, playwriting or screenwriting). Please add this sample as a section of your academic writing sample and upload as one document.
  • Certified academic transcripts of study, including modular grades (interim UG level transcripts are permitted at this stage where final results are not yet known)
  • MFA research proposal:
    • MFA Year 2 directentrants – you should confirm which strand and year of the programme you are applying for in your research proposal, and also supply a 500-word outline of the proposed creative project;
    • MFA Year 1 entrants – you should merely state the strand and year of the programme that you are applying for, and confirm that your intended project will be relevant for that genre

    Application deadline

    Application deadlines for receipt of complete study application:

    • 15 January for students also applying for internal scholarships
    • 31 May for all other applicants

    Overseas applicants should apply as early as possible for international visa purposes.

    In the first year, students pay the equivalent fee for taught postgraduate students. Taught tuition fee information can be found on the University’s Fees and Funding page. This page also includes links to other relevant information, such as residence fees etc.

    In the second year, fees will be charged in line with the equivalent research fee for the relevant academic year. Please see tuition fees for research postgraduate programmes for current fee levels.

    Funding

    The School of English offers a small number of awards for applicants to postgraduate research courses. Successful candidates are selected on the basis of academic merit.

    For students who wish to be considered for these internal sources of funding, applications for study, including all supporting documents and references, must be received by 15 January each year, except where an earlier deadline is advertised. It is anticipated that awards will be allocated and results made known by the end of April.

    School of English scholarships
    The Douglas Dunn Scholarship

    This MFA scholarship is funded by the School of English, in the sum of £10,000 per annum. All Year 1 entrant MFA students are eligible to apply.

    Following submission of a study application, students should also apply separately through the scholarships and funding catalogue for any available awards. Awards can be viewed on the scholarships and funding pages. Deadline dates and eligibility are separately listed for named individual awards within the catalogue, and students normally do not require to hold a study offer prior to application.

    For general information about any aspect of funding, please contact the Scholarships Office at [email protected]

    Staff teaching on the MFAs

    Year one entrants are not required to contact a prospective supervisor prior to application submission since one will be allocated during their studies automatically, but for Year 2 direct entrants this is a crucial step in the process. The following members of staff may be available to supervise research topics:

    Professor Burnside is able to supervise students working on creative non-fiction, short fiction and the novel.

    Oliver Emanuel is a playwright and hopes to supervise students interested in stage and radio, original work or adaptations, as well as drama for younger audiences.

    Professor Harris is a playwright and screenwriter, and she hopes to supervise students who are interested in writing for stage or screen. She has also adapted novels and classic texts for both theatre and television, and has written for radio.

    Ms Nayeri would be happy to supervise fiction or non-fiction, in a range of narrative forms, relating to displacement and movement of all kinds: not only across borders or in language and culture (though the middle east is one of her own focal points), but stories that reflect upon and dramatize moments of profound change, undoings, and times of estrangement and otherness in a variety of lives.

    Professor Paterson is happy to supervise MFA poetry theses and work in short or fragmentary forms, especially the aphorism.

    Testimonials

    The Creative Writing community cultivated at St Andrews is necessary for growth as writers. The people that I have met and write with have confirmed to me that St Andrews is a special place to work on my novel.

    Jenna Rogers
    2018

    The quality of the poets who teach at St Andrews is still very difficult to fully appreciate. I could spend the next decade learning from them, and probably will keep doing so through their poetry, once I’ve left. Second best thing I’ve done in my life, taking my MFA in poetry here.

    Sean Robinson
    2018

    I LOVE St Andrews. Living in this small stone town by the sea is the best thing that ever happened to me. The town practically begs you to write poetry to it. Professors are totally available and classmates are some of the best advocates. People here are rooting for you. There is something so magical– the berries in fall, icy dips in the sea in winter, sunsets all year round. And the English department has the best community for postgraduates by far. We take care of each other!

    Lily Clarke
    2017

    I initially came to St Andrews as an MLitt student to study abroad, learn in a global context, and meet new people. I stayed on for the MFA to continue writing alongside my cohort and gleaning from accomplished professors.

    I also wasn’t ready to give up the view of the North Sea from Castle House steps..

    Rachel Hall
    2017

    Careers

    The benefits of postgraduate study at St Andrews stretch far beyond graduation. As well as joining a long line of notable alumni and academics, postgraduate students are supported in their next steps by both the Careers Centre and the University alumni relations team. See the University’s page on Using your English degree.

    The University also provides an extensive and award-winning generic skills development programme – GRADskills – for all of its early career researchers, including MFA students.

    Contact

    Postgraduate office,
    School of English

    Top 10 Creative Writing Masters Degree Courses In The UK & Europe

    Creative Writing is a popular postgraduate subject and oversubscription is common.

    Some of these courses are on a full-time, part-time or distance learning basis – and as you are no doubt aware each different mode of learning will have different demands on you.

    Here is a countdown of 10 of the best masters degrees in Creative Writing in the UK and Europe*.

    MA in Creative Writing – University of Manchester

    Duration: 12 Months

    Cost: £9,000 (UK or EU Students) / £17,000 (International Students)

    What You Will Study:
    The course focuses on poetry and fiction. Students concentrate on contemporary fiction and contemporary poetry during the first semester. It is optional to study further units on research skills and the modern literary archive at the University library. During the second semester students, focus on the skills of creative writing with tutorial sessions and lectures from published writers.

    MA in Creative Writing – University of Birmingham

    Duration: 1 Year Full Time or 2 Years Part Time

    Cost: £7,290 (UK or EU Students) / £15,660 (International Students)

    What You Will Study:
    There are five core modules covering creative writing and research skills, poetry, intertextuality and the editing process. In addition to this students can study another module from the English and Film Studies courses or any other subject.

    MA Creative Writing – Newcastle University

    Duration: 12 Months

    Cost: £6,000 (UK or EU Students) / £13,980 (International Students)

    What You Will Study:
    There is a range of modules on offer at Newcastle University. The compulsory modules are about the profession and craft of creative writing, reading as a writer and a module on your portfolio of work. Other modules include prose, poetry, scriptwriting, creative non-fiction, ghost stories and writing for children and young adults.

    MA in Creative Writing – Lancaster University

    Duration: 1 Year Full Time (campus based) or 2 Years Part Time (by distance learning)

    Cost: £7,290 (UK or EU Students) / £15,660 (International Students)

    What You Will Study:
    The base of the course is the creative writing of the students and the seminars critique and develop your writing skills. There are no formal modules. Guest speakers often run seminars.

    MA in Creative Writing – University of Nottingham

    Duration: 1 Year Full Time or 2 to 3 Years Part Time

    Cost: £6,220 (UK or EU Students) / £15,140 (International Students)

    What You Will Study:
    The course has a strong emphasis on the publishing industry. The modules change from year to year as the subjects follow the interests of the academic staff. Usually, the modules cover subjects such as poetry, fiction and creative writing techniques.

    MA in Creative Writing – Bangor University

    Duration: 1 Year Full Time or 3 Years Part Time

    Cost: £5,400 (UK or EU Students) / £12,250 (International Students)

    What You Will Study:
    Students complete modules on poetry and prose writing along with a module on literary research before you move to a 20,000-word dissertation. This is an opportunity to develop a long piece of creative writing and the chance to have it critiqued and assessed.

    MLitt in Creative Writing – University of Aberdeen

    Duration: 1 Year Full Time or 2 Years Part Time

    Cost: £6,000 (UK or EU Students) / £14,300 (International Students)

    What You Will Study:
    The compulsory modules are about creative writing and critiquing poetry and fiction. Further modules cover subjects such as how to approach science and medicine and visual culture and theory.

    MPhil in Creative Writing – Trinity College Dublin

    Duration: 1 Year Full Time

    Cost: €8,428 (UK or EU Students) / €15,408 (International Students)

    What You Will Study:
    Compulsory modules focus on creative writing, writing as a living and developing your writing skills. There are further workshops and lectures on Irish poetry and visiting writers’ workshops.

    MA in Literary Studies: Writing, Editing and Mediating – University of Groningen

    Duration: 12 Months

    Cost: €2,006 (UK or EU Students) / €11,400 (International Students)

    What You Will Study:
    Subjects studied include creating a manuscript and developing it for publication, writing digital texts and editing text in written English.

    MA in Creative Writing – University of Kent in Paris

    Duration: 1 Year Full Time

    Cost: £7,290 (UK or EU Students) / £15,660 (International Students)

    What You Will Study:
    Students should gain an understanding of the creative writing process and the terminology used in the professional world of publishing. The modules and subjects change from year to year but relate to creative writing in Paris and France.

    There are other great options for students interested in studying a masters degree in creative writing, check out our course search to find out more.

    PLEASE NOTE: As a result of Brexit, from Autumn 2021 postgraduate students from the European Union studying at a UK university will be charged the same tuition fees as international students. UK students studying their postgraduate course at a European university are also likely to incur higher tuition fees than their EU counterparts. It is advisable to check with the individual universities in the UK and Europe for up-to-date information on tuition fees for all postgraduate programs.