About the course

The University of Hertfordshire MA in Creative Writing offers you the opportunity to develop your creative, critical and professional writing skills in a stimulating and supportive environment.

Through writing workshops and intensive tutorial-based supervision our teaching staff - all established authors themselves - will help you improve your own writing as you explore the advanced craft, theory and techniques of poetry, prose and drama.

Whether you have an unfinished novel you’re passionate about or want to learn how to write powerful dialogue or create memorable characters, this MA Creative Writing offers a range of modules that give you both literary context and practical professional guidance.

In all modules you will be taught by lecturers who are themselves professional practitioners and who bridge the gap between creative and academic approaches to their fields. These include two award-winning playwrights, Simon Vinnicombe, whose work has been produced at the National Theatre, Old Vic and around the world, and Drew Pautz, who is additionally a screenwriter and director whose work has also been performed at the National Theatre. As a feature film screenwriter he has worked with UK and European production companies.

Our poetry lecturer Wayne Holloway-Smith was winner of the National Poetry Competition 2018 and has been published widely in national and international journals and anthologies. His debut poetry collection, Alarum, is published by Bloodaxe Books. Our prose lecturer Helen Gordon’s work includes a novel, Landfall, published by Penguin, and a book of nature and travel writing (forthcoming from Profile Books). Helen was previously an editor at Granta magazine and her journalism has appeared in, among other places, Wired and the Guardian.

Guided by our staff, you’ll take two core Writing Workshop modules examining creative and critical processes in your first two semesters. These workshops provide supportive spaces for you to contribute your own writing, reading your work to your fellow students and learning in turn to critique their work from a writer’s point of view.

Other modules may change but could include Working as a Writer and People and Places. As part of Working as a Writer you’ll submit your work to magazines and creative writing competitions, helping you to gain a practical understanding of the publishing world and how to approach editors and prepare your work for publication.

People and Places focuses on aspects of writing with communities, including the methods and approaches writers have used to portray communities or locations in creative work, and the tradition of writers working with communities to create joint artistic projects.

In your final semester you’ll complete a dissertation. This can take the form of a novel, script for stage, TV or film, a work of creative non-fiction, short story or poetry collection. Wherever your writing ambitions lie, this is your opportunity to add polished work to your portfolio and look ahead to your future writing life. 

Fact sheets 2019 Course fact sheet 1 MA Creative Writing
Programme specifications 2019 Programme specification 1 MA Creative Writing

Why choose this course?

Top reasons to study MA Creative Writing at the University of Hertfordshire

We give you:

  • Teaching staff who are all published authors, poets or dramatists
  • Visits and talks by writers, editors and agents working across the creative writing industries
  • Opportunities to create and develop a portfolio of work, whether poetry, prose or drama
  • A platform for publishing your work and a springboard for your future life as a writer

With the continued help from academic staff, my poetry was also selected for publication through London publisher Out+Spoken Press and is due for release in 2019. All of this success was a process of hard work, support, sacrifice and struggle leading to reward. This was only possible through the great facilities and exceptional professional staff at Herts. Thanks to them every day I grow academically and become closer to what I really want to be.

Stevie Kilgour,

MA Creative Writing 2017-2018

Course details


This MA will give you the opportunity to create a body of work alongside the skills and confidence to continue to the next stage of your life as a writer. You’ll gain practical knowledge and transferable skills, such as critical and analytical thinking, which can be applied to a range of professions, including publishing and the media, teaching, advertising and marketing. Some of our graduates go on to higher levels of studying, engaging in research in their chosen area or to pursue a Creative Writing PhD.  

Teaching methods

This MA is practice-based, delivered mainly through writing workshops, led by experienced creative writing professionals. Regular tutorials with your individual supervisor supplement these workshop sessions.

A guest lecture series invites writers, editors, agents, poets and dramatists to share their professional insights, while students also have the opportunity to work closely with Out of Joint, the UK’s leading touring theatre company.

The University’s two Poetry Fellows, Mark Waldron and Jane Yeh, offer masterclasses, workshops and give regular readings as part of the University’s Poetry Hub, founded in 2017 to encourage the development of poetry at the University and beyond. The Hub offers an annual Single Poem Prize, judged by the Fellows.

There is also an active, student-run Creative Writing Society, adding to the vibrant and creative environment in which you’ll be working.

Available as a one-year full time course or a two-year part-time course, the full-time MA is taught in two three-hour classes a week, currently during the daytime. 


  • Level 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Creative Writing Dissertation 60 Credits Compulsory
    Working as a Writer 30 Credits Compulsory
    The Writing Workshop1: Creative and Critical Processes 30 Credits Compulsory
    The Writing Workshop 2: Creative and Critical Processes 30 Credits Compulsory
  • Fees & funding

    Fees 2019

    UK/EU Students

    Full time
    • £8400 for the 2019/2020 academic year
    Part time
    • £700 per 15 credits for the 2019/2020 academic year

    International Students

    Full time
    • £12650 for the 2019/2020 academic year
    Part time
    • £1050 per 15 credits for the 2019/2020 academic year

    Fees 2020

    UK/EU Students

    Full time
    • £8925 for the 2020/2021 academic year
    Part time
    • £745 per 15 credits for the 2020/2021 academic year

    International Students

    Full time
    • £13500 for the 2020/2021 academic year
    Part time
    • £1125 per 15 credits for the 2020/2021 academic year

    Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

    *Tuition fees are charged annually. The fees quoted above are for the specified year(s) only. Fees may be higher in future years, for both new and continuing students. Please see the University’s Fees and Finance Policy (and in particular the section headed “When tuition fees change”), for further information about when and by how much the University may increase its fees for future years.

    View detailed information about tuition fees

    Read more about additional fees in the course fact sheet

    Other financial support

    Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

    Living costs / accommodation

    The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

    View detailed information about our accommodation

    Entry requirements

    A minimum of a 2.2 honours degree, a writing sample and an interview, which may be in person or over the telephone. While all three components are considered, the quality of the writing sample will be weighted most heavily. It may also be possible for a student to be admitted with a non-traditional background on the strength of their writing sample.

    The writing sample should consist of approximately 4000 words of prose or 10 pages of script or 80 lines of poetry. The writing sample should be uploaded with your application. Please contact the creative writing staff at macreative@herts.ac.uk if you have queries about the writing sample.

    English language requirements

    International students should have an English Language assessment of IELTS 7.0 with a minimum 6 in each section and 7 in writing, or equivalent as determined by the School of Humanities. Other English language tests are accepted. Please contact the International Office for details.

    If you do not have the required level of English for entry, our academic English courses can help you to achieve this level.

    How to apply

    Course length
    • Full Time, 1 Years
    • Part Time, 2 Years
    • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    01/09/202031/08/2021Apply online (Full Time)
    01/09/202031/05/2021Apply online (Part Time)


    Start DateEnd DateLink
    01/09/202131/08/2022Apply online (Full Time)
    01/09/202131/05/2022Apply online (Part Time)
    We welcome applications from international and EU students