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.
Top reasons to study MA Creative Writing at the University of Hertfordshire
We give you:
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.
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.
*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.
The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have queries about the writing sample.
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.