W800 MA Creative Writing (1 yrs)

The Creative Writing MA course at Southampton is a lively and dynamic programme, allowing students to focus in four exciting areas of contemporary writing: international fiction, scriptwriting, poetry, and writing for children and young people.

Programme Overview

English at Southampton is a forward-looking discipline with a long record of encouraging contemporary writing. Visiting writers often speak at our postgraduate seminars, and several of our teaching staff are researchers in the contemporary field. The MA programme has close links to the Centre for Contemporary Writing, which runs conferences, readings, and other literary events. Our programme offers the chance both to specialise in a particular area and to work in a friendly academic environment with other writers.

All MA students will attend the Creative Skills workshop, a weekly forum to discuss your writing. You will be also able to choose from three specialist fields of creative writing, and a wide range of course modules from the English MA.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

To apply for a postgraduate course please visit the How to Apply page or click on the apply button below.

Application process and required supporting documents

  • University online application including a personal statement
  • Transcript
  • 2 references
  • Sample of written work
  • English language (if relevant)

If you have a question or would like further information, contact our admissions team:
Tel: +44 (0)23 8059 8062

Programme Structure

This programme is divided into 180 credits. 105 credits are obtained from taught modules with the remaining 75 credits relating to the dissertation.

Key facts

  • Duration: 1 year (full-time); 2 years (part-time)

    Start date: October

    Funding: AHRC Block Grant; Humanities studentships may be available

    Closing date: 1st September (later applications will be considered)

    Dissertation Length: 20,000

International students

The Southampton pre-Masters can be taken if you have qualifications or grades that do not meet University of Southampton direct entry criteria but meet the minimum entry criteria for the pre-Masters further details). You will be guaranteed a place on your chosen masters degree programme subject to successfully completing the pre-Masters. Visit our pre-Masters Programme to find out more about these degree programmes.

Meet our students

Tig Wallace

Thumbnail photo of Tig Wallace

“I’ve been working for Penguin Books since May 2013, as Editorial Assistant for Puffin Fiction. I’m thrilled to be in a job that directly uses the skills I learnt on my degree, from editing and writing to time management and juggling lots of things at once.”

Tig Wallace, graduate of MA Creative Writing

Useful downloads

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements


First- or upper second-class honours degree or equivalent in English literature or a related subject

English Language

IELTS 7.0, or equivalent in other approved English language test

Selection process:

Intake: 25
Average applicants per place: 3

Academic entry requirements: First or upper second class honours degree, or equivalent in English literature or a cognate discipline.

English language entry requirements:   IELTS 7.0 overall, with 7.0 in writing, 6.5 in reading, listening & speaking, or equivalent.

Selection process: Online application

Interview may be required on a case by case basis to assess suitability of course

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

The programme is designed to equip you with a range of practical and intellectual skills to enable you to be a better creative writer. Our programme is suitable for students who wish to develop their skills as a creative writer either for their own satisfaction or in order to pursue a career that involves writing, and also for those who wish to progress to doctorate-level creative writing. It is based around a core workshop and places special emphasis on learning from international writing and the new literatures in English, and on new developments in writing in the areas of performance and poetics.

Year 1

The programme consists of a core Creative Skills Workshop, plus two option modules in each semester.There are four Core modules for this programme, of which at least two must be taken (those which are not taken as Core will then be available as options). The four core modules to choose from are: ENGL6116; ENGL6117; ENGL6115; ENGL6118. You may substitute one of these modules with an optional module from the MA English and/or MA Film programmes; you should contact your convenor if you want to take an optional module from any other MA programme.

Part-time students will complete the same number of modules but over 24 months. You will attend the Creative Skills workshop in your first year.

Semester One

You may also consider taking ENGL6100 - Individually Negotiated Project




ENGL6124 Sweatshops, Sexworkers, and Asylum Seekers: World Literature and Visual Culture after Globalisation


Semester Two

You may also consider taking ENGL6101 - Individually Negotiated Project


ENGL6123 Case Histories: Literature and Medicine

HUMA 6014 Narrative Non-Fiction: The Interdisciplinary Art


ENGL6119 Creative Project

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Learning and teaching

Our aim is to provide you with a supportive academic context in which to learn, grow and develop your writing skills. Our programme offers the chance to specialize in what interests you, to work in a friendly academic environment with other student writers, and to benefit from expert tuition and a dynamic schedule of visiting speakers which includes established writers, editors, publishers and agents. You will also choose from a variety of stimulating MA modules offered by the School of Humanities which will help you to think critically and in depth about what you do.

What will you learn?

You may be surprised by what you find out about yourself during this course. Experience has shown that students often come to us thinking they want to write prose and end up writing poetry, or vice versa, or discover a gift for scriptwriting or children's literature they never thought they had. This course will certainly challenge your preconceptions about yourself, so you should come prepared with an open mind. We don't promise to get you published outside of our own end-of-year anthology, but we do anticipate that by the end of the course you will have learned enough to make informed decisions about the directions your writing career might take next. 

Teaching is conducted in small groups with one or more writing tutors guiding students through the implications and potentials of their own writing paths.

As well as the taught aspects of the course, you will have the opportunity to hear and meet invited writers and poets, publish your own anthology, organise your own reading series to promote your work, and initiate new projects and performances. You will be encouraged to use your creative initiative to the maximum and push literary and disciplinary boundaries as actively as possible both inside and outside the University.


You will be assessed by traditional means, such as essays, but, depending on the modules you choose, you will also be asked to work in groups and teams to make presentations. You will also manage a large independent research project: the masters dissertation. The 20,000 word dissertation is a core element in establishing the acquisition of appropriate skills and the application of research techniques. Your supervisors will be available to provide regular and supportive advice, guidance and feedback on your progress.

Professional development

A masters degree will enable you to further develop the key skills employers seek such as: time management; problem solving; team work; deadline and project management; cultural awareness; working independently; using your initiative; relationship-building; critical thinking and research analysis. Above all, you will learn to communicate your ideas and enthusiasm to a wide range of audiences.

Career Opportunities