Creative Writing MA

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About this course

Do you have a passion and talent for writing? Want to develop your confidence and ability as a writer and dream of being published?

Our MA in Creative Writing at Northumbria offers you the opportunity to explore your writing craft at an advanced level. You’ll gain a solid grounding in the techniques and skills of writing fiction, learn how to critique your own work and experiment with your writing voice.

A combination of core and option modules gives you the chance to develop your critical and analytical thinking. This course builds on your passion for creative writing, enhancing your career prospects as you develop a portfolio that reflects a broad range of genres.

You’ll graduate as a critical thinker with skills that will help you make a big difference in your chosen area of work and creative practice.

Learn from the best

Creative Writing at Northumbria enjoys international recognition for the quality of teaching and research, and our publications in Creative Writing and English Studies are ranked 15th in the country for their quality, by the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Our Creative Writing team is made up of award-winning novelist and poets, who are major figures in their field. Furthermore, through our partnership with New Writing North, the foremost literary promotion agency in the north of England, we give you opportunities to meet and learn from agents, publishers, and writers from across the country.

caption: Meet the team

Teaching and Assessment

We aim to challenge you, to offer new insights and ways of thinking, while providing a firm grounding in creative writing techniques. You’re encouraged to experiment with and develop your own writing voice while being aware of the demands of the writing industry.

Workshops, seminars, critiquing sessions and small groups led by writers and editors provide an intellectually stimulating environment within which you can develop confidence in literary forms and techniques.

You’ll produce a portfolio of creative writing, including an accompanying commentary for assessment for each module. This is a substantial body of work that demonstrates your ability to develop your own writing voice and edit your own work.

You will build up your skills through core and option modules assessed by formative (non-graded) and summative (graded) assignments. A virtual learning platform (Blackboard) offers you space to share ideas, engage with interactive tasks and access online resources including reading lists.

Learning Environment

Humanities at Northumbria is composed of three subject teams: History, Literature & Creative Writing, and English Language & Linguistics, and is also developing strengths in the fields of American Studies and Heritage Studies.

The Humanities department is made up of a community of learners all the way through from first year undergraduate to final year PhD level. All Humanities staff are engaged in research and actively create the knowledge that is taught in the department. Our Creative Writing team are all published and highly acclaimed for their work.

Creative Writing students, as part of Northumbria’s Humanities department, have access to the new Institute for Humanities which houses a range of specialist research resources. You’ll also get the chance to work with a range of cultural partners including New Writing North, who provide unique opportunities for creative writers.

The research of the Institute brings together the disciplines of Art History, American Studies, Creative Writing, English Language and Linguistics, English Literature, History and Media Studies.

caption: University Library

Research-rich Learning

We are recognised for world-leading research in all our Humanities’ disciplines. Our staff have attracted major funding from Research Councils UK as well as the British Academy, Leverhulme Trust and Nuffield Foundation.

Northumbria is rated in the UK top 15 for the quality of its English Literature, Language and Creative Writing publications. You can explore some of the key themes here.

The Creative Writing team work across a range of genres and their interests encompass everything from identity, displacement and narratives of cultural difference to astronomy and visual perception, and how we represent animals in language.

You will join a lively community that regularly gives public readings and, through our association with the regional writing agency New Writing North, is formally involved with the Durham Book Festival and the Northern Writers' Awards.

Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to engage with the activities of the Institute for Humanities, which is home to five international journals and which regularly hosts an exciting range of seminars, symposia and conferences on topics as varied as Memory, Heritage and Identity; Transnationalism and Societal Change; Digital Humanities; Medical Humanities; and American Studies.

caption: Department Research

Give your career an edge

Employability, in the form of critical and creative skills, presentation skills and reflective and evaluative abilities, is embedded into your course. You will be able to demonstrate that you are self-motivated, show initiative and personal responsibility, and possess a thirst for independent learning.

During your course, you’ll be in constant contact with a range of professionals working in the arts and creative industries, helping you to build up networks and gain relevant experience.

All modules play a crucial role in developing the advanced skills and attributes necessary for employment, including effective time and workload management, oral and written communication, teamwork and creative analysis of complex problems. The core module, Professional Practice, is designed to give you insight into the world of literary publishing.

You will graduate with a qualification which may enhance your promotion prospects in professions such as the literary industries, partnerships and agencies, marketing and advertising.

caption: Student Placements

Your Future

Given the postgraduate nature of this course the tutors (all published writers themselves) will be looking for signs of the ability to write at a professional level.

MA graduates have achieved notable success. Dan Smith publishes novels for adults and younger readers, most recently Boy X. Celia Bryce is an acclaimed novelist whose book Anthem for Jackson Dawes was nominated for the Carnegie Medal in 2014.

Helen Laws is a highly successful TV scriptwriter who originated 32 Brinkburn Street for BBC TV and has written for Casualty, Eastenders, Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, Shameless and Doctors. She says the MA taught her the importance of story and gave her the confidence to keep trying.

There are also opportunities for you to advance your studies further with advice in writing PhD and funding applications available.

Course info

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Humanities

Location Lipman Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2017

Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience find out about our distinctive approach at 
www.northumbria.ac.uk/exp

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Fees and Funding - northumbria.ac.uk/fees
Admissions Policy - northumbria.ac.uk/adpolicy