Skip to main content
Degree type

MA

Course length

1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time)

Location

Durham City

Degree type

MA

Course length

1 year (full-time), 2 years (part-time)

Location

Durham City

Program code

Q3KC07

Program code

Q3KC07

Ready to Apply?
1

Please note: Courses may be affected by Covid-19 and are therefore subject to change due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19. Applicants will be informed of any changes which we are required to make to course entries as a result of Covid-19.

Course details

The MA in Creative Writing is an exciting new course at Durham University. Taught by award-winning writers Dr Paul Batchelor, Dr Naomi Booth, Kayo Chingonyi, Professor Claire Harman, Sunjeev Sahota, and Dr Sam Riviere. This is an academically rigorous degree that will develop your practical knowledge of writing poetry and prose fiction. You will receive structured support through writing workshops and one-to-one tutorials in order to develop their own ideas. You will also study a broad range of literature from the 20th and 21st centuries, and produce new work in response.

Core modules:

Creative Writing Poetry OR Creative Writing Prose Fiction

Each student will take one of these writing-workshop modules. In these modules you will write longer pieces within your chosen literary discipline, sharing your work and giving and receiving feedback and suggestions from the module convenor and the other students.

Reading as a Writer

This lecture module brings poets and prose writers together, and (unlike any of the other core modules for Creative Writing) is also open to English Studies students. Each week we discuss some key poetry and prose from across the twentieth century, focusing on the technical innovations introduced by the writers studied, and the ways in which writers learn from one another, both within their medium and beyond it.

Reading as a Writer: the Workshop

This is very much a companion module to Reading as a Writer, and is a writing-workshop module focussing on short, directed writing assignments and their discussion. The focus will be on formal and technical experiments, stretching students’ technical facility via assignments inspired by the texts studied on Reading as a Writer

Research Project

The Research Project provides students with the opportunity to produce a 6-8,000-word extended critical essay on a subject of their choosing and also provides the opportunity for students to produce a final portfolio of creative work.

Examples of optional modules:

• Choice of English Literary Studies MA modules

Course details

The MA in Creative Writing is an exciting new course at Durham University. Taught by award-winning writers Dr Paul Batchelor, Dr Naomi Booth, Kayo Chingonyi, Professor Claire Harman, Sunjeev Sahota, and Dr Sam Riviere. This is an academically rigorous degree that will develop your practical knowledge of writing poetry and prose fiction. You will receive structured support through writing workshops and one-to-one tutorials in order to develop their own ideas. You will also study a broad range of literature from the 20th and 21st centuries, and produce new work in response.

Core modules:

Creative Writing Poetry OR Creative Writing Prose Fiction

Each student will take one of these writing-workshop modules. In these modules you will write longer pieces within your chosen literary discipline, sharing your work and giving and receiving feedback and suggestions from the module convenor and the other students.

Reading as a Writer

This lecture module brings poets and prose writers together, and (unlike any of the other core modules for Creative Writing) is also open to English Studies students. Each week we discuss some key poetry and prose from across the twentieth century, focusing on the technical innovations introduced by the writers studied, and the ways in which writers learn from one another, both within their medium and beyond it.

Reading as a Writer: the Workshop

This is very much a companion module to Reading as a Writer, and is a writing-workshop module focussing on short, directed writing assignments and their discussion. The focus will be on formal and technical experiments, stretching students’ technical facility via assignments inspired by the texts studied on Reading as a Writer

Research Project

The Research Project provides students with the opportunity to produce a 6-8,000-word extended critical essay on a subject of their choosing and also provides the opportunity for students to produce a final portfolio of creative work.

Examples of optional modules:

• Choice of English Literary Studies MA modules

Learning

Core modules:

Creative Writing Poetry OR Creative Writing Prose Fiction

Each student will take one of these writing-workshop modules. In these modules you will write longer pieces within your chosen literary discipline, sharing your work and giving and receiving feedback and suggestions from the module convenor and the other students. There are few if any writing exercises. Each student can expect to have their work scrutinised closely in a workshop setting several times. These modules are assessed via a portfolio of ten pages of poetry plus 2,000-word self-critique, OR a 6,000-word portfolio of prose fiction plus 2,000-word self-critique.

Reading as a Writer

This lecture module brings poets and prose writers together, and (unlike any of the other core modules for Creative Writing) is also open to English Studies students. Each weekly lecture discusses some key poetry and prose (as well as some music and film) from across the twentieth century, focusing on the technical innovations introduced by the writers studied, and the ways in which writers learn from one another, both within their medium and beyond it. The module combines breadth and depth of coverage, offering you an advanced understanding of a range of writers, schools, and styles in order to broaden your research interests, and help you to identify and research a topic of your own choosing with guidance from a subject specialist in the extended essay part of the Research Project. It is assessed via two 3,000-word essays.

Reading as a Writer: the Workshop

This is very much a companion module to Reading as a Writer, and is a writing-workshop module focussing on short, directed writing assignments and their discussion. The focus will be on formal and technical experiments, stretching students’ technical facility via assignments inspired by the texts studied on Reading as a Writer. Prose writers and poetry students will once again work side by side, sharing work and ideas, learning to appreciate literary conventions and their subversion. Each student can expect to have their work workshopped several times, though these engagements will not be as formal or thorough as those in Creative Writing Prose Fiction or Creative Writing Poetry. Assignments might include adapting syntactical techniques; investigative creative non-fiction; experimenting with poetic forms; creative translation; writing an opening paragraph, or trying out editing methods. It is assessed via a portfolio of EITHER ten pages of poetry OR 6,000 words of prose fiction, plus 2,000-word self-critique.

Research Project

The Research Project provides students with the opportunity to produce a 6-8,000-word extended critical essay on a subject of their choosing. Students choose their own extended essay titles, with guidance from the module convenor and subject to the approval of the English Studies Board of Examiners. Focusing on depth rather than breadth, the essay is independently researched and builds on the work covered in the taught elements of the programme. The Research Project also provides the opportunity for students to produce a final portfolio of creative work: poets will be asked to produce ten pages of poetry; prose writers produce 6-8,000 words of fiction. The portfolio will consist of new work, produced after the completion of the structured workshop-oriented modules. The module is assessed via an extended essay of 6,000-8,000 words and a creative writing portfolio of EITHER ten pages of poetry OR 6,000-8,000 words of prose fiction.

Examples of optional modules:

Creative Writing students take one module of their own choosing from the English Studies MA modules.

Entry requirements

Students are usually required to have an Honours Degree at 2:1 level or higher or GPA average of 3.2 from a recognised national or international university. Students should submit a sample of 4-6 poems or 2,000 words of fiction. All students must provide two positive academic or professional references.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £10,100 per year
EU students £20,750 per year
Island students £10,100 per year
International students £20,750 per year

Part Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £5,600 per year
EU students £11,500 per year
Island students £5,600 per year
International students £11,500 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

English Studies

Our graduates are highly valued by employers. They progress into a diverse range of careers and sectors, including arts and theatre management, broadcasting, publishing and journalism, business, accounting, marketing and advertising, teaching, higher education, law, third sector and government positions.

For further information on career options please visit our web pages.

Department information

English Studies

Study literary forms ranging from creative writing to romantic and Victorian literature. The Department of English Studies is one of the largest and most respected English departments in the UK. It provides an inclusive environment that values curiosity, intellectual rigour, imagination and individual response.

For more information see our department webpages.

Rankings

  • World Top 50 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021.
  • 2nd in The Guardian University Guide 2021.
  • 3rd in The Complete University Guide and The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.

Staff

For a current list of staff, please see the English Studies web pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • Ranked joint 3rd in the UK for Internationally Excellent and World-leading research (REF 2014).

Facilities

The Department is housed in a Grade II listed building, Hallgarth House and in Elvet Riverside. Both buildings are close to the University’s Bill Bryson Library and the special collections in the Palace Green Library. The Department has strong links with the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Institute for Medical Humanities, the Centre for Poetry and Poetics, which oversees the archive of the distinguished Northumbrian modernist poet, Basil Bunting, and the Institute of Advanced Study.

Durham students run their own English Society, which provides many opportunities for theatre visits, especially to the Royal Shakespeare Company season in Newcastle every year. There is also a strong tradition of student drama and music within the Department and the University as a whole.

Learning

Core modules:

Creative Writing Poetry OR Creative Writing Prose Fiction

Each student will take one of these writing-workshop modules. In these modules you will write longer pieces within your chosen literary discipline, sharing your work and giving and receiving feedback and suggestions from the module convenor and the other students. There are few if any writing exercises. Each student can expect to have their work scrutinised closely in a workshop setting several times. These modules are assessed via a portfolio of ten pages of poetry plus 2,000-word self-critique, OR a 6,000-word portfolio of prose fiction plus 2,000-word self-critique.

Reading as a Writer

This lecture module brings poets and prose writers together, and (unlike any of the other core modules for Creative Writing) is also open to English Studies students. Each weekly lecture discusses some key poetry and prose (as well as some music and film) from across the twentieth century, focusing on the technical innovations introduced by the writers studied, and the ways in which writers learn from one another, both within their medium and beyond it. The module combines breadth and depth of coverage, offering you an advanced understanding of a range of writers, schools, and styles in order to broaden your research interests, and help you to identify and research a topic of your own choosing with guidance from a subject specialist in the extended essay part of the Research Project. It is assessed via two 3,000-word essays.

Reading as a Writer: the Workshop

This is very much a companion module to Reading as a Writer, and is a writing-workshop module focussing on short, directed writing assignments and their discussion. The focus will be on formal and technical experiments, stretching students’ technical facility via assignments inspired by the texts studied on Reading as a Writer. Prose writers and poetry students will once again work side by side, sharing work and ideas, learning to appreciate literary conventions and their subversion. Each student can expect to have their work workshopped several times, though these engagements will not be as formal or thorough as those in Creative Writing Prose Fiction or Creative Writing Poetry. Assignments might include adapting syntactical techniques; investigative creative non-fiction; experimenting with poetic forms; creative translation; writing an opening paragraph, or trying out editing methods. It is assessed via a portfolio of EITHER ten pages of poetry OR 6,000 words of prose fiction, plus 2,000-word self-critique.

Research Project

The Research Project provides students with the opportunity to produce a 6-8,000-word extended critical essay on a subject of their choosing. Students choose their own extended essay titles, with guidance from the module convenor and subject to the approval of the English Studies Board of Examiners. Focusing on depth rather than breadth, the essay is independently researched and builds on the work covered in the taught elements of the programme. The Research Project also provides the opportunity for students to produce a final portfolio of creative work: poets will be asked to produce ten pages of poetry; prose writers produce 6-8,000 words of fiction. The portfolio will consist of new work, produced after the completion of the structured workshop-oriented modules. The module is assessed via an extended essay of 6,000-8,000 words and a creative writing portfolio of EITHER ten pages of poetry OR 6,000-8,000 words of prose fiction.

Examples of optional modules:

Creative Writing students take one module of their own choosing from the English Studies MA modules.

Entry requirements

Students are usually required to have an Honours Degree at 2:1 level or higher or GPA average of 3.2 from a recognised national or international university. Students should submit a sample of 4-6 poems or 2,000 words of fiction. All students must provide two positive academic or professional references.

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £10,800 per year
EU students £22,300 per year
Island students £10,800 per year
International students £22,300 per year

Part Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £5,940 per year
EU students £12,265 per year
Island students £5,940 per year
International students £12,265 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

English Studies

Our graduates are highly valued by employers. They progress into a diverse range of careers and sectors, including arts and theatre management, broadcasting, publishing and journalism, business, accounting, marketing and advertising, teaching, higher education, law, third sector and government positions.

For further information on career options please visit our web pages.

Department information

English Studies

Study literary forms ranging from creative writing to romantic and Victorian literature. The Department of English Studies is one of the largest and most respected English departments in the UK. It provides an inclusive environment that values curiosity, intellectual rigour, imagination and individual response.

For more information see our department webpages.

Rankings

  • World Top 50 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2021.
  • 2nd in The Guardian University Guide 2021.
  • 3rd in The Complete University Guide and The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.

Staff

For a current list of staff, please see the English Studies web pages.

Research Excellence Framework

  • 90% of our research activity was judged to be 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in REF 2014

Facilities

The Department is housed in a Grade II listed building, Hallgarth House and in Elvet Riverside. Both buildings are close to the University’s Bill Bryson Library and the special collections in the Palace Green Library. The Department has strong links with the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, the Institute for Medical Humanities, the Centre for Poetry and Poetics, which oversees the archive of the distinguished Northumbrian modernist poet, Basil Bunting, and the Institute of Advanced Study.

Durham students run their own English Society, which provides many opportunities for theatre visits, especially to the Royal Shakespeare Company season in Newcastle every year. There is also a strong tradition of student drama and music within the Department and the University as a whole.

Visit Us

The best way to find out what Durham is really like is to come and see for yourself!

Postgraduate Open Day
  • Date: 24/11/2021
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
Register for open day
Discover Durham Tours
  • Date: 16/08/2021
  • Time: 10:00 - 13:00
Register for open day