Creative Writing MA

Creative Writing MA

MA in Creative Writing

The MA in Creative Writing is designed to give students a structure within which they can develop both their writing and imaginative critical skills, experimenting with the wide range of possibilities available to the contemporary writer. It is possible to write prose fiction (the novel or short story), poetry and drama. We are interested in literary fiction in all its forms. In the input sessions, students 'read as writers', explore their reading in group discussions and engage in writing exercises designed to enlarge and stimulate their practice. In the intensive MA workshops, students share work, learn to write to deadlines, learn how to redraft, polish, edit imaginatively and find the creative thread which, when followed, reveals how their own writing will achieve its optimum level. All written assignments are accompanied by the writing of a commentary on the process; the commentary speeds and makes explicit a writer's discoveries, and so aids future practice. Recent guest readers include: Simon Brett, Mavis Cheek, Helen Dunmore, Vicki Feaver, Ed Hogan, Susanna Jones, Adam Marek, Bernard O'Donoghue, Michele Roberts, Jo Shapcott, Robert Shearman, Matthew Sweeney and Nick Warburton.

The annual Publishing Panel of six specialists has regularly welcomed literary agents from agencies such as David Godwin Associates, Rogers, Coleridge and White, United Artists, Greene & Heaton, Janklow and Nesbitt, RAFT and Lucy Luck Associates. Agents join literary editors for a discussion of the publishing world today and how to approach an agent or editor. We have welcomed literary editors from Penguin/Hamish Hamilton, Chatto&Windus, Myriad Editions, Simon & Schuster, Pighog Press, the Frogmore Papers and producers from BBC Radio.

Many of our writers go on to publish and win prizes, for instance Isabel Ashdown's novel Glasshopper, written during the MA, was hailed as one of the five best debut novels of 2009 in The Observer. MA graduate Wendy French won the £5000 2010 Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. These are just two recent examples of the success of our graduates.

'The Chichester MA in Creative Writing is setting exceptionally high standards. In general, a great strength of the MA is the liveliness and innovative spirit of the work produced.' Professor Jo Shapcott, External Examiner (2008)

The MA comprises four taught modules and a creative dissertation:

The Writing Studio enables writers to experiment in any genre prose, poetry or drama, while exploring key features of those genres. This first module also serves as induction to the MA and to the distinctive methods of the 'Chichester workshop'.

Metaphor and the Imagination encourages innovation and experimentation, pushing writers beyond their usual boundaries.

Sources and Transformations engages writers with the essential writerly skills of transforming both outer research and inner biographical concerns into fiction.

Launching the Manuscript encourages autonomy, sustaining the longer project, learning about the publishing industry and includes guest readers and the publishing panel.

The Manuscript (a creative dissertation of 20,000) allows writers to develop a longer piece of work through one to one tutorials with a tutor as a consultant reader.

Part Time Route: Usually one module per semester (two per year), followed by The Manuscript. The modules are intended to form a series of input sessions, followed by workshops in which the focus is on developing the student's writing.

Full Time Route: Two modules per semester (four per year), followed by The Manuscript.


To gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Creative Writing, students need to complete two modules. Each module is assessed by an assignment of approximately 6,000 words or equivalent.

To gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Writing, students need to complete four modules. Each module is assessed by an assignment of approximately 6,000 words or equivalent.

To gain an MA in Creative Writing, students need to complete all four modules and a dissertation of 20,000 words (or poetry/drama equivalents).


Full time and Part time. Operating on Monday and Wednesday evenings 18.30 to 21.30 (usually 12 weeks of teaching with a break of one week in the middle).

Duration of Course: Full time 12 to 15 Months, Part time 2 to 3 years.

Home Fees for 2014 academic year (2015 tbc)

1 Year full time taught including dissertation £5730.00

Part time - Module Fee £1050.00. Dissertation Fee £2100.00

Alumni Discount 10% for students applying within five years of completion of an undergraduate course at Chichester.

Overseas Fees 2015 tbc

For details on how to apply please visit: 

and for more details on the course please visit:


Fact File
01243 816002 or
Application Details: Direct - MA Creative Writing.
Length of Programme: 12-15 Months Full Time 2-3 Years Part Time
Entry Requirements: Candidates should normally have a good honours degree in English, or in a related discipline.
Non-standard entry via a procedure of accredited prior learning is possible in suitable cases.
Please email for an application pack.
Interview: Yes
Campus Info: Bishop Otter Campus, Chichester
Combinations: No combined courses