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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.

For hints and tips on compiling your application portfolio, read this helpful article by current student, Nathan.

Course Information

Level of Study

Mode of Study
1 year full-time
1 other options available


City Campus, Northumbria University


September 2019

Videos / Creative Writing

Watch Programme Leader Prof Michael Green tell us about this Masters in a Minute (or so...) and then hear about Heather's experience as a student on the course.

Book an Open Day / Experience Creative Writing MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Creative Writing at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

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.

Videos / Discover more about Creative Writing

Book an Open Day / Experience Creative Writing MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Creative Writing at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

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.

Staff / Profiles

Laura Fish

Laura Fish

Senior Lecturer


Andrew Crumey

Andrew Crumey

Senior Lecturer


Michael Green

Michael Green




Tony Williams

Associate Professor


Book an Open Day / Experience Creative Writing MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Creative Writing at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

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.

Facilities / Humanities

Take a virtual tour of our world class campus facilities - including Lipman Building where you'll be based - explore the Institute of Humanities, and discover more about our CSE-accredited University Library.

Book an Open Day / Experience Creative Writing MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Creative Writing at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

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.

Book an Open Day / Experience Creative Writing MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Creative Writing at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

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.

Discover more / Creative Writing

Explore our cultural partnership with New Writing North, and get some advice on compiling your application portfolio.

Book an Open Day / Experience Creative Writing MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Creative Writing at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

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.

Book an Open Day / Experience Creative Writing MA

Visit an Open Day to really get an inside view of what it's like to study Creative Writing at Northumbria. Speak to staff and students from the course and discover your funding options.

Entry Requirements 2019/20

Standard Entry

Applicants should normally have:

A minimum of a 2:2 honours degree or equivalent. Applicants without a degree will be considered.

Applicants will be required to submit examples of their creative writing with their application.

International qualifications:
If you have studied a non UK qualification, you can see how your qualifications compare to the standard entry criteria, by selecting the country that you received the qualification in, from our country pages. Visit
English Language requirements:
International applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with 5.5 in each component (or approved equivalent*).
*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS.  You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades you will need in our English Language section. Visit

Fees and Funding 2019/20 Entry

Full UK Fee: £6,990

Full EU Fee: £6,990

Full International Fee: £15,000


There are no Additional Costs


Click here for UK and EU Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for International Masters funding and scholarships information.

Click here for UK/EU Masters tuition fee information.

Click here for International Masters tuition fee information.

Click here for additional costs which may be involved while studying.

Click here for information on fee liability.



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How to Apply

How to Apply

Application for most courses is direct to the University via our online application form. Simply click on the 'Apply Online' button you will see on each of our course entries.

However, there are some courses where the application method is not directly to the University. These are:


Postgraduate Research
If you wish to apply for postgraduate research then please submit a research enquiry.

Application Deadlines 

Whilst most of our courses do not set an exact deadline for applications, you are advised to apply early to secure your place and organise any sponsorship or funding. Overseas students should submit applications to us by no later than 31 July for courses starting in early September or 1 December for courses that commence in January. This allows sufficient time to process our decision, for you to obtain visas and to organise your accommodation and travel arrangements.

Graduate Teacher Training Courses
Equal consideration is given to all applications received by UCAS Teacher Training by the main application deadline, details of all deadlines can be found on the UTT website.

Law professional courses
For details about the selection and allocation process for the full-time Law Professional courses please see the relevant website. For the Legal Practice Course (LPC)/Common Professional Examination and the Graduate Diploma in Law (CPE/GDL) courses, and for the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC and BPTC LLM)

 Master of Fine Art (MFA)

Master of Fine Art (MFA) We encourage all applications to the MFA programme for entry in September 2017 to apply prior to our guaranteed application review date of 1st June 2017. After this date, we will review applications subject to there being remaining spaces on the programme.


Decision Making Process

Most courses require at least one reference, but some may need two. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure Northumbria receives a satisfactory academic reference. If you have not been in education for a number of years, then a reference from your employer may be acceptable.

We try to reply to applicants as soon as possible but you should receive a response within 10 working days, and this will be one of the following.

  • Conditional offer which will normally be upon the completion of your undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification and achieving a particular classification or grade. You will be required to send us a confirmation that you have passed your current degree course as soon as you receive notification to enable us to confirm your offer. 
  • Unconditional offer is made if you have already met the entry requirements of your chosen course 
  • Reject your application 

You will be asked to confirm your acceptance in writing of any offer made.

Fairness and Transparency
The University is committed to a system of admissions that ensures fairness, transparency and equal opportunities within the legal framework of the UK and best practice. All reasonable effort will be made to ensure that no prospective or existing student is unreasonably treated less favourably on the grounds of age, race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, creed, disability, sexual orientation, gender, marital or parental/carer status, political belief or social or economic class, or any other type of discrimination.

Tuition Fee Assessment
Tuition fees are set at different levels for Home/EU and International Students. Before you begin your course the University must establish your tuition fee status. In many cases, the University will be able to make this assessment without requiring any additional information.

Guidance can be found on the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website to help you understand how Higher Education Institutions (HEI's) make an assessment on your fee status.

Selection Process 

Applicants who may not have the standard entry qualifications are welcome to apply and may be interviewed. Some courses will interview as part of the selection process. This applies particularly to courses in art and design, teaching and health.

Health Screening
Applicants for Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Primary (Early Years) and Social Work will be required to complete a health questionnaire. They may be required to attend for doctor or nurse assessment at the University Health Centre.

Prior to beginning their programme, all applicants to Nursing, Midwifery, Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy are advised to start a course of Hepatitis B vaccinations, available from their own GP. In addition, Midwifery applicants must provide evidence before they commence training that they are immune to Hepatitis B or have Hepatitis B non-carried status.

Applicants to these courses who have had contact with MRSA in the previous 6 months may be asked to provide evidence that they are not colonised by submitting negative swabs results prior to commencement of training. Alternatively, they may be screened on commencement of the programme.

All applicants will receive vaccination screening at the University Health Centre on commencement of their programme.

Disclosure of Criminal Background
To help the University reduce the risk of harm or injury to any member of its community caused by the criminal behaviour of other students, it must know about any relevant criminal convictions an applicant has.

Relevant criminal convictions are only those convictions for offences against the person, whether of a violent or sexual nature, and convictions for offences involving unlawfully supplying controlled drugs or substances where the conviction concerns commercial drug dealing or trafficking. Convictions that are spent (as defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974) are not considered to be relevant and you should not reveal them.

If you are applying for courses in teaching, health, social work and courses involving work with children or vulnerable adults, you must complete the section of your UCAS application form entitled 'Criminal Convictions'. You must disclose any criminal convictions, including spent sentences and cautions (including verbal cautions) and bindover orders. Further information on how to complete this section is available from the UCAS booklet 'How to Apply'. For these courses, applicants are required to undergo police clearance for entry and will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) enhanced disclosure form. The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). Access to the DBS checking service is only available to registered employers who are entitled by law to ask an individual to reveal their full criminal history, including spent convictions - also known as asking 'an exempted question'. The University is such a 'registered employer' and will send you the appropriate documents to fill in if you are offered a place in the course.

If you are convicted of a relevant criminal offence after you have applied, you must inform the university immediately. Do not send details of the offence; simply tell the University that you have a relevant criminal conviction. You may then be asked to supply more details.

Anti-fraud Checks
Please note that the University follows anti-fraud procedures to detect and prevent fraudulent applications. If it is found that an applicant supplies a fraudulent application then it will be withdrawn.

The University reserves the right to cancel an application or withdraw any offer made if it is found that an application contains false, plagiarised or misleading information.


Disabled Students

Northumbria welcomes enquiries and applications from disabled students whether disability is due to mobility or sensory impairment, specific learning difficulties, mental health issues or a medical condition. Applications from disabled students are processed in the usual way, but applicants should declare their disability at the application stage so that the University can contact them to assess how to meet any support needs they may have. Disabled applicants may be invited to visit the University so that this can be done in person.

To find out more contact:
Disability Support Team
Tel +44 (0)191 227 3849 or
Minicom +44 (0)191 222 1051


International Students

The University has a thriving overseas community and applications from International students are welcome. Advice on the suitability of overseas qualifications is available from:

International Office
Northumbria University
Newcastle upon Tyne

Tel +44 (0)191 227 4274
Fax +44 (0)191 261 1264

(However, if you have already applied to Northumbria and have a query, please contact or telephone 00 44 191 243 7906)

Provision of Information
The University reserves the right at any stage to request applicants and enrolling students to provide additional information about any aspect of their application or enrolment. In the event of any student providing false or inaccurate information at any stage, and/or failing to provide additional information when requested to do so, the University further reserves the right to refuse to consider an application, to withdraw registration, rescind home fees status where applicable, and/or demand payment of any fees or monies due to the University.

Modules Overview 2019/20


Module information is indicative and is reviewed annually therefore may be subject to change. Applicants will be informed if there are any changes.

EF0126 -

Academic Language Skills in FADSS Level 7 (Optional,0 Credits)

The purpose of this module is to develop the participant’s ability in study skills and English language skills for academic purposes.

The module is designed to develop the participants as independent learners. The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to seminars will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and participants’ own experience of study skills. Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform.
Independent learning will focus upon the participants identifying those skills which they need to develop and understand through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, and reflection. The sessions will attempt to follow the principles set out by the CEM model (Sloan and Porter, 2008)

More information

EL7010 -

Approaches to Writing (Optional,30 Credits)

On this module you will learn the basic techniques used in the writing of creative text. Through discussion and analysis of examples you will develop an understanding of different kinds of narrative structure and poetic form. This will form the basis for your development in reading as a writer. In the practice of drafting your own creative work, (in workshop exercises and in crafting and drafting your own creative work), you will learn how to research your projects, and also learn about the technical requirements of different forms of text, the creative process required to draft creative work, and the practice-based concepts and terminology involved in reflecting critically on your own creative practice. You will develop a practical understanding of how to offer critical feedback on your peers’ work and how to edit your own.

More information

EL7011 -

Creativity (Core,30 Credits)

This module will look at creativity in terms of four main areas: History, Psychology, Culture and Practice. The historical dimension will be a consideration of how creativity grew as a concept, particularly since the 18th-century. The second strand would look at psychological thinking about creativity, e.g. in the light of modern neuroscience. The third looks at ideas of creativity as expressed by practitioners in specific contexts, e.g. visual arts, music and literature, but also non-artistic areas such as science and business. The fourth strand places an emphasis on you exploring your own creativity through exercises and tasks, and ideas generated by themselves.

More information

EL7012 -

Experiments in Writing (Optional,30 Credits)

This module will concentrate on the ways in which writers have challenged, extended, and adopted for different purposes many of the more standard literary conventions. You will consider a range of texts in which authors have self-consciously experimented with, parodied, or departed from traditional narrative techniques in overtly ‘metafictional’ works. You will also engage with work that uses features of various literary genres in other modes, such as creative non-fiction, ‘new’ journalism, historiographical novels, the lyrical essay, and fictocriticism. Experimental poetry and script may also be included as you bring these experiments in form to bear on your own work with a view to opening it up to new possibilities. Exploring your writing through such radical play may not result in a commitment to an entirely experimental approach, but it will encourage an increased alertness to the significance of the creative forms in which you work.

More information

EL7020 -

Professional Practice: Writing in an Industry Context (Core,30 Credits)

This module focuses on the workings of the writing industry, aiming to provide you with an awareness of the knowledge required of a practitioner working in that industry. On successful completion of the module you will have gained an ability to edit work, write effectively within your chosen genre, and undertake research which allows you to understand the requirements of writing agencies and publishers. Guest speakers will give you an inside view of the writing industry. You will have an opportunity to meet writers, agents, publishers and other industry professionals. This will give you knowledge and insight that you can utilise to develop your own career in the industry.

More information

EL7023 -

Reading as a Writer (Optional,30 Credits)

This module introduces you to the interplay of writing and critical reading which is the basis of research in Creative Writing. By examining a series of creative, reflective and critical texts, the module will explore how creative and critical works can inform and underpin each other. It is designed to develop further the kinds of skills introduced in undergraduate Creative Writing as well as preparing you for study at doctoral level work.

More information

EL7024 -

Writing Portfolio (Core,60 Credits)

This module allows you to produce a cohesive body of your own work that expresses their own creative voice. The emphasis is on the production of a professionally presented portfolio of writing which demonstrates your awareness of the demands of the writing industry and the positioning of your own work in terms of the contemporary literary landscape. Against this background, teaching methods are designed to ensure that on successful completion of the module you will have had the experience of planning, researching and executing a large, independent project. You are encouraged, as appropriate, to pitch your work professionally. eg pitching to agents and submitting work for competition.

More information

EL7025 -

Writing Research (Optional,30 Credits)

The module develops the students’ understanding of the relationship between writing and research,preparing them towards doctoral study.

The aim of this module is to introduce and explore key theoretical approaches to writing creatively, enabling you to begin talking about your craft in critically engaged ways. You will also be introduced to the idea of contextualising your work in relation to both creative and critical traditions, and encouraged to formulate research questions in order to clarify and direct your projects. You will engage creatively and critically in appropriate independent research.

Topics covered include:
concepts and methods of advanced research in creative writing
planning and carrying out a postgraduate-level literature review
contextualising creative work in relation to creative and critical traditions
writing effective and critically engaged creative work
understanding the purpose of a research question and literature review
contextualising work with reference to a range of other critical and creative texts
understanding a chosen field of creative and/or critical literature.
producing creative work which engages productively with literary, theoretical, and critical contexts

More information

No module Data

Study Options

The following alternative study options are available for this course:

Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901.

Contact Details for Applicants:

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

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