MA Creative Writing

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New programme for 2020

Faculty Faculty of Arts
Awards available MA
Programme length One year full-time;
two years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Two years part-time study requires attendance at one seminar in TB1, one seminar in TB2. and four hours of tutorial in TB3 in the first year. In the second year, the two years part-time study option requires attendance at one seminar in TB1, one seminar in TB2 and four hours of tutorial in TB3.
Start date September 2020

Programme overview

The Masters in Creative Writing at Bristol is designed for writers who would like to begin publishing their work. In warm, supportive workshops, you will be helped to improve your writing and in lectures and seminars you will increase your understanding of the industrial and critical contexts of contemporary literature. 

The programme at Bristol is industry-focused. You will be taught by experienced published writers. A special unit will introduce you to issues in contemporary publishing. Guest writers and experts from industry will speak, bringing up-to-date knowledge and expertise to the course. We also work closely with local competitions, writing groups and writing initiatives. You will also work with a professional writer one-on-one as your manuscript develops with ten allocated hours of supervision. 

Housed in the university's prestigious Department of English, this research-rich programme will be taught by ground-breaking researchers exploring contemporary critical issues in Literature. You will be encouraged to read widely and books will be suggested for you by faculty. At the end of the course, you should be able to speak confidently and intelligently about your work and your reading. 

Twilight Teaching ensures that the programme is accessible and allows people with working or caring responsibilities to study - as do the part-time options. A strong writing portfolio will allow access without a first degree in a related subject - or indeed without a first degree. Times of classes will be announced well in advance, so that students can accommodate study in their busy lives. 

Fees for 2020/21

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

UK/EU: full-time
UK/EU: part-time (two years)
Overseas: full-time
Channel Islands/Isle of Man: full-time

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2020/21

Creative Writing is among the subjects eligible for funding from the AHRC South West and Wales Doctoral Training Partnership. The Faculty of Arts also offers funding opportunities for taught and research programmes.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

Teaching Block 1:

Workshop 1 (20 credits)

Critical Issues in Contemporary Literature (20 credits)

Exploration for Creative Dissertations (20 credits)

Teaching Block 2:

Workshop 2 (20 credits)

Issues in Contemporary Publishing OR Placement in Contemporary Publishing and Related Industries (20 credits)

Planning and Beginning a Creative Dissertation (20 Credits)

Teaching Block 2a:

Creative Dissertation (60 Credits)

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MA in Creative Writing.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold/achieve a minimum of a 2.1 or equivalent in any degree. Non-traditional qualifications/routes may also be considered.

We welcome applications from those with non-standard qualifications who can demonstrate knowledge, experience and skills developed in the workplace, or elsewhere, relevant to the programme of study. Please use your personal statement to provide further details.

Non-standard applications will be considered by the Admissions Tutor(s) for the programme on a case by case basis.

Places are offered on the basis of a portfolio of writing and interview (which may be by telephone or Skype for international applicants). We are looking for writers with potential to soon begin publishing their work. 

A sample of original creative writing (fiction) is required. This should be no more than 20 pages in length and should be uploaded alongside the personal statement.

It is helpful, but not essential, for the applicant to have some idea of the project they hope to undertake during the course of the degree.

Evidence of prior study in the area, a long-standing writing practice, workshop experience, and extensive reading can also strengthen the application. However, the most essential element of the application is the writing itself.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile A
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement


Graduates of Masters in Creative Writing often enter portfolio careers, where creative writing becomes only one element of their income. Other elements may include teaching, proofreading, editing or be unrelated to writing.

The close-reading skills developed on a Masters in Creative Writing can also prepare graduates for careers in Publishing. 

Advanced skills in understanding nuance and tone have also helped graduates secure work in Business Communications, Marketing and Corporate Social Media. 

How to apply
Application deadline:

We welcome applications at any time of year, but places are limited. The deadline for applications is 18 August 2020. Early application is advised.

Coronavirus update

The latest advice on term start dates and teaching can be found on our prospective students information pages.

Request more information

Find out more about studying with us or request a prospectus.

Get in touch

Contact details

Dr Mimi Thebo Programme Director Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1649 Email:

School website: Humanities
Department website: English

Open days and visits

Find out how to attend one of our upcoming online events.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

REF 2014 results

  • 20% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 45% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 30% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 5% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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