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Postgraduate taught

Creative and Critical Writing

MA

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What is Creative and Critical Writing MA?

Choose your own path through the course, focusing either on creative or literary critical writing, or a combination of both.

You’ll work with practising authors, poets, and playwrights – as well as leaders in the field of literary criticism – to develop your own distinctive voice. You’ll develop as a writer, not only in the classroom, but in the world, and you’ll be advised on the routes you can take to publication. Modules with a more academic focus allow you to engage with literary theory and academic studies of influential writers’ work.

Study style

You’ll be assessed through coursework and presentations.

This highly successful MA in Creative and Critical Writing was one of the first in the UK to offer modules dedicated to the theory and practice of teaching creative writing, and the theoretical and practical analysis of the creative process. These options complement the creative and critical strands of the degree and offer you the chance to become a writer prepared for the modern professional arenas in which you may find yourself.

Get Creative and Critical Writing MA course updates and hear more about studying with us.

Entry requirements

    • At least a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject

    • Applicants will be considered on an individual basis

    • You’ll be required to submit a portfolio to evidence your writing. The portfolio should be 3,000 words of creative prose (eg a short story or novel extract) or 12 poems or 30 minutes of dramatic writing in standard format

    • EU and international students need IELTS 6.0 overall (no less than 5.5 in writing and in any other band) or equivalent.

Course modules

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Fees and costs

See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.
Start date Location UCAS code Fee (UK)
per year
Fee (international)
per year
Sep 2021 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham £7,000 £14,700
Sep 2021 Distance Learning £7,000 £14,700
Jan 2022 Distance Learning £7,000 £14,700
Sep 2022 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham
Sep 2022 Distance Learning
Jan 2023 Distance Learning

Possible careers

Graduates from this course can go on to work as:

  • Writer – many of our students have gone on to successfully publish in journal and book form
  • Editor – a number of our graduates now work in publishing and on journals in an editorial role
  • Teacher of creative writing – several of our students have gone on to teach, or have enhanced their own practice.
  • Community Arts Manager – some of our students have gone on to run community arts organisations.

Industry links

You’ll have opportunities to attend the world-famous Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival and the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts – as well as the Cheltenham Poetry Festival, where our students volunteer as Event Managers and Stewards, and there’s usually a student showcase event.

You can also take part in monthly, public open readings, and there’s a vibrant culture and creativity in Cheltenham and the surrounding area.

Learn from published authors

You’ll study a course taught by published writers who have developed successful careers, in a range of genres.

Two female students reading a book together

Study a trailblazing MA

Our MA in Creative and Critical Writing was one of the first in the UK to offer modules dedicated to the theory and practice of teaching creative writing.

Student at the poetry festival

Experience immersive festivals

Go the Cheltenham Literature Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival, the Cheltenham Poetry Festival and The Hay Festival.

Man reading poetry into a microphone for audience

"I teach prose fundamentals, short story writing, and theory for writers"

“I’m the author of three novels and I’m now writing a non-fiction book about European history. My first novel, Peace, Love, & Petrol Bombs, was a Sunday Herald Book of the Year for 2011 and it has been recorded as an audio book. My experimental second novel, The Deconstruction of Professor Thrub made the judges’ longlist for the Goldsmith’s Prize. I also write short fiction, and my story The Invitation was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.”

Michael Johnstone, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

Lecturer Michael D D Johnstone in a book shop

"I was a postgraduate student at the University of Gloucestershire myself"

“It transformed my life – I knew I wanted to write a book but the MA gave me the time to work, the discipline to work and the technical know-how to transform my life experiences and stories into publishable fiction. I also now run a writing advice website.”

Michael Johnstone, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing

Lecturer Michael D D Johnstone in a book shop

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