• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2015
  • Duration:

      1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

    • Attendance:

      2 evenings a week full-time or 1 evening a week part-time

      October to September

    • Location:

        Central London

      Programme overview

      Have you been writing creatively for a while and feel the need for some professional support? Do you wish to be read by like-minded people? Do you sense that you can write but struggle with the mechanics of form and structure? Do you harbour a desire to see how far your writing can get you? Do you dream of being a published author?

      For 11 years, our MA Creative Writing has been enabling students to achieve some, if not all, of these goals. In 2014 alone, 5 of our graduates signed major publishing deals in the UK, USA and in territories around the world.

      The course is taught through small, dynamic seminars and one-to-one tuition. We offer modules in fiction writing and options in playwriting, poetry, screenwriting and creative non-fiction.

      All teaching is done by regularly published and produced award-winning writers, who will help you strengthen and professionalise your identity as a writer. Students have opportunities to interact with publishers and agents to broaden their understanding of the market and will be eligible to submit work for publication in the annual Birkbeck Creative Writing journal, The Mechanics Institute Review and the Writers' Hub website.

      Find out more in our programme handbook (2014-2015).

      You will taught by successful, published authors and practitioners, including:

      How to apply

      Please submit a portfolio of writing of around 5000 words with your application form. This can be a couple of short stories or a section of a novel with a synopsis (or a combination of the 2). Please note that this MA is fiction-focused, with some provision for life writing, poetry, playwriting and screenwriting; however, the portfolio should be in the genre of fiction.

      Applicants must also submit a personal statement (approximately 1000 words), in which you discuss your current writing, present ideas for future projects and place your work in the context of contemporary writing. The portfolio and personal statement can be pasted into the online application form, or emailed directly.

      Need help with your application? Watch videos featuring our academic experts giving advice on applying to Birkbeck and answering some of the most frequently asked questions.

      Application deadlines and interviews

      We begin considering applications in January, and, although we will accept applications until September, applicants are encouraged to apply by 1 June as the programme is very popular.

      Selected candidates will be invited to interview (interviews are held throughout the spring and early summer).

      Why study this course at Birkbeck?

      • Aims to develop the craft of fiction at a professional level and includes practical courses on publishing, producing and editing creative work.
      • In addition to working with the established writers who teach the degree, you will have contact with industry professionals, such as publishers and literary agents, who offer a series of platform discussions in the summer term.
      • Our School of Arts is in the top 5 schools in the country and our Department of English is a top-rated research department in the areas of both English literature and creative writing.
      • Our annual creative writing magazine, the Mechanics' Institute Review, is edited by Birkbeck MA Creative Writing students and features writing from the course as a showcase for the degree, with wide distribution beyond Birkbeck to literary agents, publishers, etc.

        Course structure

        The programme includes seminars and workshops in fiction and also seminars in contemporary literature.

        You take 2 core modules and 1 Contemporary Literature core module, and choose 1 option module from a selection. You can also select your spring term option from any of those offered by the other MA programmes in the Department of English and Humanities.

        You also complete a dissertation of 15,000 words.

        Find out more in our programme handbook (2014-2015).

        Core modules

        Contemporary Literature Core Modules (select 1)

        Option modules

        MA Creative Writing Dissertation

        Entry requirements

        A good honours degree (this requirement may be waived if you can demonstrate exceptional talent).

        A portfolio of writing of around 5000 words and a personal statement (to be submitted with your application form). Students are selected on the basis of their portfolio and statement, an interview (selected candidates only) and their degree.

        International entry requirements

        If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.

        Visit the International section of our website to find out more about our English language entry requirements and relevant requirements by country.

        Fees

        Part-time home/EU students: £ 3975 pa
        Full-time home/EU students: £ 7950 pa
        Part-time overseas students: £ 7225 pa
        Full-time overseas students: £ 14450 pa

        Payment and Fees Discounts

        Flexible finance: pay your fees in monthly instalments at no extra cost. Enrol early to spread your costs and reduce your monthly payments.

        Fees discounts: If you are a Birkbeck alumni or a member of a union that is recognised by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), you may apply for a 10% discount off your tuition fees.

        Funding and Financial Support

        Finishing your undergraduate degree this year? Current Birkbeck students are eligible for a £10,000 scholarship to fund a part-time Master’s degree starting in 2015-2016.

        We offer the Sophie Warne Fellowship to help with the cost of tuition fees. The Fellowship includes 1 fee remission award of £3500 for an outstanding student admitted onto the MA Creative Writing. Deadline for admissions applications, with a 2000-word writing sample: September 2014.

        The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.

        Part-time students who are experiencing financial need may apply for assistance from the Birkbeck Alumni Fund Postgraduate Opportunity Bursary.

        Find out more about funding and financial support at postgraduate level.

        Careers and employability

        Birkbeck Creative Writing graduates include:

         

        Graduates go in to careers in editing, teaching, and writing professionally. Possible professions include creative writer, magazine or newspaper journalist, or editorial assistant. This degree can also be useful in becoming an academic librarian, English as a second language (ESOL) teacher, or information officer.

        Find out more about these professions.

        Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject.

        We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

          Teaching and assessment

          Teaching

          Teaching is seminar-based. Each session is generally 2 hours, and there are further regular one-to-one tutorials throughout the year.

          Assessment

          4 short creative pieces with critical essays (50%). A dissertation (15,000 words) in one of the following genres: either a novella, novel or collection of short stories, with a preface of 3000 words (50%).

          Our research

          Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

          Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated ‘world-leading’ or internationally excellent.

          Read about Birkbeck research that enriches our experience and understanding of our shared history, culture and art.

          Further study opportunities

          If you are interested in further research, we offer an MPhil/PhD in English and Humanities.