• Status: Fully Approved
  • Start date: October 2016
  • 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 13 years, our MA Creative Writing has been enabling students to achieve some, if not all, of these goals. In 2016 alone, 11 of our graduates published novels with major publishing houses.

      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 MIROnline.

      To find out more, read our programme handbook.

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

      How to apply

      You apply directly to Birkbeck for this course, using the online application link below.

      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.

      Birkbeck can give you all of the information and help you need to complete your application form, including our online personal statement tool, which will guide you through every step of writing your personal statement.

      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).

      Online application

      Creative Writing (MA) (Part-time)

      Creative Writing (MA) (Full-time)

      Why study this course at Birkbeck?

      • Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.
      • 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.
      • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.
      • Our Department of English and Humanities is a lively centre of world-class research and teaching.
      • 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.
      • Read an account of how our students created the most recent issue of The Mechanics' Institute Review.
      • MIROnline is an interactive website, edited by PhD students and volunteers, with all the latest news and writing from this programme and beyond.
      • Find out more about our range of world-class research resources.
      • Watch videos of our postgraduate students discussing their experience of studying at Birkbeck.

      Course structure

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

      You take 2 core modules, choose 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.

      To find out more, read our programme handbook.

      Core modules

      Contemporary literature core module

      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.

      If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses, foundation programmes and language support services to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

      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

      The government's new postgraduate loan scheme allows you to borrow up to £10,000 to cover the cost of your tuition fees, living costs or other study expenses – and you don't have to start repaying until 2019.

      The Kit de Waal Scholarship provides a fully funded place for 1 student to study part-time on the Birkbeck Creative Writing MA over 2 years (2016-18). Applications open on 10 November 2015 and close on Monday 15 February 2016.

      We also 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 2016.

      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: 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.

        In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as 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.