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
Please note that this course is now full and applications for 2016-2017 entry have closed. Applications for 2017-2018 entry will open in October 2016.
We will begin considering applications in January 2017, and, although we will accept applications until September, applicants are encouraged to apply by 1 June as the programme is very popular.
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.
Contemporary literature core module
MA Creative Writing Dissertation
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.
Part-time home/EU students: £
paFull-time home/EU students: £
paPart-time overseas students: £
paFull-time overseas students: £
Payment and Fees Discounts
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.
Use our interactive tool to help you explore your payment options in more detail.
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.
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 is seminar-based. Each session is generally 2 hours, and there are further regular one-to-one tutorials throughout the year.
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%).