Key Facts

Course Title: Creative Writing
Course type: MA
Mode of Study:Full Time or Part Time
Contact Details:Mr Jim Sheard
Website: Go to School homepage
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Subject Area: Humanities


‌The Keele MA in Creative Writing offers a distinctive and exciting opportunity to develop your creative and professional skills as a writer.

Working with published writers from within and outside the University, the Keele Writing MA offers participants an opportunity to improve their writing and to bring it up to publishable standard while learning more about the critical and intellectual context in which their work is situated.

Students on the Keele Writing MA also participate directly in the development and maintenance of the events, publications, workshops and short courses which constitute Keele’s vibrant writing culture – typically through opting to gain experience in one of the areas in which writers often establish a secondary income – reviewing, editing and teaching.

You can study full-time or part-time for this MA. It is also possible to take short courses in Creative Writing, delivered as part of our MA programme, as well as Certificate and Diploma-level courses in the subject.

Please also refer to MA Creative Writing Handbook 2017-18

Aims of the Course

  • To provide opportunities for the practice and study of creative writing at an advanced, publishable level
  • To provide a supportive and constructively critical environment in which students can work with published writers and their peers to improve their writing
  • To provide students with the necessary skills to write at an advanced, publishable level

Entry Requirements

Applicants will normally be expected to have a good honours degree (normally 2.2 or above). They will be required to submit a portfolio of work to the admissions tutor (usually the Programme Director). A high quality portfolio will take precedence over a first degree and may be taken as evidence of APEL. The portfolio should consist of 10-15 poems and/ or 5,000-6,000 words of prose. If it is considered of sufficient quality, the admissions tutor will pass it on to one of the creative writing tutors specialising in the genre chosen by the applicant. That tutor will then recommend an interview, on which the final decision will be based. Up to 30 credits from a comparable programme may be taken as APCL.

Course Content

The course is delivered as three stand-alone taught modules. In addition students complete a Portfolio of original work. Students will have the opportunity to take any single module as a short course or to combine two modules and be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or to complete four modules and receive a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)

The contents of each module are summarised below.

The Writer as Critic, The Critic as Writer (30 Credits) is the core compulsory module, and looks at questions of influence, the critical process of reading other writers’ work and the cultural context in which a writer lives and works. Students will study contemporary examples of script, poetry and fiction.

Writing Fiction (30 Credits) is a workshop-based module option on writing short fiction and novels, with structured reading and peer/tutor feedback on your own writing.

Writing Poetry (30 Credits) is a workshop-based module option on writing poetry, with structured reading, discussion and peer/tutor feedback on your own writing.

Life Writing (30 Credits) is a workshop-based module option on forms of writing such as auto/biography and memoir.

The Writer in the Community (30 Credits) is a project-based module which offers students the opportunity to create and deliver a professional project of a type commonly undertaken by writers. Possible projects include: designing and delivering creative writing workshops; mentoring less experienced writers; steering a literary editing project; setting up and putting on a literary event; or creating a web-based literary resource.

The Portfolio (90 Credits) is the compulsory Dissertation-level module, taught through a series of individual supervisions. Students develop a portfolio of original writing to a professional standard through the production of either a complete piece of written work or a substantial part of a complete piece of written work, e.g: a collection of poetry; a collection of short stories; a short novel; or a substantial part of a longer novel. 

Teaching and Assessment

The core 30-credit module (The Writer As Critic, The Critic As Writer) is assessed by written assignments and a presentation. The optional 30-credit modules (Writing Prose, Writing Poetry, Life Writing, The Writer in the Community) are assessed by a portfolio of work and a critical commentary that reflects on the contents of the portfolio. The 90-Credit dissertation-level Portfolio is assessed by a substantial portfolio of original writing and a commentary.

Additional Costs

Apart from additional costs for text books, inter-library loans and potential overdue library fines we do not anticipate any additional costs for this post graduate programme.