General English

MA Creative Writing

Year of entry

If you have any queries or questions about the application process please contact us by phone +44 (0)1227 782900 or via email

Students can choose to specialise within the areas of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction or Writing for Children, according to their preferred genre and subgenre.

The Creative Writing MA at Canterbury Christ Church offers a stimulating course with a commercial edge, taught by experienced tutors who are successful writers themselves. We believe that all writers need a core toolkit of skills, but we also understand that our students often want to specialise in an area of writing about which they’re passionate. That’s why we offer pathways that allow you to explore subgenres within Fiction, Writing for Children and Creative Non-Fiction, supported by subject specialists.

Our courses are designed with busy lives in mind, and are taught through a combination of intensive weekends, distance learning and tutorials. We also offer a strong focus on developing professional practice in writers, looking at skills such as self-presentation, pitching and understanding the publishing industry.


Students selecting this pathway will explore literary and more commercial forms of creative writing. You may wish to focus on a particular subgenre such as fantasy, horror or science-fiction, where you can work on building a larger imaginative world. Perhaps you want to try your hand at historical fiction, or a page-turning thriller, where research is key to the authenticity of your fiction. Or maybe you would like to try new forms for fiction through experimental writing. Whatever your focus, we can help you to explore how to write within, and push the boundaries of, your chosen genre.

Creative Non-Fiction:

This pathway allows students to explore the creative aspects of non-fiction writing, including memoir and writing from life, features journalism, travel and nature writing. Students will consider the creative tension between fact and fiction and how this can be explored in contemporary creative non-fiction.

Writing for Children:

An ideal choice for those who want to develop a career in writing novels, picture books or children’s non-fiction, this pathway will develop the specific writing skills needed for writing for under-12s.

Steeped in literary history, Canterbury is an excellent setting for the next chapter of your Creative Writing story. Canterbury Christ Church University is a young, dynamic university and the degree is run by a team of writers who have live experience of the publishing market.

We pride ourselves in taking innovative approaches to the way our students learn, offering flexible options that help you to fit an MA into your life. We also have strong links to publishers, agents and literary festivals, and work hard to create opportunities for our students to develop their writing practice and career.

The MA Creative Writing includes core modules in The Craft of Writing, Professional Practice, Critical Reading and Research skills, which develop a toolkit for great writing across all genres. In other modules students specialise in their chosen pathway, developing a critical understanding (and warm appreciation) of their specialised area of writing. Finally, every student submits a 15,000 word piece of extended writing, working closely with an established writer from their chosen area of specialism. 



Hear more about Jessica's experience on the School of Humanities blog. 

The programme is aimed at adults who are passionate about writing, and want to hone their craft while developing an understanding of the publishing market and how to access it. Unlike traditional MAs, we ensure that our teaching falls outside of office hours, which allows students to learn at times that suit them. It may appeal to recent graduates who wish to specialise further in their chosen writing practice, or to adult learners who have been writing independently for a while, and are now ready to take the next steps towards a writing career. We are proud to work with many mature students, and aim to continue to do so in the future.

Students completing this MA could go on to a Creative Writing PhD, or could undertake a teaching qualification to take their practice into a school, FE or HE setting.

Course Modules:

Research Methods (10 credits - core)

This module introduces students to the demands of postgraduate study, developing the skills, approaches and methods that students will need to complete both the critical and creative aspects of their studies.

Writing in Genre (20 credits - core)

This module offers students the chance to explore and write in their chosen subgenre within Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction or Writing for Chidlren. Students will work on an individual project, drawing on a bank of online resources and supported by an expert tutor from their chosen field.

Writers’ Workshop 1 and 2 (10 credits each – core)

In these linked modules, students will work on developing their practice through reflective journal writing and supportive peer workshops. Students will consider the practice of giving and receiving constructive criticism on work in progress and the role of reader feedback in drafting and editing. The modules are assessed through engagement with online workshop, journal pages and reflective writing. 

The Craft of Writing 1 (20 credits - core)

The Craft of Writing 1 offers opportunities to enrich your craft through exercises that stretch the boundaries of your writing, and dig deep into the components of your writer’s toolkit, such as speech, metaphor and gesture. Students will be encouraged to move from this creative experimentation into developing short-form pieces of writing, and reflecting upon them.

The Craft of Writing 2 (20 credits - core)

The Craft of Writing 2 builds on the previous module to explore the structural, philosophical and rhetorical aspects of writing, challenging students to consider how to sustain themes and storylines across extended pieces of writing. Students will develop the skills to analyse aspects of their writing such as narrative and style, and to deploy these in writing long-form creative pieces.

Professional Practice (10 credits - core)

This module develops the public-facing skills of the author, including giving readings, developing online platforms, and working as a writer in a variety of contexts.

Critical Reading Group (20 credits – core)

A key part of the writer’s armoury is a dynamic understanding of the market surrounding their work, and this module aims to develop, challenge and enrich such an understanding. Students will look at critical and creative responses to text, sharpen their own critical reading skills, and learn how to adapt this understanding to critically evaluate and contextualise their own work. The core reading list for this module will be supplemented by recommended further reading for each pathway.

Creative Writing Portfolio (60 credits – core)

Students will work with an individual tutor, chosen for their specific expertise in the genre, to develop 15,000 word piece of prose, which might be the beginning of a novel, the first part of a book-length piece of non-fiction, or a collection of articles or short stories.

Graduates of this course will most likely be aiming to develop their writing practice with publication in mind. We aim to give students the critical toolkit and industry understanding to present their work to editors, publishers and agents by the end of the course. Other potential careers include teaching and working in communications media, or progressing on to a Creative Writing PhD.

This course is taught through a combination of intensive weekends, distance-learning and tutorials (in person or online). Students will receive over 150 hours of teaching over the duration of their course, and are expected to supplement this with independent study. Our online Virtual Learning Environment allows students to interact with each other outside of the physical class time, allowing a lively culture to develop, even at a distance. The Creative Writing MA is tutored by published writers who continue to actively practice their craft.

This course is assessed solely through coursework, including creative writing portfolios, critical essays and a reading of the student’s own work. There are no examinations. Students are encouraged to develop their own assignment titles as far as possible, developing their own practice in a focused way. The final Creative Writing Portfolio allows students to dive deep into their chosen genre, presenting the opening chapters of a full-length book (fiction or non-fiction) or a collection of shorter pieces.


2019/20 tuition fees for this course

Full-time £7,700 £12,420
Part-time £3,850 N/A

Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions.

Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course where the course lasts more than one academic year. For further information read the 2019/20 Tuition fee statements and continuing fee information.

Government loans of up to £10,906 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2018. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

The rules around course eligibility mean that in some cases it may depend on how you are studying (full-time or part-time) as to whether you can apply for a postgraduate loan. To check whether your course is eligible, you can  email the Student Fees Team or call 01227 923 948.

Read more about  postgraduate masters student loans.

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

'The MA Creative Writing was a challenging, engaging course that exposed me to new classic fiction, helped me hone my own writing, contribute to the development of other writers, and I made some friends besides!'

Ian Hocking MA Creative Writing graduate and author of Deja-Vu, Solaristics and The Amber Rooms

Fact file

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • 1 year full-time or 2 years part-time


  • September

Typical contact hours per week

  • The course is taught through a combination of intensive weekends, distance learning & tutorials (in person or online). Students will receive over 150 hours of teaching over the course.

Entry requirements

  • Applicants are assessed on a 2,000 word creative writing portfolio. Undergraduate degree in relevant subject at 2:2 or above.

    Applicants should state their preferred area - Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction or Writing for Children - on application.



Last edited 14/05/2019 12:43:00

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Last edited: 14/05/2019 12:43:00