General English

MA Creative Writing: Prose Fiction*

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 in: Commercial Fiction; Creative Non-Fiction; Writing for Children; Writing Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror

*Subject to validation

20% Alumni discount

UK and EU Christ Church alumni are eligible for a 20% discount on self-funded Postgraduate Taught Masters and Masters by Research.

The Creative Writing MAs at Canterbury Christ Church offer stimulating courses 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 in Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror, Commercial Fiction, Writing for Children and Creative Non-Fiction. Our courses are designed with busy lives in mind, and are taught through a combination of intensive weekends, high-quality distance learning and one-to-one tutorials, either in person or via Skype. 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.

Our Pathways:

Commercial Fiction:

Students selecting this pathway will explore literary and more commercial forms of creative writing, fiction, poetry and non-fiction. This degree will appeal to students who wish to generally enrich their writing skills, or whose practice falls broadly into these areas.

Fantasy, Science-Fiction and Horror:

This pathway is aimed at students who wish to specialise in speculative fiction genres. You will develop a detailed understanding of the history and diversity of these literary forms, and work on techniques such as world-building, metaphor and narrative structure.

Creative Non-Fiction:

This pathway allows students to explore the creative aspects of non-fiction writing, including memoir, features journalism and travel/nature writing. Students will explore the creative tension between fact and fiction, and will develop practical skills in pitching and selling their work.

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, and give students a practical understanding of issues such as the specific publishing environment for this practice, working with illustrators and interfacing with school curricula.

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 and Research Skills, which develop a toolkit for great writing across all genres. In all other modules, you will specialise in your chosen pathway of either Commercial Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Writing for Children or Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Horror. You will study in guided reading groups to develop a critical understanding (and warm appreciation) of your specialised area of writing, and will work intensively to develop your practice in termly residential weekends. Finally, every student submits a 15,000 word piece of extended writing, working closely with a prominent writer from their chosen area of specialism. 

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 Skills (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.

Optional Pathway (20 credits - core)

Students will work in small groups, supported by an expert mentor from their chosen field, to explore writing and publishing within their chosen pathway, selecting from:

  • Commercial Fiction
  • Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror
  • Creative Non-Fiction
  • Writing for Children
The Craft of Writing 1 (20 credits - core)

The Craft of Writing 1 offers opportunities to play, experiment and 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. You 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 work in small, tutored groups to read deeply within their chosen pathway, and to critically evaluate and contextualise their own work within these genres.

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.

Writers’ Workshop (20 credits – core)

In this module, you will take part in a peer-led group to receive constructive criticism from other students, and to review the work of others. At the beginning of the module, you will receive tuition in the art, ethics and practice of giving and receiving criticism, and will be encouraged to explore existing approaches to reflective practice. This will be assessed through a reflective practice journal, which you will complete over the duration of the course, and which will help you to structure discussions with your personal tutor.

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 three intensive weekends high-quality distance-learning and monthly one-to-one tutorials, either in person or via Skype. 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 practice successfully alongside their teaching commitments.

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, so that you can develop your own practice in a focused way. The final Creative Writing Portfolio allows you to dive deep into your own chosen genre, whether you choose to present the opening chapters of a full-length book (fiction or non-fiction), a cycle of poems or a collection of essays and short stories.


2017/18 tuition fees for this course

Full-time £5,050 £11,500**

£2,525 (90 credits) / £1,685 (60 credits)


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. The increase will reflect cost inflation in the University. Any inflationary increase will be no more than 3.5% for each year of your study. The increase will be calculated on the previous year’s tuition fees and not the tuition fees at the start of the course. The University aims to publish the tuition fees for the 2018/19 academic year on the University’s website by 31st July 2017.

Government loans of up to £10,000 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2017. 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.

The part-time fees quoted relate to courses taken over 2 years (90 credits per year) or 3 years (60 credits per year).

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

**Overseas fee scholarships may be available. See further information about funding and scholarships or contact the International Office.

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

Course specific costs

Residential Weekends Students will need to arrange and cover the cost of their accommodation in Canterbury for the three residential weekends per year; a range of options are available. While we endeavour to provide all core texts in the university’s excellent library (offering online texts wherever possible), most students choose to purchase their own copies of course books.

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) Yes, if the trip contributes to the course (whether it is part of an optional or compulsory module), but not including food and drink. Yes, if the trip is not an essential part of the course but is offered as an enhancement or enrichment activity, or for a student’s personal development.
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


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

Entry requirements

  • Applicants are assessed on a 2,000 word creative writing portfolio. A first degree is preferred, but applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis.

    Applicants should state their preferred pathway (Commercial Fiction/Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Horror/Creative Non-Fiction/ Writing for Children) on application.



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Last edited: 21/03/2017 10:32:00