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MA in Creative Writing

Students in MA Creative Writing
Richard Gwyn (far left) with MA Creative Writing students.

Cardiff University offers a unique Master’s Degree in Creative Writing designed for young as well as experienced writers who wish to develop their creative writing to the highest level. The course lasts one-year, full-time (2-3 days attendance at the University each week), with the emphasis on the production of individual writing while students enhance their knowledge of the techniques and practices of Creative Writing.

Students produce two creative writing portfolios: the two portfolios can be continuous, developing a single narrative or theme, as for example, in the case of a novel or set of stories or a collection of poems or script. These count for 120 credits, and are supported by workshops, the other 60 credits coming from course work dealing with creative ideas and processes and reflections on teaching creative writing.


The course is assessed by two portfolios of creative writing worth 120 credits, and two essays, each worth 30 credits, thus


During the Autumn and Spring semester students attend the Writers’ Workshop where they explore their writing while also working independently towards completion of the first portfolio. There are a variety of genre-based writers’ workshops in:

Students may focus on one genre, or may experiment with several. The Writers’ Workshops are led by members of staff, all of whom are experienced writers.

The Workshops enable students to offer and receive literary support and editorial advice, and assist in the production of an initial collection of creative writing. The sessions also provide training for students in various methods of conducting workshops and effectively revising manuscripts.
This first collection of creative work provides the opportunity for students to try out new ventures and experiment with different genres as well as to establish ideas and directions for the second collection of work, submitted in Part Two of the degree.

In the Autumn students also attend seminars on The Creative Process, a module designed to encourage reflection on the imagination, voice and experience. In the Spring a series of seminars discusses how we communicate creative writing in the teaching situation but also develops the essential formal skills of the writer.

The Portfolios

Throughout the teaching year, students work closely with members of the Creative Writing staff who are available by appointment to read and respond to their writing. We encourage a spirit of creative independence coupled with supportive feedback on a regular basis. Students further benefit from contact with visiting writers who represent diverse cultural and literary traditions.

Students spend the majority of their time, after the completion of the first portfolio, completing the second portfolio, which is due in mid-September. The portfolio itself builds on the first portfolio where students may, for example, have drafted an initial set of poems. In this second portfolio they will add considerably to that first set, or they may choose to work in a different genre. Where the first may show risk-taking, experimentation and diversity of forms, the Part Two portfolio should move towards a completed work in a single genre to demonstrate the skills of the writer at their best.

Special Features

GregynogGregynog Hall


Students are assessed on their two portfolios of creative writing and on two short essays on the creative process and on the teaching of creative writing


The MA is an excellent foundation for a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing, or other doctoral programmes internationally, for students who wish to teach at the university level. The skills gained on the MA course are those in frequent demand by such professions as arts management, publishing, public relations, business, advertising, journalism, arts consulting, and community work.

The course also offers valuable training at a professional level for students who wish to be writers, and who seek to establish a realistic career path upon completion of their degrees. With increased interest in the relevance of creativity to current educational practices, this degree will place students advantageously for many types of teaching opportunities. While it does not constitute a British or international teaching credential, it provides a background for many types of specialist teaching opportunities in Creative Writing, and excellent preparation for a PGCE or other types of teaching certification.

Application Procedures

You may Apply Online or send us a paper application form (also available from this 'Apply' section of Cardiff University's website). Applications are considered on a continuous basis. Interviews are recommended, and may be stipulated. Telephone interviews may be conducted with international applicants.

In addition to the application form and supporting documents applicants should also provide:

The School welcomes applications from students from outside the United Kingdom. More information is provided on our International Students page.

How to Apply

You may apply online or send us a paper application form (also available from the 'Apply' section of Cardiff University's website). Applications are considered on a continuous basis throughout the year.

The School welcomes applications from students from outside the United Kingdom. More information is provided on our International Students page.


For details of possible funding opportunities please visit the following sites:


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For further information, please contact:
Postgraduate Office

Phone: +44 (0)29 208 70322

Cardiff School of English, Communication
and Philosophy
Cardiff University
John Percival Building
Colum Drive
CF10 3EU

See Also

Student Views

"Thought-provoking, challenging, enriching – a busy, productive year in which the range and quality of my writing has expanded far more than anticipated. In a nurturing environment, our group enjoyed rigorous, supportive workshops led by professional writers who were generous with their insights and advice.  We gained confidence in the presentation of our work at the open mic nights, while our understanding of the creative processes of writing increased through lively discussions and stimulating reading.  The teaching module provided excellent opportunities to extend our experience, knowledge and skills in a variety of contexts, and the Gregynog residential was a very special, memorable occasion."

Robert Walton – former MA student.