Taught course

Creative Writing

Institution
Birkbeck, University of London · English, Theatre and Creative Writing
Qualifications
MA

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Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2 or above, though this requirement may be waived if you can demonstrate exceptional talent), a personal statement (to be submitted with your application form) and a portfolio of prose writing of no more than 3000 words.

Your portfolio should be a section of a novel with a synopsis, a couple of short stories or a combination of the two. Please note that poetry, children’s fiction, journalism, screen- or playwriting are not appropriate submissions for this MA. Students are selected on the basis of their portfolio and statement, an interview (selected candidates only) and their degree.

Portfolio guidelines:

  • Submit application.
  • Wait up to 48 hours.
  • Submit writing portfolio (Word or PDF) by logging into your MyBirkbeck profile, then going to the ‘Manage my application’ link and attaching the document.

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry

October

Course content

The MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck is taught by one of the most diverse and vibrant departments in London. For 17 years we have been enabling dynamic groups of students to improve their creative work and develop as writers. We have a growing list of published and prizewinning authors whose work started life in our seminars.

If you have been writing creatively for a while and feel the need for professional support and feedback and the guidance of published authors and a cohort of like-minded people, then this course is for you.

The course is taught through small seminars and one-to-one tuition. We offer modules in fiction writing - both short story and novel - and work with writers across many prose genres - both fiction and non-fiction. We also offer options in playwriting, poetry, screenwriting and creative non-fiction, and practical opportunities to learn about publishing, producing and editing creative work.

Entry to the course is based on the submission of a portfolio of creative work, and candidates whose work shows promise will be invited for interview.

Read the Department of English, Theatre and Creative Writing blog to keep up to date with our research activities.

Highlights

  • Birkbeck was ranked 2nd in the UK for its English Language and Literature research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.
  • In particular, this environment is fostered by close links between the MA and the Centre for Contemporary Literature at Birkbeck, which runs a wide variety of talks and conferences in this field. In addition to working with the established and award-winning writers who teach the degree, you will have contact with industry professionals, such as publishers and literary agents, who offer a series of platform discussions in the summer term.
  • The Mechanics' Institute Review, MIROnline, is a forum for the most exciting new writing in short fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction selected from students on this course and beyond.
  • Birkbeck is located in the heart of literary London, in Bloomsbury, WC1. You could be studying in a building that was once home to Virginia Woolf and frequented by members of the Bloomsbury Group, now home to our School of Arts. The building houses our own creative hub which includes the Peltz Gallery, the Gordon Square Cinema and a theatre and performance space.
  • We have a range of scholarships available to enable talented students on low incomes to study with us, such as the Sophie Warne Fellowship. Once you have secured a place on the course you will be invited to apply for these awards. The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.

Information for international students

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 and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Student Advice Service
Email
studentadvice@bbk.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)20 3907 0700