Taught course

Creative Writing and Contemporary Studies

Birkbeck, University of London · School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2 or above), though this requirement may be waived if you can demonstrate exceptional talent.

Months of entry

January, October

Course content

The MA in Creative Writing and Contemporary Studies is run by experienced and forward-thinking teachers who have been enabling dynamic groups of students to improve their creative work and develop as writers for nearly two decades. They are proud of a growing list of published and prizewinning authors whose work started life in their 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 MA Creative Writing and Contemporary Studies will help you to develop the craft of writing in various genres to a professional level. You will also develop your critical-thinking skills exploring critical methods and debates on experimental literature, media, popular culture, technology and cultural development.

It will give you the opportunity to:

  • develop confidence, sensitivity and discernment in analysis of your own and others’ work
  • combine both practice-based learning with specialism in contemporary literature, culture and criticism, as well as the development of your own creative writing projects
  • place your own writing in the context of developments in contemporary poetry, screenwriting, fiction and creative non-fiction
  • cultivate a greater practical knowledge and understanding of the markets for poetry, fiction, screenwriting and non-fiction.


  • Birkbeck was ranked 2nd in the UK for its English Language and Literature research in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework.
  • 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.
  • We offer a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.
Careers and employability

On successful completion of this MA Creative Writing and Contemporary Studies, you will have developed a set of valuable attributes, including:

  • the ability to use language more confidently, precisely and imaginatively
  • independent research skills
  • the ability to convey your ideas and build an effective argument
  • the ability to analyse and process complex ideas.

You will find MA Creative Writing and Contemporary Studies graduates progressing in career paths in:

  • publishing
  • agenting
  • writing
  • teaching
  • performing arts
  • advertising
  • public relations
  • game design
  • education
  • law
  • the civil service and business roles.

We offer a comprehensive careers service - Careers and Enterprise - your career partner during your time at Birkbeck and beyond. At every stage of your career journey, we empower you to take ownership of your future, helping you to make the connection between your experience, education and future ambitions.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this course is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 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

Student Advice Service
+44 (0)20 3907 0700