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Entry requirements

In order to apply, you will need to submit a completed application form, a sample of creative writing, a critical review and one reference. You can apply online or download an application form here: mmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/postgraduate-taught-course.

On the application form, you will be asked to give a personal statement and should use this to tell us a bit about yourself and give a good sense of what you have been reading and writing, and what has led you to apply for our course. For the creative sample, applicants to the Novel, Children's/YA and Creative Non-Fiction routes should submit up to 2,000 words of prose (a complete piece, or an extract/extracts from a longer work); poetry applicants should submit up to 15 poems; scriptwriting applicants should submit up to 15 minutes running time of script. The critical review should be up to 500 words long, focus on contemporary work, and show evidence of close reading, explaining what it is about the piece you find useful as a writer. Both the creative and critical samples should be relevant to the specialist route to which you are applying to (Novel OR Poetry OR Writing for Children/YA OR Scriptwriting OR Creative Non-Fiction). Your reference can be from anyone of professional standing (eg a current or former employer or tutor) who can vouch for your suitability for study at postgraduate level or the quality of your writing, or, if you are unable to obtain a reference from someone who is familiar with your written work, simply verify your identity.

Please collate and submit the application form, writing sample, review and reference, where possible. It will not speed up the processing of your application if you send some elements now with others to follow. We would encourage you to submit electronically to our Direct Admissions team at direct@mmu.ac.uk, although understand that this may not be possible in all cases and can accept postal submissions. You do not need to include copies of certificates from previous qualifications, unless we specifically request them our admissions tutors will review your application on the strength and quality of the writing in the portfolio submitted.

We have intakes into the programme in September and January each year. While there is no set deadline for the receipt of applications, we would recommend applying before the end of August for September entry, and by mid-December for January entry. We normally aim to respond to applications within four weeks of receipt of all four elements: application form, writing sample, review and reference although it may take a little longer outside of term time.

Each application is allocated to a specialist tutor in the candidate's chosen discipline, who reads and assesses it, looking for evidence of:

  • A very high standard of written English;
  • Creative talent and potential;
  • Control of form, style and technique;
  • Commitment to the craft of writing and the development of writing skills through workshops and supervision;
  • Substantial reading within the relevant field.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to produce evidence of English Language proficiency. Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5, with no sub-component below 5.5, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here.

If your application meets these criteria, the tutor will contact you directly to arrange a telephone or face-to-face interview at a mutually convenient time.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

At the heart of the Manchester Writing School are our masters programmes in Creative Writing, available to study on campus in Manchester, and also from anywhere in the world via online distance learning.

On our Master of Arts (MA) Creative Writing programme, you will explore and practise techniques and styles of modern and contemporary writing and apply these through the development of your own creative work. MA students undertake a taught element blending writing workshops with reading units and an elective, and then complete their studies through submission of an extended piece of writing from a proposed full-length book or script.

You will specialise in one of the following routes: Novel Writing (including Short Fiction), Poetry, Writing for Children & Young Adults, Scriptwriting (for stage, screen or radio) or Creative Non-Fiction.

The MA is available to complete in one year full-time or two years part-time. This course is available to study on campus (full-time or part-time) or online (part-time only). The main student intake is in September, but it is also possible to begin studying in January.

Visit the Manchester Writing School for more information, including profiles of staff and published students, news, events and projects.

Please visit our masters scholarships page for information on funding opportunities.

Features and Benefits

  • One of the most successful programmes of its kind in the UK today - with more than 95 students and graduates publishing first books in the past ten years.
  • Extensive calendar of events - including The Manchester Children's Book Festival, The National Creative Writing Industry Conference, Manchester Writing Competition Gala, Poetry Festivals, book launches, podcasts, and question and answer sessions with guest writers at Manchester Met and Manchester arts venues.
  • Industry links - strong links to the publishing industry with visits from major agents, editors and publishers.
  • Flexible learning - core units take place in the evenings (6-8pm UK time) during the autumn and spring terms with electives delivered on an intensive three-day model or studied independently with one-to-one tutorial supervision during the summer term.
  • Extended piece of writing - all MA students will complete an extended piece of writing from a proposed full-length book or script, supported by a term of one-to-one supervision.
  • Gain an MFA - students who successfully complete the MA can continue their studies with an additional year, completing a further 120 credits (which includes writing a full-length book or script) and gaining an MFA.
  • Live online teaching - the course can be completed entirely online, with core teaching for distance learning students via weekly text-based chat room sessions.
  • Academic expertise - taught by high-profile writers and critics including: Susan Barker, Laura Barnett, Andrew Biswell, Malika Booker, Chloe Buckley, Sarah Butler, Eleanor Byrne, David Cooper, Carol Ann Duffy DBE, Nikolai Duffy, Paul Evans, Catherine Fox, Rachel Genn, Blanka Grzegorczyk, Andrew Michael Hurley, Sarah Ilott, Oliver Harris, Rachel Lichtentsein, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Anjum Malik, Alistair McDowall, Andrew McMillan, Livi Michael, Helen Mort, Gregory Norminton, Adam O'Riordan, Minoli Salgado, Michael Symmons Roberts, Monique Roffey, Nicholas Royle, Karen Solie, Jean Sprackland, Simon Stephens, Joe Stretch, Alex Wheatle MBE and Julie Wilkinson.
  • Visiting Fellows - our courses feature contributions from our visiting fellows, including: Sherry Ashworth, Ed Caesar, Mandy Coe, Tim Cresswell, Amanda Dalton, Steve Dearden, Paul Dowswell, Boris Dralyuk, Guy Garvey, Colin Harvey, Rachel Mann, Shirley May, André Naffis-Sahely, Ra Page, Stephen Raw, David Shook, Hugh Stoddart and Barry Wood.

Information for international students

https://www.mmu.ac.uk/international

Fees and funding

UK students
For further information: https://www2.mmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/
International students
For further information: https://www2.mmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/

Find out more about Postgraduate funding here, including the Faculty of Arts and Humanities' Postgraduate Excellence Scholarship.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Name
Course Enquiries Team
Email
courses@mmu.ac.uk
Phone
0161 247 6969