Taught course

Creative Writing

Royal Holloway, University of London · Department of English

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Entry requirements

UK Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1); or equivalent in single or combined honours English. Applicants with degrees in other subjects or with relevant publications are also encouraged to apply. Past students have come from a range of first-degree backgrounds.

You will be required to submit an example(s) of your writing; either a piece of fiction or non-fiction prose of up to 5,000 words in length or at least 12 pages of poetry; You will also be required to submit 1,000 words of critical writing in support of your application. Undergraduate essays and reviews are acceptable;

Suitable applicants will be invited for an interview

Months of entry


Course content

This MA allows you to develop your work as a creative writer, going beyond the merely personal and writing with an engaged sense of society and an understanding of the location of your work in relation to contemporary practices. You will take one of three distinct pathways: Fiction Writing, Poetry Writing, and Poetic Practice. In addition, all students take modules in Supplementary Discourses and Reading as a Writer, and all students undertake a Practical Project and a Dissertation.


This course encourages you to develop and reflect on your work as a creative writer. While you learn to stretch your imagination, you'll be motivated to develop your technical and analytic skills, and in the process, sharpen your self-criticism.


If you choose the poetry strand, you'll benefit from the strong focus on individual creative practice fostered in weekly workshops, critical classes and tutorials. As with all the Creative Writing pathways, poetry is taught by writers practising at the highest level and the emphasis is on your own needs as a developing poetry student.

Poetic practice:

Poetic Practice is a unique, practice-based pathway that draws upon the Department of English's expertise in contemporary experimental poetry and writing within an expanded field of creative practice.

All three courses are designed to help you develop your work as a creative writer, against the backdrop of literature through history. Choosing the Fiction or the Poetry strand, you'll make the most of your existing experience, stretch your imagination, develop analytic skills, and in the process sharpen how you think about your own work. The Poetic practice pathway draws upon our expertise in contemporary experimental poetry across a wide range of ideas and practices. You will learn how to develop your practice and how to situate your practice in relation to recent and contemporary trends in experimental poetry, including visual poetics, sound and conceptual writing.

• We teach all three Creative Writing pathways in Bedford Square, our creative campus in the heart of London’s Bloomsbury, close to the University of London's facilities. We've been running the Fiction and Poetry pathways for nearly a decade, while Poetic Practice has been running since 2003. We have built a strong reputation in all three areas.

• Join the ranks of our creative writers who go on to recognition and profile including novelists Sarah Perry, Jenni Fagan, Barney Norris, Liza Klaussmann, Saskia Sarginson, Diriye Osman, Anna Whitwham, Cecilia Ekback and poets Declan Ryan, Liz Berry, Sarah Westcott, Marianne Burton, Sam Riviera, Lydia McPherson, Sophie Robinson, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, Prue Chamberlain, Nish Ramayya and many more.

• Work with practicing authors and poets. Jo Shapcott won the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry; Lavinia Greenlaw is a winner of T.S. Eliot, Forward and Whitbread Poetry Prizes, and the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger, Susanna Jones won the John Lewellyn Rhys and Betty Trask awards, Nikita Lalwani won the Desmond Elliot award, was shortlisted for the Costa Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker prize, Karen Woolf won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection (2015); Robert Hampson was long-listed for the Forward Prize in 2013; and Redell Olsen was Judith E. Wilson Fellow in Poetry at Cambridge (2013-14)

• Recent guest speakers and visiting professors have included Marlon James, Charlotte Mendelson, Dalijit Nagra, Helen Dunmore, Adam Foulds and a range of literary agents and editors

Information for international students

IELTS score of 7.0 with 7.0 in writing and no sub-score below 5.5 for non-native English speaking applicants.

See our International pages for more information.

Fees and funding

See our Postgraduate fees and funding pages to find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

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

Lisa Dachuna - Faculty administrator (postgraduate)
+44 (0)1784 443215