Taught course

Creative Writing: First Novel

St Mary's University, Twickenham, London · St Mary's University, Twickenham, London

Entry requirements

A good first degree and strong sample submission are the only requirements for entry. However, the individual journey that you want to take is important, and so that we can meet expectations, candidates will be selected by interview and primarily on the strength of their work.

Months of entry


Course content

This degree has one purpose, and one purpose only - to help you become a better writer and complete your first novel. Working with an intimate, dedicated cohort and guided by tutors who have successfully published their own novels, you will leave this course with a thorough understanding of how to compose a novel people will really want to read. We know because we have done it and our students have done it too.

Longer narratives ask unique questions of the writer and present unique challenges. How does the novelist build and then perceive the architecture of a novel? How does the novelist maintain narrative tensions and suspense? What defines a novelist's voice and how do they explore their fictional territory?

What makes a novel marketable?

This degree is designed to help the writer answer those questions and meet those challenges. You will study the first novels of a range of writers as well as work chosen to illustrate specific narrative strengths and innovations. Our tutors embrace genre led and literary fiction, with specialisms across a variety of writing practice.

Our Creative Writing MA is unique as a postgraduate course dedicated solely to the drafting and discussion of a writer's first novel. You will be recruited as part of a small cohort of authors, all embarking on writing their first draft. Through lecture, workshop and seminar discussion, you will learn how a novel blossoms from imagination and grows on the page.

Our first task is to identify the novel you need to write. Whether it be fantasy, crime, or a literary exploration, our task is to nurture the story you have to tell and to find the right words to tell it.

By the end of the course, you will have explored a variety of writing strategies and developed a working practice that will enable you to complete the task of writing a novel.

Information for international students

Please contact international@stmarys.ac.uk for more information.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


full time
12 months
part time
24 months


part time
12 months

Course contact details

David Savill
0208 240 4286