Taught course

Creative and Critical Writing

University of Winchester · Department of English and Creative Writing

Entry requirements

Normally a first or second-class Honours degree in a related subject or professional experience in the area of study. Applicants are required to submit a sample of their creative writing.

Months of entry


Course content

MA Creative and Critical Writing at Winchester offers students the opportunity to improve their creative writing in a dynamic, constructive environment. The programme is supported by teaching staff who are all professional writers.

Students study both classic and current literature, allowing them to explore different styles and genres while gaining a critical foundation for their own writing. Furthermore, students learn about the publishing world, aiming to understand where their work fits in the constantly changing publishing market. Students have opportunities to meet agents, editors and other published writers.

The structure of the programme enables students to focus on one or more genres (for example, fiction, creative non-fiction, scriptwriting or poetry) during their coursework. Throughout the programme, students write their own creative work while reading contemporary and classic literature.

Students begin with a module that focuses on writing fiction alongside a module that explores the term research and what it means for a writer - this forms a creative and critical foundation for their writing. Before progressing and selecting an optional genre module,
students look outward at the market in the core Publishing Project module, which features readings and seminars with six writers, agents and editors each semester.

Students develop a writing project which may explore a newer form, such as a blog, or a more traditional format, such as a short story and covering letter to a literary magazine. They also undertake the Independent Study Preparation module which is designed to prepare the students for the rigour of a longer-form creative piece. The programme culminates with a creative dissertation known as the Independent Study.

Core modules:

  • Contemporary Fiction
  • The Writer as Researcher
  • Publishing Project
  • Independent Study Preparation Module

Optional modules:

  • Contemporary Non-Fiction
  • Contemporary Scriptwriting for TV and Film
  • Advanced Contemporary Poetry

Academic staff are professional novelists, scriptwriters, poets and writers of creative non-fiction, as well as musicians, cultural critics and playwrights. They are supported by guest writers including novelists Linda Grant and Roma Tearne, alumna and novelist Claire Fuller, literary critic and Guardian reviewer Alex Clarke, T.S.Eliot prize-winning poet Philip Gross, and literary agent Ella Khan.

Students undertake a dissertation of up to 30,000 words as part of their independent study with full tutorial support.

Graduates have become published writers and poets. Others have careers in teaching, media and the arts.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language: IELTS 6.5 (including 6.5 in academic writing) or equivalent approved test. International students seeking additional information about this programme can email International@winchester.ac.uk or call +44 (0) 1962 827023.

Fees and funding

UK students
September 2017 Entry Full-time | £6,100
International students
September 2017 Entry Full-time | £12,200

Limited bursaries, scholarships and discounts are available - please see our website under 'Students and Money' for more details.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24 months

Course contact details

Course Enquiries and Applications
+44 (0) 1962 827234