Our MA Creative Writing course helps you to develop your potential as a novelist, poet, scriptwriter or non-fiction author. It’s taught by distinguished writers, with the support of a superb range of guest seminars and masterclasses by visiting authors, editors and agents, through our Institute of Creative and Critical Writing.
Our graduates have had their work broadcast on BBC Radio 4, been published in leading fiction journals, set up their own publishing companies, secured agents for their work, won places on writer development programmes, and been shortlisted for prestigious writing awards, including (on multiple occasions) the Manchester Fiction Prize.
Our MA is aimed at emerging writers, providing you with the skills and disciplines you need to advance. It’s founded upon the philosophy that writers can benefit from the same kind of training enjoyed by actors, musicians, and visual artists.
Admission to the course is based on talent, commitment and potential. Applicants submit a portfolio of writing, published or unpublished, and are then interviewed by members of the MA teaching team. Applications are considered throughout the year for entry in September of any academic year.
You’ll have the opportunity to develop your writing in the forms of your choice – be it fiction, creative non-fiction, screenwriting, writing for theatre, or poetry – and extend your range in genres that may be new to you.
You’ll attend our programme of guest speakers and public events devoted to cultivating the creative imagination, the life of ideas and the literary arts, all organised by the Institute of Creative and Critical Writing based within the School of English.
As well as receiving specialist tuition from established writers, you’ll have exclusive access to six Masterclasses each year run by a Fellow of the Institute, a member of the MA team or a guest author. These Masterclasses are based on the Conservatoire model of music tuition and involve an expert public close-reading of a volunteered student text.
You’ll study at our new £63 million development, the Curzon Building, which opened in September 2015 and boasts a richly stocked University Library, a wealth of digital learning resources, a new Students’ Union and a dedicated student support hub.
Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November. Registration will open shortly.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
Our students have gone on to work with companies such as:
You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.
You submit a portfolio of writing, published or unpublished, of recent creative work.
This must be no more than ten pages long typed at 11pt. in any literary genre, of prose (2000 words fiction or non-fiction), and/or six - 10 poems, and/or 10 pages of playscript or screenplay. We also require two satisfactory references.
We also require two satisfactory references.
You will then be interviewed by members of the MA Creative Writing team.
Applications will be considered throughout the year for entry in September of any academic year.
Selection for a place on the course is based on your work and your interview.
|MA||Sep 2016||FT||1 year||£5,500|
|MA||Sep 2016||PT||2 years||£930 per 30 credit module|
|MA||Sep 2017||FT||1 year||TBC|
|MA||Sep 2017||PT||2 years||TBC|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|MA||Sep 2016||FT||1 year||£12,000|
|MA||Sep 2017||FT||1 year||£12,000|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?
You’ll choose three option modules (from Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Screenwriting, Scripting and Staging, and Poetry), and complete two compulsory modules (Reading into Writing, and the Final Project).
The Fiction module explores the art of the novel and the short story, and the techniques that will help you develop your control of language and narrative. You’ll learn to situate your writing in relation to the contemporary market, as well as your own cultural and personal contexts.
In this module, you’ll produce a sustained piece of imaginative prose non-fiction – be it travel writing, memoir, biography, nature writing, social history, or an original combination of any of these. Taking the form of a professional book proposal, the creative non-fiction portfolio develops your understanding of the market for creative non-fiction, while improving research skills into both content and form.
This module teaches you the structural principles involved in the writing of screenplays. It will give you the conceptual tools to examine critically your own creative practice, and the necessary skills and knowledge of the industry to help you work towards professional scriptwriting – all with the benefit of the excellent in-house film-making opportunities and facilities within Birmingham City University.
Scripting and Staging
Scripting and Staging focuses on writing for the theatre, and producing work that can be staged to professional standards. With the guidance of a specialist tutor, you’re taken through the process of working with theatre practitioners in the development of dramatic text, including the opportunity to test and develop your scripts using a group of actors.
This module allows you to develop as a contemporary poet and thinker on poetry. You learn and practise techniques that strengthen and embolden your creative imagination, develop your poetry in the context of close reading, and acquire practical knowledge of the issues involved in publishing and performing your own work through the guided publication of your own slim volume of poems.
Reading into Writing
Through learning to work imaginatively with classic set texts, this module explores the variety of literary creativity practised and described by authors from the past and the present. You develop both expository and creative writing skills, as well as experience of managing a reading group and an introduction to research methods relevant to creative practice.
This module leads towards a portfolio consisting of a significant body of creative work, a reflective commentary upon that work, and reports on two activities that you feel have furthered you professionally, as a writer. The work could be a collection of stories; an original screenplay, or theatre piece; a continuous section of a novel; a sequence of poems or a longer poem; or creative non-fiction. It gives you the opportunity to put into practice all that you’ve learnt on the course, and lay the foundation for the next stage of your writing life.
You’ll be given intensive exposure to the creative practice of established writers through our seminars and masterclasses, and enjoy one-to-one tuition as you work towards a larger writing project towards the end of your course.
You can choose to study either full-time over one year or part-time over two years. Throughout the course, your learning will be supported through our Moodle digital learning platform. Assessment is by portfolio, which will include a reflective commentary on your own creative practice, in addition to the writing itself.
You’ll be encouraged throughout the course to make connections with the work of other departments within the Faculty of the Arts, Design and Media, to which the School of English belongs. The Faculty is the centre of an extraordinary range and concentration of creative activity, which helps to make studying at Birmingham City University an exciting and distinctive experience.
Every year, both full-time and part-time students are invited to take part in compiling, editing and producing our annual anthology of new creative writing from the School of English, which is launched at the Creative Writing Summer Show in June. As part of the professional experience we offer on the course, that student committee edits and produces the anthology, with mentoring and funding from the School.
We also encourage you to volunteer at the annual Birmingham Literature Festival and other Writing West Midlands events, so you can garner first-hand experience of the writing industry and gain useful contacts.
The School of English is very active in research, with excellent 2008 RAE results. MPhil and PhD opportunities may be available. Please get in touch for more information. For further information on courses contact Birmingham City University Choices. Tel: +44 (0)121 331 5595 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or go direct to the courses section of the website.
We believe that with its focus on language, pleasure, and the creative imagination, the study of creative writing is immensely rewarding in itself. Moreover, a higher degree can help further any career.
Postgraduates earn an average £9,000 more per year than those with just undergraduate degrees.* A postgraduate qualification can really help you stand out from the crowd in today’s competitive job market. By becoming a specialist in your field, you’ll have the chance to advance thinking in that subject and lead, rather than follow, the latest developments.
*The Sutton Trust, 2015.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
The achievements of our graduates include:
You could have the chance to learn from industry experts with guest masterclasses and visiting authors.
Novelist Jim Crace visited to carry out a series of workshops with students, giving feedback on their work and an insight into the world of professional writing and the publishing industry. Student Nabiyah Saddique said: "It was beneficial to students like me who want to write and be an author by career, to see how his experiences have shaped him and how he has created such beautiful pieces of work from these experiences."
Jim also enjoyed the chance to work with the students: "Everybody tried their hands at pitching an idea, writing the opening paragraphs of a novel, and line editing. It was testing and daunting but nobody fell short. The level of commitment and ability was astounding. London publishers should be beating a path to the School of English; it houses writing talent in abundance."
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
Our students come from around the world but our writing course is most popular with international students from:
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.
This course will be held at our newest facility, The Curzon Building, part of our City Centre Campus.
The £63 million building provides you with a unique learning space, featuring plenty of informal ‘break out’ areas available, creating an open, sociable atmosphere. There is also a new home for the Students’ Union, with its location moving to the restored Victorian pub The Eagle and Ball. Both City North and Millennium Point libraries have moved to the new building.
The dedicated social learning spaces ensure you’ll have the perfect facilities to work independently and confidently, having the time and support you need.
All this ensures that The Curzon Building is a vital support hub and a true central location for students in Birmingham City Centre.
Rhoda is a Visiting Lecturer in Creative Writing, and is currently completing a Creative Writing PhD, which includes an original collection of short stories. She is a member of the European Network for Short Fiction Research, and her stories have been highly commended or listed in the Manchester Fiction Prize, the Bridport Short Story Prize, the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, the Bristol Short Story Prize, the Frome Festival Short Story Competition, and the Fish Publishing Prize. Her stories have been published in Short Fiction Journal, Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology, The View From Here, Cake and Litro.