The MA in Creative Writing at Bristol is designed for writers who would like to begin publishing their work. In warm, supportive workshops, you will be helped to improve your writing and in lectures and seminars you will increase your understanding of the industrial and critical contexts of contemporary literature.

You will be taught industry-focused content by experienced published writers. A special unit will introduce you to issues in contemporary publishing. Guest writers and experts from industry will speak, bringing up-to-date knowledge and expertise to the course. We also work closely with local competitions, writing groups and writing initiatives. You will work with a professional writer one-on-one as your manuscript develops with ten allocated hours of supervision.

Housed in the University's prestigious Department of English, you will be taught by groundbreaking researchers about contemporary critical issues in literature. You will be encouraged to read widely and books will be suggested for you by faculty. At the end of the course, you should be able to speak confidently and intelligently about your work and your reading.

Twilight teaching allows people with working or caring responsibilities to study - as do the part-time options. A strong writing portfolio will allow access without a first degree in a related subject - or indeed without a first degree. Times of classes will be announced well in advance, so that students can accommodate study in their busy lives.

Programme structure

For full-time students, in the first term:

  • Workshop One (20 credits)
  • Critical Issues in Contemporary Literature (20 credits)
  • Exploration for Creative Dissertations (20 credits).

In the second term:

  • Workshop Two (20 credits)
  • Issues in Contemporary Publishing or Placement in Contemporary Publishing and Related Industries (20 credits) *placement may not run all years
  • Planning and Beginning a Creative Dissertation (20 Credits).

This is followed by the Creative Dissertation (60 Credits).

Two years part-time study requires attendance at one seminar in the first teaching block (TB1), one seminar in the second teaching block (TB2) and four hours of tutorial in the third teaching block (TB3) during the first year. In the second year, the two years part-time study option requires attendance at one seminar in TB1, one seminar in TB2 and four hours of tutorial in TB3.

Three years part-time study requires attendance at one seminar in TB1, one seminar in TB2 and two hours of tutorial in TB3 in the first year. In the second year, it again requires attendance at one seminar in TB1, one seminar in TB2 and two hours of tutorial in TB3. The third year of study requires the student to attend six hours of tutorials.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the programme.

Entry requirements

Places are offered on the basis of a portfolio of writing and interview (which may be by telephone or Skype for international applicants). We are looking for writers with potential to soon begin publishing their work. It is helpful, but not essential, for the applicant to have some idea of the project they hope to undertake during the course of the degree. Evidence of prior study in the area, a long-standing writing practice, workshop experience, and extensive reading can also strengthen the application. However, the most essential element of the application is the writing itself.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level A.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£11,100 per year
UK: part-time (two years)
£5,550 per year
UK: part-time (three years)
£3,700 per year
Overseas: full-time
£30,900 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2023/24

Creative Writing is among the subjects eligible for funding from the Postgraduate Master's Loan. The Faculty of Arts also offers funding opportunities for taught and research programmes.

International students are encouraged to apply for the Think Big Postgraduate Scholarship.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

Graduates of the MA in Creative Writing often enter portfolio careers, where creative writing becomes only one element of their income. Other elements may include:

  • teaching
  • workshop delivery
  • proofreading
  • editing.

The close-reading skills developed on a master's in Creative Writing can also prepare graduates for careers in publishing. Advanced skills in understanding nuance and tone have helped graduates secure work in business communications, marketing and corporate social media.