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  1. Postgraduate
    1. 2021
Study at City

MA Creative Writing and Publishing

Entry Year:
As writers now have the ability to produce their own work they need increasingly to know how publishing works. This degree enables aspiring writers to combine business acumen with creative endeavour, equipping them to work within the publishing industry while fostering their writing skills.

Key information

Start date

September 2021

Academic year dates


Full-time: one year

Part-time: two years


Full-time: £10,080

Part-time: £5,040 per year


Full-time: £16,450

Part-time: £8,225 per year


Full-time: £16,450

Part-time: £8,225 per year

Application period

From October 2020


Northampton Square

Who is it for?

This course will appeal to both experienced and new writers who wish to gain the knowledge and skills relevant to professional practice in commercial settings which produce creative content for print and across digital formats. You will be introduced to the fast-changing world of commercial publishing, and will be given an understanding of and exposure to the many different sectors of the publishing industry. A digital publishing element will teach you how social media and web publishing is now vital to finding and sustaining your own community of readers.

This course would be ideal for those wish to combine the development of their creative writing skills with a strong theoretical and practical understanding of how the publishing industry works. It is also ideal for anyone interested in getting hands-on publishing experience alongside developing their creative practice.


This course is designed to improve your skills as a creative writer, particularly in the fields of novel writing and short story writing, while at the same time introducing you to the basics of how publishing works as an industry and the basic core publisher roles. If you are interested in learning how you, as a writer, can engage with the publishing industry and even work within it, this course will develop the skills and experience you need. Creative Writing and Publishing MA enables you to aspire to a professional role that will match your interests and draw upon all of your talents. We welcome writers of all genres with recent graduates developing projects in literary fiction, fantasy, romance, dystopian, science fiction and young adult fiction.

In order to prepare you for the publishing world visiting lecturers from the industry contribute to the programme throughout the teaching year.


We are pleased to announce that in 2020, Stephen Page has been appointed Honorary Visiting Professor of Publishing for three years. Stephen is CEO of Faber & Faber and one of the most prominent and influential figures in the world of publishing.  "I'm delighted to be taking up this position as Honorary Visiting Professor of Publishing. The professionalising of publishing over the last two decades has owed a lot to MA programmes, and the course at City, University of London has a high reputation and has been a great partner for us at Faber. The opportunity to reflect on and discuss the recent history and future of publishing is irresistible, with such a vibrant and international community of students and academics."

Read the City Press release here.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

You will normally have an upper second class degree (in any subject) or the overseas equivalent, but successful completion of a certificate course in creative writing, or a professional qualification, or relevant experience may also be acceptable. The prime criteria are proven ability and commitment.

INTO City, University of London

Don’t meet the entry requirements? INTO City, University of London offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help prepare you for study at City, University of London. You’ll learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry. To prepare for this degree course, learn more about the Graduate Diploma in Social Sciences and the Arts.

Kaplan International College London

City works in partnership with Kaplan International College (KIC) London to provide preparatory courses for international students. Pre Masters courses at KIC London offer comprehensive support to students wishing to complete their postgraduate study at City. Progression to this degree is guaranteed if you complete the KIC London Pre-Masters course at the required level.

English requirements

For students whose first language is not English, an IELTS score of at least 7.0 is required (with 7.0 in the writing component).

English language programmes

Don’t meet the English language requirements? INTO City, University of London offers English language programmes to help prepare you for study at university. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to degree courses.

Visa requirements

International Students (EEA and Non EEA) coming to study in the UK, may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study. The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • EEA nationals joining the programme in 2020 and EEA nationals joining from January 2021
  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Apply now:

MA Creative Writing and Publishing Full-time2021/22

MA Creative Writing and Publishing Part-time2021/22

When applications open you can apply online and will be expected to submit the following:

  • A copy of your degree transcript. We require an original transcript or a copy certified by your institution. If you have not yet graduated, you will be required to send us your degree transcript as soon as it is available. You will not be able to register as a City student without having supplied your degree transcript
  • A sample of creative writing between 3,000-5,000 words
  • You may need to attend an interview, in person, or by phone.
award in Creative Writing and Publishing.
We are ranked 1st in London for Communication and Media Studies in the Complete University Guide 2020
Full or part-time
taught masters programme.
During your course

More about fees

Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).

Studying Publishing at City

Mary Ann Kernan

Mary Ann Kernan, Programme Director, talks about the benefits of studying Publishing at City


An optional professional placement module in terms 2 and 3 runs between January and June, for a period of at least 10 days.

This provides students with practical experience of working within a publishing environment, enhancing their classroom learning.

While on placement, you will meet the hosts' standard arrangements for work placement interns and will carry out tasks or projects as agreed with your placement host.

Read about one student's experience of a placement at Thomson Reuters


We offer a variety of accommodation options and support services for postgraduate students.

Read more about our postgraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply


Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.

View academic timetables

Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Ask a student

Chat to our current students and read their blogs to gain an insight into studying at City and learn more about our undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Course content and assessment

To make sure that you can begin or continue your studies with us during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reviewed and adapted our courses to ensure a safe learning environment for our students and staff. We have modified the way some of our courses are delivered, with many programmes being made available online.

Contact us to find out more about how our programmes will be delivered.

Teaching and learning

You will learn through a mix of formal lectures, writing workshops, individual tutorials, group project work, seminar contributions, study visits, work attachments, project work and independent learning and research. Visiting speakers, including guest authors, regularly support your learning and module projects. You are encouraged, through a variety of strategies, to reflect on professional practice and professional frameworks during all of your applied work.

You will acquire attitudes and values through your interactions with lecturers, many of whom are professional writers or practicing publishers, and through a critical, reflective approach to your writing practice and to working in publishing. Leading writers act as guest tutors and mentors while senior members of the publishing industry regularly visit and often sponsor projects. Publishing and writing masterclasses also enable you to debate current issues within your field. Moodle is also embedded as a learning tool within the programme, offering you opportunities to interact with your fellow students and other programme academic staff outside of the classroom or workshop.

Your intellectual and cognitive skills will be developed through the programme’s range of learning modes, which include lectures, seminars, tutorials, coursework, the option of an assessed work placement drafts of major writing projects and short assignments and in your final project.

Your subject specific and transferable skills are developed in the modules through lectures, seminars, tutorials, coursework, an optional assessed work placement and in your major project.


For the Creative Writing Workshop module and the Storytelling module, you will be assessed through an individual assessment, which may include a portfolio of creative writing, a substantial piece of redrafted creative writing with an accompanying self-reflective essay or a critical academic essay or a researched book proposal.

In your other modules, you will be assessed by a range of methods including analytical essays; assessed group and individual projects; presentations with supporting research; and reflective reports on your own portfolios of writing or professional experience.


The MA CWP runs over one academic year for full-time students who undertake two core creative writing modules over terms 1 and 2, alongside core publishing modules in term 1 and electives in term 2. In the final term students must complete their Major Project.

Part-time students take the creative writing core modules in their first year of study and in their second year undertake the publishing core modules and electives and the Major Project.

Core modules

  • PBM002 The Role of Editorial & Production: Managing Authors, Lists & Intellectual Property (15 credits)
  • PBM003 Digital Publishing (15 credits)
  • PBM008 Major Project - Creative Writing and Publishing (60 credits)
  • PBM010 Creative Writing Workshop (30 credits)
  • CWM935 Storytelling (15 credits)

Throughout the three terms, you will be invited to attend masterclasses in creative writing, professional development sessions, and group and one-to-one tutorials, as you work towards your Major Project.

Elective modules

  • PBM001 Business & Marketing in Publishing (15 credits)
  • PBM005 Professional Placement (15 credits)
  • PBM006 Creating & Developing Content in Print (15 credits)
  • PBM007 Strategic Management of Content: Print & Digital (15 credits)
  • PBM009 International Publishing Case Studies (15 credits)
  • PBM011 Digital Product Innovation (15 credits)
  • ENM007 Genre in Context (15 credits)
  • ENM008 Theorising Women’s Writing (15 credits)
  • ENM009 Text & Image (15 credits)

Please note: Students select two elective modules, which must include a minimum of one PBM module

*Modules for 2020/21 to be confirmed

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

  • Academic profile
    photo of Patrick Brindle
    Programme Director, MA Publishing Studies Programmes
After you graduate

Career prospects

We are delighted that graduate Carlie Sorosiak’s (MA CWP 2015) young adult novel, If Birds Fly Back was published by HarperTeen in the US, Macmillan in the UK, Penguin Random House in Spain, and Arena Verlag in Germany in 2017. Sonya Lalli's (MA CWP 2015) The Arrangement, a romantic comedy, was published by Orion in 2017.

City students on the Creative Writing and Publishing MA have won the George Orwell Dystopian Fiction Prize: Holly Domney (MA CWP 2016), Maja Olsen (MA CWP 2017) and Katy Peck (MA CWP 2018).

Application Deadline

Apply now:

MA Creative Writing and Publishing Full-time2021/22

MA Creative Writing and Publishing Part-time2021/22

When applications open you can apply online and will be expected to submit the following:

  • A copy of your degree transcript. We require an original transcript or a copy certified by your institution. If you have not yet graduated, you will be required to send us your degree transcript as soon as it is available. You will not be able to register as a City student without having supplied your degree transcript
  • A sample of creative writing between 3,000-5,000 words
  • You may need to attend an interview, in person, or by phone.

Contact details

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