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  1. Postgraduate
    1. 2020
Study at City

MFA Creative Writing MFA

Entry Year:
Develop your creative writing skills through guided completion of a full length work in your chosen genre while enhancing you career prospects in the field of writing.

Key information

Start date

September 2020

Academic year dates


Full-time: two years

Part-time: four years


Full-time: £8,000 year 1, £4,500 year 2

Part-time: £4,000 years 1 & 2, £2,500 years 3 & 4


Full-time: £14,000 year 1, £9,000 year 2

Application period

From January 2020


Northampton Square

Who is it for?

The MFA Creative Writing offers you the opportunity to consolidate your knowledge and skills in Creative Writing by developing a full-length original and potentially publishable manuscript in your chosen genre (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Genre Fiction). You will gain a deep understanding of your craft and will be able to reflect critically upon your stylistic and formal decisions and situate them in their cultural and literary contexts. You will acquire a detailed knowledge of the aspects of being a professional writer and will develop a comprehensive understanding of the business of writing.

You will also complete a module on Creative Writing pedagogy that will provide you with a basis for understanding how Creative Writing functions in different types of educational settings. This combination of creative and practical skills will prepare you for a career as a writer as well as for a broad range of careers that draw upon the programme’s transferable skills.


This course will allow you to develop the skills and confidence necessary to plan, research, critically evaluate and execute a substantial full-length manuscript in Creative Writing for potential publication. It will enable you to take a professional approach to editing, revising and critiquing creative work, both your own and that of others

You will also gain a broad range of transferable skills appropriate for graduate careers in Creative Writing and a practical understanding of the publishing industry, including how to present and market creative work. The course not only prepares you for a potential career in areas such as professional writing or publishing but also for further MFA/PhD study and research, and to expedite your access to such programmes.

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.

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

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you 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:

  • 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

Applications for 2020/21 are open:

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

  • A copy of your degree transcript, if applicable. 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 of 5,000 words.
  • A 300 word abstract of the longer piece of creative writing you plan to complete.
  • You may need to attend an interview, in person, or by phone.
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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).


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.

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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.

Course content and assessment

Teaching and learning

In the first year you will acquire knowledge and understanding through a mix of writing workshops, individual tutorials, formal lectures, seminar contributions, study visits, project work and independent learning and research. Visiting speakers, including guest authors and publishers, are invited regularly to support your learning and module projects and to contextualise other knowledge and skills you’ll learn on the programme. You are encouraged, through a variety of strategies, to reflect on professional practice and professional frameworks during all of your applied work.

In the second year you will work independently on your Major Project under the close supervision of a staff member who is an expert in your chosen genre. You will also complete one 15-credit core module on Teaching Creative Writing.


Summative assessment of the programme outcomes occurs across the core and elective modules and in the Dissertation and Major Project.  Individual modules deploy a range of assessment methods, and include portfolios of creative writing, analytical essays, assessed group and individual projects (including presentations with supporting research), portfolios of writing and publishing research which demonstrate evidence of skills gained through reflective analysis, and research-based assignments.

The Dissertation provides an opportunity for you to demonstrate the skills and understanding you have acquired through the taught provision, whilst the reflective essay provides an opportunity for you to think critically about your development as a writer in the context of your chosen genre.

The Major Project allows you to complete a substantial piece of original creative writing to a high professional standard and will be assessed on a set of criteria which establish literary merit, originality and the mastery of established literary conventions and techniques.  The Critical Essay provides you with an opportunity to critically evaluate how such conventions and techniques have shaped your development as a creative writer.


Year 1

You will complete a total of 120 credits of taught modules, which includes one core elective 60-credit workshop in your chosen genre, two core 15-credit modules, and two 15-credit elective modules in English Literature and/or Publishing.  At the end of your first year you will submit a Dissertation, an extended piece of creative writing in your chosen genre. You will also submit a reflective essay in which you discuss the development of your own creative practice and your plan for completion of the Major Project.  The detailed feedback you receive in the assessment of the Dissertation and reflective essay will prepare you for completing the Major Project

Year 2

In your second year you will complete the Major Project, a substantial piece of creative writing, under the close supervision of an expert in your chosen genre. The Major Project may be a section of a novel, a piece or pieces of creative non-fiction, or several short stories. You will also submit a Critical Essay in which you reflect on how the literary and theoretical issues that inform your chosen genre have shaped and influenced your own creative practice.

You will also complete one core 15-credit module on Teaching Creative Writing.

Core modules

Core modules (3 x 15 credits)

  • Reading as a Writer
  • The Business of Writing
  • Teaching Creative Writing

Core Elective (choose 1 x 60 credits)

  • Creative Writing Workshop:  Fundamentals of Fiction
  • Creative Writing Workshop:  Fundamentals of Genre Fiction
  • Creative Writing Workshop:  Fundamentals of Non-fiction

Elective modules

Elective modules (2 x 15 credits)

on the MA English programme:

  • Constituting Identity
  • Imagined Communities
  • Literary Cartographies
  • Genre in Context
  • Theorising Women’s Writing

on the Publishing programme:

  • Text and Image
  • Digital Publishing
  • Creating and Developing Content in Print
  • Innovations in Content
  • Designing Interactive Media

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

Overall workload

Full-time students can expect between 10 and 12 hours of classroom-based study per week, depending on your module choice, plus time spent on preparatory reading, independent study and practice-based research, and preparation of assignments.  Part-time students should typically expect half of this contact time.  There is a significant amount of independent study within each module and this time is for you to read literature related to the modules you are studying, to observe and interact with peers, and to plan and develop your assessments as well as reflect on your development as an independent, self-directed writer.

In addition to the taught provision, you will produce an extended piece of Creative Writing related to your programme of study in Fiction, Non-fiction or Genre Fiction. You will work in consultation with a supervisor to develop this extended piece of Creative Writing, which may be short stories or a portion of a novel or book, to a total of 15,000 words.

  • Academic profile
    Portrait of Julie Wheelwright
    Senior Lecturer & Programme Director MA Creative Writing (non-fiction)
After you graduate

Career prospects

The MFA Creative Writing prepares you for a career as a writer.  It also develops key transferable skills in oral and written communication relevant to a range of careers, including Teaching, Editing, Community Arts Work, Arts Management and Administration, Publishing and Journalism, and within other areas of the creative industries such as advertising and video or computer game production.  You will have exposure to agents, editors and others within both traditional and electronic publishing.

Contact details

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