At the heart of the Manchester Writing School are our Masters programmes in Creative Writing, available to study on campus in Manchester, and also from anywhere in the world via online distance learning. On our Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programme, you will explore and practice techniques and styles of modern and contemporary writing and apply these through the development of your own full-length book or script. MFA students undertake all of the elements of our MA Creative Writing programme (a taught element blending writing workshops with reading units, an elective, and a dissertation), then take an additional unit about the publishing, literary and arts industries and submit a full-length manuscript: a completed novel or short story collection, poetry collection, book for children or young adults, script for stage, screen or radio, or book of creative non-fiction. You will be introduced to professionals from the publishing industries, which may include literary agents, publishers, broadcasters and arts practitioners, and the School has strong links with many major arts, educational and cultural organisations. Our MFA model is exceptional in coaching students through the development and completion of a full-length book under the sustained guidance of distinguished, practising writers and seeing those students achieve success in publishing. You will specialise in one of the following routes: Novel (including Short Fiction), Poetry, Writing for Children & Young Adults, Scriptwriting (for stage, screen or radio) or Creative Non-Fiction. The MFA is available to complete over two years full-time or three years part-time. This course is available to study on campus (full-time or part-time) or online (part-time only). We have intakes to the programme in September and January each year. Applications are also welcome from those already holding an MA in Creative Writing (180 credits) from Manchester Metropolitan or other universities who would like to top-up to an MFA by taking an additional 120 credits (including the Manuscript unit). Visit the Manchester Writing School website for more information, including profiles of staff and published students, news, events and projects. Please visit our Masters scholarships page for information on funding opportunities. Features and Benefits
- One of the most successful programmes of its kind in the UK - with more than 95 students and graduates publishing first books in the past ten years.
- Extensive calendar of events - including The Manchester Children's Book Festival, The National Creative Writing Industry Conference, Manchester Writing Competition Gala and Poetry Festivals.
- Industry links - strong links to the publishing, literary and arts industries with visits from major agents, editors and publishers.
- Flexible learning - core units take place in the evenings during the autumn and spring terms, with electives delivered on an intensive three-day model or studied independently with one-to-one tutorial supervision during the summer term.
- Full-length manuscript - MFA students submit a full-length manuscript: a completed novel or short story collection, poetry collection, book for children or young adults, feature-length script or book of creative non-fiction, completed over a full year with one-to-one editorial input from a dedicated Manuscript Mentor. Manuscript students also attend a term of weekly hour-long seminars with guests from the publishing industry and the literary arts.
- Live online teaching - the course can be completed entirely online, with core teaching for distance learning students via weekly online classes in Microsoft Teams.
- Academic expertise - taught by high-profile writers and critics including: Carol Ann Duffy DBE, Susan Barker, Laura Barnett, Andrew Biswell and Malika Booker.
- Visiting Fellows - our course features contributions from our visiting fellows, including: Ed Caesar, Mandy Coe, Tim Cresswell and Amanda Dalton.
In order to apply, you will need to submit a completed application form, a sample of creative writing, a critical review and one reference. You can apply online or download an application form here: mmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/postgraduate-taught-course. On the application form, you will be asked to give a personal statement and should use this to tell us a bit about yourself and give a good sense of what you have been reading and writing, what has led you to apply for our course, and which one of our specialist routes you are applying for. Personal statements should be up to 500 words long. For the creative sample, applicants to the Novel, Children's/YA and Creative Non-Fiction routes should submit up to 2,000 words of prose (a complete piece, or an extract/extracts from a longer work); poetry applicants should submit up to 15 poems; and scriptwriting applicants should submit up to 15 minutes running time of script. The critical review should focus on a piece of 21st century work, be up to 500 words long, and show evidence of close reading, explaining what it is about the piece you find useful as a writer. Both the creative and critical samples should be relevant to the specialist route to which you are applying to (Novel OR Poetry OR Writing for Children/YA OR Scriptwriting OR Creative Non-Fiction). Your reference can be from anyone of professional standing (e.g. a current/former employer or tutor) who can vouch for your suitability for study at postgraduate level or the quality of your writing, or, if you are unable to obtain a reference from someone who is familiar with your written work, simply verify your identity. Please collate and submit the application form, writing sample, review and reference, where possible. It will not speed up the processing of your application if you send some elements now with others to follow. We have intakes into the programme in September and January each year. While there is no set deadline for the receipt of applications, we recommend applying before the end of August for September entry, and by the end of November for January entry. We normally aim to respond to applications within four weeks of receipt of all four elements: application form, writing sample, review and reference, although it may take a little longer outside of term time. In each application assessed we will be looking for evidence of: A very high standard of written English; Creative talent and potential; Control of form, style and technique; Commitment to the craft of writing and willingness to engage with the editorial process of receiving feedback and redrafting work-in-progress; Experience of the development of writing skills through workshops, supervision, mentoring or previous study; Commitment to the craft of writing and the development of writing skills through workshops and supervision; Substantial reading within the relevant field. Applicants whose first language is not English are required to produce evidence of English Language proficiency. Overseas applicants will require IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 overall, with no sub-component below 5.5, or an equivalent accepted English qualification. Accepted English qualifications can be viewed here. If your application meets these criteria, a tutor may contact you to arrange a telephone or face-to-face interview at a mutually convenient time.
Fees and funding
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Additional fee information
Manchester Metropolitan University
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Course contact detailsVisit our course page
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