Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

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Course summary

The Creative Writing MA at Canterbury Christ Church offers a stimulating course with a commercial edge, taught by experienced tutors who are successful writers themselves. We believe that all writers need a core toolkit of skills, but we also understand that our students often want to specialise in an area of writing about which they’re passionate. That’s why we offer pathways that allow you to explore subgenres within Fiction, Writing for Children and Creative Non-Fiction, supported by subject specialists. Our courses are designed with busy lives in mind, and are taught through a combination of intensive weekends, distance learning and tutorials. We also offer a strong focus on developing professional practice in writers, looking at skills such as self-presentation, pitching and understanding the publishing industry. Fiction: Students selecting this pathway will explore literary and more commercial forms of creative writing. You may wish to focus on a particular subgenre such as fantasy, horror or science-fiction, where you can work on building a larger imaginative world. Perhaps you want to try your hand at historical fiction, or a page-turning thriller, where research is key to the authenticity of your fiction. Or maybe you would like to try new forms for fiction through experimental writing. Whatever your focus, we can help you to explore how to write within, and push the boundaries of, your chosen genre. Creative Non-Fiction: This pathway allows students to explore the creative aspects of non-fiction writing, including memoir and writing from life, features journalism, travel and nature writing. Students will consider the creative tension between fact and fiction and how this can be explored in contemporary creative non-fiction. Writing for Children: An ideal choice for those who want to develop a career in writing novels, picture books or children’s non-fiction, this pathway will develop the specific writing skills needed for writing for under-12s. Steeped in literary history, Canterbury is an excellent setting for the next chapter of your Creative Writing story. Canterbury Christ Church University is a young, dynamic university and the degree is run by a team of writers who have live experience of the publishing market. We pride ourselves in taking innovative approaches to the way our students learn, offering flexible options that help you to fit an MA into your life. We also have strong links to publishers, agents and literary festivals, and work hard to create opportunities for our students to develop their writing practice and career. The MA Creative Writing includes core modules in The Craft of Writing, Professional Practice, Critical Reading and Research skills, which develop a toolkit for great writing across all genres. In other modules students specialise in their chosen pathway, developing a critical understanding (and warm appreciation) of their specialised area of writing. Finally, every student submits a 15,000 word piece of extended writing, working closely with an established writer from their chosen area of specialism.


Research Methods (10 credits - core) This module introduces students to the demands of postgraduate study, developing the skills, approaches and methods that students will need to complete both the critical and creative aspects of their studies. Writing in Genre (20 credits - core) This module offers students the chance to explore and write in their chosen subgenre within Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction or Writing for Chidlren. Students will work on an individual project, drawing on a bank of online resources and supported by an expert tutor from their chosen field. Writers’ Workshop 1 and 2 (10 credits each – core) In these linked modules, students will work on developing their practice through reflective journal writing and supportive peer workshops. Students will consider the practice of giving and receiving constructive criticism on work in progress and the role of reader feedback in drafting and editing. The modules are assessed through engagement with online workshop, journal pages and reflective writing. The Craft of Writing 1 (20 credits - core) The Craft of Writing 1 offers opportunities to enrich your craft through exercises that stretch the boundaries of your writing, and dig deep into the components of your writer’s toolkit, such as speech, metaphor and gesture. Students will be encouraged to move from this creative experimentation into developing short-form pieces of writing, and reflecting upon them. The Craft of Writing 2 (20 credits - core) The Craft of Writing 2 builds on the previous module to explore the structural, philosophical and rhetorical aspects of writing, challenging students to consider how to sustain themes and storylines across extended pieces of writing. Students will develop the skills to analyse aspects of their writing such as narrative and style, and to deploy these in writing long-form creative pieces. Professional Practice (10 credits - core) This module develops the public-facing skills of the author, including giving readings, developing online platforms, and working as a writer in a variety of contexts. Critical Reading Group (20 credits – core) A key part of the writer’s armoury is a dynamic understanding of the market surrounding their work, and this module aims to develop, challenge and enrich such an understanding. Students will look at critical and creative responses to text, sharpen their own critical reading skills, and learn how to adapt this understanding to critically evaluate and contextualise their own work. The core reading list for this module will be supplemented by recommended further reading for each pathway. Creative Writing Portfolio (60 credits – core) Students will work with an individual tutor, chosen for their specific expertise in the genre, to develop 15,000 word piece of prose, which might be the beginning of a novel, the first part of a book-length piece of non-fiction, or a collection of articles or short stories.

Assessment method

This course is assessed solely through coursework, including creative writing portfolios, critical essays and a reading of the student’s own work. There are no examinations. Students are encouraged to develop their own assignment titles as far as possible, developing their own practice in a focused way. The final Creative Writing Portfolio allows students to dive deep into their chosen genre, presenting the opening chapters of a full-length book (fiction or non-fiction) or a collection of shorter pieces.

Entry requirements

Applicants are assessed on a 2,000 word creative writing portfolio. A first degree is preferred, but applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis. Applicants should state their preferred pathway (Commercial Fiction/Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Horror/Creative Non-Fiction/ Writing for Children) on application.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

No additional fees or cost information has been supplied for this course, please contact the provider directly.
Creative Writing at Canterbury Christ Church University - UCAS