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Course summary

This MA allows you to develop your work as a creative writer, going beyond the merely personal and writing with an engaged sense of society and an understanding of the location of your work in relation to contemporary practices. You will take one of three distinct pathways: Fiction Writing, Poetry Writing, and Poetic Practice. In addition, all students take modules in Supplementary Discourses and Reading as a Writer, and all students undertake a Practical Project and a Dissertation. Fiction This course encourages you to develop and reflect on your work as a creative writer. While you learn to stretch your imagination, you'll be motivated to develop your technical and analytic skills, and in the process, sharpen your self-criticism. Poetry If you choose the poetry strand, you'll benefit from the strong focus on individual creative pactice fostered in weeklly workshops, critical classes and tutorials. As with all the Creative Writing pathways, poetry is taught by writers practising at the highest level and the emphasis is on your own needs as a developing poetry student. Poetic practice Poetic Practice is a unique, practice-based pathway that draws upon the Department of English's expertise in contemporary experimental poetry and writing within an expanded field of creative practice. These modules are designed to help you develop your work as a creative writer, against the backdrop of literature through history. Choosing the Fiction or the Poetry strand, you'll make the most of your existing experience, stretch your imagination, develop analytic skills, and in the process sharpen how you think about your own work. The Poetic practice pathway draws upon our expertise in contemporary experimental poetry across a wide range of ideas and practices. You will learn how to develop your practice and how to situate your practice in relation to recent and contemporary trends in experimental poetry, including visual poetics, sound and conceptual writing.

  • We teach all three Creative Writing pathways in Bedford Square, our creative campus in the heart of London’s Bloomsbury, close to the University of London's facilities. We've been running the Fiction and Poetry pathways for nearly a decade, while Poetic Practice has been running since 2003. We have built a strong reputation in all three areas.
  • Join the ranks of our creative writers who go on to recognition and profile including novelists Sarah Perry, Jenni Fagan, Barney Norris, Liza Klaussmann, Saskia Sarginson, Diriye Osman, Anna Whitwham, Cecilia Ekback and poets Declan Ryan, Liz Berry, Sarah Westcott, Marianne Burton, Sam Riviera, Lydia McPherson, Sophie Robinson, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett, Prue Chamberlain, Nish Ramayya and many more.
  • Work with practicing authors and poets. Jo Shapcott won the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry; Ben Markovits is one of Granta’s Britain’s 20 Best British novelists under 40; Karen Woolf won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection (2015); Robert Hampson was long-listed for the Forward Prize in 2013; and Redell Olsen was Judith E. Wilson Fellow in Poetry at Cambridge (2013-14)
  • Recent guest speakers and visiting professors have included Marlon James, Charlotte Mendelson, Dalijit Nagra, Helen Dunmore, Adam Foulds and a range of literary agents and editors

Modules

Supplementary Discourse; Reading as a Writer; Dissertation; Long Essay Project. A range of optional modules are also available.

Assessment method

At the beginning of the Spring term fiction writers will submit a 5,000-word piece of work and poets a portfolio of 12 pages. In addition, they will submit a 3,000-4,000 word essay arising from their work in Supplementary Discourses. They will be given feedback and then, at the beginning of the Summer term, resubmit improved versions together with a second piece of creative work, and a second essay in relation to Reading as a Writer. Part-time students hand their work in at the end of the relevant term instead of the beginning. At the end of the course fiction students will submit a 15,000 word piece of work and poets a portfolio of 24 pages. In addition, students will write a dissertation of 10-12,000 words, relating to their creative work and to their wider literary interests, to be submitted with the portfolio. Part-time students will make these final submissions at the end of their second year.


Entry requirements

2:1 Single or combined honours English. Normally we require a UK 2:1 (Honours) or equivalent in relevant subjects but we will consider a high 2:2 or relevant work experience. Candidates with professional qualifications in an associated area may be considered. Where a ‘high 2:2’ is considered, we would normally define this as reflecting a profile of 57% or above. Applicants with degrees in other subjects or with relevant publications are also encouraged to apply. Past students have come from a range of first-degree backgrounds. You will be required to submit an example of your writing; either a piece of fiction or non-fiction prose of up to 5,000 words in length or at least 12 pages of poetry. You will also be required to submit 1,000 words of critical writing in support of your application. Undergraduate essays and reviews are acceptable. Suitable applicants will be invited for an interview.


Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Republic of Ireland £10100 Year 1
EU £20700 Year 1
England £10100 Year 1
Northern Ireland £10100 Year 1
Scotland £10100 Year 1
Wales £10100 Year 1
Channel Islands £10100 Year 1
International £20700 Year 1

Additional fee information

These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year. All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. This means that the overall cost of studying the course via part-time mode is slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year. Royal Holloway's policy is that any increases in fees will not exceed 5% for continuing students. For further information, please see our terms and conditions. Please note that for research courses, we adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the RCUK website. The UK Government has confirmed that EU nationals are no longer eligible to pay the same fees as UK students, nor be eligible for funding from the Student Loans Company. This means you will be classified as an international student. At Royal Holloway, we wish to support those students affected by this change in status through this transition. For eligible EU students starting their course with us in September 2023, we will award a fee reduction scholarship equivalent to 30% of the difference between the UK and international fee for your course. This will apply for the duration of your course. Find out more These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2023/24 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.
Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London - UCAS