MLitt Creative Writing

Develop your creative flair. Our MLitt Creative Writing offers you the opportunity to produce a body of work – poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction – over the course of an inspiring and stimulating year.

Creative Writing

Key facts

  • Award Masters / MLitt, Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate
  • Start date September 2022, September 2023
  • Application deadline For students who require a visa: we are closed for September 2022 entry
  • Duration MLitt full-time: 12 months, MLitt part-time: 24 months
  • Mode of study part time, full time
  • Delivery on campus

Overview

On this Masters course, you’ll learn to produce fine, nuanced writing and a body of work in either poetry, fiction or creative non-fiction. We combine intensive writers’ workshops, technique-focused classes and one-to-one tuition by distinguished writers, along with fascinating and useful visits from authors, agents and publishers to help you on your creative journey.

The course is designed to develop your writing talent. It allows you to intensively focus on a project while engaging with a range of genres and working practices that draw upon our rich expertise in contemporary literature, publishing, film, media and journalism. You’ll also develop skills in listening, editing and peer feedback.

Our course is open to all, whether you’re already well established in your career, starting out on your creative journey or want to take our MLitt later in life to enhance your skills and explore new creative prospects. 

Top reasons to study with us

Work placements

There are opportunities for collaboration and to take part in publications with the Stirling Art Collection and the Publishing Annual Anthology Showcase.

Flexible learning

If you’re interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email Graduate Admissions to discuss your course of study.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A minimum of a Second Class Honours degree (2:1 preferred) in a relevant subject or equivalent is required. If you don’t have these formal qualifications, but have significant relevant work and life experience, we still encourage you to apply. 

We require a sample of creative work as one of the academic requirements for entry. Here are our guidelines for what you need to submit.

Creative work guidelines

If you are choosing to study prose, we require up to ten pages (fiction or creative nonfiction). For poetry, we are looking for approximately eight poems. You can also send us half prose and half poetry as your sample.

Our tutors specialise in literary fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry and scriptwriting, and we welcome applicants who share those interests. Please note that journalistic, professional and children’s writing are not taught on the course – so writing in these forms should not be included in your writing sample.

The personal statement is an opportunity for you to share your background, experiences and, crucially, the types of contemporary literature that you like to read and which you aspire to write.

These are some of the things we’re looking for you to demonstrate in the writing sample, across both prose and poetry. The list is not exhaustive or prescriptive, and should be used as a guide rather than a checklist.

Prose

  • A degree of consistency and persuasiveness of setting, character and point-of-view (in creative fiction) and subject matter, theme and tone (creative non-fiction)
  • Evidence of essential aspects of technique and form such as narrative point-of-view, dialogue, physical description and narrative time
  • Clear and fluent expression, avoiding predictable, clichéd or expositional language
  • Good editing and presentation skills, including a command of spelling, grammar and punctuation

Poetry

  • A good command of register and tone
  • A willingness to engage with aspects of technique and form such as metre, rhyme, imagery, metaphor and simile (although not all of these need to be present)
  • Expression that is lucid and focused, without reliance on abstractions
  • Clear evidence of editing and presentation skills, including a command of spelling and punctuation.

International entry requirements

View the entry requirements for your country.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:

  • IELTS Academic or UKVI 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each sub-skill 
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced (CAE) 169 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Cambridge C2 Proficiency (CPE) 180 overall with a minimum of 162 in each sub-skill
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic) 60 overall with a minimum of 59 in each sub-skill
  • IBT TOEFL 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • IBT TOEFL Special Home Edition Test 78 overall with a minimum of 17 in listening, 18 in reading, 20 in speaking and 17 in writing
  • Trinity ISE II Pass overall with a Pass in each sub-skill, ISE III Pass overall and in all sub-skills, ISE IV Pass overall and in all sub-skills
  • Aptis (4 skills) CEFR B2 overall and B2 in all sub-skills
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator - High Pass overall with minimum 25 in each sub-skill

Last updated: 23 August 2022

You must also check the specific English language requirements for your country.

For more information on ways that you can meet our English language requirements, including options to waive the requirement, please read our information on English language requirements.

Pre-sessional English language courses

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO University of Stirling offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to this degree.

Find out more about our pre-sessional English language courses.

Course details

Our aim as you study the MLitt Creative Writing is to provide a supportive environment for you to develop your writing, allowing you the time and space to fine-tune your creative skills and make connections with your fellow writers and the wider literary landscape of Scotland.

 

Modules

The module information below provides an example of the types of course module you may study. The details listed are for the current academic year (September 2022). Modules and start dates are regularly reviewed and may be subject to change in future years.

Course Details

Teaching

You’ll take part in intensive writers’ workshops, technique-focused modules and have one-to-one tuition by the distinguished writers on staff. There’s also intriguing visits from authors, book agents, publishers, poets and others involved in the literary world.

Workshops, seminars and guest lectures are held on campus. Throughout the course, we encourage our students to embrace the wider literary life by attending – even organising – events, readings, festivals and libraries.

Fieldwork

Staff have strong links to local research and creative networks, including the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival, the Annual Charles Wallace India Trust and the Booker Prize Foundation Universities Initiative and students are encouraged to attend a wide range of literary related events.

Assessment

Assessment for each module you take will vary, but may include a critical essay, a journal or a creative project.

Assessment for the workshops will depend on the literary form you’ve chosen (e.g. prose or poetry), but will be based on reading journals and/or working notebooks, book reviews and completed pieces of creative work.

The most significant piece of work in the course is the creative dissertation, due at the end of the summer. This should be approximately 15,000 words of prose, or a collection of around 15 poems. A dissertation may be a portfolio of shorter texts – stories, personal essays, poems – or part of a novel. It’s expected to be revised and polished original work, written and presented to professional standards.

If you don’t embark on the dissertation you may be awarded a Diploma. The work of the best students completing the course may be deemed worthy of an MLitt with Distinction.

Key staff

This course is taught by Liam Murray BellKevin MacNeil and Chris Powici.

Fees and funding

Fees and costs

  2022/23 2023/24
Students from the UK£7,100£7,600
Students from the Republic of Ireland£7,100£7,600
Overseas (non-EU) students£19,145£19,645
European Union students£19,145£19,645

Students from the UK

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Students from the Republic of Ireland

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study or repeat study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

European Union students

EU Postgraduate Scholarship

Eligible EU students will automatically receive our EU Postgraduate Scholarship, which provides a 40% fee discount on full-time, on-campus postgraduate degrees at the University of Stirling.

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study, you will be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Overseas students (non-EU)

We offer a range of funding options for overseas students.

Course fees

Fees shown are for a full-time, one-year Masters course.

If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for additional fees.

If you are studying part time, the total course fee will be split over the years that you study. The total fee will remain the same and will be held at the rate set in your year of entry.

For more information on courses invoiced on an annual fee basis, please read our tuition fee policy.

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

The full-time option for this course is eligible for a postgraduate tuition fee loan from one of the UK’s governments. See the section, below, for more details.

Additional costs

There are some instances where additional fees may apply. Depending on your chosen course, you may need to pay additional costs, for example for field trips. Learn more about additional fees.

Scholarships and funding

Postgraduate tuition fee loans

Scottish students who study this course full-time may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for loans of up to £10,000 to cover tuition fees and associated living costs.

English students can apply for a loan of up to £11,570 each year as part of the Postgraduate Masters Loan Scheme.

Welsh students can apply for financial support of up to £18,025 as a combination of grant and loan from Student Finance Wales.

Northern Irish students can apply for a postgraduate tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 from Student Finance NI.

Other sources of funding

If you have the talent, ability and drive to study with us, we want to make sure you make the most of the opportunity – regardless of your financial circumstances.

Learn more about available funding opportunities or use our scholarship finder to explore our range of scholarships.

Cost of living

If you’re domiciled in the UK, you can typically apply to your relevant funding body for help with living costs. This usually takes the form of student loans, grants or bursaries, and the amount awarded depends upon your personal circumstances and household income.

European Union and overseas students won’t normally be able to claim living support through SAAS or other UK public funding bodies. You should contact the relevant authority in your country to find out if you’re eligible to receive support.

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

We aim to be as flexible as possible, and offer a wide range of payment methods - including the option to pay fees by instalments. Learn more about how to pay

After you graduate

Our graduates leave the course with a sizeable portfolio of written work that can be used to contact publishing agents and literary magazines when seeking employment.

They also find a place for their creativity in many areas, including teaching, broadcasting, librarianship, publishing and community work. Many choose to become self-employed as writers and tutors. Some develop their interest further by studying for a PhD.

Our MLitt Creative Writing graduates are highly literate self-managers capable of realising sustained projects using their own initiative and creativity. By the end of the course, you’ll have developed skills in:

Communication and presentation

You’ll be able to articulate complex ideas and information in imaginative, comprehensible and entertaining forms. You’ll also have improved communication skills letting you present ideas in verbal and written forms to audiences in a range of situations, as well as being able to encourage, evaluate and assist with the work of others.

Self-management

You’ll be proficient in working independently, setting goals and meeting deadlines. You’ll use your creativity and imagination to meet challenges and to respond positively to change and uncertainty.

Critical engagement

You’ll gain the ability to formulate independent judgements, articulate arguments and research relevant material, presenting your findings in engaging and innovative ways.

Employability skills

We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at university and develop the attributes that employers look for. In the Faculty of Arts and Humanities we have a dedicated Employability and Skills Officer. The University of Stirling’s Career and Employability Service also works in partnership with academic staff to ensure you get the most out of your University experience, and are ready for the employment market.

What our students said

Theresa Moerman Ib
Theresa Moerman Ib
Netherlands
MLitt Creative Writing
It's hard to hear the truth when your work doesn't cut the mustard. But honesty changes your work for the better.
Read Theresa's story
Kyle Boyek
Kyle Boyek
United Kingdom
MLitt Creative Writing
What I love about the course is that the core component is always writing itself, but it gives students a holistic and realistic understanding of pursuing a career in it.
Read Kyle's story

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