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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
  • Duration MLitt full-time: 12 months, MLitt part-time: 27 months
  • Mode of study Part-time, Full-time, Campus based, Stand-alone modules

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
  • 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.

  • 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.


    • 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


    • 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.
  • 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 6.0 with 5.5 in each 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) 54 overall with a minimum of 51 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
    • 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

    Last updated: 5 December 2019

    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.

The teaching year at Stirling is divided into two semesters, which run from mid-September to late December, and from January to the end of May.



The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery in the next academic intake of this course. These may be subject to change as the University regularly revises and refreshes the curriculum of our taught programmes.

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.

  • 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 (prose or poetry), but will be based on reading journals and/or working notebooks, book reviews and in some cases 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.

  • Classroom hours

    The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.


    CRWPP06: Writers Workshop A

    Thur: 15.30-17.30 (weeks 1-6)

    CRWPP10: Writers’ Workshop B

    Thur: 15.30-17.30 (weeks 8-12)

    CRWPP08: Writing Poetry

    Tues: 15.30-17.30 (fortnightly)


    CRWPP11: Writers’ Workshop C

    Thur: 16.00-18.00 (weeks 1-5)

    CRWPP16: The Writing Life

    Thur: 16.00-18.00 (fortnightly)

    CRWPP17: Research Skills for Writers

    Thur: 16.00-18.00 (weeks 7-12)

    Please note this is an illustrative timetable, and not the timetable for 2019/20.

  • Course director
  • Key staff
  • Fees and costs

    Fees shown are per year (fees are different for each course)


    Home/EU Students

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

    If you’re domiciled in Scotland, you may be eligible to apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a loan of up to £10,000 to cover your tuition fees and associated living costs. Students domiciled in the EU can also apply for tuition fee support, although may not be eligible to receive funding to support living costs.

    If you're domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you should be eligible to apply for a loan from your regional body.

    English students apply for a loan of up to £10,609 per year as part of the UK Postgraduate Loan Scheme, Welsh students can apply for a non-means tested loan of up to £13,000 from the Welsh Government and Northern Irish students are eligible to apply for support of up to £5,500.

    *Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Overseas (Non-EU) Students

    Fees shown are for full-time, one-year Masters course. Fees for students who apply for a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate will be paid on a pro-rata basis.

    If the course is taken over two years then the fee will be split evenly over the two years. Fees are not pro-rated for students who enrol on a Masters course and decide to exit with a Postgraduate Diploma - the full fee is charged.


    Please note: You will be liable to pay tuition fees for every year you’re in attendance, and your fees will be held level upon entry. If you need to extend your period of study, you may be liable for an additional fee.

  • Scholarships and funding

    University of Stirling Postgraduate Merit Scholarship

    The University of Stirling is offering any UK or European Union student with a First Class Honours degree (or equivalent) a £2,000 scholarship to study full-time on any taught Masters course, or £1,000 for part-time study. Find out more about the Postgraduate Merit Scholarship.

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    EU 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

Our graduates 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.


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.

Theresa Moerman Ib
It's hard to hear the truth when your work doesn't cut the mustard. But honesty changes your work for the better.
Theresa Moerman Ib
The Netherlands / Denmark MLitt Creative Writing
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Immerse yourself in as much as you can and be inquisitive. The University has a lot more to offer – get involved and network, network, network.
Frances Ainslie
United Kingdom MLitt Creative Writing
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