The MLitt Creative Writing offers the opportunity to produce a body of work – poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction – over the course of a creative and stimulating year. The degree combines intensive writers’ workshops, technique-focused option modules, and one-to-one tuition by the distinguished writers on staff, along with stimulating visits from authors, agents and publishers.
The course is designed to develop the talents of creative individuals, allowing them to focus in-depth on a project while offering them creative encounters with a range of genres and working practices, drawing on Stirling’s rich expertise in contemporary literature, publishing, film, media, and journalism.
Students learn skills in listening and diplomacy, advocacy, and in producing fine, nuanced writing.
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A minimum of a second class Honours degree (2.1 preferred) or equivalent in a relevant subject. Applicants without these formal qualifications but with significant appropriate/relevant work/life experience are encouraged to apply.
Applicants must supply a sample of their creative work: For the prose strand - up to eight pages of prose (fiction or creative nonfiction) or a portfolio of eight poems. A half-and-half mix is also acceptable.
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills:
For more information go to English language requirements
If you don’t meet the required score you may be able to register for one of our pre-sessional English courses. To register you must hold a conditional offer for your course and have an IELTS score 0.5 or 1.0 below the required standard. View our range of pre-sessional courses.
If you are interested in studying a module from this course, the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma then please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your course of study.
Use the online enquiry service to find out more or to request a prospectus.
If you are ready to apply you can fill out an online application form now.
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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.
In the Autumn Semester, all full-time students take two consecutive core modules, the Writer’s Workshops. In these core modules, students and tutors read and discuss each other’s work and present their own creative work for discussion.
Also in Autumn, full-time students will take a specialist option module, either Prose Fiction or Poetry.
In Spring, full-time students will take a third core module the Writer’s Workshop and also a Research Skills module which entails visits to class by literary agents, editors etc.
Also in Spring, we offer an option called ‘The Writing Life’ which covers non-fiction writing, memoir, and script-writing.
The Summer is spent preparing and writing the Dissertation.
Part-time students take the MLitt over two years:
In the Autumn of Year 2, part-time students take two consecutive Writer’s Workshop modules.
For part-time students, Dissertation preparation begins in Spring of Year 2.
Assessment for the workshops will depend on the literary form 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. Assessment for each option module will likewise vary but may include a critical essay, a journal, a creative project.
The most significant piece of work in the course is the creative dissertation, due at the end of the summer. This will be circa 15,000 words of prose or a collection of circa 15 poems. A dissertation may be a portfolio of shorter texts – stories, personal essays, poems – or part of a novel. It is expected to be revised and polished original work, written and presented to professional standards.
Those who do not embark on the dissertation may be awarded a Diploma. The work of the best students completing the course may be deemed worthy of an MLitt with Distinction.
Creative Writing – Full time
|Semester||Module 1||Module 2||Module 3|
|Autumn||CRWPP06: Writers Workshop A (20)||CRWPP10: Writers’ Workshop B (20)||Select one of:
CRWPP08: Writing Poetry (20)
CRWPP12: The Art of Fiction (20)
|Spring||CRWPP11: Writers’ Workshop C (20)||CRWPP16: The Writing Life (20)||CRWPP17: Research Skills for Writers (20)|
CRWPP05: Dissertation (60)
Creative Writing – Part time
|Semester||Module 1||Module 2|
CRWPP10: Writers’ Workshop B
20 credits of:
|Sprin||CRWPP16: The Writing Life (20)||CRWPP17: Research Skills for Writers (20)|
|Semester 3||CRWPP06: Writers Workshop A (20)||CRWPP11: Writers’ Workshop C (20)|
|Semester 4||CRWPPP5: Dissertation (60)|
Workshops and seminars and guest lectures are taught on campus. We also encourage students to embrace the wider literary life by attending – even organising – events and readings, festivals, libraries and the like.
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
The timetable below is a typical example, but your own timetable may be different.
Thur: 15.30-17.30 (weeks 1-6)
Thur: 15.30-17.30 (weeks 8-12)
Tues: 15.30-17.30 (fortnightly)
Thur: 16.00-18.00 (weeks 1-5)
Thur: 16.00-18.00 (fortnightly)
Thur: 16.00-18.00 (weeks 7-12)
Please note this is an illustrative timetable and not the timetable for 2017/18.
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.
Over half of our submissions in the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) were found to be ‘Internationally Excellent’ or ‘World-leading’.
The University of Stirling welcomes students from around the world. Find out what studying here could be like for you .
From September 2013 this course will be taught by Stirling’s Creative Writing team: poet and essayist Kathleen Jamie and fiction writer Liam Murray Bell.
Kathleen Jamie is an internationally recognised poet, and winner of, amongst other awards, the Scottish Book of the Year Award, a Forward Prize, and the Costa Poetry Prize.
Liam Murray Bell’s first novel ‘So It Is’ attracted Arts Council funding. Set in Belfast, it was hailed as ‘a beautifully written debut novel’ concerning the Troubles. His latest novel 'The Busker' is a Scottish Book Trust 'Pick' for 2014.
Both tutors also write non-fiction, reviews, essays etc and are popular figures at festivals, literary events, and residencies. We offer a dynamic mix of youth and experience, and encourage students in an atmosphere which is both rigorous and creative. Regular visits from other established writers, publishers, editors etc offer a wide view of the literary life.
The Creative Writing programme was a positive step towards learning the craft of the art of writing. I was attracted to Stirling by it's location and the reputation of the tutors. I have had my eyes opened in a new way to the exciting and challenging world of writing, and sharing that experience with my fellow students.
I enjoyed contact with the tutors; it was a joy to be ble to learn directly from their expertise, experience and passion. In addition to seminras with the course tutors, we also had access to workshops and talks with a variety of visiting professionals: book agents and publishers; writers, artist and poets. The course is diverse and the modules are well thought out, covering a wide range of writing styles, genres, and topics.
The reading list was compelling and full of surprises, and simultaneously opened up and sharpened my appreciation of literature. It is true to say that I found every single seminar, workshop and talk fascinating and enlivening.
The advice i would give to anyone considering studying at Stirling is go for it! The quality of teaching and support you will receive is outstanding.
Leonie Charlton, Creative Writing, 2016
The MLitt fostered a welcoming and supportive atmosphere in which all the students were given the freedom to develop distinctive voices. The course was structured to keep the seminars and workshops lively and varied, and the assignments honed every aspect of the students' writing. A year of sustained encouragement and feedback on my own writing has made me surer in my aesthetic and I go forward with a renewed confidence in my work and my vocation.
Chris Emslie, Creative Writing, 2012/13
Our Creative Writing students find a place for their creativity in many fields: teaching, broadcasting, publishing, community work. Many chose to become self-employed as writers and tutors. Some develop their interest further by studying for a PhD. Some actually publish books!
Graduates in Creative Writing will be highly literate self-managers capable of realising sustained projects using their own initiative and creativity. They will be emotionally intelligent and diplomatic and have skills in:
In any given year a number of course-specific talks and literary events are arranged for and by the students. These include but are not limited to:
As well as becoming professional writers our students find employment in many sectors. Some students have gone on to further study, in particular the creative writing PhD. Others are teachers, editors, librarians, some work in publishing.
Our course is particularly attractive to students are already well established in careers, or even retired and who take our MLitt later in life to enhance their skills and develop new creative prospects.
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