Creative Writing (MLitt)



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.

Key information

EU Applicants
EU students enrolling for a postgraduate taught degree in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic year will be admitted as Scottish/EU fee status students and will be eligible for the same tuition support as Scottish domiciled students.

  • Qualification: MLitt
  • Study methods: Full-time, Part-time, Campus based
  • Duration: Full time: MLitt-12 months; Diploma-9 months; Certificate-3 months Part time: MLitt-27 months; Diploma 21 months; Certificate-3 months
  • Start date:


  • Course Director: Dr Liam Bell
Download postgraduate prospectus

Dr Liam Bell

Division of Literature and Languages
Faculty of Arts and Humanities
University of Stirling
Stirling FK9 4LA
Scotland, UK

Course objectives

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.

What makes us different?

World-class library and teaching facilities

Studying for a degree means learning in different ways; managing your own time; conducting research; mastering new computer skills. We have the facilities and advice on hand to help you do all this - and do it well.

Learn more

Library shelves

Life at Stirling

Of the many reasons students come to Stirling, such as academic reputation and research standards, one factor is always cited: the outstanding beauty of the University's Stirling campus. View our online films to get a picture of what it's like to live and study on our beautiful campus.

Watch our videos now

Live Life

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

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: Full guidelines for the writing sample

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 minimum in each skill
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade C
  • Pearson Test of English (Academic): 54 with 51 in each component
  • IBT TOEFL: 80 with no subtest less than 17

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.

Flexible Learning

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

Application procedure

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.

For more information, contact Kathleen Jamie in English Studies. For general enquiries and information on application deadlines, contact the Faculty of Arts & Humanities Graduate Studies office.

Fees and costs


2018/19 Overseas £15,250
2018/19 Home/EU £4,700

Fees for all new applicants to postgraduate taught courses are held at the level set upon entry.

Please note there is an additional charge should you choose to attend a graduation ceremony. View more information

Cost of Living

Find out about the cost of living for students at Stirling

Payment options

Find information on paying fees by instalments

Scholarships & funding

SAAS Postgraduate Loans

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) is now offering a generous loan scheme to assist eligible Scottish and EU-domiciled students pursuing a Masters at the University of Stirling during 2018/19. Find out more about SAAS Postgraduate Loans

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 »

Financial information

Find out more about funding your studies and meeting your living costs while working towards another degree.

Scholarship finder

Structure and teaching

Structure and content

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.

Full-time students

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

Part-time students take the MLitt over two years:

Year 1:

  • In the Autumn Semester of Year 1, part-time students take one core module, 'The Writer’s Workshop'. 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, part-time students will take a specialist option module, either Prose Fiction or Poetry.
  • In Spring, part-time students take the option ‘The Writing Life’, plus the Research Skills module.

Year 2:

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.

Delivery and assessment

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

SemesterModule 1Module 2Module 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

SemesterModule 1Module 2

CRWPP10: Writers’ Workshop B

20 credits of:
CRWPP08: Writing Poetry (20)

CRWPP12: The Art of Fiction (20)

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)



Modes of study

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.

Study method


Example timetable

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.


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 2017/18.

Why Stirling?



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’.

International Students

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.

Our students

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 able to learn directly from their expertise, experience and passion.  In addition to seminars 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 staff

Professor Kathleen Jamie

Dr Liam Bell

Careers and employability

Career opportunities

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!

Skills you can develop through this course

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:

  • Communication and presentation - being able to articulate complex ideas and information in imaginative, comprehensible and entertaining forms. They will be able to present ideas in verbal and written forms to audiences in a range of situations; and to encourage, evaluate and assist with the work of others.
  • Self-management – students will have the ability to work independently, set goals and meet deadlines. They will be able to work with creativity and imagination to meet challenges, and to respond positively to change and uncertainty.
  • Critical engagement – students will have the ability to formulate independent judgements, articulate arguments and research relevant material, presenting their findings in engaging and creative ways. 

Chances to expand your horizons

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:

  • visits from literary agents and or publishers
  • public events by poets and novelists (with students’ input and assistance)
  • visits to research centres

Where are our graduates now?

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.

We’re here to help

We offer a comprehensive employability and skills programme to help you maximise your time at university and develop the graduate attributes required by employers. We have a dedicated Faculty Employability and Skills Officer and a Career and Employability Service who work in partnership with academic staff to ensure you get the best out of your University experience and are given the right opportunities to make you ready for the world of work.

Students have access to advice, information and career opportunities not only in the UK, but worldwide.



98% of our postgraduate leavers are in employment or further study withing six months of graduating - Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2015/16
© University of Stirling FK9 4LA Scotland UK • Telephone +44 1786 473171 • Scottish Charity No SC011159
Portal Logon