There is no one way to learn creative writing; nor is there only one correct way to learn to improve your creative writing. However, if you are considering undertaking a creative writing course, there are some key points that might assist you.
Before considering these, however, I should note that in the Britain there is no national benchmark for what a creative writing course should include. That is, each institution - in fact, in many cases, each course tutor - can decide on the style, structure and content of their courses. With this in mind, the prospective creative writing student needs to be prepared to add up the pros and cons of any one course at a personal level, as well as according to more general guidelines as follows:
(a) a good creative writing course will give you time to work on your own creative writing;
(b) a good creative writing course should make room for you to improve your understanding of the writing arts generally, so that you can be aware of the context of what you are doing;
(c) a good creative writing course is often one that connects your personal strengths with the strengths inherent in the course (ie. if you are the kind of person who gains a lot from group discussions, then the workshop-style creative writing course might well be best for you; on the other hand, you might be the kind of person who mostly prefers to talk about your writing one-to-one, working more closely with a supervisory/tutor, and occasionally meeting with a larger group. Both approaches work; both approaches are available in Britain);
(d) a good creative writing course often starts with 'introducing the basics' and finishes with 'completing a small, or large, project with advice from your tutor'.
And an additional note: not every creative writing course aims to produce creative writers. Yes, the vast majority do, in some way. But there are other creative writing courses whose primary aim is more broadly 'self-expression' or 'self-development'. You'll find these kinds of courses in Britain too.
Finally, taking a course is certainly not the only way to learn write creatively. The old notion that the best way to learn to write is simply to keep doing it, over and over and over again, has a fair amount of truth to it. Perspiration as much as inspiration!
However, if you are interested in writing creatively, what a creative writing course should do for you is that it should speed things along, help you to pick up problems in your work more easily, make you more aware of what the writing arts are about and how they work, and give you access to skilled writers and informed critical opinions.
Learning to write creatively is a wonderful experience, a great career option, a fantastic way to improve your communication skills more generally, a portable, adaptable and often fascinating skill, and a link to many other interesting subject areas as creative writers tend to draw on the knowledge of many fields.
Professor Graeme Harper - Chair, UK Centre for Creative Writing (Research Through Practice).