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Birkbeck College, University of London

Creative Writing

This programme seeks to develop your confidence, sensitivity and discernment in the analysis of your own and fellow students’ work, along with greater critical understanding of contemporary literary developments and the place of your own writing within them. It also trains you to a professional level in editing your own and others' creative work and provides a practical understanding of publishing and producing imaginative work within the creative industries. It allows you to develop, under expert supervision, a creative writing project of your choice. Practical courses on publishing, producing and editing creative work offer contact with professionals such as publishers and literary agents.
Duration 1 year full time; 2 years part time (One evening a week part-time; two evenings a week full-time.)
Level MA
Cost Part-time (home/EU students): £3975 pa. Part-time (overseas students): £6875 pa. Full-time (home/EU students): £6950 pa. Full-time (overseas students): £13,750 pa.
Assessment: Four short creative pieces with critical essays (50 per cent). A dissertation (15,000 words) in one of the following genres: either a novella, novel or collection of short stories, with a preface of 3000 words (50 per cent).
A good honours degree (this requirement may be waived if you can demonstrate exceptional talent). A portfolio of writing of around 5000 words and a personal statement (to be submitted with your application form, details under 'How to Apply'). Students are selected on the basis of their portfolio and statement, an interview (selected candidates only) and their degree. If English is not your first language, an IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent is required.
The programme includes seminars and workshops in fiction and also seminars in contemporary literature. Core modules: Writing and Reading Seminar, The Writing Workshop, Contemporary Literature: you choose either Genre and Narrative or Poetry Workshop or Writing for Young Adults Workshop. Option modules may include: Contemporary British Poetry, Introduction to Playwriting, Introduction to Screenwriting, Publishing, Reading Time in the Twentieth Century. In terms of study resources, Birkbeck has an annual creative writing magazine, the Mechanics' Institute Review, edited by Birkbeck MA Creative Writing students and featuring writing from the course as a showcase for the degree, with wide distribution beyond Birkbeck to literary agents, publishers, etc. In addition we have our own website, The Writers' Hub.
Contact Information
Institution Birkbeck College, University of London
Department of English and Humanities
43-46 Gordon Square

Tel: 020 3073 8372
Department: Department of English and Humanities
Contact Email: englishandhuman