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Postgraduate study
Creative Writing

Creative Writing MA

Creative writers express thoughts, feelings and emotions through words and have the ability to inform, provoke, captivate, inspire and move. You approach creative writing from a variety of perspectives - including fiction, poetry, life writing and drama - to explore how writers operate and how you can become an independent writer in professional publishing, performance and writing within community, educational and therapeutic contexts.


Course overview

Taught by practicing writers, poets and novelists the course utilises links to partner organisations to provide routes of progression into the literary professions. The programme modules blend practical craft-based learning of writers’ techniques with critical theory to gain an understanding of the changing role of the writer within society.

You broaden your skills base through experimentation and reflect upon your personal motivations, aims and interests as a developing writer through taught seminars, writing workshops, self-directed projects and tutorial supervision.

The course is campus-based and taught by blended learning, with some face-to-face sessions and some taught online. You may also be interested in our MA Creative Writing (Online) which is taught entirely online.

Top reasons to study this course

> Study this course and you may be eligible for a £2,500 Sir Keith Skeoch postgraduate scholarship.
> A flexible syllabus which allows you to develop your own writing interests, the changing nature of creative writing and new readerships through new technologies
> Career routes are wide and eclectic including publishing, editing and freelance writing, wider creative industries (television, journalism, new media) and professions that require advanced writing skills.
> A supportive environment for innovation through creative play, adaptation and improvisation across a wide range of genres

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Core Skills and Techniques

This introductory module allows you to explore and express your ideas in a supportive environment. Learning activities are designed to support you in establishing or deepening your creative practice and gathering ideas with an emphasis on developing your confidence, identifying your core strengths and interests, and extending your skills and knowledge.
You are encouraged to experiment with a range of forms, techniques and approaches designed to help you to develop new ideas and ways of working. You will gain skills and experience in crafting, redrafting and editing, learning to become a constructive reader of your own and others' work through our supportive learning community and workshop environment.

You gain skills in advanced critical and reflective practices, helping you to begin to develop your analysis and understanding of your own creative work and process. By the end of this module, you will have established or enriched your creative writing practice and be beginning to think about what motivates you to write and the context and future direction of your work.

Creative Writing Project

This project draws together the learning and development you have gained throughout the course. You complete this independent research project under the supervision of your tutor. With regular guidance and support you develop an initial project proposal outlining your key aims and objectives, and work this into a final portfolio of creative writing (in any form or genre), of publishable standard. You also produce an accompanying reflective and critical analysis of your work. This forms your final submission for the master’s award.

The Professional Writer in the World

You consider and frame your writing within contemporary contexts, developing the skills you need to thrive as a professional writer in the world. You explore some of the many ways and contexts in which writers work, and the skills required to make an income as a writer or enjoy a sustainable writing life.

We help you to gain the knowledge and skills needed to market, publish and/or self-publish your writing; and we give you insights into the many other ways in which you can work with others using writing, from work in schools and the community to therapeutic settings. If you are already a teacher or writing facilitator, this is an opportunity to reflect on your practice and develop it further. If you are just starting out, we will help you to acquire the tools and skills you need. We will guide you towards the development of a professional plan that you could go on to implement after the course is over. In the past, students have used this module as a springboard to launch professional web sites, writing retreats, podcast series, workshops, events and festivals.

Writing and the Self

You explore the connections between creativity, writing and the self, and reflect on the idea of the self in the writing process and use key ideas and theories drawn from literary autobiography, life writing, autofiction, narrative theory and the psychology of creativity to develop your work and process.

Writing exercises, prompts and selected readings are designed to help you to let go of any unhelpful self-concepts about yourself as a writer that may be getting in the way of you producing imaginative work. Ideas explored in this module often help people to overcome blocks, access greater fluidity and flexibility in their writing, develop imaginatively and creatively, and rediscover the sheer pleasure of the writing process. You explore approaches such as writing identity, writing the body, fictionalising from self-experience, objectifying and shaping the stories of our lives on the page and exploring personal metaphor. Concepts such as personal truth, inner dialogue and helpful distance allow you to deepen your writing and write from a felt sense.

Writing Specialism

You learn more about your chosen area of interest in terms of form, genre and audience. Working with a tutor who is a practising writer in this area, you gain in-depth knowledge of techniques and approaches to help develop your skills. You select one from:

  • Poetry
  • Prose/Fiction (including life writing, memoir and creative non-fiction).


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

The campus-based course is taught by blended learning - a mix of face-to-face classroom sessions and distance learning. The classroom sessions are held on Tuesday evenings from 6.00pm - 9.00pm.

The distance learning elements are not taught at a set time. You can access the course space and complete the coursework at times that work best for you. The distance learning sessions usually consist of a short introductory video, in which your tutor introduces the week’s key themes, followed by writing prompts and exercises, together with supporting materials, reading questions and suggestions for further reading and research to discuss in the discussion forum. There is also a dedicated private space to workshop your ideas and writing-in-progress with the tutor and fellow students.

You don't need to be a technology expert to benefit from this aspect of the course. All you need is a PC, laptop or tablet to access the course materials and forum and share your writing with the tutors and your peers.

How you are assessed

Each taught 30-credit module is assessed against clear learning outcomes through written assignments, usually consisting of both creative work and some critical or reflective work. In addition to the taught modules, you produce a final project (60 credits) in your chosen form and genre.


Entry requirements

You should normally have an undergraduate degree of 2.2 or above in English, creative writing or a cognate discipline. Other relevant experience or equivalent qualifications are considered on an individual basis. Our tutors will be happy to discuss entry requirements with you.

Please provide a portfolio of your creative writing of up to and no more than 2,000 words in any one or two forms or genres, for example poetry, prose fiction, life writing. Please include this portfolio in your online application.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

MA Creative Writing graduates go on to a wide choice of professions and careers. Apart from the more obvious routes of publishing, editing and freelance writing, many work in the wider creative industries (television, journalism, new media) or in workplaces that require advanced writing skills.

The practical and flexible design of the course means that it is also highly suited to teachers; writers developing their teaching and workshopping skills to work in the community; and those using writing in therapy, healthcare and other professional settings.

If your job has a requirement to work on live briefs and projects with an imaginative or research element, you will also find the transferable skills offered by this MA a natural fit.

Although the course will help you if you want to develop a career using writing, many students take our MA to extend their skills for their own personal development and fulfilment.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£6,710 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

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Apply now (full-time)

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2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£750 for each 20 credits

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Choose Teesside

  • On video

    Laura Carroll, Visualsoft

    Graduate Laura Carroll explains how studying the MA Creative Writing unleashed some hidden talents

    Jenna Warren, The Book Corner

    MA Creative Writing graduate Jenna now runs her own independent bookshop in Saltburn – The Book Corner.

    Flexible options to suit you

    We offer two cutting-edge postgraduate creative writing courses to fit around your other commitments.

  • Student and graduate profiles

    Laura Carroll

    Laura Carroll MA Creative Writing

    Laura is the content team leader at Visualsoft

    Meet Laura

    Jonny Grant

    Jonny GrantMA Creative Writing

    Jonny's time at Teesside has led to his first movie release.

    Meet Jonny

  • News

    Jenna Warren, MA Creative Writing. Link to View the pictures. Debut novel for successful Teesside University graduate
    A Teesside University graduate and owner of a thriving independent book shop is celebrating the release of her debut novel.

    Read the full story


Get in touch

UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

Online chat (general enquiries)

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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