English Literature

Creative Writing

Develop your creative and critical skills in fiction or poetry as part of a supportive community of intelligent readers and acute listeners.


Based in the first UNESCO World City of Literature, this one-year, full-time taught Masters programme is tailored towards your practice in either fiction or poetry. 

There is a strong practical element to the programme, helping you develop your creative skills through workshops, presenting your work for peer discussion, and hearing from guest writers and other professionals on the practicalities of life as a writer.

You’ll also sharpen your critical skills through seminars exploring the particulars of your chosen form and through option courses in literature, helping you move from theoretical considerations to practical applications.

The programme culminates with the publication of ‘From Arthur’s Seat’, an anthology of student work. 

Why study for an MSc in Creative Writing in Edinburgh?

Literature has been taught here for over 250 years, and today Edinburgh thrives on its designation as the first UNESCO World City of Literature, home to the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish Poetry Library, and a number of celebrated publishing outlets, from Canongate and Polygon, to Luath Press, Birlinn and Mariscat. The University hosts the prestigious James Tait Black Awards, established in 1919 and the oldest literary prizes in Britain.

You’ll be based at the heart of the University, in George Square, which has variously been home to Sir Walter Scott, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jane Welsh Carlyle, and which hosts the Main University Library, lender of some two million borrowable volumes. In summer, it’s a popular Edinburgh Festival Fringe venue.

There are lots of opportunities to write and share your work, from ‘Student’, the UK’s oldest student newspaper (founded in 1887 by Robert Louis Stevenson), to ‘50GS’, a new student-led digital journal, and our own ‘From Arthur’s Seat’. Around the city, you’ll find library readings and bookshop launches, spoken word gigs, cabaret nights and poetry slams. 

We team teach our programme so that you benefit from the input of a range of tutors, as well as your fellow students and our Writer in Residence, Claire Askew, who also co-ordinates a range of student writing prizes and our annual industry event, The Business.



Where this programme might take you

Career opportunities for Creative Writing graduates.

How you’ll study

What's involved in completing this MSc.

Find out more and apply

You can find out more about entrance requirements, start dates, fees and scholarship opportunities for this programme on the University of Edinburgh’s Degree Finder.

Degree Finder links straight through to EUCLID, the online system for applying to postgraduate programmes at the University of Edinburgh. Applications for studying in 2018/19 are now open.

Go to the Degree Finder page on the MSc in Creative Writing

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jane McKie (Programme Director) or Kara McCormack (Programme Administrator).