Postgraduate study

Creative Writing

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding available

Programme website: Creative Writing

Our internationally recognized Creative Writing programme provides the ideal opportunity to focus in-depth on your own creative practice.

Through a combination of workshops and seminars, taught by established authors and poets, you will hone your editorial skills and develop a unique voice in a supportive yet challenging environment.

Workshops and seminars are complemented by literature courses designed to hone your critical abilities, and the summer term is given over to the writing of a creative dissertation with the support and guidance of an assigned supervisor.

As the first UNESCO World City of Literature, Edinburgh is the perfect place to explore your literary potential, and students are presented with many opportunities to become involved in the creative life of the city.

The programme consists of two strands––fiction and poetry––with students electing to dedicate themselves to one or the other throughout the year.

In each of the two teaching semesters (Autumn and Spring), you will take a core creative practice seminar, supported by workshops in fiction or poetry, and a subsidiary literary critical course, chosen from a wide range of options. This will be followed by summer term, which is devoted entirely to writing a creative dissertation. The dissertation is work pursued independently with the support and guidance of an individual supervisor.

Summer supervision includes dedicated one-to-one sessions with your assigned supervisor as well as optional discussion of your work with fellow students.

Option courses may include:

  • Acts of Storytelling: Narrator, Text, Audience
  • Exploring the Novel
  • Black Atlantic
  • The Long Summer
  • Neo-imperialisms
  • Modernism and Empire
  • Writing the Body Politic
  • Modernism Before the War

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScCreative Writing1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2017/18

Students taking the programme will expand and refine their skills in poetry, or fiction. They will develop critical skills as readers of their own and others' work and will gain experience in the processes of presenting and publishing literary writing.

Having developed your creative and critical skills in this programme, you will be well-equipped to tackle a variety of jobs in today’s competitive world.

Recent graduates are now pursuing careers in a wide variety of fields, including (but not limited to): publishing, marketing, arts administration, web editing, audio book editing, ghost writing, and gaming. You may also decide to extend your studies in order to move into a career in academia.

Alternatively, you may follow your own creative path with the aim of becoming a published author.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant subject.

Applicants who are entered into selection will be asked to provide a sample of written work to enable their suitability for the programme to be assessed.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Find out more about tuition fees and studying costs:

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit a reference with your application.

In addition to the supporting documents requested on the application form, you should also supply a portfolio of writing. For poetry this should be about 10 poems (somewhere between 200 and 400 lines in total); for fiction two or three short stories, or an equivalent amount from a novel (between 3,000 and 5,000 words).

If you are undecided about whether to apply for fiction or poetry, you should send a sample of both (if offered a place it will be for one or the other). Work in other forms (for example journalism, life writing or advertising) will not be considered.

All supporting documents, including references, must be uploaded to the online application system by the deadline date.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH