Introduction

The University of Aberdeen is following Scottish Government Guidelines in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes adhering to physical distancing measures to support a safe environment for our staff and students. Therefore for programmes with a January 2021 start date the programme structure and delivery method may differ slightly from that listed on this page. Find out more about January 2021 study with us .

The MLitt in Creative Writing is a taught programme designed to offer you a constructive, highly supportive learning environment in which to develop your writing and creative potential. You will be introduced to the processes and challenges involved in producing creative work of publishable quality, whether in poetry or prose, fiction or creative non-fiction.

You will be taught by a team of widely published creative writers including award-winning poets and fiction writers David Wheatley, Helen Lynch and Wayne Price.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MLitt
Duration
12 months or 24 months
Study Mode
Full Time or Part Time
Start Month
January or September

The MLitt Creative Writing is a taught programme designed to offer you a constructive learning environment in which to develop your writing and general creativity. You will be introduced to the process and challenges involved in publishing creative work, whether it is poetry or prose. You are taught by a team of widely published creative writers including poets and fiction writers Professor Patrick Crotty, Dr David Wheatley, Dr Helen Lynch and Dr Wayne Price.

You can take this degree as a stand-alone one-year or two-year part time Masters degree or as a first step towards an MPhil or PhD (subject to admission to further degree programmes either at Aberdeen or elsewhere). It is likely to appeal to you if you wish to develop your knowledge and practical skill in imaginative writing and if you wish to create a solid foundation on which to build a PhD research proposal in Creative Writing.

Available Programmes of Study

Creative Writing

Qualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start Month Location  
MLitt 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Those starting the degree in January should be advised that they will complete the dissertation over the summer and finish the programme with the Semester 3 selection of courses. Taught courses do not run in the summer. Students wishing to do their dissertation at the end of the programme should consider starting their study in September.


Compulsory Courses
Creative Writing II (EL5567)

30 Credit Points

Taught by experienced, award-winning writers, this course will engage students in a variety of activities designed to develop their creativity and originality, as well as in specific tasks to test and extend their technical skill in the writing of prose fiction. Students will be encouraged to develop an awareness of the centrality of narrative voice, to experiment with a variety of different narrative styles and to develop and revise their work in the context of workshop discussion and individually targeted feedback from course tutors.

View detailed information about this course

Optional Courses

Elective courses totalling 60 credit points from a designated list of options:

EL5590 - Locations and Dislocations: The Role of Place in Literature

Approaching Literature 2 (EL5598)

30 Credit Points

This course examines some critical approaches and theories that have shaped modern literary inquiry. The course explores different perspective on and approaches to literary texts. The relevance to literature of different types of context is also explored, as are the interpretative possibilities of various forms of ideological critique. Throughout the course students are exposed to a wide variety of primary and secondary texts.

View detailed information about this course
Writing the Self (EL55C2)

30 Credit Points

What is at stake in writing autobiographical texts? What are the forms writers have used to write themselves? Is autobiography simply, as Oscar Wilde states, the lowest form of criticism? Looking at a range of texts from the Medieval period to the present, with a special focus on women’s writing, this course examines the formal, ethical, political, and aesthetic choices writers make when writing themselves.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
Dissertation: Creative Writing Portfolio (EL5906)

60 Credit Points

This course will provide students with the opportunity to write an extended folio of creative work in either poetry or prose. It will provide students with the opportunity to explore and extend their creative ambitions in writing and, through the reflective commentary element, enable them to contextualise their own creative achievements in relation to works by established writers. Throughout the evolution of the folio, the student will develop a thorough practical awareness of some of the key stylistic, formal and expressive possibilities available to the skilled creative writer.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

You can choose one or both of these modules:

Creative Writing i (EL5072)

30 Credit Points

The course engages students in a variety of activities designed to develop their creativity and originality, as well as in specific tasks to test and extend their skill in the writing of poetry. Students will attempt imitations of a variety of different poetic styles, will be provided with a number of specific 'stimulus' exercises and will develop and revise their poems both independently and in regular workshop sessions.

View detailed information about this course
Creative Writing III: Non - Fiction (EL5095)

30 Credit Points

This course is devoted to the development of non-fiction creative prose. Among the themes and genres engaged with will be: travel writing, psychogeography, non-academic critical writing, prose poetry, diary, memoir, and the fragment. Students will study examples across the genre and build up a portfolio of work, discussion of which will form the basis of weekly workshops.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Plus one 30 credit course from the options below if only one of the above Creative Writing options is chosen:

EL50C5 - The Novel: Environments and Encounters (30 credit points)

EL50C2 - Irish and Scottish Romanticism [1760 - 1830] (30 credit points)

EL5096 - Public Engagement for Arts (30 credit points)

Approaching Literature (EL5092)

30 Credit Points

This course examines some critical approaches and theories that have shaped modern literary inquiry. An organising theme of the course is different notions of ‘text’, ranging from historicist definitions of the ‘material text’ to poststructuralist theories of intertextuality and the practice of modern textual editing. The relevance to literature of different types of context is also explored, as are the interpretative possibilities of various forms of ideological critique, including feminism and post-colonialism. Throughout the course students are exposed to a wide variety of primary and secondary texts.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,700
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year
International Students £15,900
Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year
Home / EU / RUK Students £9,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £19,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
MLitt 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September View

Programme Information

Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

You can choose one or both of these modules:

Creative Writing i (EL5072)

30 Credit Points

The course engages students in a variety of activities designed to develop their creativity and originality, as well as in specific tasks to test and extend their skill in the writing of poetry. Students will attempt imitations of a variety of different poetic styles, will be provided with a number of specific 'stimulus' exercises and will develop and revise their poems both independently and in regular workshop sessions.

View detailed information about this course
Creative Writing III: Non - Fiction (EL5095)

30 Credit Points

This course is devoted to the development of non-fiction creative prose. Among the themes and genres engaged with will be: travel writing, psychogeography, non-academic critical writing, prose poetry, diary, memoir, and the fragment. Students will study examples across the genre and build up a portfolio of work, discussion of which will form the basis of weekly workshops.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Plus one 30 credit course from the options below if only one of the above Creative Writing options is chosen:

EL50C5 - The Novel: Environments and Encounters (30 credit points)

EL50C2 - Irish and Scottish Romanticism [1760 - 1830] (30 credit points)

EL5096 - Public Engagement for Arts (30 credit points)

Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses
Creative Writing II (EL5567)

30 Credit Points

Taught by experienced, award-winning writers, this course will engage students in a variety of activities designed to develop their creativity and originality, as well as in specific tasks to test and extend their technical skill in the writing of prose fiction. Students will be encouraged to develop an awareness of the centrality of narrative voice, to experiment with a variety of different narrative styles and to develop and revise their work in the context of workshop discussion and individually targeted feedback from course tutors.

View detailed information about this course
Optional Courses

Elective courses totalling 60 credit points from a designated list of options:

EL5590 - Locations and Dislocations: The Role of Place in Literature

Approaching Literature 2 (EL5598)

30 Credit Points

This course examines some critical approaches and theories that have shaped modern literary inquiry. The course explores different perspective on and approaches to literary texts. The relevance to literature of different types of context is also explored, as are the interpretative possibilities of various forms of ideological critique. Throughout the course students are exposed to a wide variety of primary and secondary texts.

View detailed information about this course
Writing the Self (EL55C2)

30 Credit Points

What is at stake in writing autobiographical texts? What are the forms writers have used to write themselves? Is autobiography simply, as Oscar Wilde states, the lowest form of criticism? Looking at a range of texts from the Medieval period to the present, with a special focus on women’s writing, this course examines the formal, ethical, political, and aesthetic choices writers make when writing themselves.

View detailed information about this course
Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses
Dissertation: Creative Writing Portfolio (EL5906)

60 Credit Points

This course will provide students with the opportunity to write an extended folio of creative work in either poetry or prose. It will provide students with the opportunity to explore and extend their creative ambitions in writing and, through the reflective commentary element, enable them to contextualise their own creative achievements in relation to works by established writers. Throughout the evolution of the folio, the student will develop a thorough practical awareness of some of the key stylistic, formal and expressive possibilities available to the skilled creative writer.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £9,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year
International Students £19,000
Tuition Fees for 2020/21 Academic Year

We will endeavour to make all course options available; however, these may be subject to timetabling and other constraints. Please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

How You'll Study

Learning Methods

  • Individual Projects
  • Lectures
  • Research
  • Tutorials

Assessment Methods

Assessment methods vary by individual course and include written exercises, oral presentations and folios of poetry or prose. The MLitt also requires a 12-15,000 word folio dissertation, while the diploma consists of coursework alone.

Why Study Creative Writing?

  • The MLitt Creative Writing is ideal if you have an undergraduate degree in the Humanities and if you wish to explore and develop your creative potential in writing.
  • Creative writing is something which attracts students of all ages, nationalities and experiences and you are welcome to apply as no prior knowledge or experience in creative writing or publishing is assumed. Core courses will provide you with the necessary grounding for personal creative development and self reflective skills for successful preparation of a portfolio of work.
  • Creative Writing is offered as a Diploma without the dissertation folio or a stand alone one or two year (part time) MLitt.

Entry Requirements

The standard entrance requirement is a good first degree in any Humanities discipline.

Applicants for the MLitt in Creative Writing are required to submit a writing sample with their application. This should be between 3 and 6 poems, or a prose sample of at least 2000 words.

Qualifications

The information below is provided as a guide only and does not guarantee entry to the University of Aberdeen.

UK applicants should normally have a 2.1 or above, though applicants with non-standard qualifications are also invited to apply. References are not required in order for applicants to submit an application. They are not usually required in order for a decision to be made but in certain cases applicants may be asked to provide a single academic reference at the request of the academic selector. In addition to the above, a creative writing sample is required as part of your application.

Please enter your country to view country-specific entry requirements.

English Language Requirements

To study for a Postgraduate Taught degree at the University of Aberdeen it is essential that you can speak, understand, read, and write English fluently. The minimum requirements for this degree are as follows:

IELTS Academic:

OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0

TOEFL iBT:

OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21

PTE Academic:

OVERALL - 62 with: Listening - 51; Reading - 54; Speaking - 51; Writing - 54

Cambridge English Advanced & Proficiency:

OVERALL - 176 with: Listening - 162; Reading - 169; Speaking - 162; Writing - 169

Read more about specific English Language requirements here.

Document Requirements

You will be required to supply the following documentation with your application as proof you meet the entry requirements of this degree programme. If you have not yet completed your current programme of study, then you can still apply and you can provide your Degree Certificate at a later date.

Degree Transcript
a full transcript showing all the subjects you studied and the marks you have achieved in your degree(s) (original & official English translation)
Personal Statement
a detailed personal statement explaining your motivation for this particular programme

Fee Information

Additional Fee Information

  • Fees for individual programmes can be viewed in the Programmes section above.
  • In exceptional circumstances there may be additional fees associated with specialist courses, for example field trips. Any additional fees for a course can be found in our Catalogue of Courses.
  • For more information about tuition fees for this programme, including payment plans and our refund policy, please visit our InfoHub Tuition Fees page.

Funding Opportunities

The SFC Postgraduate tuition fee scholarship may be available for those classified as Home/EU fee status students for this programme. Visit the scholarship page for more information.

Scholarships

Eligible self-funded international Masters students will receive the Aberdeen Global Scholarship. Visit our Funding Database to find out more and see our full range of scholarships.

Careers

Graduates in Creative Writing are well-fitted for work in the creative industries, including publishing, journalism, advertising, broadcasting and literary agency. Many graduates go on to support their writing through education too and there is a growing demand for English teachers with a track record in creative writing skills and the ability to reflect on and communicate those accomplishments.

Our Experts

Other Experts
Dr David Wheatley
Dr Wayne Price
Dr Helen Lynch
Professor Patrick Crotty

Information About Staff Changes

You will be taught by a range of experts including professors, lecturers, teaching fellows and postgraduate tutors. Staff changes will occur from time to time; please see our InfoHub pages for further information.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Address
School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture
University of Aberdeen
King's College
Aberdeen
AB24 3UB