Introduction

MLitt Creative Writing allows you to develop your creativity and literary skills in a constructive environment which guides you towards publication of your own work.

This programme is studied on campus.

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.

Key Programme Information

At a Glance

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

Study Options

MLitt 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January
Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Creative Writing II: Prose Fiction (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

Students can take up to 60 credit points from available level 5 courses:

Locations and Dislocations: the Role of Place in Literature (EL5590) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the social, political and cultural construction of place in literary texts. The imaginative co-ordinates of places such as ‘Scotland’, or ‘England’ exist in a constant state of flux, refusing to yield an essential, authentic image. Using core texts from the early modern period paired with more recent literary responses we explore the idea of place in its various forms. Key themes and issues to be discussed will include the rural and urban divide; literature and nationhood; the nature of community; the significance of emigration, and displacement; walking texts, metropolitan literature, and ideas of the “new world”

View detailed information about this course

Traditions: Irish and Scottish Poetry from 600 to 2010 (EL5597) - 30 Credit Points

​The course examines the rich poetic literatures of Ireland and Scotland from earliest times to the present. It includes works from the medieval Gaelic culture shared by both countries and from their very different literatures in modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic and in Teutonic languages (English and Scots in Scotland, English and Ulster Scots in Ireland). The course reveals the fascinating back story to the achievement of world famous writers such as Robert Burns and W. B. Yeats and explores how two small neighbouring countries sustained diverse, inter-involved and still evolving poetic traditions over a period of fifteen hundred years.

View detailed information about this course

Pen to Paper: James, Conrad, Wharton and the Making of the Modern Novel (EL55A5) - 30 Credit Points

Writing and publishing practices changed dramatically around the turn of the twentieth century in response to new developments in printing, technology and the emergence of a new mass readership for novels, often across international boundaries. This course looks at the rise of the modern novel through the work of three major authors. It will explore the impact of typewriters, telegraphs, colour printing and new styles of book illustration, lithography and photography. It will also examine how these themes of technology, readership and material culture were treated in the writings of Henry James, Joseph Conrad and Edith Wharton.

View detailed information about this course

Irish and Scottish Science Fiction (EL55A6) - 30 Credit Points

This course will look at a wide range of science fiction writing, beginning from the ‘fantasy science’ of Tait and Balfour’s The Unseen Universe, through early science fiction in the works of Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle to the science fiction of major modern Scottish writers such as Lewis Grassic Gibbon and Naomi Mitchison. On the Irish side, the course will explore how the fantasy science of the Celtic Twilight (W.B.Yeats’s ‘experiments’ in occultism) lead on the modernist science fantasies of Flann O’Brien and Francis Stuart.

View detailed information about this course

Irish and Scottish Romanticism, 1760 - 1830 (EL5585) - 30 Credit Points

The Romantic period was one of the most exciting in the history of literature. It brought about a new aesthetic sensibility and has helped to shape much of our thinking about art, creativity, and the role of the artist. However, while it is sometimes figured in terms of six great English males it was a phenomenon that emerged across Britain and Ireland. This course will consider the particular form that the Romantic movement took in Scotland and Ireland by considering writers such as Burns, Scott, Edgeworth, Maturin, and James Hogg.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Creative Writing Portfolio (Dissertation) (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

Creative Writing i: Poetry (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

Students may take 30 credit points from the available Level 5 Courses if only one of the above Creative Writing Options is chosen:

Critical Approaches to Literature, Science and Medicine (EL50A4)
Novel Ideas: Reading Prose Fiction (EL5089) - 30 Credit Points

Novel Ideas: Reading Prose Fiction explores the many different voices of the novel from the eighteenth century to the present day, and considers how these voices are assimilated by readers and reading communities. It looks at how this literary form, sometimes regarded as trivial entertainment, has developed into a powerful and highly theorised literary genre, capable of handling complex cultural and psychological material, and of effecting profound social impact.

View detailed information about this course

The Making of Middle Scots (EL50B8) - 30 Credit Points

This course will focus on the part Middle Scots poets such as Robert Henryson, Gavin Douglas, William Dunbar and Walter Kennedy play in constructing ideas of a national literary tradition. The course will consider the ways in which these texts articulate changing conceptions of vernaculars and vernacular writing, and their reception in the work of the seventeenth-century poet and collector Allan Ramsay. It will also explore the role of the publishing society founded by Sir Walter Scott, the Bannatyne Club (1823-61).

View detailed information about this course

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

Public Engagement for the Arts (EL5096) - 30 Credit Points

Art and culture are integral to our daily lives, and the ways in which these are experienced are continually changing. Whether it is in a street performance, a public gallery, an academic festival, a webcast, a documentary or in social media, the relationship between the creative artist and those who consume it, is complex and can itself be a creative process. This course explores the many ways in which creative materials can be brought to public view, and how different forms of communication, aural, verbal and visual, can enhance public engagement with aesthetic experiences and the discourses around these.

View detailed information about this course

MLitt 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September
Semester 1

Semester 1

Compulsory Courses

Creative Writing i: Poetry (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

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

Critical Approaches to Literature, Science and Medicine (EL50A4)
Novel Ideas: Reading Prose Fiction (EL5089) - 30 Credit Points

Novel Ideas: Reading Prose Fiction explores the many different voices of the novel from the eighteenth century to the present day, and considers how these voices are assimilated by readers and reading communities. It looks at how this literary form, sometimes regarded as trivial entertainment, has developed into a powerful and highly theorised literary genre, capable of handling complex cultural and psychological material, and of effecting profound social impact.

View detailed information about this course

The Making of Middle Scots (EL50B8) - 30 Credit Points

This course will focus on the part Middle Scots poets such as Robert Henryson, Gavin Douglas, William Dunbar and Walter Kennedy play in constructing ideas of a national literary tradition. The course will consider the ways in which these texts articulate changing conceptions of vernaculars and vernacular writing, and their reception in the work of the seventeenth-century poet and collector Allan Ramsay. It will also explore the role of the publishing society founded by Sir Walter Scott, the Bannatyne Club (1823-61).

View detailed information about this course

Public Engagement for the Arts (EL5096) - 30 Credit Points

Art and culture are integral to our daily lives, and the ways in which these are experienced are continually changing. Whether it is in a street performance, a public gallery, an academic festival, a webcast, a documentary or in social media, the relationship between the creative artist and those who consume it, is complex and can itself be a creative process. This course explores the many ways in which creative materials can be brought to public view, and how different forms of communication, aural, verbal and visual, can enhance public engagement with aesthetic experiences and the discourses around these.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 2

Semester 2

Compulsory Courses

Creative Writing II: Prose Fiction (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

Locations and Dislocations: the Role of Place in Literature (EL5590) - 30 Credit Points

This course examines the social, political and cultural construction of place in literary texts. The imaginative co-ordinates of places such as ‘Scotland’, or ‘England’ exist in a constant state of flux, refusing to yield an essential, authentic image. Using core texts from the early modern period paired with more recent literary responses we explore the idea of place in its various forms. Key themes and issues to be discussed will include the rural and urban divide; literature and nationhood; the nature of community; the significance of emigration, and displacement; walking texts, metropolitan literature, and ideas of the “new world”

View detailed information about this course

Irish and Scottish Science Fiction (EL55A6) - 30 Credit Points

This course will look at a wide range of science fiction writing, beginning from the ‘fantasy science’ of Tait and Balfour’s The Unseen Universe, through early science fiction in the works of Robert Louis Stevenson and Arthur Conan Doyle to the science fiction of major modern Scottish writers such as Lewis Grassic Gibbon and Naomi Mitchison. On the Irish side, the course will explore how the fantasy science of the Celtic Twilight (W.B.Yeats’s ‘experiments’ in occultism) lead on the modernist science fantasies of Flann O’Brien and Francis Stuart.

View detailed information about this course

Traditions: Irish and Scottish Poetry from 600 to 2010 (EL5597) - 30 Credit Points

​The course examines the rich poetic literatures of Ireland and Scotland from earliest times to the present. It includes works from the medieval Gaelic culture shared by both countries and from their very different literatures in modern Irish and Scottish Gaelic and in Teutonic languages (English and Scots in Scotland, English and Ulster Scots in Ireland). The course reveals the fascinating back story to the achievement of world famous writers such as Robert Burns and W. B. Yeats and explores how two small neighbouring countries sustained diverse, inter-involved and still evolving poetic traditions over a period of fifteen hundred years.

View detailed information about this course

Pen to Paper: James, Conrad, Wharton and the Making of the Modern Novel (EL55A5) - 30 Credit Points

Writing and publishing practices changed dramatically around the turn of the twentieth century in response to new developments in printing, technology and the emergence of a new mass readership for novels, often across international boundaries. This course looks at the rise of the modern novel through the work of three major authors. It will explore the impact of typewriters, telegraphs, colour printing and new styles of book illustration, lithography and photography. It will also examine how these themes of technology, readership and material culture were treated in the writings of Henry James, Joseph Conrad and Edith Wharton.

View detailed information about this course

Irish and Scottish Romanticism, 1760 - 1830 (EL5585) - 30 Credit Points

The Romantic period was one of the most exciting in the history of literature. It brought about a new aesthetic sensibility and has helped to shape much of our thinking about art, creativity, and the role of the artist. However, while it is sometimes figured in terms of six great English males it was a phenomenon that emerged across Britain and Ireland. This course will consider the particular form that the Romantic movement took in Scotland and Ireland by considering writers such as Burns, Scott, Edgeworth, Maturin, and James Hogg.

View detailed information about this course

Semester 3

Semester 3

Compulsory Courses

Creative Writing Portfolio (Dissertation) (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

Course Availability

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

All students entering the University must provide evidence that they can use English well enough to study effectively at the University of Aberdeen.

Details of our English language entry requirements can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages. This programme requires that you meet the College of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Standard level of English proficiency.

If you have not achieved the required scores, the University of Aberdeen offers pre-sessional English courses. Further details are available on our Language Centre website.

Nationals of some English-speaking countries or those who hold degrees from some English-speaking countries may be exempted from this requirement. Details of countries recognised as English-speaking can be found on our English Language Requirements webpages.

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.

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

Fees and Funding

You will be classified as one of the fee categories below.

MLitt 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,000
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
International Students £14,300
Tuition Fee for 2017/18 Academic Year
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,300
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £15,000
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
MLitt 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September

Fee Information

Fee information
Fee category Cost
Home / EU / RUK Students £6,300
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year
International Students £15,000
Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year

Additional Fees

  • 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 programe. Visit the scholarship page for more information.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.

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
Dr Alexandra Lewis

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