Introduction

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, fiction writers and non-fiction filmmakers.

Study Information

Study Options

Learning Mode
On Campus Learning
Degree Qualification
MLitt or PgDip
Duration
9 months, 12 months, 21 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, prose or screenplay and film script. You are taught by a team of widely published creative writers including poets and fiction writers David Wheatley, Alan Warner, Helen Lynch and Wayne Price, and non-fiction filmmaker Alan Marcus.

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.


Optional Courses

Select 60 credit points from available level 5 courses:

EL5590 - Locations and Dislocations: The Role of Place in Literature (30 credit points)

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
Writing Prose Fiction: the Journey. (EL55C4)

30 Credit Points

This course will concentrate on the often protean process of writing fiction in longer forms, simultaneously exploring the potential of expanding, extending or even transforming students’ work. While creating prose, students will develop their understanding of fiction writing and storytelling but always in relation to exploring the potential of plot and character development. Students will arrive at satisfying samples of work with reasoned potential for expansion. Through supportive sessions, students will conclude the course with a completed, rounded segment of work but with clear ideas of plotting and where their story can journey on forward to.

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

Optional Courses

Select 60 credit points from available level 5 courses:

EL5096 - Public Engagement for Arts (30 credit points)

EL50C2 - Irish and Scottish Romanticism, 1760 – 1830 (30 credit points)

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
The Novel: Environments and Encounters (EL50C5)

30 Credit Points

This module explores how the evolution of the novel form has allowed, and required, authors to find new ways of depicting spaces, places and interactions (between characters in particular environments, but also between characters and their environment). This chronologically wide-ranging course moves from the early days of the novel form through to contemporary fiction, allowing for an opportunity to study the many literary tactics that authors have employed to create the settings for their works – from vast historical backdrops, to natural spaces, to urban environments, to smaller domestic and private places. It also us to consider how different cultural moments have prompted authors to rethink how they represent characters’ encounters with the world around them, and with the other cultures, races, species and genders that inhabit that world. As well as narrative theories, students will have the chance to study canonical and less well-known texts from angles informed by current critical approaches such as ecocriticism, animal studies, postcolonial and queer theory.

View detailed information about this course
Placing the Romantic (EL50C8)

30 Credit Points

From Wordsworth’s lakes to Walter Scott’s Scottish Highlands, the concept of literary Romanticism is irrevocably tied to ideas of place and locale. During the Romantic era colonisation, urbanisation, agricultural reform and conflict all redefined how writers thought and wrote about their place within the world. This course will explore how Romantic texts have engaged with and defined place, looking not just at canonical examples of the romantic English landscape, but also exploring Romanticism’s global reach and Victorian and modern legacies.

View detailed information about this course

Programme Fees

Fee information
Fee category Cost
EU / International students £19,400
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £9,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 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

Select ONE or BOTH of the following options:

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:

EL5092 - Approaching Literature (30 credit points)

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

EL5096 - Public Engagement for Arts (30 credit points)

The Novel: Environments and Encounters (EL50C5)

30 Credit Points

This module explores how the evolution of the novel form has allowed, and required, authors to find new ways of depicting spaces, places and interactions (between characters in particular environments, but also between characters and their environment). This chronologically wide-ranging course moves from the early days of the novel form through to contemporary fiction, allowing for an opportunity to study the many literary tactics that authors have employed to create the settings for their works – from vast historical backdrops, to natural spaces, to urban environments, to smaller domestic and private places. It also us to consider how different cultural moments have prompted authors to rethink how they represent characters’ encounters with the world around them, and with the other cultures, races, species and genders that inhabit that world. As well as narrative theories, students will have the chance to study canonical and less well-known texts from angles informed by current critical approaches such as ecocriticism, animal studies, postcolonial and queer theory.

View detailed information about this course
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

Select 60 credit points from the following options:

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

EL5598 - Approaching Literature 2

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
EU / International students £19,400
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
Home / RUK £9,200
Tuition Fees for 2021/22 Academic Year
PgDip 9 months or 21 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January View

Programme Information

Please contact study@abdn.ac.uk for more information about this programme.

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 - 59; Reading - 59; Speaking - 59; Writing - 59

Cambridge English B2 First, C1 Advanced or C2 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.

Aberdeen Global Scholarship (EU)

The Aberdeen Global Scholarship is open to European Union (EU) students.

This is a £2,000 tuition fee discount available to eligible self-funded Postgraduate Masters students who are classed as International fee status and are domiciled in the EU, plus another £3,000 discount for eligible Postgraduate Masters students who would have previously been eligible for Home fees (Scottish/EU) fee status.

View Aberdeen Global Scholarship

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

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
Student Recruitment & Admissions Service
University of Aberdeen
University Office
Regent Walk
Aberdeen
AB24 3FX