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.
- Learning Mode
- On Campus Learning
- Degree Qualification
- MLitt or PgDip
- 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 WritingQualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start MonthMLitt 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January More
- Getting Started at the University of Aberdeen (PD5506)
This course, which is prescribed for all taught postgraduate students, is studied entirely online, takes approximately 5-6 hours to complete and can be taken in one sitting, or spread across a number of weeks.
Topics include orientation overview, equality and diversity, health, safety and cyber security and how to make the most of your time at university in relation to careers and employability.
Successful completion of this course will be recorded on your Enhanced Transcript as ‘Achieved’.
- Critical Skills: Research and Dissemination (PD55C1)
This course will equip you with core research and dissemination skills. Centred on an interdisciplinary approach to research, the course will allow you to engage with peers from various research backgrounds to contribute, discuss and share in an interactive academic community. The course will detail key research techniques and communicative modes for successful dissemination. Communication skills specific to engaging with industry stakeholders will also be covered as part of this course in order to boost employability.
- 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.
- Critical Skills: Reading and Engagement (PD50C2)
This course will equip you with the essential skills required to engage with your postgraduate studies. Through a series of lectures, interactive seminars and authentic materials, you will build on your critical thinking skills with fellow PGT students from across the school. Critical Reading, essay writing and presentation skills will be offered as part of this course, providing students with skills fundamental to PGT and workplace contexts.
Creative Writing students must take a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 3 courses from the following Creative Writing options:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
If fewer than 90 Creative Writing credits are selected across the Academic Year, the remaining credits should be made up from the following selection of English Literature electives:
- EL50C8 Placing the Romantic (30 credit points)
- 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.
- Infinite Scotlands: Scotland and the Literary Imagination (EL55C7)
30 Credit Points
This course explores the ways in which place is negotiated in a range of Scottish texts. Looking at a selection of texts about rural, urban, and diasporic experience across the centuries, and including both canonical and lesser-known works, this course will acquaint students with key debates in the study of regional and national fiction. Place in these texts is something to be praised and scorned, embraced and abandoned, but always remains central in any discussion of individual and communal identities. Major themes and issues to be discussed include: the idea of ‘home’; the role of nostalgia and longing in Scottish fiction; the nature of community; the significance of emigration and displacement.
- Places and Environments: Critical Dialogues (EL55D3)
30 Credit Points
This course introduces students to a range of critical, theoretical, and philosophical approaches to environment and place, as well as aligned research methods. Students will read key works of ecocriticism, ecofeminism, environmental philosophy, cultural geography, and related areas. Close reading and discussion of central texts will provide a foundation for further research, including the dissertation. Students will have the opportunity to discuss these ideas in relation to both literary and social contexts. This course is restricted to students on the MLitt Literatures, Environments, and Places, or by permission of the School.
- Locations and Dislocations: the Role of Place in Literature (EL50C1)
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”
- 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.
- Screenwriting: the Narrative Within the Frame (EL50TM)
30 Credit Points
This course will investigate different forms of scriptwriting by writers from a range of historical periods. We will be considering narrative form and content as shaped by subject selection and storytelling devices and structures. The filmic themes will be considered from aesthetic, historical and theoretical perspectives. Through a series of seminars, workshops and screenings, students will develop approaches to visualising film narratives, culminating in a scriptwriting folio of work.
Fee information Fee category Cost EU / International students £23,800 Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic Year Home / RUK £11,077 Tuition Fees for 2023/24 Academic YearMLitt 12 months or 24 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time September More
Creative WritingQualification Duration Learning Mode Study Mode Start MonthPgDip 9 months or 21 months On Campus Learning Full Time or Part Time January More
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.
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.
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.
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.
How You'll Study
- Individual Projects
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.
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.
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:
OVERALL - 6.5 with: Listening - 5.5; Reading - 6.0; Speaking - 5.5; Writing - 6.0
OVERALL - 90 with: Listening - 17; Reading - 21; Speaking - 20; Writing - 21
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
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
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.
- Dr David Wheatley - Reader
- Dr Wayne Price - Senior Lecturer
- Dr Helen Lynch - Reader
- Professor Alan Marcus - Personal Chair
- Alan Warner - Senior Lecturer
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.
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Student Recruitment & Admissions
University of Aberdeen