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Creative and Critical Writing

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What you'll need

As part of the application process, you'll need to submit:

  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

Our application process

  • Sign into our online portal, Apply Yourself, and start your application
  • Submit your application
  • We'll email you to let you know we're processing your application
  • Track the progress of your application using the Postgraduate Application Tracker (we'll send you a link to the tracker)
  • We'll email you when a decision has been made
  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

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Master of Arts

A Master of Arts (MA) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the arts.

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Course overview

Liverpool offers a stimulating environment to study Creative and Critical Writing thanks to our unique placement module at one of our partner institutions and our exicting programme of events. You will develop your skills and knowledge through a combination of creative engagement with prose and drama.

Introduction

The programme offers a unique placement module through which you will have the opportunity to gain practical experience as a writer in residence at one of the University of Liverpool’s partner institutions in the city. As a writer in residence in locations such as museums and galleries, you will be able to develop professional skills through activities such as writing in response to exhibitions, or running creative writing workshops.

Assessment will take the form of a portfolio consisting of creative work and reflections on the experience and requirements of the writer-in-residence role. Through core modules on contemporary prose and drama/screenwriting, you will develop your writing ability and professional awareness (i.e. submitting to agents, editorial pitches).

Liverpool offers a stimulating environment in which to study Creative and Critical Writing, thanks to its lively events calendar:

  • Including the Liverpool Literary Festival and literary events through the Centre for New and International Writing
  • The University’s connections to local literary partners such as the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse
  • The presence of three AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinkers in the Department of English alone
  • Masterclasses with visiting writers such as the Hope Street Writer in Residence.

What you'll learn

  • How critically-informed creative practice engages with a global society, social justice, political and environmental issues and human rights
  • How creative and critical forms can complement one another
  • A greater theoretical understanding of matters pertaining to socially-engaged writing
  • How to develop your own distinctive approach to creative practice
  • How to enhance and refine your creative writing
  • An awareness of appropriate industry areas, gaining skills and confidence in approaching key figures such as agents and editors.

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Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Studying this course part-time

International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.

If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Semester one

You will take four compulsory modules in creative writing, and a mandatory dissertation. Your remaining credits will be made up of four optional modules, which may include an optional work experience placement.

Compulsory modules

Creative Writing I: The Social Text (ENGL792)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

What role does the written word play in society? How can we use writing to voice opinions, shape debates and engage socially? On this module, you will develop your creative and critical skills, considering how they can blend in producing socially-engaged writing. With a focus on textual practice, you will study techniques and approaches related to a range of genres, including poetry, drama, fiction and non-fiction. Workshops will see discussions on texts tackling concepts such as race, gender, climate and class. Through digital technologies, new media and ideas of transextuality, you will think about how different platforms shape the ways in which we can produce socially-engaged texts. From questioning the ethics of lyric poetry to using archival material from the university’s Science Fiction Special Collection to imagine futures in response to contemporary issues, this module will explore textual practice as a vehicle for social justice.

Creative Writing Workshop 1 (ENGL790)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

On Creative Writing Workshop I, you will develop your creative practice through detailed discussion of form, style and technique. Through small-group workshops, this module will give you the support to explore the opportunities available to you as a creative writer, building your own distinctive work. In workshops, you will learn to read as writers, learning from examples from a range of writers alongside identifying and communicating the strengths and weaknesses of your own work, as well as the work of your peers. On the module, you will be encouraged to read widely according to your creative interests and discuss briefly in each workshop what you have learned from these texts. Assessment will take the form of a creative portfolio (either 3000 words prose, 4-6 poems or 10-15 pages of drama) and a 1000 word reading-log, reflecting on how your reading has influenced your writing.

Creative Writing Dissertation (ENGL794)

Credits: 60 / Semester: whole session

At the end of your MA in Creative and Critical Writing, you will submit a significant portfolio of writing in the form of either 14,000-15,000 words of prose, 70-80 pages of drama or 20-25 pages of poetry. Over the course of four one-to-one meetings with your supervisor, you will develop plans for a substantial piece of writing that will demonstrate your originality as a creative writer. This module is a culmination of previous modules studied on the MA, in which you will bring to bear the skills, knowledge and confidence you have developed over the course of the Master’s programme.

Optional modules

Genre Definitions (ENGL780)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

How (and why) do we point at a story and say, “This is science fiction”, and what does such a gesture reveal about the genre and our own attitudes to its concerns? In this module, we will explore the territories that Science Fiction ranges over, historically and conceptually. From “A Planet Called Science Fiction” (weeks 1-4), which examines the space that science fiction marks out for itself, we will move into the complicated relationship that Science Fiction has with fantasy, and analyse the ways in which it has been sub-divided into various effects and sub-genres in “Travels in Genre Space” (week 5-8). The final section of the module, “Re-drawing the Genre Map” (weeks 9-12), explores the burgeoning field of sf production, its relevance to society, and the ways in which its tropes and techniques relate to other “fantastic” modes of literary production, alongside recent controversies in the field.

Literature and Crisis (ENGL771)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module encourages students to read widely across the late 19th, 20th and 21st centuries with the specific angle of ‘crisis’. Topics may include literary responses to political, social, psychological, theological or climate crisis, aesthetic responses to moral or societal panic, war and migration/trauma, as well as any links between identity and crisis in literature and the visual (photography, film, fine art). Authors may include: Bessie Head; Jean-Paul Sartre; Virginia Woolf; Sarah Kane; Danez Smith; Solmaz Sharif among others. We will consider how the framing of crisis as a moment or event shapes how we think about chronologies of literary response and its social uses. The module will be delivered via six fortnightly seminars.

Science Fiction and/as The Archive (ENGL781)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

Science Fiction texts are, for all their presentations of alternative worlds, deeply embedded in the cultures that produce them. Using examples from the Science Fiction Foundation Collection and science fiction archives in the University Library, this module introduces students to skills of archival research alongside providing the knowledge required to understand how modern Science Fiction developed as a unique interaction of authors, editors, and readers. Alongside this, students will read selected sf texts that consider or reflect upon the notion of the archive and/or which reveal themselves to be “archival” texts through their relationship to their contemporary period. Although texts may vary year-by-year, indicative authors include Margaret Atwood, Alastair Reynolds, Olaf Stapledon, and John Wyndham.

The Body (ENGL773)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module focuses on theories of the body in contemporary critical thought and in modern and contemporary literature using relevant theory to support readings of a range of literary texts. We will study politically informed theories such as critical race studies, feminist, queer and disability studies and topics such as the maternal body, the body in pain and the ageing body. In all these cases the body emerges as a concept marked by internal division in terms of sex, gender, age, size, and race. We will study bodies as organisms and bodies as social phenomena, exploring the tension between the body’s material manifestations and its sites of immateriality such as the mind, spirit, psyche and affect.

The Modern (ENGL770)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module encourages students to engage with literary modernism in a range of contexts, from the cities in which it was made to the periodicals in which it was published and the theories that contributed to its development. As well as analysing the formal innovations of modernist literature, students will explore connections between writers, texts, works of visual art, geographic locations and mass culture, to understand modernism as a global network of people, objects, places and ideas. Conceptions of modernity will be studied, including approaches to the past and tradition, and ideas around novelty and fashion. Authors may include: T.S. Eliot, Hope Mirrlees, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes, Jean Toomer and Nancy Cunard.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Your experience

The Department of English is based in the School of the Arts. We are committed to small group teaching, which encourages a more rewarding learning experience, where ideas are shared and explored with your peers and supervisors. You will be part of a genuine international postgraduate community. You will be able to participate in our lively research culture through attending regular seminars and lectures by guest speakers as well as our own staff and students.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

An exciting place to study English

  • We are internationally renowned for advancing the study of language, literature, and creative writing and have a strong research ethos
  • Our programmes offer opportunities to study creative writing and literature from a wide range of periods, as well as a range of approaches to understanding the way in which the English language works
  • We have a reputation for radical thinking, as exemplified by our success rate in the BBC and Arts and Humanities Council’s ‘New Generation Thinkers’ scheme. In total, five members our academic staff have been selected since the scheme was established in 2010
  • We are committed to small group teaching. This encourages a more rewarding learning experience, where ideas are shared and explored with peers and tutors
  • Ranked 10th in sector for research impact classified as outstanding (4*) (REF 2021)
  • We are host to Europe’s largest collection of science fiction materials which includes the John Wyndham Archive and home to the annual Liverpool Literary Festival.

Careers and employability

The course emphasises both creative and critical practice, so graduates will be able to demonstrate a broad range of skills to potential employers. The placement module will offer employability skills and career opportunities through professional experience as a writer in residence embedded in a partner institution.

There will also be opportunities for you to gain employability skills in the running of literary events through the Centre for New and International Writing and the Liverpool Literary Festival, in addition to honing performance skills through the annual student showcase.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

This course will allows you to develop your writing, research and creative thinking skills. You’ll also gain skills that are useful in a range of other careers such as:

  • Publishing
  • Marketing
  • PR
  • Teaching
  • Copywriting
  • Creative director
  • Editorial roles

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £10,800
Part-time place, per year £5,400
International fees
Full-time place, per year £22,400
Part-time place, per year £11,200
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.


Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re a new international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of £5,000 off your tuition fees.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

Completed your undergraduate degree, or studied as an undergraduate exchange student, at the University of Liverpool?

You could get a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off the tuition fees for this course from September 2024 entry.

  • £1,500 tuition fee discount for eligible UK University of Liverpool graduates
  • £2,500 tuition fee discount for eligible international University of Liverpool graduates.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

Postgraduate taught and research students from Chile are eligible for this scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

The University, in partnership with Chevening, is delighted to offer this generous scholarship to students who are studying a master’s programme and who have future leadership potential. Please note that there is a fee cap applied to MBA programmes that requires applicants to cover any additional tuition costs over £18,000. You will still receive all additional allowances.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

The University of Liverpool has an agreement with CONACYT to support postgraduate taught and research students from Mexico.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

20% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate taught and research programmes. Must be Mexico national.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US and another is available for a postgraduate research student to undertake a three to six month research stay from the US

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

Up to ten awards are available for Masters or Research students from Mexico in receipt of FUNED loans. The award gives students a 20% reduction in fees for all applications received.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

The University is able to offer competitive scholarships for both postgraduate taught master’s and research programmes.

HRM Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

The University is able to offer one award to a new postgraduate taught master’s student from Thailand.

The scholarship is open to all subjects offered as a one-year taught master’s programme.  However, priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with HRH Princess Sirindhorn such as science, IT, medicine, the arts, geography, history and languages.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

Residents of State of Guanajuato, Mexico, wishing to study at postgraduate taught and research levels are eligible for this scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US to cover the cost of tuition fees. Another, to the value of £20,000, is available for Doctoral study visit: https://www.marshallscholarship.org/

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

Postgraduate taught and research students from Turkey are eligible for this scholarship, see the Turkish Ministry of Education website https://meb.gov.tr/ for more information.

University of Liverpool Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

The three awards available cover full tuition fees, visas and support for accommodation and living expenses.

This scholarship is open to support people who have recognised status as either refugees or are under humanitarian protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention. This status must be held outside of the UK.

The scholarship is open for all postgraduate-taught programmes, excluding medicine, dentistry, veterinary and nursing.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

The University of Liverpool will award five University of Liverpool International College students, who achieve the highest academic excellence (minimum 75%) in their UoLIC Pre-Master’s programme, the prestigious UoLIC Excellence scholarship.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

University of Liverpool International College recipients of the Kaplan awards will receive the £3,000 Progression Impact Scholarship, deducted from first-year tuition fees, on successful progression to their UoL degree programme.

To be eligible for our Impact Progression Scholarships, students must apply for one of the Kaplan Impact Scholarships demonstrating their commitment to making an impact across issues of importance to the University and Kaplan. Themes include:

Sustainability
Women in STEM
Community
Career Focus (Employability)

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for China

  • International students
  • China

Details are:
1 (one) Full scholarship
2 (two) £10,000 scholarships
5 (five) £5,000 scholarships
10 (ten) £1,000 scholarships
All scholarships will be awarded after the formal registration at the University and will take the form of a fee waiver.

Please note: This scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarships or bursaries provided by the University.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

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Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

You will normally need a 2:1 honours degree, or above, or equivalent. This degree should preferably be in a relevant subject, such as English Literature or Creative Writing.

Applicants with honours degrees in other subjects will be considered on an individual basis and may be invited for interview.

As part of the application process, irrespective of your degree subject, you should:

  • Submit a sample of your creative writing – either 2,000-3,000 words in prose, 3-4 poems, or 8-12 pages of a drama script.
  • Write briefly, in a personal statement, on the writers whose work you admire, as well as the kind of writing you wish to pursue.
International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, a Pre-Master’s can help you gain a place. This specialist preparation course for postgraduate study is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. Although there’s no direct Pre-Master’s route to this MA, completing a Pre-Master’s pathway can guarantee you a place on many other postgraduate courses at The University of Liverpool.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language. International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS C
View our IELTS academic requirements key.
International Baccalaureate

Higher Level (Grade 5)

TOEFL iBT 88 or above with minimum scores in components as follows: Listening and Writing 19, Reading 19, Speaking 20.
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C4-6
Hong Kong use of English AS level B

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

More about life in Liverpool

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Why Liverpool?

Liverpool bursts with diversity and creativity which makes it ideal for you to undertake your postgraduate studies and access various opportunities for you and your family.

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Accommodation

To fully immerse yourself in the university experience living in halls will keep you close to campus where you can always meet new people. Find your home away from home.

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Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Creative and Critical Writing MA

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.