The Creative Writing MA programme from the University of Birmingham brings together students who are working in different genres so that you can engage collaboratively across genres before specialising in screenwriting, playwriting, fiction or poetry for your dissertation.
You will take five core modules [full descriptions available below]:
You will also take one optional module from within English, or from another discipline.
You will complete the programme with a dissertation which will be 75% creative portfolio and 25% critical essay. You will write a 20,000-25,000 word portfolio of creative work in as a screenplay, novella, excerpt of a novel, a collection of short fiction or a collection of poetry. This will be accompanied by a 5,000-word essay placing your work in a critical and creative context, with reference to your development as a writer over the course of the MA. You will receive feedback on work in progress during one-to-one tutorials and in work-sharing seminars with peers (groups divided along the lines of genre/form).
The programme is also assessed by creative portfolios and assignments throughout the taught modules.
Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days. Register to attend on the university website.
If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, click on the Virtual Open Day / Open Day links below, under the "Relevant links" section.
By accessing the university website page, you will find all the contacts for all programmes.
You will study five core modules:
This module offers you the chance to generate new material, experiment with form and technique and share your work in writing workshops with the supervision of your tutor.
This module asks – what advantages are gained from placing your writing in a critical context? How do you see yourself as a writer? Through the study of historical and contemporary ideas of authorship and the role of the writer, socially and artistically, you will be encouraged to develop a deeper understanding of your own work and motivations for writing.
This module allows for a simultaneous focus on poetry and fiction, allowing you to work in both forms rather than choosing to be a “poet” or “prose writer” at this stage in your development. There will be weekly writing exercises and the opportunity to critique one anothers’ work as well as a weekly set text exploring contemporary poetry and fiction.
How does a story change when its form changes? Are the characters in the screen adaptation the same characters as in the source novel? Are we freer in our approach to adaptation than we used to be? There will be weekly set texts to explore the themes. You will be assessed through a critical paper focusing on two different genres (e.g. a book adapted for the stage or screen, a poetry collection adapted for radio, etc.) as well as an extended piece in the genre of your choice.
This module uses the concept of editing as a tool to question the nature of writing as process and product. It will provide a broad, market-focused contextualisation of editing issues and practices as well as hands-on editing. Working in collaboration with an external MA programme students will build towards the production of a professional quality anthology of creative work.
You will take one optional module - in the first semester - and your choice includes:
This module investigates key problems in performance history and historiography. You will consider a range of conceptual and methodological issues raised by the historical analysis of theatre and performance. You will focus particularly on the strategies and politics of historical representation in drama and theatre studies, looking at how performance practices have been narrated within theatre studies and how these narratives represent theatre's relationship with other social practices. NB: this module has limited spaces.
This module will enhance students' ability to explore the diversity of literary impulses in a turn-of-the-century period characterised by literary non-conformity. Major topics to be covered include: the late nineteenth-century city, decadence, imperialism, aestheticism, and early modernism. These will be studied across a variety of genres and authors, with reference to formative theorists/philosophers of the period. In spite of its interest in diversity the module will be unified by two themes that are characteristic of the period: an intense interest in the past as well as fascination with the future.
This module provides a theme and topic-based survey of English literature of the period 1580-1700 (excluding Shakespeare). It encompasses literature from all the principal genres of the period, addressing literary texts, from the time of Sidney and Spenser through the Civil War to Dryden and Rochester in the late seventeenth-century.
Alternatively, you may choose an optional module from outside your discipline from other areas of the College or University.
You can apply until:
Always verify the dates on the programme website.
You only need to take one of these language tests:
The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.Take IELTS test
StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more
The CAE test – or the Cambridge Advanced English – is an exam for applicants who wish to get a Certificate in Advanced English. To receive the Advanced certificate, test-takers must score between 142 and 210 on the Cambridge English: Advanced test. Read more about CAE.
Note: degree programmes and applications may require a more specific minimum score for admission.
The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).
You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:
A new postgraduate loans system for Masters degrees in the UK will be introduced for students commencing in the 2016-17 academic year. These government-backed student loans will provide up to £10,000 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas.
The criteria, eligibility and repayment information have been announced, and applications will open in June 2016. For further details, see Postgraduate loans for Masters students.
Scholarships to cover fees and/or maintenance costs may be available. To discover whether you are eligible for any award across the University, and to start your funding application, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
Testimonial Registration Module
Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.