Creative Writing (DL), M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English (book IELTS)
University rank #135 (QS) Online
The Lancaster distance learning MA has rapidly evolved into an international programme, linking students in the UK and overseas through virtual learning. The programme is mediated almost entirely by online methods with a residential Summer School at its mid-point. You will be a member of a cohort of 18-20 students, exchanging writing in a range of literary forms and critiquing it from different personal and cultural perspectives.



The programme at Lancaster is entirely student-centred and tutorials involve the close critiquing of creative work. We respond to individual needs through the allocation of a personal tutor who will be an expert in your chosen genre. Online conferences enable tutor and peer response within a smaller group of five students.

The course runs on MOODLE, the University's virtual learning environment, and consists of personal tutorials and online conferences. The course begins with a preliminary tutorial in which students introduce themselves and their ideas for an MA writing project. This initial outline forms a flexible framework for their work on the course. The virtual learning environment also provides research training modules and a cybercafé where students can meet and communicate informally.

In each term students submit work for two one-one-one tutorials and a group online conference. Over the course of two years you will participate in 12 personal tutorials and six online conferences, which are designed to stimulate creative work and new critical perspectives. Each creative assignment is accompanied by a commentary, which discusses any difficulties or issues you have encountered, helping to focus your tutor’s response.

Students receive detailed written critiques from their tutor, engaging with both the assignment commentary and the creative work itself. The student’s reflective writing in the final MA portfolio is informed by these exchanges as well as their progress through the research training modules.

After the end of the Summer Term of the first year of the course, a five-day Summer School is held on the Lancaster University campus. This consists of workshops, readings and visits by agents, publishers and writers. This is an opportunity to meet with fellow students in a convivial way. Personal tutorials are also held to review progress. Recent visitors to the Summer School have included Peter Samson (The North/Smith Doorstop), Jim Hinks (Comma Press) and Sallyanne Sweeney (Mulcahy Associates).


Lancaster University is ranked in the top one percent of universities in the world and is listed at 145 in the Times Higher Education international table.

The growing reputation of Lancaster is reflected by high rankings year on year in each of the UK's major university league tables - The Times/Sunday Times (12th), the Guardian (11th) theComplete University Guide (11th) and the THE Student Experience Survey (10th).

Students at Lancaster University are more satisfied with their course than the average UK student according to the National Student Survey 2012. Overall, 91 percent of final year students at Lancaster say they were satisfied with their course. These results reflect the dedication of staff who work hard to ensure that every student who comes here will receive the very best education.

The University is singled out for its high levels of graduate employment in The Sunday Times University Guide 2012. The Sunday Times reports that an above-average proportion of students get graduate-level jobs (74 percent) and Lancaster's unemployment rate is low.

Lancaster graduates are performing well in what is an increasingly competitive job market. Through the work of our Careers staff and new initiatives such as the Lancaster Award, which helps students communicate to future employers their skills and accomplishments such as voluntary work, we aim to enhance our students' future career prospects.

Accommodation at Lancaster University has been ranked second in the UK in the Times Higher Education Student Experience survey for the second year in 2013; our sports facilities are joint fifth in the same 2013 survey. Our accommodation retained the title of 'Best University Halls' in the National Student Housing Survey of 120 UK institutions for the second year in 2011, also taking prizes for 'Best Learning Environment' and 'Best Individual Accommodation'. We are one of only five institutions to achieve the International Accommodation Quality Mark, awarded where satisfaction among international students was at 90 percent or higher.

Now approaching our 50th year, we're proud of our international reputation as a centre for excellence in teaching and research, and of the support and positive feedback that we receive from our students.

Programme Structure

The programme is mediated almost entirely by online tutorials and conferences. You will be a member of a cohort of 18–20 students, exchanging writing in a range of literary forms and critiquing it from different social and cultural perspectives. You will each be allocated a personal tutor (an expert in your chosen genre), and our course site provides research training modules and a cybercafé where you can meet and communicate informally.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Part-time
    • Average part-time duration 24 months
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    • Time flexibility
      Fully structured
    • Attendance
      Regular mandatory meetings
    • Teacher support
      Continuous support with feedback on request
    • Student interaction
      Individual work/assignments (with online group discussions), Online group works/assignments

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    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.

    Book IELTS

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic Requirements

Portfolio of original writing and undergraduate degree.
Assessment: Portfolio of creative work plus a piece of self-critical reflective writing.

Getting a Student Visa

This is an online programme. You can attend from the comfort of your chair! So you don't need a student visa! (Unless that chair you're sitting on is in a foreign country...)

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    7840 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 7840 GBP per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    4620 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 4620 GBP per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.


To help with study and living costs, Lancaster University offers postgraduates a range of scholarship, studentships and bursaries.

University Scholarships

We offer a range of scholarships awarded directly through our faculties and departments. The majority of these scholarships offer support towards fees, although some may also contribute towards living costs.

Competition for these scholarships is mainly based around academic performance and the number of scholarships and studentships offered varies from year to year.

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.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

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.