Creative Writing (MLitt) 2017 entry
The MLitt in Creative Writing encourages the development of students' original work while providing intensive critical and creative study in poetry, prose or writing for performance.
Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)
One year full time
A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree; at the discretion of staff, this requirement may occasionally be waived for candidates who demonstrate exceptional talent in their creative submission.
If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.
The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.
UK and EU: £7,500
Applications for 2017 entry for this course have now closed, information about 2018 entry will be available shortly.
- Supplementary application to School of English (Word)
- two academic references
- academic transcripts
- degree certificates (where available)
- academic critical essay on an English literature topic (approximately 2,000 words)
- portfolio of original verse (10 poems), prose or play/screenwriting (10 to 15 pages)
- English language requirements certificate, where applicable.
For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.
If you started this programme in 2016, you can find information about 2016 entry on the 2016 Creative Writing (MLitt) page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in our archive.Apply for this course
The MLitt in Creative Writing is a one-year taught programme run by the School of English. The course consists of two semesters with taught components followed by an individual creative writing project taking place over the whole year, but with particular focus during the last three months.
- Individual mentors help you to hone your creative practice and to further develop your expressive voice.
- The course emphasises best practice in recent and contemporary writing, and modules are taught by published authors familiar with the writing process.
- Small class sizes of three to ten students allows for extremely high levels of individual attention.
Teaching methods include seminars, workshops and individual tutorials. Class sizes typically range from three to ten students, ensuring high levels of individual attention. Modules are assessed through coursework essays, original writing and the final dissertation.
Writing for Performance students will participate in a number of theatre visits and will be required to meet costs of approximately £200.
Students take one compulsory mondule on research skills in Semester 1 and two modules in a chosen area over both Semesters.
The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2016–2017 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2017 entry.
- Research Skills for Creative Writing: an introduction into gathering IT resources and library materials; primary skills such as proofreading, copy-editing and basic literary theory; the literary marketplace, and the roles of editors, publishers, agents and festival organisers.
Students choose two optional modules in a chosen subject area (prose, poetry or writing for performance) to take over both Semesters 1 and 2.
- Writing Prose 1 and 2: a critical and practical study of the writing of literary prose, including short and long fiction, as well as the literary essay, life writing and other non-fiction forms.
- Writing Poetry 1 and 2: a range of essential topics in poetry and its composition, including the creative process, sound and sentence, the poetic line, imagery, metaphor, metre and meaning.
- Writing for Performance 1 and 2: introduces key playwriting and screenwriting skills as well as writing for younger audiences and radio.
The modules listed ran in the academic year 2016–2017 and are indicative of this course. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.
In August, students will submit an original piece of work in one of the following forms:
- Poetry: a collection of at least 20 shorter poems. Candidates who opt to submit a long poem or poems should do so only after consultation with their supervisor.
- Prose: a prose extract of around 15,000 words. It need not be the opening of the book, but it should be a continuous excerpt and it must be supported by a one-page outline or synopsis showing the intended development of the book.
- Short stories: one or more stories of 15,000 words in total. Prose work in other forms (for example, creative non-fiction) may be submitted but should be discussed in detail with a supervisor.
- Writing for performance: a dramatic piece of about 45 minutes of performance time (8,000 to 10,000 words). This should be developed in consultation with a supervisor.
If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.
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Conferences and events
Events are open to all members of the School and to the public, unless explicitly restricted, and there is an active student-run Literary Society and the Postgraduate Forum, where postgraduates meet to present and discuss their on-going work. Each semester, the School invites distinguished visiting academics and creative writers to lead seminars, lectures and workshops as part of our regular research events.
The School of English will award at least two scholarships to MLitt (Masters level) entrants in 2016-17.
All School of English study applicants will receive a unique email link to the postgraduate scholarship and funding catalogue, providing an online portal through which you can apply for available relevant awards.
Scholarships currently offered through the School of English:
After the MLitt
In the MFA Creative Writing course, students develop their creative practice and produce a substantial piece of publishable writing under the supervision of a world-class writing staff.
In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree option.
Douglas Dunn MFA Scholarship
A £15,000 per annum maintenance award funded by the School of English. All entrant MFA Creative Writing students are eligible.
Graduates of the course have gone on to become published writers and/or pursue careers in a range of sectors including journalism, marketing, publishing and teaching.
The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.
Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.
As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).
The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).