MA Creative Writing

School of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Our MA courses give you the chance to explore the subjects you love with the guidance of leading researchers. The range of options available means you can design the masters you want.

The course offers a unique curriculum – half theoretical and half practical. It offers a great opportunity for me to learn the way to incorporate theatre practice into research. The course has introduced a wide variety of contemporary performance that is totally new to me, which has broadened my interest.

Moe ShojI, Postgraduate Student in the School of English

About the course

Course description 2017

You’ll study contemporary creative writing and develop your skills in different genres and styles. You’ll also develop and explore your own writing through practical workshops.

You’ll complete two core modules, optional modules and a dissertation. Your final portfolio of work may take the form of short stories, a novel extract, script or poetry.

Moe Shoji, postgraduate in the School of English Literature

Core modules

Choose two from:

  • Creative Writing: Fiction 1
  • Creative Writing: Fiction 2
  • Creative Writing: Poetry 1
  • Creative Writing: Poetry 2

Examples of optional modules

May include:

  • ‘Tales of the City’: the living space in contemporary american fiction
  • Contemporary British Poetry
  • Memory and Narrative in Contemporary Literature
  • Language and Literature in the Workplace
  • Study of Texts
  • Any from the many modules listed under the general MA in English Literature

Teaching and assessment

Teaching takes place through workshops and seminars. You’ll be assessed on your essays, a creative writing dissertation and portfolio.

Fiction writers and dramatists: 12,000 words of creative work.

Poets: 50 poems or equivalent.

All students complete a 3,000-word critical essay.

Course duration

  • 1 year full-time
  • 2 years full-time

Entry requirements

At least a 2:1 or the international equivalent in English, or a combined degree including a substantial element of English Literature. For the Literary-Linguistics pathway, you need a 2:1 in English literature, language or linguistics – or a related subject such as history, philosophy or modern languages.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS grade of 7.5 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.

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Fees and funding

There are a number of studentships and fee bursaries available, funded by the University. Deadlines for funding applications are usually in winter/early spring. For details, see our website.

Financial information for postgraduate taught courses

Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage, Professor of Poetry

What made you choose to come and teach at the University of Sheffield?

I love the city for its pride and work ethos and propensity towards participation and performance – be that in music, literature, even politics. And I’d been working with the University as part of a community-based project for about a year, so everything seemed to click. Academically the department I’m working in is very strong, and I’m keen to make poetry and creative writing one of its core activities, something it’s recognised for.

Which masters courses do you teach on?

The Creative Writing MA.

Can you explain how your work feeds into the teaching?

A case of preaching what I practise, I suppose. But even though the course is about writing, the real focus must also always be reading. You need to work out which gods to worship and which monsters to avoid. You can’t be a writer without being a reader.

What inspires you to do the work you do? Where does your passion come from?

From language, from wanting to communicate and express myself, from believing in poetry as an enduring mainstay against the white noise of everyday life.

Can you recall a moment of discovery, perhaps in your childhood, or from your own student years, when you first realised that this was what you wanted to do?

Reading Ted Hughes at school – the light bulb went on. I didn’t know the world was such an interesting place, and hadn’t realised that it could be represented, even recreated, by these small, dense fragments of language.

It didn’t make me want to study English – my learning took a different route, towards more orthodox forms of employment – but it confirmed me as a reader of poetry, and perhaps inevitably the writing followed. Eventually.

Apply now

You can apply for postgraduate study using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It is a quick and easy process.

Apply now

Any questions?

If you'd like to know more about any aspect of our courses, contact us:

Dr Madeleine Callaghan
E: m.callaghan@sheffield.ac.uk
T: +44 (0)114 222 8461

The course information set out here may change before you begin, particularly if you are applying significantly in advance of the start date.