2021 start

Creative Writing

School of English, Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Study contemporary creative writing and develop your skills in a variety of genres and styles. Choose to specialise in either poetry or fiction, or to study both, and explore and improve your own writing through practical workshops.
Student writing in a book

Course description

You’ll study contemporary creative writing methods and practices and develop your skills in different genres, cross-genres and a wide range of formal and genre experimentations. You’ll also develop and explore your own creative and critical writing through practical workshops and the critical reading of contemporary creative and theoretical texts.

You’ll be encouraged to take all four creative writing core modules, with a minimum of three, which are designed to interact with each other theoretically, thematically and methodologically, to allow for experimentation between literary practices and productive genre crossovers.

The course culminates in a dissertation. You’ll be producing portfolios of both creative and critical work for each module and for your dissertation, all of which may take the form of poetry, prose poetry, short stories, a novel extract, poetic prose, hybrid texts and other genres, as well as formal or cross-media experimentations.

This MA will help you develop your creative writing to a publishable quality, providing a positive, friendly, nurturing, intellectual and creative environment for confident, bold and imaginative development of contemporary creative writing forms and practices. You’ll explore your own writing through practical workshops and learn how to creatively and constructively critique your own and other students' work.

You’ll benefit from the buzzing literary culture at Sheffield and get involved in public and university readings, publications and festivals throughout your time with us. You're encouraged to publish your work and to participate in student-led, peer-feedback editorial sessions.

We run monthly public readings within the Centre for Poetry and Poetics with established writers and have an annually published creative writing journal, Route 57, which is edited and assembled by our own creative writing students. Each year we also run various creative writing projects, student readings and hubs which will give you a variety of opportunities to meet fellow writers within our well established Postgraduate Creative Writing community which comprises current and alumni students of the MA and PhD.

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Core modules

Choose two from:

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

Optional modules

Examples of optional modules may include:

  • ‘Tales of the City’: the Living Space in Contemporary American Fiction
  • Memory and Narrative in Contemporary Literature
  • Language and Literature in the Workplace

Or any from the many modules listed under the general MA in English Literature.


For your four Creative Writing modules, you will meet for a 2 hour workshop/seminar each week. These workshops are typically taught in the early evenings, late afternoons. A workshop is an informal, creative/critical environment that allows you to receive feedback on your writing from both the tutor and your fellow students, discuss creative and theoretical practices drawing on a wide range of selected contemporary reading material. You'll be encouraged to produce new writing on a weekly basis which we discuss within the workshops.

Modules from the MA English Literature programme are taught in seminars, which can vary in length from 1.5 - 2.5 hours, and can be held weekly or fortnightly depending on the module. Many of these seminars will be held during the day.

Our current staff are active and internationally-recognised authors, academics and creative forces in their fields:

Former teaching staff have included Dr Vahni Capildeo, Professor Simon Armitage, Dr Honor Gavin and Professor Denise Riley.


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.


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

Entry requirements

A good first degree (2:1 or above, or the international equivalent) in English literature, language, linguistics, or a related discipline (eg history, philosophy, modern languages).

A portfolio submission of 2,000 words of prose/drama or five poems (or equivalent, roughly 100 lines), to be sent along with the application form.

English language requirements

Overall IELTS score of 7.5 and a minimum of 7.0 in all other components.

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.


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

Apply now


+44 (0)114 222 8473

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