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Course details

MA in Creative Writing

Three start dates per year: January, May and September

Next course start date: 26 September 2022

Next welcome week: 19 September 2022

Application deadline: 5 September 2022

Duration: two years (part-time)

Format: online, with optional face-to-face events

Total fees: £10,300 (payment by instalment and funding options available)

Additional costs: due to the nature of the subject, and copyright restrictions placed on institutional libraries by some publishers, students will need to purchase some core texts.

Support with your application: Contact our course adviser team today for application advice.

Why this MA in Creative Writing?

It was Hull where Philip Larkin lived and worked at the University's Brynmor Jones Library for 30 years, writing most of his best work. A seafaring city that connected outwards and brought some of the exotic back to northern England.

Embracing Hull's global-facing outlook, MA Professor and accomplished author Martin Goodman describes the University's MA Creative Writing as an inspiring and collegial environment for online students who want to develop their distinctive voice as a creative writer.

There is also the option to attend face-to-face events, as you seek public recognition and become a valued, active member of a vibrant international creative writing community.

What you learn

Transform your passion for reading into the ability to produce prose worthy of public recognition. Whatever your genre of preference, be it literary fiction, nonfiction, or the likes of fantasy, mystery or romance – you will have the opportunity to hone your creative writing skills and discover the techniques seminal writers have used to significant effect:

  • push your creative boundaries and give shape to a strong and original creative voice

  • expand your knowledge of the literary canon and acquire the art of reading as a literary writer 

  • gain an in-depth knowledge of structure which will help you towards a deeper understanding of your writing process 

  • become conversant with a range of textual elements such as the use of dialogue, point of view, perspective and sensory detail and apply learned technique to your preferred writing genre 

  • take your place within the international creative writing community. Critique the work of others and engender the view of published writers as colleagues from who you can learn 

  • develop your practice as a creative writer, understand the editing and re-drafting process necessary to produce prose of a publishable standard.


Hear from Programme Founder Professor Martin Goodman about what sets this Creative Writing masters degree apart:


HubSpot Video

Course modules

This masters degree allows you to develop your confidence and craft as a writer within a supportive, creative environment.

You study the following compulsory modules.

The Writer's Craft (30 credits) Grey

Because writing takes fire in the readers' mind, in this module, you will examine a wide range of literary works. Focusing primarily on textual elements including; sentence length and flow, perspective, choices of tense you will develop an understanding of how writers achieve their effects. Presented with sections of exemplary writing, you will move from your own visceral responses (e.g., excitement, intrigue, fear) to tracking how the writer deploys elements of craft to trigger desired emotions and atmosphere.

Writing the short story (30 credits) Grey

Short stories allow emerging writers to complete narrative arcs and establish a reputation through published works before tackling the longer form of a novel. In this module not only will you develop an appreciation of short stories from a range of international writers, but you will take the short story form and make it your own. Note that this module will also cover two sub-genres within the form; micro-fiction and flash fiction.

Writing from Life (30 credits) Grey

This module will introduce you to a wide range of nonfiction prose with a particular focus on travel writing, the essay, memoir, nature writing, and true-crime. You will produce your portfolio of work while practising a range of narrative nonfiction forms within a supportive, peer-driven environment.

Writing the novel (30 credits) Grey

What is it about an opening chapter of a novel that makes it virtually impossible to put it down? Throughout this module, you will improve upon your novel writing skills. The critique of your writing in a workshop setting will help you develop a keen awareness of narrative and narration along with a deep understanding of archetypes as an essential part of storytelling. As you develop plot and structure, you will employ editing and redrafting techniques to produce work you are proud to publish.

The Writer's Portfolio (60 credits) Grey

Creative writing is a rewarding process which requires immense personal discipline. In this module, you will receive guidance on how to structure your writing practice in this respect. Your prose portfolio (up to 15,000 words) represents the culmination of your MA Creative Writing programme. Here you will demonstrate your originality of ideas, grasp of technique and craft, presenting a unique and accomplished body of work to a publishable or near publishable standard.

What are the entry requirements?

If you're unsure whether you're eligible to apply, please get in touch with our friendly course adviser team for advice:


“I chose Hull because I wanted to study somewhere where I would be pushed to break free from my comfort zone."

Zach Bliznakov, Lecturer and MA student


How you're assessed

All assessments for the course are based on coursework and submitted online. There are no exams. 

Your performance on the course will be assessed through a range of methods including

  • ongoing tutor and peer feedback

  • practical work, including group projects and discussion forums

You’ll also be asked to complete a variety of written assessments including

  • Critical and creative responses, where you provide examples of crafting skills in work that interests you, and then provide short writing samples that utilise those techniques in your own work

  • Prose portfolios, comprising one or two pieces of original work

  • Commentary pieces, describing your ambitions and intent for your prose portfolios

Get more detailed information on the course assessment methods page:


Teaching team

Professor Martin Goodman

Programme Founder

Martin, whose first novel, On Bended Knees, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize (now the Costa Book Awards), runs independent publishing house Barbican Press.


Dr Christopher Westoby

Programme Director

Chris lectures in Creative Writing, guest lectures in subjects of mental health, teaches reflective writing, and runs PhD and cross-faculty writing workshops.



Dr Maggie Hamand

Module Leader

Maggie Hamand is a novelist, journalist, and non-fiction author. A number of her short stories have been published and nominated for awards.



Online tutors

Dr Claire Griffiths

Claire teaches on ‘The Writer’s Craft’ and ‘Writing From Life’ modules. Her debut novel is in preparation for publication.



Dr Karina Lickorish Quinn

Karina teaches on 'Writing the Short Story' and 'Writing the Novel'. Her debut novel The Dust Never Settles was published in 2021. 



Dr Sarah Walton

Sarah has written several successful novels and coached beginners and award-winning writers to overcome writer’s block and unlock their creativity.



Dr Mick Jackson

Mick’s first novel, The Underground Man, was shortlisted for The Booker Prize. He has since written three other novels and three collections of stories.



Dr Kate Horsley

Kate has written two novels and has two more in progress. She has taught creative writing at Lancaster and Chester university.



Barbara Henderson

Barbara is a former newspaper and BBC journalist. She writes novels of varying genres for adult and teen readers.



Tim Hannigan

Tim is an author and travel journalist. He specialises in travel and narrative history, and writes mainly about Southeast Asia.



Dr Megan Hayes

Megan teaches on the modules 'The Writer's Portfolio' and 'Writing the Short Story'. She is the author of several non-fiction books and is working on her first novel.



Gaar Adams

Gaar's arts, culture, and environmental reporting from the Middle East and South Asia has been featured in publications including The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and VICE.



“I like the weekly feedback from the other students on the work I produce, and my opportunity to give them feedback too.”

Mike McMaster, Chief Commercial Officer for a software company and MA student

Career prospects

By studying this course, you should gain the confidence and practical skills necessary to produce creative writing of a publishable or near-publishable standard, in your genre of choice.

Want to get published?

Programme Director Dr Chris Westoby discusses how studying creative writing at Hull led to his first book:


You'll also gain valuable transferrable skills which are in-demand across the creative industries and beyond.

MA Creative Writing graduates often go into successful careers in a broad range of industries, such as

  • professional writing/authorship

  • marketing and PR

  • heritage and tourism

  • journalism and broadcasting

  • museum curating

  • banking

  • education

Ready to apply?

Our step-by-step application process is easy to follow.


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