Skip to main content

Course details

MA in Creative Writing (Online)

Mode: 100% online (with optional events)
Length two years (part-time)
Total course fees:  £10,600 (instalments and funding options available)
Start dates:  January, May and September
Next welcome week:  20 May 2024
Next start date:  28 May 2024
Application deadline:  13 May 2024

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.

Your questions answered

Programme Director Dr Chris Westoby answers some key questions about the course, including which modules you'll study, how you'll learn online, and the entry requirements.

Your questions answered

Programme Director Dr Chris Westoby answers some key questions about the course, including which modules you'll study, how you'll learn online, and the entry requirements.

Read video transcript Grey

[upbeat music plays throughout]

Dr Chris Westoby: So there are five modules over the course of two years. You're introduced to the programme with The Writer's Craft, which is designed by our programme founder, Martin Goodman. The Writer's Craft teaches you key writing concepts at MA level, how to analyze the work of exemplary authors and locate what makes their writing successful, so that you may apply such skills within your own practice, and you work upon and strengthen your unique writing voice.

This acts as your your foundation, your springboard, from which you launch into the central three genre specific modules. So you have Writing the Short Story, Writing from Life and Writing the Novel where you study and practice specific modes of writing in-depth.

By the end of these four taught modules, you'll be well equipped and raring to embark upon The Writer's Portfolio. This double length and double weighted module sees you liftoff into an extended writing project of your own design.

With the support of a supervisor chosen to help bring out the very best in your work. You learn through a a combination of writing exercises, lectures, guided critical reading, discussion, forums, workshops and webinars.

Well, this is hard to quantify because everyone works at different speeds, which is absolutely fine and part of what we're proud to accommodate. There are also extra elements to each model, which some students may wish to engage in such as further recommended reading.

Our standard entry requirements are a 2:2 BA honours degree or international equivalent.

However, we also recognize other forms of prior experience and therefore encourage anyone who is interested in the programme to get in touch.

Your application may discuss where your career has taken you so far and why this equips you with the skills designed to join this program. You might discuss other writing courses you've attended, which have provided a strong foundation. You might discuss inroads you have made into publication, all of which shows that you are ready to start sharing your work and have practiced polishing it.

Or you may simply demonstrate the strength of your potential as a writer through your creative writing sample.

Even without the standard entry requirements, you may be the ideal candidate for this programme. There are a number of non standard ways in which you may be considered, so please do get in touch.

Your assigned course advisor will help you form an application that lets your unique strengths shine.

Student work

MA Creative Writing students often use their skills and experience gained from the course to publish their own novels, short stories, and more. Check out a range of published works from our students and graduates below: 

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. 

Assessment methods

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

Written assessments

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

Broaden your horizons with face-to-face events

At the University of Hull, we believe it’s important for students to feel a sense of connectedness, whether they’re studying on campus or online. This is why we hold up to two face-to-face events per year with creative workshops, talks from visionary academics, and a glance into the UK’s thriving creative writing community. Students from previous events have: 

  • Formed lasting friendships with fellow creatives 
  • Refined their creative writing style on the back of discussion and constructive criticism 
  • Drawn inspiration from new perspectives and literary genres 
  • Picked up insider knowledge on how to get their work published  

Want to flex your creative muscles, meet your tutors in-person, or form a rapport with like-minded people? You can do all this and more, while exploring topics outside of your course modules. Stay tuned for updates on our face-to-face events – we’d love to have you join us! 


What makes this course stand out?

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

What makes this course stand out?

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

Read video transcript Grey


[inspirational music plays throughout]

Hello I'm Martin Goodman, Professor of Creative Writing here at the University of Hull. I'm Director of this MA Online Creative Writing program. And I'm a writer like you. So part of our program here is to welcome fellow writers and encourage you to be the best writer you can be. This course for anybody who wants to take their creative writing seriously, for whom it's something very important. It's probably been very private 'til now, but you're ready to share it, and you're ready to share it, ideally in this online environment. This suits you. Writing is quite a private thing that happens on paper. But we know we have to share it at some times if we're going to reach other readers. So this is what we aim to do with you. The way this course works is to bring you through several different modules. The first one is writer's craft, where we will examine other writers and exemplary pieces of writing and their techniques, how they make their writing work and other readers' minds. And then you build up these skills as you're going through modules about writing the story of writing the novel, writing from life, and then you're released into an extended piece of writing, and that is where you're following the form that most appeals to you. We designed this course to help you build yourself into being the complete prose writer. For me, it's actually been very important to try out all of these fields. So I write novels, I write short stories. I also write non-fiction, I write biographies, I write travel pieces, I write reviews. All of these things are part of what makes a writer able to sustain a living in the world. And you don't have to always be working from your imagination. There's always something you can go to. And in each of these, you're also building up your own skills. So if your main desire in life is to be a novelist, the skills that you can find from learning how to write the creative nonfiction, writing from life, or how to build a little character arc within a short story. These are all essential to you. Every little piece of skill that you develop in writing any form will go into the form of your choosing. It's very important to me that we create a protected space around you. So you're not writing according to what some publisher takes as being that fits my box. You're writing the best work that can emerge from yourself inside this protected space, so it's not judgmental at all. We're completely free. We're saying, begin to yourself and write from that hidden space inside of you. I know that a lot of students are really bursting with their creative writing and looking for feedback, but they find it very hard to get into the classroom. Sometimes it's not good if you're a quiet person to have to face the bustle of a classroom, to have to put out your writing at this particular moment. It's much simpler to do that in your own time, to sort of breathe in. You post it online, and then other people can review it in their own time. That's really what this online course is doing. It is connecting the world through brilliant writers. 

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.


The University of Hull and its digital courses provider, Hull Online Limited, delivered in partnership with Cambridge Education Group Digital (CEGD), will only use your personal data to contact you in relation to our courses. For further information, please see the privacy policy.