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Course details

MA in Creative Writing

Next start date: 25 May 2020

Application deadline: 11 May 2020

Duration: two years (part-time)

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

Total fees for the May 2020 start date: £9,400

Total fees for the September 2020 start date: £10,000

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.  



Why this MA?

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.

Student testimonial

“Whilst the tutor and course leader are both excellent, I really like the feedback every week from the other students on the work I produce, and my opportunity to give them feedback too. That means I get to read what they are writing – inspiring stuff!” 

Mike McMaster, Chief Commercial Officer for a software company, MA in Creative Writing 

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:


4K Online Msc in Creative Writing

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 16,000 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. 


Dr Christopher Westoby

Programme Director
Dr Westoby obtained his PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Hull, collaborating between the Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education, and the Faculty of Health Sciences. His debut nonfiction book, The Fear Talking, will be published in 2020. Chris lectures in Creative Writing, guest lectures in subjects of mental health, teaches reflective writing to Mental Health Nursing Students, and runs PhD and cross-faculty writing workshops. He applies Creative Writing techniques in research projects on hoarding, bereavement and gendered barriers.

Professor Martin Goodman

Programme Founder
Professor Goodman, whose first novel, On Bended Knees, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize (now the Costa Book Awards), runs independent publishing house Barbican Press. The success of his current book, Client Earth, has seen him appear at festivals and on radio shows across the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

How you're assessed

All assessments for the course are based on coursework and submitted online. Your performance on the course will be assessed through a range of methods including
  • practical work, including group projects and discussion forums

  • written work, including case studies, reports and essays

You will also receive tutor and peer feedback to help you improve your work. 


Entry requirements

  • A minimum 2.2 Bachelor Honours degree or international equivalent. Applicants who do not meet this requirement may still be considered, but will need to present examples of relevant published work with their application

  • A creative writing sample (fiction or non-fiction) of up to 3,000 words

  • An IELTS 6.0 score (with minimum 5.5 in each skill) if your first language isn’t English (or other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by the University of Hull).

  • Two references, of which one must be an academic reference, and the other can be a work reference.  

If you're unsure whether you're eligible to apply, please contact our course advisers on +44 (0)1482 235569 or email

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.

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

Student testimonial

“I chose to study online with Hull because I wanted to be a writer, and I wanted to study somewhere where I would be motivated and pushed to break free from my comfort zone."

Zach Bahr, Lecturer at South China University of Technology, MA in Creative Writing  

Ready to apply?

Request more information

Complete the form below or telephone +44 (0)1482 235569 to speak to a course adviser.