Creative Writing MA/PGDip
- Name: Creative Writing
- Qualification: MA/PGDip
- Duration: 1 year full-time; 2 years part-time
A course in creative writing may be the first step towards a writing career, or a chance for more experienced writers to develop their work from a new perspective. Creative writing at Bangor University offers a range of opportunities for postgraduate study in a dynamic critical and creative environment. Bangor University has significant experience in this discipline and a flourishing postgraduate community.
Specialist writing staff, including poet Dr Zoë Skoulding and novelist Dr Alys Conran, are widely published, award-winning and internationally esteemed writers. As active practitioners, they are closely involved in both teaching and supervision - bringing a range of expertise in poetry, fiction, literary editing and the interface between creative and critical writing.
There are many opportunities for publishing and performing student work within the University, as well as meeting a range of visiting writers through the Y Llechan programme of readings. In recent years this has included visits from Denise Riley, Rebecca F. John, Cynan Jones, Vahni Capildeo, Sarah Howe, Robert Minhinnick, Jackie Kay, Sandeep Parmar, James Byrne, Forrest Gander, Kit de Waal, Chris McCabe and Kerry Hudson. The Contempo series connects writers at Bangor with postgraduates at four other universities for a lively programme of video-linked research seminars. The Pontio Arts Centre also hosts a range of high-profile literary events, including recent readings by John Cooper Clarke and Philip Pullman, who is an Honorary Professor at Bangor.
The environment in Bangor is ideal for studying creative writing, situated as it is between the mountains and the sea. It is a place where creativity is the norm rather than the exception.
Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.
The MA in Creative Writing consists of two parts. Part One must be successfully completed before proceeding to the second part, the dissertation.
For the first part of the MA, four modules are taught in small groups or through individual supervision:
Creative Writing: Poetry (30 credits): A series of weekly group seminars invites students to experiment with a range of approaches to poetry, from the use of traditional forms to innovative techniques for exploring language. Participants read and discuss contemporary poetry, and develop a portfolio of their own work with individual supervision.
Creative Writing: Prose (30 credits): Taught through a series of weekly seminars and individual supervision, this module presents advanced fiction writing techniques, focusing on how character, plot, setting, tone and style contribute to compelling narrative, and on how conventions of genre may be challenged.
Introduction to Literary Theory, Scholarship and Research (30 credits): This module offers the opportunity to study alongside MA students in English Literature, and to share ideas about authorship, the history of the book, and some key contemporary perspectives on the relationship between literature and the culture in which it is produced. For writers, this module offers a valuable insight into how your creative work relates to its wider context.
- Advanced Writing Portfolio (30 credits): A portfolio of writing in any literary form produced in close consultation with a supervisor.
Open Essay (30 credits): A supervised essay on a topic/theme of the student’s own choice.
Transcreative Writing (30 credits): This module is taught in conjunction with our Modern Languages and Cultures department, but no foreign language skills required.
Modules may also be taken from any part of the MA English Literature programme.
The second part of the MA is the Dissertation, which is a chance to develop a longer piece of creative writing (20,000 words) in consultation with a supervisor. It will involve a series of one-to-one supervisory meetings.
Modules for the current academic year
Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change. Find out what our students are currently studying on the Creative Writing Modules page.
A 2(i) Honours degree in a relevant field (please contact us if you are not sure if your degree is relevant) and demonstrated interest in creative writing. Potential students are invited to submit a short sample of their work with their application.
International students whose first language is not English: An IELTS score of 6.5 with no element below 6.0 is required.
For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages on the International Education Centre section of our website.
Ask the IEC for assistance...
If you want advice or a general chat about what’s available contact the International Education Centre on +44 (0) 1248 382028 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Apply
Home/EU students: apply online yourself with the help of our Guidance Notes on online application for Home/EU students. We strongly recommend you read these before you start to apply online.
Once you have read the Guidance Notes you should apply using our Online Application form.
Need help applying? Home/EU students please contact:
Postgraduate Admissions: email@example.com or write to:
Telephone: +44 (0)1248 383717.
- Students: can apply though our Online Application Portal. Refer to the Guidance Notes for help filling the form.
- Agents: if you are an agent applying on behalf of the student, then you can Apply here. For further guidance click here
Need help applying? International students please contact:
International Education Office: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to
International Education Centre
Telephone: +44 (0) 1248 382028
When to apply
The University will accept applications throughout the year, but we would generally advise that you send in your application form by the end of June to ensure that you have time to make any funding and/or accommodation arrangements, and for documents such as transcripts and references to be obtained if not submitted with the application. This will also give you more time to meet any conditions we may potentially attach to an offer.
An MA in Creative Writing may lead to a career as a novelist, poet or playwright. Planning and developing a substantial writing project is a good preparation for future funded or commissioned writing, as well as for an academic career in practice-based research. This course also offers a range of skills that can be applied in other contexts, for example editing, publishing, journalism and arts administration. The ability to use language fluently and persuasively is essential for success in almost any field, and the flexibility of working across genres in this course offers an excellent grounding in creative language use.
Practising writers are regularly invited to share their insights with students.