in the UK for English and Creative Writing courses
Guardian University Guide 2023
for teaching quality in Creative Writing
Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023
for student satisfaction
National Student Survey 2022
Gain confidence in your skills within a community of fellow writers
Focus on the craft of writing on a postgraduate course designed help you develop your skills, experiment with form and explore a variety of genres.
Our MA Creative Writing course has a long and proud history of graduate success, with many of our students continuing on to careers as published writers.
You will learn from one of the most established and experienced Creative Writing teams in the UK, comprised of practising and published poets, short story writers, novelists, non-fiction writers and screenwriters.
We believe in creating a community of writers who can support and learn from one another. Our specialist workshopping sessions give you the confidence to discuss you work, receive feedback, and reflect on your own work by helping others.
On this course you will:
- Develop your writing skills in your chosen genre or genres.
- Learn from our expert staff, who are all practicing and published writers.
- Gain the confidence to share and discuss you own work with peers and tutors.
- Experience regular readings from guest writers.
- Meet and talk with agents and editors at our annual publishing panel.
Learn the craft of creative writing from practicing and published writers
Our MA Creative Writing course focuses on writing as a craft. It provides you a strong platform to develop your writing, as you experiment with the wide range of possibilities available to the contemporary writer.
You will have the opportunity to develop your skills in writing prose fiction (the novel or short story), poetry, creative non-fiction (biography, autobiography, memoir, travel), film scripts or drama for the stage or radio.
You may want to work on one project, such as a novel, throughout the course, or you may wish to explore different genres; the course allows for both options.
This list is indicative and subject to change.
Launching the Manuscript
In this module, you will explore the role of autonomy in the creative writing process, sustaining the longer project, and learning about the publishing industry. You will also be able to learn more about the publishing industry from guest readers and the Agents and Editors’ Panel.
Metaphor and the Imagination
This module encourages innovation and experimentation, pushing you beyond your usual boundaries.
Sources and Transformations
This module provides you with the essential skills of transforming both outer research and inner biographical concerns into fiction.
In this module, you will complete a substantial piece of original writing in the genre of your choice to act as a culmination of your learning throughout the course. As part of this process, you will complete an extensive commentary that charts the development of your work and which places it within its literary context.
The Writing Studio
This module serves as induction to the MA and to the distinctive methods of the ‘Chichester workshop’ and enables you to experiment in any genre prose, poetry or drama, while exploring key features of those genres.
Teaching and Assessment
Feel the support of one of the most experienced teaching teams in the UK
You will learn through a combination of seminar discussion, writing exercises and workshops.
In the intensive MA workshops, you will typically discuss good writing practice and workshop your own writing.
Our commitment to smaller class sizes allows you to feel more confident to discuss your ideas in a supportive environment. It also allows your tutors get to know you and how best to aid your development.
In addition to taught sessions by MA staff and talks by visiting writers, students will also benefit from two master classes a year by our visiting Professors, novelist Kate Mosse and novelist and short story writer Alison MacLeod.
Whilst subject to change, typically lectures and classes run at the following times:
|Full time||Mondays and Wednesdays | 17:00-19:30|
|Part time||Monday or Wednesdays on alternate years|
Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, allowing you to clearly see your academic progress at all stages of the course.
To gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Writing, students need to complete four modules. Each module is assessed by an assignment of approximately 6,000 words or equivalent.
To gain an MA in Creative Writing, students need to complete all four modules and a dissertation of 20,000 words (or poetry/drama equivalents).
Find facilities and research centres that support your creative processes
Learning Resource Centre
Subject specific librarians
South Coast Creative Writing Hub
Chichester Centre for Fairy Tales, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction
Iris Murdoch Research Centre
Local cultural links
Gain unique insight into the creative writing industry
We also offer advice on publishing and the market place through our annual Agents and Editors’ Panel.
We welcome experts from the publishing industry come to Chichester to talk about getting published and to make contacts with our students.
A number of our students have met their agents and/or editors at one of these panels.
The University boasts a blossoming writing culture and community, with regular book launches and conferences.
In addition, we welcome guest authors to discuss their work, their process, and their careers, providing an in-depth insight into the publishing world.
Some renowned authors to have visited the University in recent years include:
- Carol Ann Duffy
- Jim Crace
- Kate Mosse
- Michele Roberts
- Vicki Feaver
- Bethan Roberts
- Jo Shapcott
- Adam Marek
- Robert Shearman
- Sarah Hall.
Join our community of successful alumni
The last few years have shown a fabulous flowering of our MA Creative Writing students’ work. Many students at both undergraduate and postgraduate level have continued on to become published writers and win prizes.
In recent years, students have gone on to publish novels, poetry collections, win prizes in major competitions such as the Bridport Prize. Some have also had poems and stories published in magazines such as The Paris Review and Staple.
Multi-award winning writer Bethan Roberts has published five novels and writes drama for BBC Radio 4.
Her novel, My Policeman, follows the story of a 1950s policeman, his wife, and his male lover, and was released in 2012. A film adaptation starring Harry Styles and Emma Corrin was released by Amazon Studios in 2022.
Her fourth novel, Mother Island, was the recipient of a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize. Her new novel, Graceland, tells the story of Elvis Presley and his mother.
While on the MA, Isabel worked on her first novel, Glasshopper, which was published by Myriad Editions.
Glasshopper went on to be named among the best books of the year by both the Observer and The Evening Standard. Since then she has published four more novels.
The latest, Little Sister, is a psychological thriller published by Trapeze, an imprint of Orion publishing.
Glen James Brown
Glen James Brown's Ironopolis was nominated for the Orwell Prize for political fiction, as well as the 2020 Portico Prize.
The book follows the stories of multiple characters within a declining estate in the heart of Middlesbrough.
Gabrielle has published three novels with Sphere: The Last Duchess, The Courtesan’s Lover and The Girl With The Painted Face to positive reviews and her work has been published in nine countries.
Gabrielle met her agent, Judith Murray, at one of the English and Creative Writing Department annual Agents and Editors’ panels.
Vashti Hardy’s Brightstorm was published in March 2018 by Scholastic UK and is a middle grade fantasy with sky-ship explorers, sapient creatures and twin heroes.
Brightstorm was selected by Independent Booksellers as the Book of the Season Spring 2018 and was been shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Readers Award, The Awesome Book Awards, Leeds Book Awards, Stockton Book Awards, and was also listed for the Blue Peter Book Awards.
Course Fees 2024/25
University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.
- An honours degree at 2:2 or higher in a related discipline
- You will be required to attend an interview and provide a portfolio of work
- If English is not your first language then English language proficiency required is IELTS 6.5 (with no element less than 5.5) – or equivalent qualification
For entry to our MA Creative Writing course, you will be required to send in a portfolio of creative writing. This portfolio should represent some of your best work to date, so please select carefully and present accurately.
A portfolio might consist of any but not all of the following:
- Three short stories
- Three chapters from a novel or non-fiction book
- 5-8 poems
- A radio play
- Two or three scenes of a stage play
- Or a combination of the above, e.g. a short story and five poems.
Please remember to select your writing that you consider to be your best work so far and in a form that suits you.
Frequently asked questions
Can I choose part time or full time study?
Yes, when you apply you can state which level of study you would like to undertake.
Is the course the same whether I study part time or full time?
Yes, the course will be the same for both part time and full time study.
Can I still attend the Agents and Editor's Panel if I study part time?
Yes, you will still be able to attend all course events if you study part time.
How do I apply?
Apply here to be taken through to our online application form. As part of that process, you will be asked to submit a portfolio of your best current work as outlined in the section above this one.