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MA in Creative Writing

This qualification is an opportunity to develop your skills as a writer in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and scriptwriting for film, radio and the stage. You'll be able to write in a genre of your choice and experiment with at least one other through practical and inspiring activities. You'll also hone your writing practice through sharing, reading and critiquing work in progress, and will work towards producing a substantial piece of your own creative writing to a professional standard.

Key features of the course

  • Develop writing skills and awareness of approaches to writing 
  • Progress and hone sophisticated writing skills in at least one genre
  • Gain a sound knowledge of, and ability in, a secondary genre
  • Engage in sharing, critiquing and reviewing a variety of work
  • Prepare a substantial piece of work to a professional standard.

Masters degree

Course code
F71
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
180
How long it takes
2 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
Postgraduate loan available
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

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Course details

Modules

To gain the 180 credits you require for this qualification, you must study the modules in the order shown below and pass part 1 before progressing to part 2:

Compulsory modules Credits Next start
MA Creative Writing part 1 (A802)

This online module is an exciting opportunity to develop your skills in fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction and scriptwriting, using practical writing, reading and research activities.

See full description

60 No current presentation
MA Creative Writing part 2 (A803)

Specialising in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction or script writing, you will work towards a substantial piece of creative writing produced to a professional standard.

See full description

 
 
120 No current presentation

Please note that MA Creative Writing part 2 (A803) is worth 120 credits. Module fees for postgraduate modules are based on the number of credits you study. Therefore the fee for this 120-credit postgraduate module will be double that for a 60 credit module MA Creative Writing part 1 (A802).

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 60 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.


We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 20th March 2019.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website.


On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you can be awarded the Master of Arts in Creative Writing, entitling you to use the letters MA (CW) (Open) after your name. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.

If you leave the programme before you qualify for a degree you can qualify for a Postgraduate Certificate in Humanities (C20) after successfully completing 60 credits.

Recognition in your country

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website. 

Entry requirements

You must hold a UK honours degree (or equivalent), preferably with at least a 2:1 classification. Although your degree does not need to be in Creative Writing or a closely related subject, you will need some knowledge of the subject to successfully complete this qualification, as the MA in Creative Writing assumes all candidates have the knowledge and skills usually acquired by pursuing the subject at undergraduate level. Please note that this is not a qualification for those who are just starting to write creatively.

If your degree is not in Creative Writing or a closely related subject, we strongly recommend that you read the preparatory work indicated on the MA Creative Writing part 1. Alternatively, you could undertake our open-access creative writing courses on OpenLearn to ensure your skills (writing, reading, editorial, reflective, analytical) are at an appropriate standard.

If you’re in any doubt about the suitability of your qualifications or previous experience, please contact us for advice before you enrol.

How long it takes

You will be able to complete this masters qualification within two years by studying one module each year. If you do not study the modules consecutively, you must complete them in a maximum of 10 years to qualify for the degree.

Career relevance

If you wish to pursue a freelance writing career this Masters degree will equip you with necessary writing and editorial skills, as well as equipping you with a raft of highly valued transferable communication and collaborative skills necessary to the modern writer’s usual portfolio of occupations.

If you are aiming for an academic career in higher education, this qualification will provide a route towards a higher level research or writing practice degree (e.g. PhD), which is essential for such a career. A Masters degree can help to enhance your career prospects as a teacher in secondary and higher education (HE); most HE creative writing teaching now demands an MA in the subject.

If your aim is to enter professions associated with the media, culture, creative or knowledge industries, or if you already have a career in one of these areas and are seeking a further qualification as a means of career development, then a Masters degree, supplemented by relevant skills and experience, can prove invaluable. This degree is pertinent to those careers that directly call upon knowledge of the craft of writing, editing and critiquing (for instance, journalism, publishing, copywriting). It may also be relevant for careers that demand skills in the creative use and analysis of texts of various sorts, critical thinking and organisation, and understanding of culture in a broad sense.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.