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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 
  • Develop and hone sophisticated writing skills in at least one genre
  • Develop 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 - 10 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 this qualification you need 180 credits as follows:

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

Register
60 06 Oct 2018
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

Register
 
 
120 06 Oct 2018

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 8th June 2018.

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.

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

To register for this postgraduate study you should have a UK honours degree or recognised equivalent. Ideally your undergraduate degree will be in creative writing or English, such as our BA (Hons) English Literature and Creative Writing (Q86), or a closely related subject. You should be aware that a degree classification of at least 2:1 or equivalent will greatly increase your chances of successfully completing the MA.

You will need to study and complete MA Creative Writing part 1 (A802) before moving on to MA Creative Writing part 2 (A803). 

It is expected that your spoken and written English will also be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 7 under the International English Language testing system (IELTS). Please see their website for details.

How long it takes

Modules on this MA are studied during a fixed period each year. The minimum overall time in which it is possible to complete the qualification is two years, studying the modules consecutively. If you do not study the modules consecutively, you must have completed them by 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.