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Postgraduate Course

Creative Writing MFA

Develop your creative practice alongside an inspiring group of writers. Further your literary abilities and create a full-length manuscript.

A student reading a book in a libary

If you have already completed a taught master's degree, the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing could be the next step for you, allowing you to pursue a project that you are passionate about. The academic team will work closely with you to develop your writing, and you will approach projects in ways that best suit your individual learning style while you work towards an original and engaging manuscript.

York campus

  • Duration – 1 year full time, 2 years part time
  • Start date – September 2024, September 2025
  • School – School of Humanities

Minimum entry requirements

    MA at Merit/60/B

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £4,500 full time

    International 2024-25 £14,000 full time

Course overview

On this course you will work independently with an expert supervision team to produce a 40,000 to 70,000 (book length) work, such as a novel, poetry collection, script or biography. You will write for publication, performance or dissemination, and your reflective commentary of 6,000 to 10,000 words will focus on this piece. Your creative submission can be in any genre or style. The MFA also includes an opportunity for a one to one meeting with an agent, editor or publisher.

York Centre for Writing

York Centre for Writing is a space for York St John's creative writing community to thrive. We compose 2 annual publications:

The Centre has welcomed celebrated authors, who have given talks that inspired students in their work and beyond. This includes Daljit Nagra, Michel Faber, Margaret Atwood and more.

York Centre for Writing

Course structure

How you will study

You can study this postgraduate course full time or part time. This allows you to fit your studies around other commitments.

If you choose to study full time the course will take 1 year to complete. You will study:

  • 2 compulsory modules

If you choose to study part time the course will take 2 years to complete. The modules will be split across both academic years.

You can find out which modules are available in each term in the Course Specifications.


Credits: 20

Compulsory module

This assessment is an opportunity for you to present the development of your work so far, reflecting on challenges, context and inspirations. You will be presenting your progress and critically reflecting on your research as you are working towards a final draft. This is a moment for peer review and analysis of your work, looking at inspirations, changes and context.

Credits: 160

Compulsory module

During your final module you will create a full-length manuscript intended for publication/dissemination. During the module, you will go through the entire development and editing process for your final piece. This work may be:

  • A novel
  • Collection of short stories
  • Poetry collection
  • Screenplay or script for radio or stage
  • Non-fiction monograph
  • Memoir

Your 1 on 1 tuition for this final piece is modelled on the professional relationship that successful writers forge with their editors, agents and publishers.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning

You will receive up to 10 hours of 1 to 1 supervision, either in person or online. Every term you will take part in 2 in person workshops with your fellow MFA writers, facilitated by our Creative Writing team. Through these you can share new ways of working and further your approach to creating pieces of writing.

In your final year, you will be invited on a residential community writing retreat. The retreat is run by your tutors and can take place in a number of different locations. The only requirement is that the places be beautiful and inspiring.

We encourage you to attend the variety of events provided by the York Centre for Writing. These include visits from agents, publishers, editors and writers. This allows you to network and develop professional relationships within the literary community.

Our teaching draws on both our research and professional experience. This means your learning is informed by the most current thinking in the subject area. You can find out more about our research and backgrounds by visiting our staff pages.


Your final manuscript will be a piece of written work that will comprise of 40,000 to 70,000 words of prose or approximately 1,200 lines of poetry. If you are aiming to produce a script, it must be an equivalent length. Your final manuscript will be accompanied by a critical commentary of 6,000 words which reflects on the writing process. You will submit your final manuscript in January of the final year.

Entry requirements


Minimum entry requirements

    MA at Merit/60/B

You will also need to include a writing proposal and writing sample with your application.

We normally consider applicants who have a Master's in Creative Writing or a related subject, such as:

  • MA in Poetry
  • MA in Fiction
  • MA in Life Writing
  • MA in Script Writing
  • MA in Literature /English Literature/ Literature Studies
  • MA in Publishing

However, we will consider applicants with any Master's qualification, and assess your application based on your personal statement, writing proposal and writing sample.

International students

If you are an international student you will need to show that your qualifications match our entry requirements.

Information about international qualifications and entry requirements can be found on our International pages.

If English is not your first language you will need to show that you have English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.

International entry requirements

Additional requirements

For entry onto this course, you will also need:

Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

If you do not have traditional qualifications, you might be able to provide evidence of professional experience in the subject as an alternative way to meet the entry requirements. This is called Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL). Appropriate references and records of employment would need to be presented to support your case for admission. 

Terms and conditions

Our terms and conditions, policies and procedures contain important information about studying at York St John University. You can read them on our Admissions page.

Fees and funding

UK 2024 - 2025 entry

  • £4,500 for full time study
  • £2,250 per year for part time study

This cost applies to all UK, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

Funding opportunities

International 2024 - 2025 entry

  • £14,000 for 1 year of full time study

This price applies to all students living outside the UK.

Due to immigration laws, if you are an international student on a student visa, you must study full time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

Find out more about funding your postgraduate studies.

International Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

    UK 2024-25 £4,500 full time

    International 2024-25 £14,000 full time

Alumni Scholarships

If you are alumni of York St John University we have scholarships available to help you continue your studies.

Scholarships for alumni

Additional costs and financial support

Course-related costs

While studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.

Accommodation and living costs

View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Career outcomes

Where could Creative Writing take you?

By developing your writing and creative process, you will be well positions to enter into a various careers. Your skills in critical analysis, working to deadlines and both independent and collaborative work will can be applied in industries such as:

  • Journalism
  • Copywriting
  • Academia
  • Political analysis

Stand out from the crowd with postgraduate study.

Far fewer people have postgraduate degrees than undergraduate qualifications. This gives you something extra to set yourself apart in a competitive graduate job market. Those with a postgraduate qualification will earn an average of £7,000 a year more than those with only an undergraduate degree. (Department For Education Graduate Labour Market Report 2020)

Our careers service, LaunchPad, provides career support tailored to your ambitions. Through this service you can access:

  • Employer events
  • LinkedIn, CV and cover letter sessions
  • Workshops on application writing and interview skills
  • Work experience and volunteering opportunities
  • Personalised career advice

This support does not end when you graduate. You can access our expert career advice for the rest of your life. We will help you gain the experience and confidence you need to succeed.

Apply for this course

Applications for February 2025 will open in March 2024.

For postgraduate degrees you must apply directly to York St John University using the application links. This will take you to the application form you will need to fill out for this specific course.

To complete the online application form you will need to create login details.

Please contact 2 referees before submitting your application. An automated request for a reference will be emailed to them as soon as you submit. Your application will not be reviewed until both references are in place.

Additional application documents

To complete your application for this course you will also need to attach:

Fees and key information

Apply now

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