Birkbeck, University of London

Course Introduction

Do you already have an MA in creative writing but feel you would benefit from further writing projects with more intensive supervision? Our new MFA (Master of Fine Art) Creative Writing offers the opportunity to write a full'length work of fiction to a standard where it may be offered to literary agents. The course is taught through small, dynamic seminars and one'to'one dissertation tuition by regularly published and produced award'winning writers who will help you strengthen and professionalise your identity as a writer; one dissertation supervision period will be offered by a London'based literary agent.

As part of a small, supportive group of writers, you will regularly present work for critique by your peers, and develop a critical and aesthetic awareness of other writers' work. You will then develop your writing craft through a series of lectures and seminars.

In addition, novelists, editors and agents will be invited in to speak. In the past we have welcomed: Sarah Waters, Julie Myerson, Polly Samson, Rachel Cusk, Deborah Levy and Louise Doughty; Jamie Byng of Canongate, Francesca Main of Picador, Hannah Griffiths of Faber, Richard Beswick of Little, Brown; and agents from United Agents, AP Watt, Curtis Brown and Janklow & Nesbit.


' Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 13th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2016'17 World University Subject Rankings.

' In addition to working with the established writers who teach the degree, you will have contact with industry professionals, such as publishers and literary agents, who offer a series of platform discussions in the summer term. Alumni from the MA Creative Writing have signed major publishing contracts since graduating or have developed professional careers in publishing and journalism.

' In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world'leading or internationally excellent.

' Our annual creative writing magazine, The Mechanics' Institute Review, is edited by Birkbeck Creative Writing students and will feature writing from the course as a showcase for the degree, with wide distribution beyond Birkbeck to literary agents, publishers, etc. Read an account of how our students created the most recent issue. MIROnline is an interactive website, edited by PhD students and volunteers, with all the latest news and writing from this programme and beyond.

' The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.

Course Modules

The programme includes workshops on advanced writing, lectures by visiting writers on writing craft, and seminars on contemporary literature.

You take three core modules, including the 40,000'word dissertation, and attend the Craft of Writing lecture series.


Advanced Writing Workshop;

MFA Creative Writing Dissertation;

Reading and Writing the Contemporary.


The Craft of Writing: Skills, Genres, Habits

Start Date:


Duration & Attendance Qualification Tuition fees Fee type
1 year
Full Time
Master of Fine Arts - MFA (PG) £8,175 Home Fees
1 year
Full Time
Master of Fine Arts - MFA (PG) £14,850 Overseas Fees
2 years
Part Time
Master of Fine Arts - MFA (PG) £8,175 Home Fees
2 years
Part Time
Master of Fine Arts - MFA (PG) £14,850 Overseas Fees

Qualifications required:

  • An MA in Creative Writing from any accredited university.
  • Up to 5000 words of original writing in the genre of fiction, together with your application form. Students are selected on the basis of their writing, an interview and their degree.
  • Two academic/professional references.
  • If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this programme is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each of the sub-tests.