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MA in Creative Writing

An MA in Creative Writing is a very different sort of masters degree to most. Unlike many degrees, where the focus is on learning about the subject, and undertaking research, a creative writing masters focuses on honing your writing skills. This doesn’t mean there’s no studying or learning involved and that you just write – just that it is a very different style of degree. You’ll have to be prepared to work hard, to suffer writer’s block and work past it, and take constructive criticism on the things you’ve written. For some people, this might be incredibly difficult but for others it may sound like just the thing they’ve been looking for. If you’re the latter, then an MA in Creative Writing may just be perfect for you.

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But before we get on to the specifics of the course, let’s look at some of the more general information. Firstly, how long is a creative writing MA? Done fulltime , the course will take a year. And, by a year, we mean around 50 weeks rather than the average undergraduate year – something it’s very important you remember, especially when organising your accommodation plans! Part time , it’ll take two years, and if done by distance learning, it may well open up to being longer. The exact length of the course and how the terms are split will vary from university to university, but they’ll be fairly similar in that you will be expected to work over summer, something to remember when organising your financial plans. MA in Creative Writing

Creative writing MA

So, what sort of work will you be expected to do on your Creative Writing MA? As we mentioned, it’s not quite as simple as choosing between research or taught .  It’s unlikely that you’ll be taught just how to be creative, but rather, the focus will be on technical skills. It’s not just aimed at those of you who want to write fiction either, thanks to the scope of skills a Masters in Creative Writing will teach, it’s well suited to prospective journalists, or other such careers.

Generally, there are workshops held on a regular basis working on a variety of different styles and genres. Don’t expect to be able to coast by on the areas you’re comfortable writing in – the whole point of studying a creative writing MA is to get you out of your comfort zone and into strange new worlds of writing, working on things that will teach you the most. In addition to workshops, there’ll also be a mix of one-to-one supervision, working on portfolios and extended writing projects. There will be a variety of modules available, for example, you may focus on writing for young adults, and learn the technical skills required to be successful in that area. Or it’s possible you might move away from prose and into working on poetry.

Qualifications needed for a masters in creative writing

But what qualifications are required to do such a course? You might be concerned that you need proof of your written work, or instance, evidence of having been published. Luckily, that’s not the case. You’ll instead you will usually be required to have an upper second class degree (2.1) or above, as well as presenting a portfolio of work available for evaluation.

Funding a masters in creative writing

How can you fund a Creative Writing MA? Well, as always there’s the standard ways – from loans through to charity grants. But what is there specifically available for this course? Well, let’s take a look at those charities again. It’s likely you’ll be able to find a few specifically aimed at creative writing students. It’s the same with bursaries as some universities will have bursaries available for certain courses. Of course, there are some more unconventional alternatives available for you. It can often be difficult to hold down a job with a regular schedule as a postgraduate student, but if you’re doing a creative writing MA why not put those skills to good use? From picking up freelance writing work, to entering writing competitions, there are all sorts of alternative methods to gain money for your degree.

Career options after completing your masters in creative writing?

But what exactly can you do with a creative writing MA? Well, there’s the obvious career course of becoming a novelist. But this is a difficult area to break into, and you don’t want to pin all your hopes on it. Not to worry, there are a bunch of other jobs that can use this sort of degree. Firstly, ghostwriting. Ghostwriting can be a fairly lucrative career, and if you’re not bothered by having your name attached, a great way to start. Then there are fields such as journalism or publishing. But these are the obvious career choices.

Where else could doing an MA creative writing land you? Employers in areas such as marketing and advertising love people who can spin words, and other areas such as writing grant proposals or patents find a knack for writing useful. Think outside the box, and you’ll find there are plenty of places it could go! In recent times, even universities such as Cambridge have started doing masters in creative writing, so the degree is gaining more and more respect. Who knows where you’ll end up?

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