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MA Creative Writing

Join our international community of writers and live the writing life at the University of Lincoln. This programme allows students to develop their writing skills and produce a portfolio of work to prepare them for a career in the creative industries.

The Course

MA Creative Writing is an innovative and exciting course that provides students with opportunities to work closely with practising creative writers and professionals from the publishing industry. It aims to encourage students to improve their craft as a writer, develop their philosophy of composition, and explore contemporary forms of literature and the creative industries.

The course has a strong focus on employability and aims to prepare students for a professional writing or publishing career. Students have the opportunity to be taught by an enthusiastic team of professional writers whose work has been widely published, broadcast, and staged. They are led by five internationally known writers: award-winning science fiction writer Chris Dows, award-winning poet and literary translator Daniele Pantano, award-winning novelists Sarah Stovell and Guy Mankowski, and award-winning playwright Sue Healy.

The course also offers students the chance to take part in readings, workshops, masterclasses, and events; to serve as editors for The Lincoln Review (, an international literary journal edited exclusively by undergraduate and postgraduate students; and to benefit from the experience of a range of writers, editors, dramaturges, producers, and directors who come to the University of Lincoln as visiting lecturers, such as Ann Cleeves, Andrew Graham-Dixon, Chris Packham, and former Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, who became a Visiting Artist at the University in 2015 and regularly visits Lincoln to engage with students and read a selection of her works.

Students have the opportunity to work across different genres and formats, including, but not limited to, fiction, poetry, scriptwriting, creative nonfiction, and the graphic novel. Students can also work with published writers from within and outside the University, and hear from professionals such as literary agents about the process of getting published. There may also be the chance to attend readings from established writers who will speak about their work and run workshops.

Students may have the chance to read their work to an audience at a termly symposia and have work published and receive feedback from readers outside the University.

Modules aim to develop the skills required to become a successful writer and to provide the creative freedom to become proficient through practice in students’ favoured genre. Please refer to the Modules tab for more detailed information.

Contact and Independent Study

Weekly contact hours on this programme may vary depending on the stage of study.

Postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend at least two to three hours in independent study.

For more detailed information please contact the programme leader.

Dissertation - Creative Writing (Core)
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Dissertation - Creative Writing (Core)

The dissertation on the MA in Creative Writing provides you with the opportunity to write an extensive piece of work of your own choosing to a publishable standard. You may work in any genre of imaginative literature – poetry or fiction, within those, in any of the variants available.

Although the object of the dissertation is fundamentally ‘writing’, you may support and enhance this through illustration, utilising the electronic media, recording (i.e. of poetry as oral performance). The dissertation is intended to draw upon and reflect the practice gained from the Production and Creativity and Production and Publication modules as well as the knowledge gained from the English Now modules.

English Now: Fiction and Life Writing (Creative Writing) (Core)
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English Now: Fiction and Life Writing (Creative Writing) (Core)

This module aims to engage with fiction and life writing since 2000. The unifying focus of this module is the relationship between narration and identity - in the sense of both individuality and of allegiance to some collective identity. One feature of recent life writing has been to explore the postmodern concept of subjectivity, the idea that individual identity is not solid, fixed, essential but provisional, shifting, unstable and synthetic – above all that it is constructed in and through representations.

In fiction since 2000, the instability of identity in a multicultural, post-industrial, globalised culture has similarly been a consistent theme. The Postmillennial fiction block will provide the chance to examine nation and narration, class, gender, history and place in the context of the apocalyptic anxieties whose more obvious symptoms include 9/11 and the war on terror. The final part of the module seeks to address the re-casting of the ‘Condition of England’ novel by writers who have inherited different postcolonial cultural traditions to discuss Englishness, identity formation, allegiance, ethnicity, hegemony.

English Now: Poetry and Drama (Creative Writing) (Core)
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English Now: Poetry and Drama (Creative Writing) (Core)

The principal focus of this module will be on poetry and drama written since 2000. A selection of texts can be studied as an introduction to the thematic concerns and formal qualities of contemporary British and Irish writing, and to central questions to do with the value of literature, the distinctiveness of literary language and the relationship of literary texts to the culture, discourses and ideologies in which they are generated.

The poetry section aims to effectively be the introduction to the course. In each seminar you are expected to be reading two or three contemporary poems. Over the six weeks a small sample of British and Irish poetry since 2000 will be covered, but it is not a survey.

The poems will be studied as examples of poetry as much as examples of contemporary writing, and a principal aim will be to revise and refresh literary skills, to think over assumptions about poetry (and literature) and to practise reading, slowly. The module will also however seek to deepen your understanding of how poetry works by introducing some theoretical concepts and perspectives, and will take an issue to do with contemporary poetry as a focus each week.

Production and Creativity (Core)
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Production and Creativity (Core)

This module gives you the opportunity to work towards a publishable standard within two literary genres of your choice and to compile a portfolio of your own writing. You can engage with the creative process from original ideas, through drafting and editing to final completed pieces. The notion of ‘work in progress’ will be a major focus of this module with frequent opportunities for you to read your on-going work in group workshop scenarios or discuss it on a one-to-one basis with tutors.

Workshops provide the opportunity to explore key practices such as editing, drafting, writing on a computer, the creation of character, plot, and dialogue, narrative structure and style. Originality of ideas and techniques will be emphasised and you are encouraged to ‘take risks’ in your writing towards fulfilling these goals.

The completed portfolio will comprise the entire writing process from original ideas, planning, drafts with edits to completed pieces. Emphasis here will be placed on process as much as product. The portfolio will also comprise a reflective log in which you are expected to discuss your aims, your practices and the success or otherwise of individual pieces of writing.

The overall aim of this module is to provide you with not only the space and opportunity to write but to also inform good practice and to provide an audience for your work which will give feedback and a forum for discussion. It is intended that giving you the opportunity to write within different genres of creative writing will help you prepare for the extensive piece of writing that constitutes the dissertation for this programme.

Production and Publication (Core)
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Production and Publication (Core)

This module aims to place creative writing within a practical context with an emphasis on finished product. You will not only be expected to write a completed piece from scratch (in a form, style and genre of their own choosing) but also to produce a copy of it as an A5 pamphlet and in electronic format.

You can be introduced to the basic requirements of traditional print publishing as well as electronic publishing, using new media. The latter will include the use of social software, blogs, vlogs (video) and podcasting (i.e. recordings).

Learning about the two areas of publishing provides you with the opportunity to develop an insight into how editors and publishers work and is designed to equip you with the basic knowledge to publish and promote yourself on and off-line. You will also have the chance to develop an understanding of networking with others. The module aims to equip you with the know-how required to set up your own magazines or presses.

It is intended that experiencing both traditional and new media and the crossovers between them will stimulate your creativity and encourage you to be experimental in both your subject matter and mode of presentation.

The module will progress through workshops and seminars. You will be given the opportunity to discuss and critique each others’ work at all stages during workshops.

† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Students will be continuously assessed through a variety of exercises. These range from writing prose fiction, poetry, and drama, adapting work from one genre to another, editing, writing within the conventions of a specific genre, or undertaking a piece of creative nonfiction. The final piece of work required is a 15,000-word creative project. Submitted works are collated into portfolios, with evaluations on style and technique.

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly – usually within 15 working days of the submission date.

Students are required to submit 2000 words of their creative writing with their application.
 2020/21 Entry*
Home/EU £7,700
(including Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction)**
International £14,600
(Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship** £2,000 reduction)
Part-time Home/EU £43 per credit point
Part-time International £81 per credit point

* Academic year September- July
** Subject to eligibility


Postgraduate Master's Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study. Individuals** will be able to borrow up to £10,906 for the purpose of completing an eligible postgraduate Master's qualification. The amount available will depend on the start date of your course.


As a postgraduate student you may be eligible for scholarships in addition to those shown above.

Guidance for Part-time Postgraduate Fees

To complete a standard Master's Taught programme, you must complete 180 credit points.

Full time students will be invoiced for the programme in full upon initial enrolment.

For part-time students, tuition fees are payable each credit point enrolled. To calculate your part-time fees, multiply the part-time fee per credit point by the number of credits you intend to complete within that academic year. This is usually between 60 and 90 credit points per year.

For example, if the fee per credit point for your programme is £49, and you enrol on 60 credits, the tuition fee payable for that academic year will be £2,940.

Fees for enrolment on additional modules

Tuition fees for additional activity are payable by the student/sponsor and charged at the equivalent £ per credit point rate for each module. Additional activity includes:

- Enrolment on modules that are in addition to the validated programme curriculum

- Enrolment on modules that are over and above the full credit diet for the relevant academic year

- Retakes of modules as permitted by the Board of Examiners

Exceptionally tuition fees may not be payable where a student has been granted a retake with approved extenuating circumstances.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

Other Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on your course. Some courses provide opportunities for you to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for the travel, accommodation and your meals may be covered by the University and so is included in your fee. Where these are optional you will normally (unless stated otherwise) be required to pay your own transportation, accommodation and meal costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

Applicants will require a first or second class honours degree in a relevant subject. Relevant professional experience will also be considered.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 7.0 overall, with a minimum of 6.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page.

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

Learn from Experts

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may also be supported in their learning by other students.

Daniele Pantano

Programme Leader

Daniele Pantano is a poet, literary translator, critic, editor, and scholar. His individual poems, essays, translations, and reviews have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous magazines, journals, and anthologies worldwide. Pantano is the author or translator of over twenty books, and his poetry has been translated into several languages, including Albanian, Bulgarian, German, Farsi, French, Italian, Kurdish, Russian, Slovenian, and Spanish. His most recent works include Kindertotenlieder: Collected Early Essays & Letters & Confessions (London: Hesterglock Press, 2019), Robert Walser: Comedies (London: Seagull Books, 2018), ORAKL (New York: Black Lawrence Press, 2017), Robert Walser's Fairy Tales: Dramolettes (New York: New Directions, 2015), and Dogs in Untended Fields: Selected Poems by Daniele Pantano (Zurich: Wolfbach Verlag, 2015). For more information, please visit


Your Future Career

Career and Personal Development

This programme is designed to provide training for a career in writing, from fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction to screen and radio adaptation. Students have the opportunity to develop advanced communication skills which can open up career opportunities across the creative industries in publishing, research, teaching, and the media. Some graduates choose to continue their studies at doctoral level.

Careers Services

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with you to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during your time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing your course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual and website resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your future opportunities.
The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages here

Two female students studying together in the University's library.

Studying for the MA in Creative Writing has supported me to develop my voice as a writer, given me the opportunity to work with a wide range of published authors and poets, and best of all I have become part of an incredibly supportive writing community. Thanks to the Creative Writing Team at Lincoln I have found the confidence to perform my work at events and have had work accepted for publication. For anyone considering applying, the MA is a brilliant course and a wonderful place to study.

Rachael Gordon, MA Creative Writing graduate


At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our students. Whatever the area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which they may need in their future career.

Students can study and research in the University's Great Central Warehouse Library, which provides more than 250,000 printed books and approximately 400,000 electronic books and journals, as well as databases and specialist collections. The Library has a range of different spaces for shared and individual learning.

The Alfred Tennyson building is equipped with industry standard media suites providing specialist broadcast television, radio and sound equipment. The building is also home to television studios, photography studios and radio editing suites. Siren FM, our on-campus community radio station, is also based here.

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.