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MA in Creative Writing and Education

  • Length
    1 year full-time or 2 years part-time
  • Department
    Educational Studies, English and Comparative Literature

Course overview

The MA in Creative Writing and Education has been designed for writers of poetry, fiction and life-writing who are interested in education and learning. If you are keen to publish your own writing or you're looking to use your creative writing to help people learn or just developing your skills and knowledge then this programme could be right for you.

The MA in Creative Writing and Education offers you the chance to:

• Work with two leading departments at Goldsmiths: Educational Studies and English and Comparative Literature.


• Work with professional writers in the English and Comparative Literature Department who include Ros Barber, Maura Dooley, Stephen Knight, Blake Morrison, Ross Raisin, Francis Spufford, Jack Underwood, Ardashir Vakil and Erica Wagner.


• Collaborate with high-profile organisations to workshop your creative writing and hone your pedagogical skills.


• Work with Creative Writing educators to develop your skills and knowledge as a teacher of Creative Writing, at all ages, from small children to older people.


• Develop your awareness and critical understanding of what creative writing means in different societies and social settings.

You may be given the opportunity to contribute to:

Who is the programme aimed at?

You might be a teacher who writes; a writer who works in education; a poet, a novelist, a short story writer or an author of autobiography who wants to learn more about the connections between creative writing and education. 

Spoken Word Education programme

The Spoken Word Education Training Programme is led by Jacob Sam-La Rose (Artistic Director). All Spoken Word Educators need to first apply to the MA in Creative Writing and Education programme and, if they are accepted, they will then be interviewed for the Spoken Word Education Training programme.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Dr Francis Gilbert (Educational Studies)

Modules & structure

Full-time: you will complete 4 modules in one year plus a dissertation, amounting 180 credits – full details of the modules are in the Overview section below. This can mean committing yourself to attending evening seminars and lectures twice a week in the autumn and spring terms for 10 weeks, and a number of one-to-one tutorials for your dissertation.


Part-time: you can spread your modules for the course over two years. This could mean attending seminars/lectures once a week during the autumn and spring terms for the two years, and then spacing your dissertation tutorials over two terms. 

Overview

You'll have the opportunity to develop your own creative writing practices and explore a range of educational approaches towards creative writing.

You'll work with practising and published creative writing lecturers and education lecturers in collaboration with professionals working in local cultural institutions.

You'll participate in creative and life writing workshops and research creative writing pedagogies in classrooms and educational settings.

You have to complete 180 credits points, made up from:

  • one compulsory core module in the Department of English and Comparative Literature:
    –Workshop in Creative and Life Writing (30 credits)
  • two compulsory core modules in the Department of Educational Studies in association with the British Library, Poetry Society, English and Media Centre, Apples and Snakes, Ministry of Stories, The Complete Works:
    –Contemporary Writer Identity and Education (30 credits)
    –Research into Writing Practices (30 credits)
  • an option module in the Department of Educational Studies (30 credits)
  • the Dissertation in the Department of Educational Studies and the Department of English and Comparative Literature (60 credits)

Practitioners who already have existing M-level credits may transfer these on to the MA.

Assessment

Assessment for the Workshop in Creative and Life Writing module is by the submission of a piece or pieces of creative or life-writing of 5,000 words plus a critical account of how you have structured and developed your work.

Assessment for the Educational Studies modules is by the submission of assignments.

You'll also be assessed on a project-based dissertation.

Download the programme specification, relating to the 2017-18 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Department

Education at Goldsmiths is ranked 8th in the UK for the quality of our research*

Educational Studies

As a department we’re interested in seeing what education can tell us about the social, political and economic forces of our times. And what these forces mean for the everyday lives of individuals and groups.

We see education as a window through which to view the world, and as something with the power to define who we are and how we live.

That’s why our research delves into areas including culture and identity, gender, multilingualism, and youth cultures, and why we maintain a commitment to social justice and inclusion.

Find out more about the Department of Educational Studies

*Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings


English at Goldsmiths is ranked:
2nd in London for creative writing*
18th in the UK for the quality of our research**
In the world’s top 100 universities for English language and literature***

English and Comparative Literature

Cervantes. Bukowski. Dostoevsky. Self. From classical literature and linguistics, to creative writing and contemporary fiction, we take a critical and creative approach to the discipline.

As a department we’re interested in a field of enquiry that extends from Old English to 21st-century literatures in English, French, Spanish and Italian. So you can study texts and films across a variety of periods and genres.

We’re engaged

We have a dedicated Writers’ Centre that encourages new writing and stimulates debate about all forms of literature. And we award the annual Goldsmiths Prize (for “fiction at its most novel”), which brings critically acclaimed writers like Ali Smith and Eimear McBride to campus.

We’re nurturing

We may be one of the largest departments at Goldsmiths but that doesn’t mean you won’t get personal support. Learn from our approachable team of academic staff and become part of the student-run English Society.

We’re vibrant

As one of the first departments in the UK to offer creative writing, you’ll be part of a hub of literary excellence – our graduates have gone on to win prestigious awards from the Orange Prize for Fiction to the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year.

Find out more about the Department of English and Comparative Literature

*Guardian University Guide League Tables 2017
**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
***QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017

Staff

Find out about staff in the Departments of Educational Studies and English and Comparative Literature.

Skills & careers

Skills

The programme will enable you to develop creative writing skills to a potentially publishable level, participate in local cultural events as writers, and develop advanced theoretical and critical skills in creative writing pedagogy.

Careers

The programme provides and enhances continuing professional development in creative writing for educators and teachers, opening up opportunities to work with local cultural institutions and schools, and enriching current professional practice.

 

Previous students have helped their careers by doing this MA, going on to work in business, arts organisations, theatre, Spoken Word and diverse educational settings. Previous students include Niall Bourke who won the 2015 Costa Short Story Award, Joshua Seighal shortlisted for the National Literacy Trust Award 2015 and a number of students have published their academic research in prestigious scholarly journals.


Feedback from the students is overwhelmingly positive, with many saying doing the MA has been a life-changing experience.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in a relevant/related subject.

You will need to submit a portfolio of your creative or life writing when you apply. Your portfolio should include one item, or a combination of items, from the following list (up to a maximum of 6,000 words):

  • 1 or 2 short stories
  • 10-15 poems
  • 2 or 3 extracts from a novel
  • 2 or 3 extracts from non-fiction writing

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in a relevant/related subject.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • A portfolio of your creative or life writing (see entry requirements for details)
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

Additional costs

We produce reading packs electronically and in hard copy format. There’s a small charge for the hard copy reading packs. You may also be asked to contribute towards trips and some materials for your modules.

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

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