Course information

Department

Educational Studies
English and Creative Writing

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

You might be a teacher who writes; a writer interested in education; a poet, a novelist or a short story writer. Whatever your background, this course will help you develop your creative writing skills and learn how to teach them.

Why study for an MA in Creative Writing and Education at Goldsmiths

  • This is an MA in Creative Writing like no other. If you want to thrive as a creative writer and are passionate about learning, then this unique postgraduate programme is for you. You’ll not only progress exponentially as a writer, but also learn how to research and teach writing in a wide range of contexts.

  • This pioneering masters degree gives you a unique combination of creative writing and pedagogical skills that are highly sought after in today’s competitive workplace. You’ll grow as a writer, and gain skills and experience which could open doors to creative professions such as publishing and arts management, as well as roles in educational and non-profit organisations.

  • You’ll have the opportunity to apply for innovative work placement programmes with our partners First Story and the Ministry of Stories, which have been developed exclusively for Goldsmiths. Recent placement students have gone on to be employed with these organisations after graduation.

  • As well as providing professional skills, this degree will give you an invaluable toolbox of writing, teaching, and research strategies that will contribute to your personal and artistic growth.

  • You’ll have plenty of opportunities to explore how creative writing can be used as a research methodology, and bring a unique contribution to many different forms of learning.

  • You’ll have the opportunity to learn from some of the leading academics in the field of creative writing. Our staff are pioneers in the use of creative writing for research. Our prize-winning academics include Ros Barber, Maura Dooley, Blake Morrison, Francis Spufford, Ardu Vakil, and Sita Bramachari. The Head of Programme, Francis Gilbert, has taught creative writing to all ages, and is the author of best-selling memoirs, novels, and educational guides.

  • This degree is interdisciplinary, and you’ll work with experts in education, creative writing, and psychology. You will gain insights into the areas of race, action research, ethnography, queer theory and many others to further enrich your studies.

  • Teaching on this degree is active. You’ll learn through a series of lectures, seminars and workshops, as well as a vibrant series of events and conferences.

  • The assessments for the modules are creative and tailored to highlight your strengths: you can choose from a menu of options, and submit podcasts/webpages/videos for some of your final assignments, or you can write more formal academic essays.

  • You’ll learn how writing can be used in dynamic, real-world settings such as charities, prisons, schools, creative and mental health organisations, and the cultural/corporate sector.

  • Alumni include some of the most significant writers to emerge in recent years such as Raymond Antrobus, Dean AttaS.K. Perry and Sara Hirsch – read what our students and graduates had to say below.

  • You’ll benefit from our many partnerships with high-profile creative and educational organisations including First Story, Apples and Snakes, the British Library, Ministry of Stories, and the Poetry Society. Our students have previously taken part in performances, poetry and writing workshops, drama productions, and creative research projects for these institutions, as well as getting paid to work in schools, hospitals, and charities.

  • You can read some of the amazing work written by previous MA Creative Writing and Education graduates in the Story Makers Dialogue magazine.

Contact the department

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

What you'll study

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 module in the Department of English and Creative Writing
    • Workshop in Creative and Life Writing (30 credits)
  • Two compulsory 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 (a distance learning version of these two modules is also offered): 
    • Teaching Creative Writing (which explores how to teach creative writing) (30 credits)
    • Educational Research into Creative Writing (which explores how to research creative writing) (30 credits)
  • An optional module in either the Department of Educational Studies (30 credits)
  • A dissertation in the Department of Educational Studies or the Department of English and Creative Writing (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.

Individual Modules

Some modules from this course are also available to be taken as part of a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.

Download the programme specification. 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.

For 2021-22 and 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the programme changes page.

What our students say

Gabriel Troiano

At Goldsmiths, people are pioneers, they are curious, so expect to be and live in that mentality.

Goldsmiths is forward thinking, politically active, and super friendly

My favorite part was engaging in active discussions with guest speakers during some of the MA classes. I really enjoyed the breadth of services and opportunities at Goldsmiths. I like that Goldsmiths is a very forward thinking school, with lots of opportunities to engage in subversive literature and approach academic life with a totally different lens. My experience in the department was great, everyone was super friendly, teachers were extremely well prepared, and course material was very updated and allowed me to dive deep into topics that I was really interested in. The university is really active politically, that was something I wasn't aware of until I joined. Taught me to thinking outside of the box, to look things from a different perspective and to cultivate a forward-thinking mentality

Future aspirations, and marketing agencies

I am currently working in a marketing agency and I enjoy it because I get to use my creativity to work with different brands and companies .In the future, I also plan to write more books, which is one of my hobbies, and establish myself as a writer, both creatively and professionally.

Pioneering and curious

Be prepared to think hard. And not just think hard, think outside of the box. At Goldsmiths, people are pioneers, they are curious, so expect to be and live in that mentality. Read a lot and question even more!

Being an international student at Goldsmiths was great

Life as an international student was great. I would advise people to live London to its fullest, the city and Goldsmiths have so much to offer. Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, London will welcome you with open arms.

Unique local experiences

I love how the area is not your typical London neighborhood. I love that you can find really unique restaurants and bookshops along the streets, people seem to have this underdog mentality, but that blends really well with the culture over there.

Sal Fothergill

I feel well supported by both the Education and the English department.  

Sal's time at Goldsmiths

Modules have been stimulating and well resourced. Teaching is inclusive in terms of pedagogy and content. I feel well supported by both the Education and the English department.

Benefits studying part-time at Goldsmiths

I found that doing the MA part time was hugely beneficial to me. I have been able to balance my study alongside my paid work and have had more time to let my ideas and my practice develop in both concrete and abstract ways.

Seb Duncan

Goldsmiths is a great place to stimulate your ideas and directions.

The MA Creative Writing degree has the best tutors

For me the the tutors were the best thing about the MA. The creative writing workshop convener, dissertation supervisor and lecturers on the educational research module were knowledgeable, flexible, creative and inspiring. Above all, the tutor who was assigned to me for my portfolio supervision was perfect for my project because he was a writer of historical fiction and non-fiction.

Starting a business, and writing a novel

I have a tutoring business aimed at students of English Language, Study Skills and Creative Writing. The MA has helped me focus on all aspects of my pedagogy as well as highlight how my own writing can be improved. I now have 55,000 words completed of a new novel.

Advice to Goldsmiths students

Have an open mind about where you want to take your area of research. Goldsmiths is a great place to stimulate your ideas and directions.

Favourite place around Goldsmiths

The Rose Pub.

See more profiles for this programme

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

International qualifications

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

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing and no element lower than 6.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2022/2023 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £9260
  • Home - part-time: £4630
  • International - full-time: £16600

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time under a student visa. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

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.

Staff

Find out about staff in the Departments of Educational Studies and English and Creative Writing.

Careers

Alumni include Raymond Antrobus, winner of the Ted Hughes award, PBS Winter Choice, A Sunday Times Young Writer of the year award & The Guardian Poetry Book Of The Year 2018; Dean Atta, Young Adult author of The Black Flamingo; Niall Bourke, who won the 2015 Costa Short Story Award, Joshua Seighal, who was shortlisted for the National Literacy Trust Award 2015, and a number of students who have published their academic research in prestigious scholarly journals.

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