Course information

Department

Educational Studies
English and Comparative Literature

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

Programme Alumni

Former students have progressed to find and create path-breaking work in the arts and other spheres. Alumni such as Raymond Antrobus, Dean Atta, Sara Hirsh and S.K. Perry have all become noted Spoken Word artists and published writers in their own right. Many alumni have worked for creative organisations such as First Story, the Ministry of Stories, Apples and Snakes as well as forging creative lives in other areas. A focus of the course is how its students can develop their entrepreneurial skills and thrive as creative educators.

You might be a teacher who writes; a writer who works in education; a poet, a novelist or a short story writer. Whatever your background, this course will teach you more about the connections between creative writing and education.

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 programme is for you. You will not only progress exponentially as a writer, but also learn how to research and teach writing in a wide range of contexts. You will study 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.

The programme will provide you with an invaluable toolbox of writing, teaching, and research strategies that will help you personally and professionally. You will 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 institutions. Alumni include some of the most significant writers to emerge in recent years such as Raymond Antrobus, Dean Atta, S.K. Perry and Sara Hirsch – read what our students and graduates had to say below.

You will be taught by some of the best known prize-winning authors and innovative teachers in the country, including Ros Barber, Maura Dooley, Blake Morrison, Francis Spufford, Ardu Vakil, and Erica Wagner. 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.

We have a number of partnerships with high profile creative and educational organisations including First StoryApples and Snakes, the British LibraryMinistry 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 may may also have access to innovative work placement programmes with First Story and the Ministry of Stories, developed exclusively for Goldsmiths.

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 Comparative Literature
    • 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: 
    • Creative Writing Pedagogies and Identities (which explores how to teach creative writing) (30 credits)
    • Research into Writing Practices (which explores how to research creative writing) (30 credits)
  • An optional module in the Department of Educational Studies (30 credits)
  • A 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.

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.

What our students say

Sarah Hirsch

"This course was genuinely life changing. It opened up so many new pathways for me to explore both creatively and academically as well as challenging every aspect of my practice."

"This course was genuinely life changing. It opened up so many new pathways for me to explore both creatively and academically as well as challenging every aspect of my practice to make me a far better writer, teacher and all round human. The unique balance between writing and education, the opportunities to grow and develop and the diversity and quality of the tutors all contribute to a top notch masters programme. I am richer for the experience (emotionally speaking, I am still a writer after all)."

Sania Riaz

"I always loved the idea of working in publishing, but only saw it as a pipe dream. However, I am now employed as an Editorial Assistant at Bonnier Books UK, and I am certain my MA credentials supported my break through into the publishing industry."

"I thoroughly enjoyed the MA in Creative Writing and Education. I have always been fascinated by the creative writing process and was eager to learn how I could encourage students to feel the same. Each module taught me a different aspect regarding writing creatively and teaching it.

Learning from modules such as Children's literature, Culture and Diversity, and Creative Writing Pedagogies, I am now confident in planning lessons, projects, and group activities that will excite students and produce great writing.

I always loved the idea of working in publishing, but only saw it as a pipe dream. However, I am now employed as an Editorial Assistant at Bonnier Books UK, and I am certain my MA credentials supported my break through into the publishing industry."

Michael Kelly

After 33 years of teaching, I found “My People” at Goldsmiths: they were my tutors and my fellow students.

My name is Michael Kelly. I completed the Writer/Teacher MA programme [now called the MA Creative Writing & Education] from 2014-16. After 33 years of teaching, latterly as an AST in Tower Hamlets primary schools, I found “My People” at Goldsmiths: they were my tutors and my fellow students.

Teaching can be an isolating experience. This is paradoxical given the collaborative nature of classroom learning. But years of specialisation can do this. How stimulating to discover vocational teachers, writers, and spoken word educators with experience and passion to share. No matter how tired I was from the day job when I arrived at Goldsmiths, I almost always left the class feeling refreshed and energised.

On the MA, a structured critique and appreciation of creative writing practices contextualised much of our educational debate. I discovered research evidence to open up theory that had become important to me, covering learner agency, personal growth, creativity and aesthetics, collaboration, voice, culture and heritage, bilingualism, story, and spoken word. Most importantly, I had access to practical models to support and challenge my practice.

Visiting lecturers covered important and cutting-edge areas of creative writing and how it can be taught effectively. At a time when my experience was of debate being closed down and uniformity of teaching practice being advocated, the course of study at Goldsmiths was a massive relief.

The quality of the teaching was consistently excellent. Skilful course management allowed for proper devolution of responsibility and learner ownership throughout. To spend time in the company of Vicky Macleroy, Ardu Vikal, Michael Rosen, Maggie Pitfield, Francis Gilbert, and Blake Morrison was a joy.

Goldsmith alumni from our course form an active community of Writers, Educators, and Poets. We are socially engaged and recognise learners as experts in their own lives. Ours is a rich and diverse group. We regularly meet to workshop our writing; we meet to hear each other's spoken word poetry; we visit each other's schools and PRUs.

My son recently completed GCSE English Literature. When I discussed poetry with him he said, “it’s interesting Dad, but it’s not on the mark scheme”.

“Too right son”, I said. “It is interesting.”

 

Michael is the author of a forthcoming series of novels called: "Moving the Relics".

"Post-War Britain is an empty house with the lights out and the key in the door. Entire communities from Roscommon and Galway have been grafted onto Inner City Birmingham, with their identities and cultures intact: a dose of neat poitin poured over the suet pudding of the Midlands. The alcohol burns off and leaves the pudding enriched and altered. A young man is up to his neck in the pudding.

In 1977 during his gap year, Vincent Harkin starts his informal education on the Railways. Vincent has no physical courage, no practicality, and no sense of proportion. How will he ever emulate his wise and funny Dad?"

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 2020/21 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £8640
  • Home - part-time: £4320
  • EU - full-time: £8640
  • EU - part-time: £4320
  • International - full-time: £15500

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 if you require a Tier 4 student visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. 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 Comparative Literature.

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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