MA Creative Writing Poetry
- Full Time
- Degree of Master of Arts
- Course Length
- 1 year
- Course Start Date
- September 2024
You’ve been writing poetry for so long that it’s become a vital part of your life. You may have tried one-off workshops or short courses but find that they are no longer enough. So now is the time to take it further!
This MA is your chance to immerse yourself in writing and reading, and discover more about your imaginative, artistic and intellectual capabilities as a poet. You’ll work intensively on your writing practice with expert guidance and support. And you’ll be part of a group that’s of a consistently high standard, which offers (and expects in return) rigorous feedback and discussion.
An academic context allows you to develop yourself through learning more about poetry across time and place, about form and technique, concept and theory, cause and effect. It’s a chance to read the kinds of poetry you’ve never come across before, and to discover the potential of poetry beyond the forms and approaches you already know.
In our MA Creative Writing (Poetry), we aim to support you in writing poetry of a publishable standard, and to create an encouraging but rigorous environment. You’ll join UEA’s renowned creative writing community in Norwich, a beautiful and historic city and England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.
During the one-year (or two-year part-time) course of intensive reading, writing, exploration and risk-taking, you’ll develop a body of work close in length to a first collection. Through your two Poetry Workshops, you’ll be encouraged to test, extend and refine your poetic technique – an experience that is often exciting and sometimes uncomfortable, but always rewarding. With this in mind, we also give you the chance to learn more about publishing procedures and opportunities, readings, literary awards and more. In the Describing Poetry module that accompanies the first Poetry Workshop, you will be introduced to some of the key thinking about poetry throughout literary history, and encouraged to explore creative-critical approaches to your work. You’ll also choose an optional module from a wide range of creative and critical modules across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. You’ll benefit from the ways in which the study of poetry enhances analytical, conceptual and verbal skills, as well as refine your powers of precision, argument and logic.
Within UEA’s world-famous writing community, you’ll have the opportunity to meet some of the UK’s leading poets and poetry editors, and to benefit from their insight and expertise. Our annual anthology is professionally published and distributed to a key list of poetry houses and other contacts.
UEA also hosts an annual Poetry Festival, part of which is an event showcasing the MA poets’ work. You’ll have the opportunity to attend a masterclass and to discuss your writing one-to-one with the Poetry Festival Fellow. UEA is also part of a thriving network of regional poetry activity, which offers plenty of opportunities to gain performance experience and to get involved in publication.
Study and Modules
The core element of the MA is the weekly three-hour workshop in a group of around 12 students. The workshop structure varies but generally consists of close discussion of the work of two or three students plus a session on some aspect of poetry. Work is circulated a week in advance and annotated in detail before being returned to its author. The tutor may also circulate texts for discussion. You’ll get the chance to attend a follow-up tutorial with your workshop’s tutor each time your work is discussed in these workshops.
In addition to the weekly workshop, in the first semester you will take a creative-critical module which will develop your thinking about poetic language, and in the second semester you will choose from a number of optional modules. You’ll have regular individual tutorials and extensive written feedback on your coursework.
There is no workshop in the summer semester (May to June), during which time you’ll have one-to-one sessions with your dissertation tutor. In preparation for the dissertation, you will attend a specialised Creative Writing Research Methodology Conference in May, with the entire MA Creative Writing cohort. This day includes plenary sessions, panels and small-group breakout sessions.
In July and August, you’ll work independently, although you may, with your peers, continue the workshop in some form. Over this period, you’ll write your dissertation, which will be a body of poetry and a critical commentary on it.
Optional A Modules(Credits: 20)
Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, the University will endeavour to consult with students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will inform students.
Teaching and Learning
You’ll be taught by published poets with extensive experience in their field through workshops, seminars and tutorials.
Our teaching staff in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing includes award-winning poet Tiffany Atkinson and tutors such as Stephen Benson, Steve Waters, Rachel Potter and Jeremy Noel-Tod.
From week to week, you’ll be expected to spend a significant amount of time on independent study, writing and redrafting poems, preparing feedback on your peers’ work, and reading widely in poetry and relevant criticism. And you’ll work independently towards your dissertation towards the end of your course.
You’ll submit 12 poems and a critical commentary for the Poetry Workshop in January, and the same amount for the workshop in May. Your dissertation consists of approximately 15–20 poems plus a critical commentary and is submitted in September.
The assessment for your compulsory module on poetic language is either a 5,000-word essay or a piece of creative-critical work. Assessments for optional modules vary but are typically a 5,000-word essay or an equivalent portfolio of creative and/or critical work.
- Degree Classification
- Bachelors (Hons) degree - 2.1 or equivalent preferred
- Degree Subject
- Any subject
- English Foreign Language
Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):
IELTS: 7.0 overall (minimum 7.0 in writing and 6.0 in other components)
Test dates should be within 2 years of the course start date.
We also accept a number of other English language tests. Review our English Language Equivalencies for a list of qualifications that we may accept to meet this requirement.
If you do not yet meet the English language requirements for this course, INTO UEA offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:
This course is open to UK and International applicants. The annual intake for this course is in September each year .
Please note that those candidates offered a place on the course will not be able to defer their offer to the next year if they are unable to take up the offer of a place, however they are welcome to reapply the next year.
Additional Information or Requirements
Candidates are required to submit a portfolio of writing for assessment with their application - up to 20 pages of poetry.
Our Admissions Policy applies to the admissions of all postgraduate applicants.
Fees and Funding
Tuition fees for the Academic Year 2024/25 are:
UK Students: £9,975 (full time)
International Students: £21,200 (full time)
If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for Home students).
We estimate living expenses at £1,023 per month.
Further Information on tuition fees can be found here.
Scholarships and Bursaries
The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.
Course Related Costs
Please see Additional Course Fees for details of course-related costs.
How to Apply
Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.
To apply please use our online application form.
If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying, please do contact us:
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.
After the Course
Our poetry graduates go on to enjoy all kinds of careers, especially in the literary arts. Several have received scholarships for further work at PhD level, many work in publishing (e.g. at Granta and the London Review of Books), and many publish their poetry to high acclaim.
Recent examples include Mona Arshi (MA Poetry 2010) winning the Forward Prize for Best First Collection in 2015, Sam Buchan-Watts (MA Poetry 2014) being named a Faber & Faber New Poet in 2015, Sohini Basak (MA Poetry 2016) winning the Eyewear Publishing Beverly Series Poetry Prize, Sean Wai Keung (MA Poetry 2016) winning the inaugural Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition 2016, and Anna Cathenka and Alice Willitts being shortlisted for the Ivan Juritz prize 2018.