Our course will help transform you as a writer, giving you a surer sense of the imaginative, artistic and intellectual challenges involved in any act of writing.
You’ll study the craft of prose fiction with an international cohort of other excellent writers, and you’ll be taught by an outstanding and committed faculty – which includes Jean McNeil, Naomi Wood and Tessa McWatt, to name a few – alongside internationally recognised visiting writers – recent examples include Tsitsi Dangarembga, Margaret Atwood, Ali Smith, Caryl Phillips and Preti Taneja.
We’ll challenge you to explore your notions about writing and being a writer, provoking you into play, experimentation and risk, with the intention of making you the best writer you can be.
After this intensive year, you’ll leave the course confident of technique and craft, as well as your own voice. It’s no wonder that our students’ success is unparalleled, with many of our graduates going on to publish their own work, and others moving into publishing, journalism or teaching.
The MA Prose Fiction at UEA is the oldest and most prestigious Creative Writing programme in the UK. Solely focused on the writing of fiction, we take a rigorous and creative approach to enable you to develop your ideas, voice, technique and craft.
You’ll experience an intensive immersion in the study of writing prose fiction. You will take core creative modules but can also choose from a wide range of critical modules, and benefit from our proven strengths in modernism and creative-critical studies, among others.
Graduates of our MA Creative Writing Prose Fiction have enjoyed extraordinary success in terms of publications and prizes. Our alumni include Nobel Laureate Sir Kazuo Ishiguro, Baileys Women’s Prize-winner Naomi Alderman, Emma Healey and Tash Aw. The continuing success of our graduates means we are fortunate in being able to attract the best writers from around the world – writers like you.
While you are at UEA, the focus will very much be on exploring your creative potential, in a highly supportive and well-resourced environment.
In 2011, UEA’s Creative Writing programme was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in recognition of our continuing excellence in delivering innovative courses at a world-class level.
Study and Modules
This MA is a one-year full-time course (you can also take it part-time over two years). The full-time course consists of two semesters of 12 weeks, followed by a dissertation period of six weeks. The autumn semester lasts from September to December, and the spring semester from January to April. The dissertation supervision period ends in June and you will submit your final piece of work in September.
In each semester, you’ll study two modules. One of these – in both semesters – is the compulsory Prose Fiction workshop. This is a weekly three-hour session, during which your group will discuss your fellow students’ work together. You’ll get the chance to attend a follow-up tutorial with your class tutor each time your work is discussed in these workshops.
There are currently three workshop groups of approximately twelve students. Each workshop is assigned a tutor for the autumn semester, and a different tutor for the spring semester. Groups are ‘shuffled’ in December, so that you can encounter the widest range of peer responses to your work during the course. Teaching styles vary, but typically three students each week will have their work discussed by the group. The work in progress (around 5,000 words) is circulated a week in advance, and annotated copies are returned to the student at the end of the session. The emphasis is always on constructive criticism, and the expectation is that the group will gain as much from the discussion as will the individual whose work is being discussed. You can expect your writing to be workshopped at least six times over the course of the two semesters.
You’ll choose a second module from the broad range of modules, both creative and critical, available in the School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing.
In the summer dissertation period, you’ll be assigned a supervisor for a series of four individual tutorials in which you’ll discuss your dissertation. You will then write this independently over the summer.
Optional A Modules(Credits: 20)
Optional B 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 an internationally renowned set of prize-winning writers who have been published widely. They also have many years of experience in teaching Creative Writing workshops. Staff members who have taught on the MA include Trezza Azzopardi, Philip Langeskov, Giles Foden, Jean McNeil, Tessa McWatt, Henry Sutton, and Naomi Wood. You’ll also be taught via one-to-one tutorials with your workshop leader to enrich your understanding of the key insights that came out of your workshop.
The one-to-one dissertation supervisions are intended to emulate the relationship that you may go on to have with an editor at a publishing house. Over the dissertation period, your tutor will be able to discuss your work and your ambitions for your project, so that you will be best placed to draft and then finalise your work over the summer vacation.
One of the great charms of this year is that you’ll have ample time to read and write on your own. Some students use their independent study time to write a draft of a whole novel; others want to experiment over the course of the year with different projects and different styles.
You’ll submit 5,000 words of original fiction at the end of the autumn semester, and another 5,000 words at the end of the spring semester. You must also submit a 5,000-word piece of creative work or an essay (requirements vary) for each of your two optional modules.
For your dissertation, you’ll write 15,000 words of original fiction, to be submitted in September. All assessed work is marked and moderated by two members of the Creative Writing faculty, with the mark agreed between them.
Your work will be read and commented upon by faculty members around sixteen times over the course of the MA – this includes workshops, dissertation tutorials and the marking of assignments. Since this course and its tutors focus on prose fiction and the development of your abilities as a writer of prose fiction, we cannot workshop or assess other work you might produce, such as poetry or creative non-fiction. However, we would encourage you to circulate such work informally among your fellow students.
- Degree Classification
- Bachelors (Hons) degree - 2.1 or equivalent preferred
- Degree Subject
- Any subject
- English Foreign Language
We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:
IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 6.0 in each section and 7.0 in writing)
PTE (Pearson): 76 (minimum 64 in each section and 76 in writing)
Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.
Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests
INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Promising candidates will be invited to one of our online interview days, which are scheduled across the academic year. Typically a candidate will be interviewed by two members of the Creative Writing faculty and we aim to inform candidates of the outcome within five working days. Unsuccessful candidates are welcome to re-apply, though not within the same academic year. Successful candidates will either be offered a place for the forthcoming academic year or a place for the following academic year (if it is felt that they need more time to develop as a writer). Once the forthcoming year is full candidates will be offered a place on our reserve list with the option of a place for the following academic year if a place does not become available.
This course is open to UK, EU and International applicants. The annual intake for this course is in September each year.
Additional Information or Requirements
Candidates are required to submit a portfolio of writing for assessment of between 3000 and 5000 words with their application. This could be part of a novel in progress or a piece or pieces of short fiction.
Fees and Funding
Tuition fees for the Academic Year 2023/24 are:
UK Students: £10,500 (full time)
International Students: £21,000 (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. The following have the most relevance to the MA in Creative Writing:
Annabel Abbs Scholarship
The Difference scholarship
Global Voices Scholarships
Maggie Humm Scholarship
Miles Morland Foundation African Writers' Scholarship
Seth Donaldson Memorial Bursary
Sonny Mehta India Scholarship
Sonny Mehta Scholarship for Writers
UEA Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship
UEA Crowdfunded Writers' Scholarship
To find out more, please go to the Scholarships Finder. Select the name of the scholarship, then select ‘view more’ to see if you meet the criteria, and ‘apply here’ to make an application.
Please note that the closing date for receipt of applications is 5 May 2023.
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.
Early applications are advised, as the course will close once it is full.
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.
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
You’ll graduate as a better writer, reader and editor. You will graduate knowing how to best critique others’ work and your own. Many students go on to publish, others go on to a career in publishing, journalism, or teaching.
A degree at UEA will prepare you for a wide variety of careers. We've been ranked 1st for Job Prospects by StudentCrowd in 2022.
Examples of careers you could enter include:
Film and television