Since becoming the first London university to offer an MA Creative Writing in 2000, we have continued to pioneer, innovate and evolve the ways in which we approach the discipline. Now, in response to the world's fast-changing media landscapes, we have developed a unique course to equip writers of all kinds with crucial skills, contemporary knowledge and industry insights to meet the challenges and opportunities of today's digital, publishing and business environments.
At Middlesex we support and nurture the creative aspirations of writers from a diverse range of backgrounds, from novelists to poets, essayists, biographers, media professionals and more. That's why we developed our course to be flexible and interdisciplinary, drawing on the expertise of a wide range of professional writers, publishers and media professionals to enable you to pursue your creative projects with expert guidance on writing persuasively, getting published and promoting your work.
Based in our £80 million Media and Performing Arts School, you will explore both the traditional and contemporary opportunities for your writing, considering new media, online platforms and how maximise the potential of emerging markets. Our strong links to London's vibrant literary community, including opportunities to be part of the North London Literary Festival, help you graduate with the skills, knowledge and industry contacts to turn your writing into a profitable career.
Taught by a diverse range of academics, writers, publishers and media practitioners, this course is divided into five modules taken over three terms (if studied full time). Each module is designed to be flexible, allowing you to bring your own writing interests and projects to the assignments while extending the boundaries of your current practice through self-reflection, research, analysis, and creative exploration.
There are two core modules on this course and additional module options covering more specialist areas of Writing for Creative and Professional Practice. The first two core modules are compulsory and you are required to take two further optional modules for a PG Diploma, plus a 60 credit Dissertation for the full MA.
Media and Creative Writing – Term 1 (30 credits) This module explores how the increasing variety of communication tools in the 21st century impact on creative writing. Delivered through weekly workshops to allow platforms, writers, genres, themes and ideas to be introduced in an interactive environment, you will develop the skills and knowledge to become an effective cross-genre writer. By identifying and targeting specific markets, you'll explore different types of text outputs, individually and collaboratively, while maintaining your own professional objectives.
Key Principles of Storytelling – Term 1 (30 credits) This module explores how stories function in both fiction and non-fiction forms with particular focus on how they involve readers and communicate compelling messages about the world. Delivered through weekly workshops and critical analysis of your writing, you will develop key storytelling skills as well as valuable skills in research and theoretical understanding of the contemporary and historical devices used in writing.
Research: Writing, Markets, Audiences – Term 2 (30 credits) This module explores the contemporary publishing scene for both fiction and non-fiction, equipping you with valuable insights into how the industry works and the issues it faces. Delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and guided independent research, you will develop professional skills in researching markets and the needs of creative writers and how to apply this knowledge practically.
Sustaining the Narrative – Term 2 (30 credits) This module focuses on how to plot a sustained, multi-layered narrative while exploring how to structure a story for maximum impact in relation to both subject and your chosen medium. Delivered primarily through workshopping of your writing, you will develop a crucial understanding of the ways in which subject choice and medium affect structure, with the opportunity to focus as the module progresses on building a sustained narrative.
Writing for Performance – Term 2 (30 credits) This module explores the differences between speech and writing in general, and between spontaneous and scripted speech with practical exercises in distinct forms of performance writing. Delivered through seminars and workshops which analyse speech acts and texts, you will develop creative skills in rhetorical, dialogic and monologic narratives while building your confidence and knowledge to communicate your writing in performative contexts.
Dissertation – Term 3 (60 credits) Your final dissertation is an opportunity for you to take all the knowledge and skills you have acquired in the preceding modules and apply them to an independent research project that includes a sustained original narrative with accompanying critical commentary that targets an identified market. This project could take many forms, such as short stories, novella, novel, drama, creative non-fiction and more. Whichever medium you choose for you final dissertation, it should demonstrate a substantial benefit to your professional career and/or provide a foundation for further academic research to MPhil/PhD.
This course is flexibly designed to put you at the centre of your learning by using a range of teaching and assessment approaches that take into account your individual interests, abilities and ambitions in Writing for Creative and Professional Practice.
Our teaching team is hugely diverse with practitioners, academics, and industry professionals from a range of creative industries and professional backgrounds. With a growing reputation for world-leading research in media and the arts, you’ll benefit from our teaching staff’s influence in the industry, with regular guest-lectures from high-profile writers, publishers, digital specialists and literary figures from around the world.
As part of your learning, you’ll be required to actively participate in activities and engage with your fellow students, both individually and collaboratively, working and learning as part of a small group at times. You will also be supported by some of the best facilities and equipment in the country with access to state-of-the-art digital media and studios throughout the School of Media.
We are particularly looking for writing promise, ambition and dedication.
UK/EU and international students are eligible to apply for this course.
If you have relevant qualifications or work experience, academic credit may be awarded towards your Middlesex University programme of study. For further information please visit our Accreditation of Prior Learning page.
We accept the equivalent of the above qualifications from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the qualifications we accept from your country please visit the relevant Support in your country page.
If you are unsure about the suitability of your qualifications or would like help with your application, please contact your nearest Regional office for support.
You will not need a visa to study in the UK if you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. If you are a national of any other country you may need a visa to study in the UK. Please see our Visas and immigration page for further information.
You must have competence in English language to study with us. The most commonly accepted evidence of English language ability is IELTS 6.5 (with minimum 6.0 in all components). We also normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. Visit our English language requirements page for a full list of accepted tests and qualifications.
If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, we offer an intensive Pre-sessional English course.
All applicants are required to submit 2,000 words of recently written work as part of their application. This should be as a Word document. It is likely to be creative writing in prose form, e.g. an excerpt from a short story or novel, or it could be an essay or piece of creative non-fiction, for example. Applicants may then be required to attend a short on-line or telephone interview.
Applications for postgraduate study should be made directly to the university. Please visit our Postgraduate application page for further information and to apply.
While this is a brand new course we expect our graduates to pursue successful careers or enhancement of existing careers in publishing (as freelance writers or within the industry), media management, the promotional industries, education and/or the wider cultural sector. London is an international centre for media and communications opportunities and the programme has been designed to provide an academic framework that places you in an excellent position for employment as well as self-managed portfolio careers.
Placements are not offered on the programme, however self-initiated placements are encouraged and will be treated supportively. Work experience is a very valuable asset in planning a successful career and you are encouraged to gain a short-term placement or internship if you can work these around or into your study. Work placements are supported across the University by the Employability and Careers Centre.
Josie Barnard is course leader for MA/PGDip Writing for Creative and Professional Practice and she is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing with Journalism. An award-winning novelist and acclaimed journalist who has worked for the BBC, Guardian and Telegraph amongst others, Josie is at the forefront of research into multi-modal writing and has taught widely within academia and for industry initiatives including the Faber Academy.
"It's an exciting time to be a writer, whether you're interested in writing as a full-time profession or in the transferrable skills that are manifest in creative writing. It is increasingly necessary to move between different types of writing outputs – from a sustained narrative to social media promotion, for example - often several times daily. Writers must be professional about their output and professionals must be creative.
No other programme has our combination of facilities and staff. We make full use of our position within the School of Media and Performing Arts, drawing on an exceptional range of expertise and benefiting from state of the art facilities. Our teaching team is hugely diverse, featuring publishing industry professionals, practitioners and theorists with expertise ranging from literary fiction and creative non-fiction through journalism to script-writing. The programme draws on our interdisciplinary strengths and expertise to keep pace with today's fast-changing media landscape. Our aim is to give students the best possible career prospects through a balance of academic learning and the development of transferable skills."
Find out more about Josie and her research projects here
Find out about our wide range of postgraduate scholarships worth up to 50% of the tuition fee.
This course is offered full-time or part-time. This course can be studied as a masters or diploma. The fees below refer to the 2016/17 academic year unless otherwise stated.
MSc: Full-time students: £8,500
Part-time per taught credit: £57
Part-time per dissertation credit: £28
PG Dip: Full-time £6,800
Part-time per taught credit: £57
MSc: Full-time students: £12,500
Part-time per taught credit: £84
Part-time per dissertation credit: £42
PG Dip: Full-time £10,000
Part-time per taught credit: £84
*Course fees are subject to annual inflation so the total costs for part-time study are shown here as a guide
Find out about our flexible payment plans for UK/EU students, and how they can help you spread the cost of your course.