Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

School of English

 

St Andrews is one of the first universities in the UK to confer the MFA degree, increasingly the internationally recognized standard for teachers of Creative Writing in secondary and tertiary higher education. As an MFA student, you will develop your creative practice through a series of seminars and workshops as well as through the production of a substantial piece of publishable writing under the supervision of a world-class writing faculty.

The MFA programme is divided into two distinct streams – Poetry and Prose – and prospective students should apply to only one stream. Your first year of study will consist of the same taught classes as our MLitt students, during which you will work more closely with one another and with individual mentors than is usual in postgraduate research degree programmes.

In addition to completing coursework and a substantial piece of original creative work, you will in the course of your study gain an understanding of contemporary publishing procedures; of submitting proposals to radio broadcasters; and of ancillary literary activities such as literary journalism, reviewing, arts administration, mentorship, and so on. You will also contribute actively to the developing field of Creative Writing pedagogy.

 

The Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts is a two-year postgraduate research degree with a taught component. In the first year, students undertake a compulsory module in Research Skills for Creative Writers and two further core modules in Poetry or Prose. Year Two is structured in two distinct ways, to reflect the fact that second year MFA students in prose and poetry have different needs. Since poetry students continue to find workshops an important part of their writing and editing process in their second year, they will participate in regular workshops on a similar basis as Year One, while also meeting on a one-to-one basis with their supervisors to discuss their work and review their progress. Since prose students are working on longform final projects less suited to workshop format, they will not participate in regular workshops, but will meet more frequently with their supervisors on a one-to-one basis. Additionally, students in the second year will complete a compulsory module in Practical Pedagogy for Creative Writers. Students may also have the opportunity to help with the proofreading, publication, marketing and distribution of our professional online journal, The Scores, as well as with the sifting of submitted material and the commissioning of new work.

Poetry

EN5004 Writing Poetry 1 (40 credits, Semester 1)
EN5005 Writing Poetry 2 (60 credits, Semester 2)
EN5101 Research Skills for Creative Writers (20 credits, Semester 1)
EN5801 Practical Pedagogy for Creative Writers

Prose

EN5006 Writing Prose 1 (40 credits, Semester 1)
EN5007 Writing Prose 2 (60 credits, Semester 2)
EN5101 Research Skills for Creative Writers (20 credits, Semester 1)
EN5801 Practical Pedagogy for Creative Writers

 

Poetry

Candidates must submit a thesis of about 40 pages of verse, developed in close conversation with a supervisor, and of publishable quality.

Prose

Candidates must submit a thesis of around 40,000 words, which may take the form of short stories, a novel except, or creative nonfiction. Your thesis will be developed in close conversation with your supervisor and should be of publishable quality.