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 three distinct streams – Poetry, Prose, and Playwriting and Screenwriting – 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, Prose, or Playwriting and Screenwriting. In the second year, students undertake two semesters of postgraduate supervision, at the end of which they submit and defend a substantial piece of creative work. Additionally, students in the second year will complete a compulsory module in Practical Pedagogy for Creative Writers. Crucially, second year MFA candidates will gain hands-on publishing experience through online editing.

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

Writing for Performance

EN5105 Writing for Performance 1 (40 credits, Semester 1)
EN5106 Writing for Performance 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.

Writing for Performance

Candidates must submit a thesis of approximately 90 minutes of performance time (16,000–20,000 words), developed in close conversation with a supervisor, and of excellent quality.