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Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

MA in English (Creative Writing and English Literature)

Postgraduate - Taught MA

Open for admission in 2023/24

Start in September

Qualification Full time Part time
MA 1 year 2 years

About the course

Literature is a dynamic force for change. Hull English postgraduates gain insight into society, culture and politics by developing an understanding of the power of language.

This MA provides students with a thorough grounding in research methods and practices.

Our MA in English can be tailor-made to your interests in either Creative Writing or English Literature, or both. In this fully flexible MA programme, you choose to focus on the writers, or forms of writing, that most interest you. Our MA English programme comes highly recommended, receiving 100% overall satisfaction from our MA students in the national 2021/22 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES), with 100% agreeing that they feel better prepared for their future career. 

There are designated literature pathways allowing students to focus their studies on either Renaissance Literature and Culture, Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture, Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture, or a combination of all three. Creative Writing modules allow students to focus their interests on both fiction and non-fiction prose forms, as well as poetry and scriptwriting.

The MA programme culminates in a summer research project – either a dissertation or creative writing portfolio, depending on your interests: you choose the project, and then work on it over the summer months with dedicated support from a subject specialist from the Department of English, Creative Writing, and American Studies.

What you'll study

All our students undertake a core training module in advanced level literary studies and creative writing – Research, Creativity, and Engagement – in trimester 1. This culminates in a one-day postgraduate conference, student-led and supported by the module tutors and convenor.

All students choose three further options across trimesters 1 and 2, from the indicative list of modules below. There is a final dissertation or creative portfolio worth 60 credits, and taught modules are worth 120 credits in total (30 credits each module).

Teaching methods will include seminars, creative writing workshops, student presentations and small group exercises.

Compulsory modules

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

  • Research, Creativity and Engagement

    You'll be trained in research and practice-based methods in literary studies, creative writing or both. You'll work with the University-based Journal of Gender Studies to develop your reviewing skills or preparing your work for publication skills. You'll then present aspects of your research at a conference day.

  • Dissertation

    You will make an original contribution to research by designing, carrying out and writing up a project on a topic of your choice, supported by your dissertation supervisor.

  • Creative Writing Portfolio

    Creative writing students can opt for the Creative Writing Portfolio, rather than the Dissertation. Supported by a supervisor you will produce a substantial piece of creative writing, such as a novel extract, a novella, a group of short stories, a collection of poetry, or a script/screenplay. 

Optional modules

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

  • Literature, Theatre and the Gothic

    This module offers a detailed study of the writing of Bram Stoker and the Gothic literary and theatrical cultures of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. You will study Egyptian mummies, fairies and vampires, Gothic Shakespeare (on the Victorian stage), and supernatural melodrama.

  • Gender in Popular Culture

    This module analyses masculinity and femininity in genres central to contemporary popular fiction and film, such as crime fiction, chick and lad lit, war fiction, true crime and the gangster movie. You'll analyse these novels and films using the theoretical perspectives of Bakhtin, Foucault, Butler, Bourdieu and Fiske.

  • Shakespeare and Early Modern Transformations

    You will be introduced to classical and early modern theories of imitation and originality, and modern theories of intertextuality as a starting point for considering how works by Shakespeare and other early modern writers can be understood as intertextual ‘transformations’ in relation to both classical and medieval precursors, and contemporary works of fiction and art.

  • Contemporary Children's Literature

    You will explore key categories and developments in modern and contemporary children's fiction, such as the Gothic, Young Adult, Holocaust literature and fantasy writing. Focal texts include works by Roald Dahl, Jacqueline Wilson, Neil Gaiman, and Lemony Snicket as well as John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, Malorie Blackman's Noughts and Crosses, Morris Gleitzman’s Once, and John Boyne's The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

  • Modern City Fictions

    Engage with ideas of the city and urban living in a range of fictions, including novels and other creative prose from the end of the 20th century to the present. You'll produce either a creative writing piece or a critical essay.

  • Fictions of Flooding: From Noah to Now

    With flooding on the increase in today’s warming world, this module explores fictions of flooding to ask how we can learn from the past to live with flood risks today. You will study recent examples of climate fiction alongside the various myths of a great, global flood.

  • Writing from Life; Creative Non-Fiction

    On this module, students will be introduced to a wide range of non-fiction prose, including travel writing, true crime, narrative history and biography. You will produce a portfolio of non-fiction and reflective writings yourself and will also be expected to partake in guest talks/writing workshops with tutors who have taught for many years in prison and in other contexts of incarceration. 

  • Writing Short Stories

    Develop your understanding of the short story form by critically engaging with and examining a range of examples. You'll then build on this understanding by writing your own stories.

  • Writing the Novel

    How does an opening chapter make the rest of a novel inevitable? Through reading, workshops, and studies of character, plot and structure, you'll kick-start your own novel.

Where you'll study

The location below may not be the exact location of all modules on your timetable. The buildings you'll be taught in can vary each year and depend on the modules you study.

Click to view on Google Maps
Hull Campus

Click to view directions on Google Maps

Fees and funding

  • Home £9,400
  • Home (part-time)£520 (10 credits), £1,045 (20 credits), 3,135 (60 credits), £4,700 (90 credits)

UK students can take out a Masters Loan to help with tuition fees and living costs. For 2023 entry, they provide up to £12,167 for full-time and part-time taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Find out more about Postgraduate Loans.

  • International £10,000

Please see the terms and conditions for International fees 2022/23

Graduate PGT Scholarship

The University of Hull is pleased to offer graduates progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate taught study a £1,000 scholarship towards the cost of their tuition fees.

Find out if you’re eligible by visiting the University of Hull Graduate PGT Scholarship page.

International Scholarships and Bursaries

For a list of all scholarships and bursaries for international students, please visit the International Scholarships and Bursaries page.

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships to help you with your studies.

For more information, please visit the Scholarships and Bursaries page.

Study English in the city described as the most poetic in England, where Philip Larkin wrote most of his best work.

English postgraduates at Hull gain insight into society, culture and politics by developing an understanding of the power of language.

Superb facilities include the Brynmor Jones Library which is open 24/7 and boasts cutting edge technology and more than a million books.

Our staff have expertise in wide-ranging areas from Chaucer to the 21st century. 

Entry requirements

We normally require a 2:2 undergraduate degree in English (literary studies/creative writing) or a cognate humanities discipline or international equivalent. With your application, you must submit a satisfactory 2000 to 3000-word sample of your written work, consisting of either literary criticism or creative writing, on a subject of your choice. You can use written work that you have previously produced for your coursework.

In order to ensure our students have a rich learning and student experience, most of our programmes have a mix of domestic and international students. We reserve the right to close applications early to either group, if application volumes suggest that this blend cannot be achieved. In addition, existing undergraduate students at the University of Hull have a guaranteed ‘Fast Track’ route to any postgraduate programme, subject to meeting the entry criteria (excluding Social Work).

International students

Language requirements

If you require a student visa to study or if your first language is not English you must provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. See other accepted English language proficiency qualifications.

If your English currently does not reach the required standard, you may be interested in our pre-sessional English Language programmes.

Visit your country page to find out more about entry requirements.

Future prospects

You will leave Hull with enhanced communication, research and creative skills.

Career options include writing and editing jobs, in fields such as journalism, marketing or promotions. Many students opt to pursue further research or a career in academia or teaching.