Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy>Courses>English Literature and Creative Writing - MA

English Literature and Creative Writing Masters - MA/PgD/PgC

The MA English Literature and Creative Writing is a rewarding taught degree taught by published writers and researchers. The course provides you with the perfect opportunity to combine your love of studying literature with the ambition to write your own. 

Our English Literature modules take you on an exhilarating literary journey using texts from the eighteenth century to the present day. Drawing on research expertise from the Romantic period to contemporary literature we explore a range of literary forms and delve into subjects such as historical and contemporary representations of place, the politics of genre fiction, and the representation of gender and sexuality. 

Our creative writing modules aim to support you while you develop and hone your creative and critical writing skills across the fields of fiction, creative non-fiction, script and poetry.  

Throughout the programme you will have opportunities to explore multiple genres, attend regular peer workshops, learn from industry experts and hone your craft. Our wider academic community is dynamic so you will also have the chance to take part in additional activities which can include, but are not limited to, open mics, guest speakers, archive and museum visits, poetry readings and more. 

You can take our MA English Literature and Creative Writing to prepare your work for publication or enhance your career in the creative arts, education, and heritage industries. This degree will also develop your research skills and help you specialise in an area of literary study or creative practice which can pave the way for doctoral study. 

We have expertise across a number of fields and our academic community is vibrant and dynamic with strong industry links. 

One of the great strengths of our MA English Literature and Creative Writing programme is its flexibility. The degree can be studied either full or part-time, and classes are scheduled in the evenings. Modules can be taken individually, allowing you to control the pace and depth of your postgraduate study. Programme delivery is enhanced by the University's commitment to e-learning .

You may also be interested in our MA English Literature or MA Creative Writing programmes. 

​Course Content​​

Our modules are delivered over one year full-time or two years part-time. This content is indicative and subject to alteration. 

The creative writing modules are taught by published authors who have hands-on experience of writing for publication. All modules will require you to write and bring work to regular workshop sessions. As well developing your own work, you will develop your skills as a critic, editor and researcher. With this joint degree you have the flexibility and freedom to select modules that best fit your research and creative interests. 

You have the opportunity to choose any three of the optional modules listed below. 

"Juvenile Trash": Rethinking Genre Fiction (Optional module)
Genre fiction is often seen as frivolous and less important than ‘serious’ literary fiction. In this module we ‘rethink’ genre fiction, digging deeper to evaluate the aesthetics, politics and undeniable value of genre fiction. In our seminars, we explore a range of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, crime fiction, historical fiction, romance, and children's literature. 

We examine the way in which various texts – Shirley Jackson’s 'The Haunting of Hill House', Octavia Butler’s 'Kindred', Walter Mosely’s 'Devil in a Blue Dress', or Sarah Waters’s 'Fingersmith', for instance – show that genre fiction can both entertain and challenge. Seminars will provide you with opportunities to critically examine texts as well as to develop your own writing skills through genre-specific writing exercises and workshops.

Space, Environment and Modernity (Optional module)
In this module you will examine how literature both reflects and shapes the way we see the environment—not just the green landscape but the grey cityscape. You will do this by considering literature’s responsibility for the production of concepts of the countryside and the city, from the early nineteenth-century Romantic poets, through to contemporary novelists. This examination will entail a consideration of the interrelation of aesthetic, cultural, and social practices in representations of the environment, and an analysis of intellectual, cultural, historical, and sociological pressures that shape literary responses to the environment. Seminars will provide you with opportunities to critically examine texts as well as to develop your own writing skills through writing exercises and workshops.

Contesting Identities: Gender and Sexuality in Literature (Optional module) 
In this module we examine the shifting paradigms of gender and sexual identities from the late 19th century to the present day, with reference to social, cultural and political changes, via a range of texts. Through a selection of fascinating authors – for instance, Nella Larsen, Virginia Woolf, Carson McCullers, Toni Morrison, Jeanette Winterson, and Alison Bechdel - you will develop a sophisticated understanding of debates, theories and ideas relevant to the topics of gender and sexual identities. 

Creative Writing Workshop 1: Craft and Construction (Optional module)
This module aims to provide you with a detailed understanding of the approaches and techniques associated with well-established shorter forms of writing such as the short story, the poem and the dramatic scene. You will have the opportunity to critically engage and experiment with diverse forms as well as develop your creative practice through weekly workshops focussing on new writing and feedback. This module will also help you in adopt an entrepreneurial approach to creative writing in relation to craft, literary criticism and market conditions. Through this module, you will develop a well-rounded understanding of the writing profession, informed by guest speakers and industry experts.

Creative Writing Workshop 2: Developing poetics, growing the text (Optional module) 
This module aims to provide you with a detailed grasp of the approaches and techniques associated with longer, sustained forms of writing such as the short story sequence/collection, the poetry sequence/pamphlet, the short (screen)/play and digital fiction sequence. Seminars will provide you with opportunities to analyse and critically examine texts, concepts and each other's work as well as develop your own writing skills through task driven workshops, exercises and assessment. 

This module will support you to develop a systematic understanding of the longer writing forms; demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of techniques and methodologies in creative writing practice; address your own writing abilities and (self) reflect on your writing and that of others; critically evaluate research and advanced scholarship; demonstrate self-direction and autonomy in planning and implementing your own creative outputs; and exercise initiative and personal responsibility.

Literary and Critical Arts Research Methods (Core module) 
This module seeks to develop active and innovative researchers who are sensitive to the ethical and cultural choices they make as contemporary writers and critics. Throughout this module, you will be asked to consider what it means to learn and the approaches which are necessary to undertake robust and unbiased research. You will be introduced to a variety of research methods which will help to develop your practical research skills as well as your literary and critical practices. 

Dissertation (Core module)
The Dissertation module provides you with the opportunity to undertake a sustained, rigorous and independent investigation of a specialised topic in their chosen discipline area within either English Literature or creative writing.

Learning & Teaching​

This MA English Literature and Creative Writing degree is taught by leading researchers and active writers who regularly publish books, articles, essays, poetry, short stories, nonfiction, novels, hybrid work and more. 

Most modules are taught through group workshops, seminars and online delivery.  Some modules will also include individual tutorials and the dissertation module is delivered entirely through one-to-one tutorials with your supervisor.

In workshops and seminars full use is made of University technology and course materials will be delivered and stored through our Virtual Learning Environment.  It will be possible for you to access the Virtual Learning Environment remotely and you will be encouraged to do so. 

All modules are 30 credits apart from the dissertation which is worth 60 credits.

In a 30-credit module you will receive 33 hours of timetabled teaching and you will be expected to conduct 267 hours of independent study.  The 60-credit dissertation is mainly conducted with independent study.  You will receive 6 hours of tutorial supervision (this includes supervisors looking over your work) and you will be expected to conduct 594 hours of independent study.

Each student is appointed a personal tutor who will be available for academic advice, pastoral support and personal development planning.  Tutors also have weekly office hours.

A critical but supportive environment is achieved through a combination of workshops, research seminars and e-learning. You will be introduced to the practicalities of preparing and submitting your work for possible publication. 


We have a variety of approaches to assessment across the programme depending upon the module.

In the creative writing workshop modules you will be assessed on your creative writing (i.e poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, script or hybrid works) and through critical reflection of you work also. 

In the modules ("Juvenile Trash": Rethinking Genre Fiction and Space, Environment and Modernity) you can choose your method of assessment (creative portfolio and critical reflection, or essay). The mode of assessment in Contesting Identities: Gender and Sexuality in Literature is an essay.

Modules also make use of Virtual Learning Environments for assessments and you may be asked to view material online and then to respond to it (Literary and Critical Arts Research Methods).

You will receive tutor support in class and through our VLE in order to prepare you for each assessment point. We also have library facilities online and at campus. 

Employability & Careers​

Many of our students use the course to generate and hone their own writing for publication.  Our creative practice modules are designed with eventual publication in mind. Our assessments are designed around publication, performance and/or production.  Several of our students have had publication and industry success (see below). 

The MA is also a great choice for those wishing to enhance their employment and professional opportunities in editorial and publishing careers. The programme is suitable for those who would like to become teachers of English literature and creative writing as well as those who are already teachers.  For example, teachers of English at 'A' Level and GCSE often find the course suitable for professional development purposes, providing them with skills to enhance their teaching of English literature creative writing within their current curricula.

Our MA is appropriate for those who would like careers in community-based education and practice. The course also prepares you for further study at PhD level at Cardiff Metropolitan University and beyond.
This degree will encourage you to develop the valuable transferable skills of autonomy, effective collaboration, self-direction, organisation, initiative and adaptability that are highly regarded in the workplace.

A few student successes:

Kate Delaney is an experienced digital marketer with a focus on social media management for small businesses and the book industry.

Dan Mitchell is an award-winning stand-up comedian, comedy writer, TV and radio actor, presenter and event host/compere. His is also a Facilitator for Roald Dahl exhibition at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Keren Williams is Children's Digital Assistant at Candy Jar Limited publishing company (2018)

Durre Shahwar is Associate Editor of Wales Arts Review.  She is a Cardiff-based writer. She has a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing & MA in Creative Writing, both from Cardiff Metropolitan University. She is a Word Factory Apprentice 2017, mentored by Alexei Sayle. In 2015, she was commended for the Robin Reeves Prize for Young Writers.

Barbara A Stensland (MA Creative Writing) writes a blog about living with MS that has recently been published as a book, Stumbling in Flats (2015). It has been shortlisted for The International Rubery Book Award 2015.

Alex Sambrook (MA Creative Writing) had a short story shortlisted in the prestigious Bridport Short Story Competition (2012).

Entry Requirements​ & How to Apply

Applicants should usually have a first or upper second-class honours degree, in a relevant subject. Students that meet the criteria will be invited for interviews.

Selection Procedure:
Application form, CV, submission of a writing portfolio (One of the following: six poems, 2000 words of prose fiction or creative non-fiction, 2000 words of critical writing or 5 mins of script) and interview (the interview can be conducted via Skype or telephone).

International Applicants
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.5 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

How to Apply: 
Applications for this course should be made direct to the university via our self-service facility. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages

If you are interested in using credit from another institution, or have obtained qualifications and/or experience to study for a course at Cardiff Met, you can find further information on this as well as information on how to apply on the RPL page.

Contact Us

For general enquiries, please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact Dr Nick Taylor-Collins 

Key Course Information

Place of Study:
Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy
Cyncoed Campus

Course Length:
1 year full-time; 2 years part-time

More About the Course
Studying an MA helped kick start my career as a freelance copywriter

Lisa tells us why she chose to study the MA at Cardiff Met and how its transformed her confidence and career.
Read more.

International Writing Day

Our Creative Writing lecturers celebrate International Writing Day and tell us about their favourite inspirational books.

Cardiff Met Reading Series

Follow our Cardiff Met Reading Series on YouTube, with helpful tips from guest speakers every month.

Meet the Team
Meet the Team: Christina Thatcher

"I am an American poet, fiction and nonfiction writer with research interests in contemporary poetry, creative writing pedagogy and the role of creative writing in therapeutic and community contexts.

My experiences as a published writer, researcher and community facilitator position me well to support the diverse interests of our Creative Writing students. I assist students in developing their research methods and their creative work. I also provide them with opportunities to facilitate in the community at my local writers’ group, Roath Writers, and give them the tools they need to begin leading workshops in schools and community venues."

Christina Thatcher, Lecturer in Creative Writing.

Performance Sport

Cardiff Met provides and manages a TASS accredited Dual Career Scheme environment that allows students to achieve their academic potential alongside training, playing and performing in their chosen sport.

With personal experience of competing on the international stage and undertaking world leading research, our academic and Performance Sport staff create a truly unique environment of sporting excellence. The integrated model means you can be assured our programmes are informed by the latest in coaching and support services all designed to develop you as an athlete. Coupled with our key partnerships with a variety of National Governing Bodies our programmes work alongside recognised talent pathways. Find out more

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