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

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

MA English Literature and Creative Writing is a rewarding taught degree taught by published writers and researchers. The course is aimed 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.  You can take our MA for professional development purposes, in order to enhance your career and to prepare your writing for publication. The MA will also help you specialise in the areas of creative practice in order to 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 the programme is its flexibility. MA English Literature and Creative Writing can be studied either full or part time. 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​​

Changes may occur to certain credit values of some modules due to a change in University Policy to deliver credits in multiples of 20, which will be confirmed through a modification event taking place in April 2021. Applicants will be notified of any changes once the modification has been confirmed. 

Creative Writing Workshop 1: Narrative Engineering and Construction

This module aims to:

provide students with a detailed understanding of the approaches and techniques associated with a well-established fictional form – the short story - and to understand the development of that form in the context of the culture of consumerism and literary criticism; enable students to critically engage and experiment with diverse forms, including scriptwriting, digital media, genre writing, children's fiction, collaboration, writing for performance and poetry; to enhance student's critical skills and develop individual's creative practice through weekly workshops focussing on new writing and feedback; to develop student's understanding of the role of structure, form, genre, media and markets in the context of individual creative practice;  to contextualise an entrepreneurial approach to creative writing in relation to literary criticism and market conditions; to demonstrate industry-relevant creative skills and techniques, confirming that they can succeed in competitive and diverse markets for innovative fiction;

On this module students will respond to the challenges associated with creating new and innovative work within an established literary field – the short story:

create new narrative fiction, exploring, creatively, media, form, language and presentation; develop productive practices for self-reflection, giving and receiving feedback; deploy literary analytical skills, research skills and advanced scholarship;  apply self-direction and autonomy in planning and implementing their own creative outputs; use research and team skills, including collaborative team and group work; exercise initiative and personal responsibility.

Creative Writing Workshop 2: Developing poetics, growing the text

This module aims to:

provide students 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, digital fiction sequence; provide students with opportunities to analyse and critically examine texts and concepts, including each other's; provide students with opportunities to develop their own writing skills through task driven workshops, exercises and assessment; provide students with opportunities to explore and develop the theory and approaches explored in the research methods module of the MA

Through this module, students will:

Demonstrate a developed and systematic understanding of the longer writing forms and their theoretical development; demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of techniques and methodologies in creative writing practice; address their own writing abilities and (self) reflect on their writing and that of others; synthesise with critical awareness information in a manner that may be innovative; critically evaluate research and advanced scholarship; demonstrate self-direction and autonomy in planning and implementing their own creative outputs; exercise initiative and personal responsibility

"Juvenile Trash": Rethinking Genre Fiction
In this module you will evaluate the aesthetics and politics of genre fiction.  You will critically analyse, and/or write within, a selection of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, crime fiction, historical fiction, romance, and children's literature.  You will engage with recent scholarship on these genres also.

Space, Environment and Modernity
In this module you will
· examine how literature reflects and shapes the way we see the landscape and the environment; Consider literature's responsibility for the production of concepts of the countryside and the city from the early nineteenth century to the contemporary

· engage with pre- and post-1900 literary works that cover a broad historical range of spaces and landscapes;

· examine the interrelation of aesthetic, cultural and social practices in representations of the landscape and the environment;

· analyse intellectual, cultural, historical and sociological pressures underlying the various responses to the landscape and the environment.

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

Learning & Teaching​

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 (poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, script) and through critical reflection of you work also.   In some modules ("Juvenile Trash": Rethinking Genre Fiction) you can choose your method of assessment (creative portfolio and critical reflection, or essay, for example). In other modules (Space, Environment and Modernity) you will be asked to produce an essay and a blog or creative piece.

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.

Recent student successes:

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.

Emre Karatoprak (MA Creative Writing) had his first novel published on Amazon, Türbülans (2013).

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 enqui​ries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme leader, Dr Elisabeth English:
Tel: +44(0) 29 2020 5839 ​

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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