Creative Writing

University College Cork

Creative Writing

Course Outline
Only you can write the book that you would like to write, be it a collection of poetry, or essays, or a novel, or a memoir… nobody else can write that book. The purpose of the MA in Creative Writing at UCC is to give you the tools to write the book waiting to be written, and many more after it. As well as honing the techniques and craft of creative writing, our MA is also designed to introduce you to the publishing industry, and prepare you for a variety of career options, including publishing and the creative arts.

Engaging on a weekly basis with published authors and publishing professionals, we will provide access to the community of writers that exists, both in the wider world and in Cork, with its thriving literary scene. This programme affords you time to write; it will introduce you to other emerging writers, and like-minded individuals on the same pathway as yourself. Ultimately we aim to empower you to connect with your most creative and productive self.

This MA Creative Writing programme is offered by the Department of English which is part of the College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences (CACSSS) at UCC.

Our Department of English treats writing as a living, evolving practice: students taking the course will read and write in a context in which literature is being performed, transformed and adapted, and in doing so offer you a safe space to learn, to practice, and to develop your craft towards inventive and authentic forms of expression. The course as a whole encourages and supports a full exploration of the creative self while also maintaining a strong vocational emphasis.

Directed by IMPAC longlistee Dr Eibhear Walshe, all of our courses are embedded in Cork’s thriving artistic scene, rooted in expert practice and taught by highly accomplished professionals.

A rich variety of modules are available covering fiction, poetry, life writing, creative non-fiction, and reading creatively.

Additionally, the Business of Writing module is dedicated to the professional life of the creative writer, including work placements, and a series of visiting speakers (writers, agents & publishers) such as Mike McCormack, Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, Nicole Flattery, Lisa McInerney, Tramp Press, The Stinging Fly, John Connolly, Will Keohane, Eimear Ryan, Róisín Kiberd, New Island Press and many more.

Writing and reading are intertwined as acts — opposite ends of an attempt to understand what it’s like to be in the world. Never has that been more important. Never has the world needed more writers, and more readers, and an over-arching guide to the UCC MA in Creative Writing’s approach is to foster such readers and writers in achieving their potential.

Subjects taught

Part I (50 credits)
EN6036 The Business of Writing (10 credits)

Plus choose 40 credits from the following:
EN6031 Poetry I (10 credits)
EN6032 Fiction Workshop: Serving the Idea (10 credits)
EN6033 Writing the Self: Fiction & non-Fiction (10 credits)
EN6042 Creative Writing Workshop (5 credits)
EN6056 Reading the Novel Creatively (5 credits)
EN6057 Writing for Other Media (5 credits)
EN6060 Poetry II: Mythology & Contemporary Poetry (10 credits)
EN6061 Poetry Workshop (5 credits)

In order to ensure coherence and a good workload balance over the course of the programme, you will select modules in consultation with the programme coordinator and other members of the Board of Studies as appropriate.

Part II
EN6040 Dissertation in Creative Writing (40 credits)

Entry requirements

Applications will be considered from graduates of all disciplines. Applicants will normally have a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or above, in any discipline. For North American students a cumulative GPA of 3.2 is normally expected. Applicants with relevant writing or arts experience (eg. working in publishing, journalism or arts administration) are also invited to apply.

All applicants will be asked to submit a short piece of creative writing (of 1000 words (any genre). This piece of creative writing will be used by the teaching team to evaluate each applicant's suitability. Further examples of the applicant's work may be requested.

Application dates

Closing Date: Rolling Deadline. Open until all places are filled or no later than 1 May. Early application advised.

Assessment Info

Students are assessed continuously during the course, submitting specified creative work alongside commentaries on their own creative practice.


1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

Enrolment dates

Start Date: 9th September 2024.

Post Course Info

Skills and Careers Information
This MA will provide an excellent foundation for a variety of writing and publishing careers, including authorship across a range of forms and styles, journalism, teaching, publishing, and arts administration.

The design of the MA fosters contacts with agents, publishers, and the professional world of the creative industries; it also produces well-crafted writing in one (or more) of the forms of creative writing.

Students experiment with, engage with, and reflect on a diversity of writing practices and establish an awareness of the role of technique and craft in their own work. They also learn how to interact with peers on an editorial level, and to understand the importance of editing and revision in the process of writing. Developing appropriate research methods and recording processes of self-reflection are also key components of the MA, encouraging students to reflect upon and discuss the conceptual challenges of the creative process, key contexts, and practical concerns. Finally, the MA fosters in its students an understanding of the practical constraints and professional opportunities of life as a writer, and a lifelong relationship with the written word.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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