Creative Writing

Key programme benefits to future students
Our Creative Writing students enjoy teaching visits and readings from outstanding contemporary authors. Visitors to UL Creative Writing have included Colum McCann, Anne Enright, Louise O’Neill, Claire Keegan, Mary O’Malley, Sara Baume, Liz Nugent, Marian Keyes, Sinead Gleeson, Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Ford and Laureate for Irish Fiction Sebastian Barry.

Our Chair of Creative Writing is Prof Joseph O’Connor (author of nine novels including, My Father’s House, Ghost Light, The Thrill of it All, the million-selling Star of the Sea, and Shadowplay, winner of the Novel of the Year Award at the 2019 Irish Book Awards, shortlisted for the UK’s prestigious Costa Novel Award, 2020). Our outstanding teachers include twice Booker Prize-longlisted Donal Ryan, (author of The Spinning Heart, From a Low and Quiet Sea and Strange Flowers), widely acclaimed Rob Doyle (Here Are the Young Men and This is the Ritual), and Irish Book Award nominee Prof Sarah Moore Fitzgerald (The Apple Tart of Hope and A Strange Kind of Brave), internationally published Young Adult author and lecturer on self-motivation for writers.

Subjects taught

Autumn Modules
• Creative Writing 1
• Applied Editing1
• Project Development for Creative Writers

Optional Modules
Literary Modernism | Gender and Sexuality in Irish Writing | Literature, Film and Human Rights | Literature of Migration | Writing Memoir, Biography and Autobiography

Spring Modules
• Writerly Reading: Aspects of Storytelling
• Individual Creative Writing Project with Dissertation Plan
• Creative Writing 2
• A Weekly Workshop
• Applied Editing 2

Optional Modules
Politics and American Literature | Post‐Colonial Theory and Literature | Feminist Literary Theory | Textual Constructions of Cultural Identity | Utopian Theory and Texts | Public Fiction and Private Life | Issues in Modern and Contemporary Poetry | Creative Writers in the Community Creative Writers in the Community

Summer Modules
• Dissertation

Entry requirements

Many applicants for our Creative Writing MA have a first or second class Level 8 honours degree (NFQ or other internationally recognised equivalent) but application is open to everyone, including applicants who do not have a primary degree but have what might be considered equivalent experience, perhaps in the arts, publishing, bookselling, writing, creativity or some related activity. Please note, we always receive more applications than we have places to offer.

Applicants must accompany their formal online application with a 3,000 word sample of their creative writing (this can be one single piece or several pieces totalling 3,000 words) and a one-page letter setting out why they would like to work with us on our MA programme as opposed to the many other Creative Writing MA programmes now available.

Previous experience of Creative Writing workshops is helpful.

The Application Portfolio is assessed by a small committee of staff, who judge submissions on their originality, technique, and readability. Please note that we are not in a position to offer feedback to applicants who are not offered a place.

Applicants must satisfy the English Language Requirements of the University.

Admission will also be based upon a piece or pieces of creative work up to 3000 words submitted by the student as part of the application process. This might be a novel extract, a short story, a set of poems or a screenplay. This creative work will be assessed by a small committee of staff, who will judge submissions on their originality, technique, and intellectual rigour.

What to include with your application
Qualification transcripts and certificates
Supporting Statement
English language qualification if English is not your first language
A copy of your birth certificate/passport
If your qualifications have been obtained in a country where English is an official language this will suffice
If this is not available, the following additional documents must be provided:
• English translation of your qualification(s)/transcripts
• English language competency certificate

Application dates

Preparing your Application:
1. Research your programme: Each postgraduate programme at University of Limerick is unique. Explore your course content, duration, fees, and entry requirements on

2. Check Eligibility: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the course you are interested in. This usually includes your undergraduate degree award, subject specialities, English language proficiency (for non-native speakers), and any specific requirements for the course.

3. Prepare Documents: Gather all the necessary documents. This typically includes your academic transcripts, CV, personal statement, and references. If English is not your first language, you’ll also need to provide evidence of your English language proficiency.

4. Online Application: Once you are ready to apply, visit your postgraduate programme page on and use the Apply Now button to access UL’s online application system. You will need to create an account if you are a new user.

5. Complete the Application: Fill in the application form with all the required details. This will include personal information and academic history.

6. Upload Documents: Upload all the necessary documents that you prepared earlier. Make sure they are clear and legible.

7. Submit Application: Review your application thoroughly to ensure all information is correct and then submit your application. The application fee for your postgraduate application is €50. This includes an option to choose a second choice.

8. Track Your Application: After submission, you can track the status of your application through the online application system.

9. Interview: Depending on the programme, you may be invited for an interview. This could be in person or online.

10. Acceptance: If your application is successful, you will receive an offer email from the university. You will need to accept this offer to secure your place.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and places offered to successful candidates. This means that it’s a good idea to apply as early as possible to increase your chances of securing a place.

Please note that these steps are a general guide and the exact process may vary depending on the specific programme and your individual circumstances. Always check the University of Limerick website or contact the postgraduate admissions department for the most accurate and up-to-date information.


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

Enrolment dates


Post Course Info

Graduate careers
Recent graduates of our Creative Writing MA have been published nationally and internationally and have won or been short-listed for major literary prizes, including the prestigious Hennessy New Writer of the Year Award, the RTE Francis McManus Award, the Listowel Writers’ Week Bryan MacMahon Short Story Award, the Arts Council Next Generation Award and the Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair Award.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Daytime,Full time,Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider