English Drama & Film - Creative Writing

MFA Creative Writing
Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

UCD offers two graduate courses in creative writing, an MA and MFA.

The MFA programme is a more advanced degree to the MA, and in some instances can follow on from the MA. It differs from the MA by being genre-specific. It also offers courses in creative writing pedagogy and the opportunity to avail of teaching experience on UCD's undergraduate electives in Creative Writing. MFA students will also be part of a smaller cohort which offers very close supervision of a work in progress for the duration of an academic year. It is best suited to students who are working to complete a full-manuscript and have already taken courses in craft and/or related fields.

- Develop your own writing skills under experienced tuition and supervision

- Structural and line editing of the work in progress is a core component and class groups in this module are from two to four students

- Taught by experienced, published staff of international reputation

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:
Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

This course is suited to students who have already acquired the skills associated with a course in creative writing and have a work in progress to which they now wish to devote the greater part of an academic year with a a view to offering that work for publication.

Course Description
The lectures, seminars, workshops and supervision meetings aim to provide committed writers with taught classes on theories and practices of writing, presentation and editing techniques, creative reading of selected texts, and supervision of a major writing project. Among the important issues addressed on an ongoing basis are voice and structure. Every effort is made to ensure that a student progresses on these as well as many other fronts.

UCD is associated with some of Ireland's greatest writers:
UCD has long been associated with some of Ireland's greatest writers, including James Joyce, Flann O'Brien, Mary Lavin, Anthony Cronin, Maeve Binchy, John McGahern, Neil Jordan, Conor McPherson, Colm Tóibín, Hugo Hamilton, Joseph O'Connor, Emma Donoghue and many others. The distinguished playwright, Frank McGuinness, is Professor of Creative Writing, and internationally acclaimed novelist, Colm Tóibín is Adjunct Professor.

Vision and Values Statement
A fundamental tenet of the Creative Writing Programme at UCD is a belief in the value of learning from writers who have mastered their craft. Accordingly, the emphasis is on learning to read like writers. Students who embark on this course will already have acquired many of the skills associated with a programme such as the MA in Creative Writing. They will have a full work in progress and will be given close individual supervision in the progress and completion of that work, with a view to offering it for publication at the end of the course. There are two streams in the MFA, fiction and poetry, with six or less students in each, so the learning environment while upbeat and in every sense enabling, is necessarily quite concentrated.

Programme Outcomes
An ability to select, negotiate, adapt and implement approaches / techniques appropriate to the work in progress.

An in-depth knowledge of successful works in the field / genre in which they are working.

Competence in preparing a manuscript, a synopsis and a biog. for presentation to a literary agent / publisher.

Insight into the different sources and methods of research, with particular emphasis on the assimilation of same into the work in progress.

Mastery of pacing, narrative coherence and ending.

On successful completion of the programme, students will have expertise in close editing and overall structuring a work of fiction / a collection of poetry.

Optional: a broad overview of the pedagogic principals underlying the teaching of creative writing, together with an ability to construct a programme based on same and suited to the developmental stage of students in question [b] An opportunity to teach an undergraduate elective in Creative Writing.

Participated in a weekly visiting writer's programme, contributed to an anthology and attend a selection of the literary events and festivals for which the city is renowned.

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core
Line and Structural Editing 1 CRWT40090
Line and Structural Editing 2 CRWT40100
Novel/Collection of Short Stories/Poetry CRWT40110
Creative Writing Workshop II CRWT40150
Reading Like A WriterCRWT40260

Stage 1 - Option
Pedagogic Strategies 1 CRWT40070
Pedagogic Strategies 2 CRWT40080
Writing for the Theatre DRAM40370

Entry requirements

This course is suited to students who have already acquired the skills associated with a full programme in creative writing [MA, M Phil Creative Writing, BFA, BA Creative Writing Major/Joint Major] or equivalent and have a work in progress to which they now wish to devote the greater part of an academic year with a view to offering that work for publication. Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 7.5 (no band less than 7.0 in each element), or equivalent.

Application dates

MFA Creative Writing FT (Z197)
Duration 1 Years Attend Full Time Deadline Rolling*

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised


1 year full-time.

Post Course Info

Careers & Employability
Many graduates of the MFA in Creative Writing establish successful writing lives, several securing publishing contracts. MFA student Colin Barrett (2015) won the Guardian First Fiction Prize with Young Skins then went on to win both the Frank O'Conner International short story award and the Rooney Prize for Literature. 2015, has also seen the publication of novels by four of our recent graduates; Susan Stairs, The Boy Between; Paula McGrath, Generation; Andrea Carter, Death at Whitewater Church; Henrietta McKervey, What Becomes Of Us. Henrietta won both the Hennessy First Fiction Award and the UCD Maeve Binchy Travel Award in 2014. The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Prize 2011 was awarded to graduate, Helena Nolan, while in 2013, graduate Jessica Traynor won the Hennessy Emerging Poet Award and the Hennessy Writer of the Year Award in 2013.

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Daytime

  • Apply to

    Course provider