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Creative Writing

MA Creative Writing

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90)

The MA in Creative Writing builds on the well established commitment of the UCD School of English, Drama and Film to fostering and supporting new writing. The university has long been associated with some of Ireland’s greatest writers, including James Joyce, Flann O’Brien, Mary Lavin, Anthony Cronin, John McGahern, Neil Jordan, Conor McPherson, Marina Carr, Colm Tóibín, Emma Donoghue, Maeve Binchy and many others. The distinguished playwright, Frank McGuinness, is Professor of Creative Writing for the College of Arts and Humanities, and internationally acclaimed novelist, Colm Tóibín, is Adjunct Professor.

The MA programme:
provides opportunities to explore and develop your own creative writing skills supervised by experienced published staff of international reputation.
actively fosters the development of students' capacity to edit their own work.
ensures that the art of writing is informed by contemporary theory and practice.
offers courses incorporating the manuscripts of works of leading writers held in Special Collections and courses which explore material in the National Folklore Collection in UCD, one of the richest archives of oral tradition in the world.

Who should apply?
Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Course Description
The 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.

Entry requirements

The entry requirement for the MA programme is a BA Hons English or equivalent, and/or proven commitment to and experience in the field of creative writing; a portfolio (c.25 pages) of recent creative work; a personal statement of reasons for taking the course and references. 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


1 year full-time.

Careers or further progression

Many graduates of the MA in Creative Writing establish successful writing lives, several securing publishing contracts. Last year, 2015, Colin Barrett won the Guardian First Fiction Prize with Young Skins [Pub. Stinging Fly Press / Jonathan Cape(UK)] Grove Black Cat editions (US) then went on to win both the Frank O'Conner International short story award and the Rooney Prize for Literature. Other graduates go into the publishing industry, while some go on to do an MFA in Creative Writing.

Further enquiries

Contact Name: Hilary Gow
Contact Number: +353 (0)1 716 8480

Subjects taught

Stage 1 - Core
Craft and Composition ENG40050
The Archive of Imagination:Myth and Folklore ENG40740
Reading & Writing the Novel ENG41120
Single Text ENG41340
Workshop-writer in Residence ENG41390
Poetry in Progress ENG41460
Writer Fellow Workshop ENG41920
Writing Project ENG41930

Stage 1 - Option
20th Century Irish Poetry ENG41450
Library of Imagination ENG41470


The MA is suitable for those who want to pursue careers in writing, with specialisations in novel writing, poetry and short stories.

Application date

The following entry routes are available:
MA Creative Writing FT (Z012)
Duration 1 Years
Attendance Full Time
Deadline Rolling *

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

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 2017/2018 September.

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

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