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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.

-On successful completion of the programme, students will have a thorough understanding of how to meet many of the challenges confronted in the construction of a piece of fiction; character, voice, place etc.
-Have a solid working knowledge of genres and forms.
-Have learned to read like writers, to recognise the challenges facing authors at various stages in the creation of a piece of fiction and to critically assess the extent to which these challenge have been met.
-Have created a substantial piece of writing, a solid basis from which to continue towards the completion of a full work, whether that be a collection of short stories, a novel or a collection of poetry.
-Participated in a weekly visiting writer's programme, contributed to an anthology and attended a selection of the literary events and festivals for which the city is renowned.
-Have developed a positive sense of themselves as writers, with an active role to play in the literary/artistic culture wherever they should find themselves.

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 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

Deadline Rolling *

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

Course fee

MA Creative Writing (Z012) Full Time
EU fee per year - € 7455
nonEU fee per year - € 18700

***Fees are subject to change

Enrolment and start dates

Next Intake: 2018/2019 September.

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