Creative Writing: The Novel MA
About the course
We designed the Creative Writing: The Novel MA quite simply to teach everything we think a new novelist ought to know.
It combines a focus on the skills of writing full-length fiction with a clear-eyed exploration of the publishing process and related creative fields.
The programme is designed around the core activity of producing a major prose fiction project, which can be a novel fragment with synopsis, a novella or a collection of short stories, of publishable quality and produced in a marketable form.
This MA has attracted considerable interest among publishers and literary agents, many of whom participate actively in the programme.
All applications should include a sample of writing.
The Internship Programme offers a unique opportunity in a Creative Writing Master's programme for you not only to understand the role that the creative industries play in shaping a writing career but actually to participate in these fields.
Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)
You will take four taught modules including at least one industry-oriented module and then you will be able to work one to one with a tutor to prepare your dissertation of between 20,000 and 40,000 words.
The MA consists of both compulsory and optional modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.
Elements of Fiction
In this module you will analyse and explore the different elements of fiction. Each week the teaching session will begin with a discussion by one of your lecturers on a specific aspect of fiction writing. You will then divide into workshop groups and continue to explore the topic in presentations and seminar discussion of the books set the previous week. After a short break, the students will respond to each others’ writing in a workshop setting.
Planning a Novel
In this module we will study different approaches to planning and structuring a novel together with the advanced writing techniques which are particularly important in specific genres of fiction. We normally adapt the content of this module to the specific interests of each year's group. You will be able to try each genre in turn and will continue to discuss your writing in workshop groups.
Paths to Publication
In this module you will study and learn to understand the creative industries through which authors reach their readers. These industries are changing very rapidly so this module also emphasizes the process of change and prepares you to become part of this ongoing process. We will also examine the strategies which authors have used successfully to navigate the creative industries and we will hear industry professionals give their view of authors and the way they market their writing. We believe that this is the best possible help we can offer you to get your novel published.
After the taught section of the module, we will organise short work placements for students in these industries. Students will then share their experiences through their assessed presentations, in order to build up a comprehensive picture of the entire process. If you are not interested or are unable to take up a placement, you may choose to deliver a presentation on an individual company within the creative industries instead.
- Writers at Work
- Features and Screenwriting
You will be able to work one-to-one with your dissertation tutor to write a novel extract of up to 40,000 words and a related a critical commentary.
Read more about the structure of postgraduate degrees at Brunel
and what you will learn on the course.
Entry criteria 2019/20
- A 2:2 or above UK honours degree, or equivalent internationally recognised qualification. Other qualifications and relevant professional or practical experience will be assessed on an individual basis.
- Usually, applicants to this programme who do not have a degree in English or Creative Writing have taken courses such as those offered by the Open University or the Arvon Foundation or have attended private writing workshops. You should be able to show that you have developed your writing and your understanding of literature through private study.
- A sample of your fiction writing between two and five thousand words, which you feel demonstrates appropriate ability and commitment will be required at application stage.
- Applicants will be invited to an interview.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU entry requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English language requirements
- IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
- Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)
You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.
If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.
Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.
We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.
- You will be taught by leading writers.
- The course is career oriented and focused on current professional practice.
- Our West London campus allows maximum contact with the arts in the capital.
- The Curtis Brown Prize, worth £1,500, is awarded annually to a student from the MA programme in Creative Writing: The Novel. The winner is chosen by senior agents at Curtis Brown, the leading literary and talent agency, from amongst those students who achieve an A or A* grade for their dissertation. Curtis Brown may also, at their discretion, make an offer of representation to the winner.
Fees and funding
Fees for 2019/20 entry
£8,000 full-time; £4,000 part-time
£16,850 full-time; £8,425 part-time
Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.
Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students
UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.
Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).
Fees quoted are per year and may be subject to an annual increase. Home/EU undergraduate student fees are regulated and are currently capped at £9,250 per year; any changes will be subject to changes in government policy. International and postgraduate fees will increase annually in line with RPI, or 5%, whichever is the lesser.
There is a range of financial support available to help you fund your studies. Find out about postgraduate student funding options.