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Creative writing masters dublin

MA Creative Writing

UCD offers two graduate courses in creative writing, an MA and MFA. The MA programme includes workshops, seminars and supervision meetings, providing committed students with the support they need to produce a major piece of writing by the end of the course.

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 Booker Prize winning novelist Anne Enright is Professor of Creative Writing, and among the teaching staff are novelist Sarah Moss, poet Ian Davidson, poet and novelist Paul Perry, novelist and playwright Declan Hughes, life writer and critic Catherine Morris and novelist Paula McGrath.

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.

Careers & Employability

Many graduates of the MA in Creative Writing establish successful writing careers. Graduate of the programme Colin Barrett 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. Other graduates go into the publishing industry, while some go on to do an MFA in Creative Writing.

Curricular information is subject to change

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

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

Vision and Values Statement

A fundamental tenet of the MA in Creative Writing is a belief in the value of learning from writers who have mastered their craft. The writers who contribute to the course will vary from year to year, but recent module conveners have included Anne Enright, Laureate for Irish Fiction, Paula Meehan, Ireland Professor of Poetry, Eilis Ni Dhuibhne, Writer Fellow, Sinéad Gleeson, Writer in Residence, and Paul Perry, Poetry co-ordinator.

Towards that end the MA in creative writing offers a selection of modules in the first semester which direct and encourage students to explore several literary forms, the novel, the short story and poetry. The aim here is to present students with a broad range of possibilities, set them on a course of discovery for a form, or combination of forms, where they will best realise their creative potential. The learning environment is positive, enabling and friendly and the class group, fourteen or less students, are actively encouraged to support each other in their creative endeavours.

The second semester modules provide an opportunity to embark on a more specific path, while at the same time continuing to extend the boundaries of what is possible in fiction. As the semester progresses a student’s individual work is increasingly guided by course conveners and supervisors, both in workshop settings and on a one-to-one basis. The end goal is the creation of a substantial piece of writing, a solid basis from which a student will continue towards the completion of a full work, whether that be a collection of short stories, a novel or a collection of poetry.

MA in Creative Writing

Have you always wanted to write but never had the time, the focus, the space, or the encouragement?

The DCU MA in Creative Writing aims to unlock the writer in you through an immersion in Drama, Poetry and Fiction.

This exciting new course offers an opportunity for early-career and emerging writers to spend a year working with professional writers in a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment to develop their work and to foster connections with the wider literary community.

The DCU MA in Creative Writing offers intensive, hands-on courses in the writing of drama, poetry, screenwriting and prose fiction, as well as tailored courses in critical reading and creative practice.

Programme Aims and Objectives

Our aim is to introduce students to a comprehensive range of creative writing techniques in the forms of drama, fiction, poetry and screenwriting. It is our belief that serious writers will benefit from this exposure to each creative discipline, no matter what the main interest of the student might be, as many aspects of writing technique (for example, imagery, rhythm, narrative structure, voice/language register, the use of rhetorical tropes) are applicable across multiple forms and genres and not specific to one form or genre. Students will engage with seminal texts from Irish and global literature and workshop their work in progress, learning how to deliver and accept constructive feedback on their work, and developing a wide technical vocabulary that will enrich their understanding of their own work and of the work of others. Students who may be interested in pursuing more specialised genres such as life-writing, children’s literature or fantasy would also gain significantly from this pedagogical approach and will have the opportunity to create within their chosen form in the Writing Project. Our hope is that all students will bring the knowledge gained from each distinct seminar into their final piece of creative work/portfolio.

Programme Structure

This is both a full and part-time MA/Level 9 award in Creative Writing. The MA comprises 1 core 30 credit module “Reading like a writer” which runs over both the first and second semesters. Students then have the option to choose three of four 10 credit modules on Fiction, Drama, Poetry and Screenwriting. There is also a 30 credit writing project. Full time students complete all of their credits in one year.

View the current course structure

Why DCU?

  • High quality staff with real expertise and a thorough sense of commitment and teaching experience
  • Three writers with national and international reputation on faculty: Marina Carr, playwright, Kevin Power, novelist and Kit Fryatt, poet
  • Small class sizes ensure that everybody has a voice, and typically promotes a close and mutually supportive relationship between students

Why do this programme?

The DCU MA in Creative Writing is open to early-career and emerging writers of all kinds. Perhaps you have begun to publish and wish to develop your work to a higher standard. Perhaps you have not yet published and are looking for a course that will give you the tools and techniques to submit successfully. Perhaps you have been writing for years and now feel that the time has come to study the craft with greater intensity.

The DCU MA in Creative Writing aims to help writers to complete a body of work in their chosen field (drama, fiction, poetry, screenwriting), and to develop the critical skills necessary to evaluate their own work and the work of others. Graduates from the MA in Creative Writing programme will have developed a wide range of transferable skills, including those of critical analysis, professional discipline, and creative thinking. A thorough grounding in craft is indispensable to any writer in any field, and the skills learned during the MA in Creative Writing at DCU will prepare students for writing careers in a world of expanding opportunity across many sectors. The DCU MA in Creative Writing will inculcate a mastery of language and technique; an ability to produce good work to deadline; a sense of professionalism; and a flexible approach to their own work and the work of others.