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London creative writing phd rankings

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Choose Kingston’s Creative Writing MFA

Kingston University is proud to offer the first Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in the UK. This course offers talented and aspiring writers the chance to refine their skills under the tutelage of acclaimed professionals while receiving accredited training and experience in teaching in higher education.

The unique combination of creative and practical skills provided on this course will prepare you simultaneously for a career as a publishing writer and an accredited teacher of creative writing.

Admissions to the MFA will based upon the quality of a writing sample as well as an assessment of your publishing potential.

What will you study?

The first year of the course involves writing workshops; modules examining literary genre and texts; the opportunity to take a module designed to prepare you for the world of publishing; and a 15,000-word dissertation, leading to the award of a masters degree. In the second year you progress to even smaller group writing workshops; modules to improve your skills of reading and textual analysis; and the chance to take a suite of modules culminating in the University’s postgraduate teaching certificate. The extensive one-to-one supervision for the dissertation leading to the MFA (no less than the equivalent of 40,000 words) will be provided by one of the course’s permanent staff, one of our writers in residence or an editor from a leading UK publishing company. There may also be opportunities to earn a PGCE teaching certificate and to gain experience assisting with the Kingston University Press.


Book-length creative dissertation; critical reading log of approximately 4,500 words.

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You also take a series of unaccredited modules for which you will produce creative work, reading and teaching logs, critical commentary on selected texts and short essays.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • Advanced Critical Reading

This module will widen students’ knowledge of literature and enable them to develop skills in academic research and critical thinking/ critical writing. This module will also help students to develop a more complex critical and aesthetic awareness of the literary qualities and techniques utilised in a range of genres. Students will be expected to research their chosen genre, reading critical and theoretical as well as creative texts and before presenting a twenty minute paper about their research and how it relates to the development of their dissertation. Students will then present their research to their peers and tutor and be expected to defend their ideas in a rigorous critical discussion. The research carried out for this module will support the production of annotated critical bibliographies required for the dissertation and enable students’ to develop the skills necessary for further research at PhD level or for academic and teaching based careers.

  • Advanced Writers’ Workshop
  • This advanced graduate level workshop is designed to help students to extend the experience of workshopping their own writing and that of their peers as they begin work on their advanced creative dissertation projects.

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    The students’ creative writing will be circulated, read and critiqued at every weekly two-hour workshop session.

  • Creative Dissertation
  • MFA Dissertation
  • This module provides students with one-to-one supervision over an extended period of time (approximately one year for full time students and two years for part time students). The module is assessed in two ways: firstly, by a creative dissertation of 40,000 words that may take the form of a single sustained piece of writing or a collection of pieces from a suitable range of genre; and secondly, by a critical reading log of approximately 4,500 words.

  • Reading, Genre and Impact
  • This module is designed to enhance student understanding of the publishing industry by introducing them to a range of industry experts from independent publishers to top literary agents, editors, scouts and other professionals. The module will provide students with a more realistic understanding of the publishing market and of how to best pursue a career in the industry. Students gain insight into what editors, publishers and agents do, how the industry operates and how best to position their own creative work in a highly competitive marketplace. Topics covered will include: how to write a covering letter to publishers; how to pitch work to agents, magazines and journals; how to approach different publishers; how to gain a wider and deeper understanding of various publishers, how they operate and what they are looking for (from big commercial imprints to innovative small presses) and how students’ can best utilise social media to promote their work and make contacts. Students will also be informed of issues of impact and strategies for best maximising the impact of their own work.

  • Special Study: Workshops in Popular Genre Writing
  • This module offers a regular and intensive review of your writing in one of the following genres: poetry, crime writing, prose fiction, biography, drama, scriptwriting or writing for children. You will be advised on how to strengthen your knowledge of the codes and conventions of your chosen genre to produce a substantial piece or collection of work that will reflect your knowledge of and engagement with your chosen genre. You will apply detailed feedback on your work to your writing as well as using your increased knowledge of your chosen genre to make your writing more effective. These elements will help you improve the key transferable skills of analysis and implementation that will feed forward into your dissertation module and into all analytical/practical tasks you subsequently undertake.

    This module provides the opportunity to write across three genres – including prose, poetry and playwriting – to teach you how to apply literary techniques from other forms to your own work. It will look at:
    • issues of voice, imagery, tone and characterisation;
    • elements of narrative, dramatic and lyrical forms; and
    • contemporary works allowing you to master structure and style and understand how a variety of literary forms function.
    You will also submit a portfolio of writing exercises in the different genres studied.

  • Teaching and Writing Workshop
  • This is a student-led module offered to students taking the MFA Creative Writing course. It is taught through two-hour weekly workshops and it engages students in the general principles and methodologies of teaching creative writing while simultaneously giving them the chance to benefit from the constructive feedback of their peers on drafts of their creative writing. The module is thus designed to help students to extend the experience of workshopping their own work and the work of their peers to prepare for their dissertations. The module leader will direct the first and last workshops of the semester. During semester, students will take turns leading the workshops, monitored by faculty members who will help to direct the critique of student submissions while sharing personal experience, teaching philosophies, and material ideas for guiding workshops (exercises, approaches to reviewing manuscripts, organization of classes etc). Discussions will cover a wide range of issues related to principles of teaching of creative writing and its professional practice. Creative work will be circulated, read and critiqued at every session; issues of teaching, pedagogy, and professionalism will be regularly discussed.

  • Ten Critical Challenges for Creative Writers
  • The module is designed to introduce students to some issues of critical and literary theory. The module is also designed to make students more aware of how their work impacts upon wider literary, cultural, political and philosophical issues. Awareness of these theories and of some of the issues surrounding the production and reception of literary texts will stimulate them, encouraging creative and conceptual thinking. The module will explore debates about literature and the practice of creative writing through readings of essays and texts that are relevant to criticism and theory. The academic component of the assessment will support the creative work with the objective that students will also have to demonstrate critical, academic, analytical skills.

    In this module you will present and discuss your own and each other’s work in a weekly workshop. The draft work presented may include several genres and forms, such as crime writing, fantasy fiction, children’s literature, historical fiction, science fiction, romance and autobiography. Practical criticism of student writing will be accompanied by discussion of the scope or constraints of the various genres, as well as the implications of particular forms. Attention will be paid to the transferable components of good writing: appropriate use of language, narrative pace, dialogue, expression, characterisation and mood.

    You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

    Find out more about Creative Writing MFA

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