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You are here Postgraduate > M.Phil. in Creative Writing

M.Phil. in Creative Writing

creative writing ma dublin

1 Year Full-Time

Our Creative Writing faculty are all practicing writers. We've all been through it and we're respectful of how exposing writing can be, and how vulnerable someone can feel as they approach the craft with serious intent for the first time.  Sometimes students tap straight into a rich vein of form. Others take time to eliminate the writers that they don't want to be until they arrive at a true voice. We know that virtuosity can be immediate but also that progress is more often painstaking and incremental.  Our workshops and lectures are supportive places. There is no one path to being a writer but it is our job is to help a student set out the imaginative, technical and practical wayposts of their own practice. We like to think that we do it well.  

The programme benefits from taking place in the heart of Dublin, a city with a vibrant contemporary literary culture – a milieu alive with writers, theatres, literary events, festivals, magazines and publishers. Trinity has a notably rich literary heritage of its own, ranging from Jonathan Swift and Oliver Goldsmith to Derek Mahon and Eavan Boland. The college has also long led the way in the teaching of Creative Writing. Many distinguished writers have graduated from this master’s programme, from established voices such as Conor O’Callaghan, Chris Binchy and Sean O’Reilly to exciting emerging talents such as Sara Baume, Nicole Flattery and Lisa Harding.

creative writing ma dublin

The instruction from the professors and guest speakers, the feedback from my fellow students, and the focus on the work itself was what I needed to bring my writing to the next level.

creative writing ma dublin

There is not a better city than Dublin, better university than Trinity, and better place than the Oscar Wilde Centre to study the craft of fiction writing. The faculty have a wide range of experiences and are overflowing with wisdom, the Oscar Wilde Centre is alive with history, but best of all were my classmates and the diversity of literary influences, experiences, and writing they produced.

Course Structure

The centrepiece of the Creative Writing M.Phil. is the three-hour weekly workshop. This is where you bring work and get to listen to others. The idea of it is daunting, but the reality is hardworking, inclusive and dynamic.  For the first term, students are encouraged to range across form and genre, to break habits and open new vistas. This is where students start to see the core of their portfolio emerge, although most don't see the portfolio taking shape until the following Spring. The ‘Structure in Fiction and Poetry’ module works through the shapes and uses, the interior dynamics of writing.  ‘Writing for a Living’ addresses the demands of reviewing and essay writing. Both modules are structured and intellectually rigorous but at heart they involve writers talking about writing and bringing the class into the orbit of their own experience. In the second semester, the weekly Briena Staunton lectures brings a series of established writers in to talk about the practice of writing. A visiting Writer Fellow also leads a workshop, offering students a further chance to engage with a working writer in close-up. The creation of a final portfolio is the formal endpoint of the MPhil, but it is equally important for us to see writers emerge in rich, artistically textured and diverse surroundings. That is the enduring satisfaction.  

Teaching and Assessment

The programme is designed as a one-year, full-time course. Teaching is delivered through lectures, group workshops and personal tuition. Much of this takes place in the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing, which offers a supportive and sociable working environment for the School of English’s creative writers. Current faculty teaching on the programme include the course director Eoin MacNamee, as well as Deirdre Madden, Kevin Power, Harry Clifton and Carlo Gébler. Visiting Writer Fellows in recent years have included Claire Keegan and Colette Bryce. The course is assessed by means of various essays and portfolios, culminating in working towards a final dissertation portfolio of 15-16,000 words.

Admissions Information

Applicants are expected to hold a university degree or equivalent qualification (at least an upper second or equivalent, GPA of at least 3.3). In addition, applicants must submit a portfolio of selected recent creative work.  The portfolio of sample work should include no more than 3000 words of prose (short stories, excerpt/s from a novel or drama) or 6-8 poems; genres may be combined but this is not a requirement. Applications for admission in 2024/25 opens on the 1 November 2023. Candidates are encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible, as applications are reviewed on a rolling basis as they arrive. The closing date for admission is 31 March 2024. The 2024/25 academic year will start in September 2024.

The Peter Irons Taught Postgraduate Studentships The studentships will contribute towards M.Phil. tuition fees (EU or Non-EU) for any School of English taught postgraduate programme. They are generously funded in memory of Peter Irons. Two studentships will be awarded for the academic year: one for an EU student, and one for a non-EU student.  For further information, please open this PDF link .  

European Excellence Awards   The €1,000 awards are open to applicants with EU fee-status who hold an offer letter for a Postgraduate Taught Masters programme in Trinity College Dublin. Further information can be found here . 

Details of further funding opportunities can be found  here . 

Brontë Prize This prize was founded in 1921 by a bequest from Miss A.G. Woolson of Portland, U.S.A. It is awarded triennially by the Board on the recommendation of a committee for the best essay on either (a) an English author of Irish descent, or (b) the seats of learning in Ireland prior to 900 A.D. or (b) the seats of learning in Ireland prior to 900 a.d. The committee consists of the Regius Professor of Greek and the Professors of Latin and English Literature. A candidate must be of Irish birth or have been domiciled in Ireland for at least ten years. The candidate must also be an undergraduate of the University or a graduate of not more than five years’ standing. The next award will be made in 2022 and essays must reach the Registrar before 1 October 2022. Value, €1,905.

Dublin Cost of Living

Whether you're moving to Dublin from Ireland or abroad, the biggest problem you're likely to face is just getting set-up in the city. Below, you'll find web links providing advice on getting accommodation, placing deposits, household utilities, looking after your finances, and general tenancy agreements. https://www.tcd.ie/students/living-dublin/ https://www.tudublin.ie/for-students/student-life/cost-of-living-guide/ https://www.internationalstudents.ie/info-and-advice/practical-information/cost-of-living

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MA in Creative Writing

MA in Creative Writing

Introduction

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

  • 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.

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  • The Theatre sector/ Playwrights/ Literary managers/ Dramaturges

Requirements

For admission to the MA in Creative Writing, successful applicants will have:

• A degree at the level of an Irish or UK Honours undergraduate degree (H2.2 or above) or equivalent, in a Humanities discipline but holders of other degrees or appropriate professional experience should provide information in their personal statement.

• Applicants with appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may also be considered. This includes discipline-specific knowledge and know-how; transferable skills; basic research competency; personal effectiveness.

• Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) applicants are required to submit a  cover letter  along with their application under the Transcripts section of the portal, affirming their  intent to apply for RPL . For more information on RPL see here . 

•International candidates who are non-native speakers of English must satisfy the University of their competency in the English language.

Due to the specialist nature of this programme, additional criteria may be used to assess suitability to undertake this programme. For further information, please contact the Programme Chair using the contact details above

To apply for this programme:

All Applicants must apply through DCU's Student Application Portal which is available here . Here's a quick step by step guide if you need help with your application:

  • Provide Academic Transcripts for each and every year of study with English translation, if applicable.
  • Provide an example of writing, creative or otherwise, on a topic/theme of your choice maximum 3,000 words prose / 15 pages drama (correctly formatted) / 12 pages of poems.
  • Personal Statement (250-750 words)
  • If applicable, provide evidence of competence in the English language as per DCU entry requirements. Please see link http://www.dcu.ie/registry/english.shtml

Please note if you are a non EU student and require a study visa, you are not eligible to apply for part-time programmes as study visas are only granted for full-time programmes.

Application Deadlines

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until the following dates:

  • Closing date for non EU applicants is 1st July 2024
  • Closing date for EU applicants is 31st July 2024

Note applicants who require a study visa for the purposes of studying at DCU, are advised to apply as early as possible.

All entry requirements should be met before the commencement of the programme.

Application Queries

For EU applicant queries, please visit https://www.dcu.ie/registry/eu-postgraduate-taught-admissions or email [email protected]

For non EU applicant queries, please visit https://www.dcu.ie/registry/international-admissions-undergraduate-and-postgraduate or email [email protected]

Commencement of Programme

The programme commences in September 2024

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creative writing ma dublin

Masters in Creative Writing (Ireland)

creative writing ma dublin

Creative Writing MA

This programme is available full-time over one academic year or part-time over two years. It enables students to develop their Creative Writing skills through consideration of the work of established writers; through study of the many aspects of a piece of successful Creative Writing; through assignments that foster strategies for revision of work; and through an understanding of the requirements of the redrafting, submission and publication processes.

creative writing ma dublin

MA (Writing)

The MA in Writing is a one-year, full-time course. It covers a range of genres and forms, and it interacts with our other postgraduate offerings in publishing, literature and drama. The course thus builds on our strengths in the teaching of writing for page and stage, screen, journalism and other media. The course is open to applicants from any disciplinary background (within and beyond Arts) and welcomes all types of writing interests. A ‘Qualifier’ option is available for potential applicants who do not have a university degree but have a suitable publications record or sufficient experience in a related creative field.

creative writing ma dublin

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.

creative writing ma dublin

Only you can write the book that you would like to write, be it a collection of poetry, or essays, or a novel, or a memoir… nobody else can write that book. The purpose of the MA in Creative Writing at UCC is to give you the tools to write the book waiting to be written, and many more after it. As well as honing the techniques and craft of creative writing, our MA is also designed to introduce you to the publishing industry, and prepare you for a variety of career options, including publishing and the creative arts.

creative writing ma dublin

M.Phil. in Creative Writing

Our Creative Writing faculty are all practicing writers. We’ve all been through it and we’re respectful of how exposing writing can be, and how vulnerable someone can feel as they approach the craft with serious intent for the first time. Sometimes students tap straight into a rich vein of form. Others take time to eliminate the writers that they don’t want to be until they arrive at a true voice. We know that virtuosity can be immediate but also that progress is more often painstaking and incremental. Our workshops and lectures are supportive places. There is no one path to being a writer but it is our job is to help a student set out the imaginative, technical and practical wayposts of their own practice. We like to think that we do it well.

creative writing ma dublin

MA/MFA 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.

MA Writing for Stage and Screen

The Writing for Stage and Screen MA offers you the opportunity to devote a considerable amount of time to write, evolve and reflect on your own creative practices. Today like never before, writers are moving between different media forms and this programme allows you to develop work across diverse platforms. Graduates of the MA in Writing for Stage and Screen are equipped to work in theatre, media, cultural and educational settings, and to further their research into theatre and screen.

creative writing ma dublin

MA Creative Writing

The MA in Creative Writing combines workshops and seminars with one-on-one mentoring of writing projects. Students may take optional modules in literature or other creative modules from across the Faculty, such as Writing for Screen Media. Assessment is through shorter pieces of writing, such as craft essays and reflective journals, and a longer project. The MA, taught by award-winning, internationally-renowned writers, will focus on guiding each student to further develop their voice as a writer, as well as to enrich their existing interests as a writer with new perspectives and a grasp of stylistic approaches. Tactics for editing and revision will be taught in tandem with generative exercises and practices aimed at deepening each student’s relationship to their creative process. Students will have the opportunity to build and develop networks which will sustain their writing practice beyond the MA degree.

creative writing ma dublin

MA English (Creative Writing)

If you have a commitment to imaginative writing, if you would like to develop your artistic practice, build your professional skills as an author and engage with the vibrant creative community of the Seamus Heaney Centre, then the MA in English (Creative Writing) is for you. The programme includes prose writing (fiction and creative non-fiction) and script writing (screen and stage), and invites you to explore all these modes of writing before choosing a specialism.

MFA Playwriting

The theatrical landscape is constantly being moulded by theatre makers who are presenting original works or reimagining classics. Critical to this process is new writings and adaptations. The Master in Fine Art degree in Playwriting at The Lir Academy offers every student the opportunity to develop and hone their unique writing skill so that each play written is the best it can be.

MA/PDip (Drama and Theatre Studies)

The MA in Drama and Theatre Studies, housed at the O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, is a world-leading course that combines critical perspectives on the practice of theatre history/theory with theatre-making. A diverse range of modules allows students to build a programme that suits their chosen career trajectory– whether in theatre practice, Irish drama, playwriting, theatre criticism, applied theatre or a blend.

MA Theatre Practice and Performance

Our MA in Theatre & Performative Practices at University College Cork is designed to produce flexible, empowered theatre artists who understand performance as a form of embodied intelligence and a way of engaging with our troubled and beautiful world. This MA provides a challenging and supported space for graduates and professional practitioners who are interested in making and thinking about innovative, cutting-edge work. We conceive theatre and performance as vibrant world-making and world-changing strategies for engagement and change through practice and theory. If you choose this MA programme you will learn to follow your instincts and explore your unique creativity, within a rigorous critical context and research environment.

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Dublin Book Festival

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Course Description

Ma in creative writing.

Introduction

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.

  • 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.

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Dublin.ie – https://dublin.ie/study/stories/dublins-masters-in-creative-writing/

Dublin’s Masters in Creative Writing

Creative Writing postgraduate programmes have long been a staple of the academic world in the US. Prominent writers like Raymond Carver, David Foster Wallace and Joyce Carol Oates have all worked as creative writing professors since as far back as the seventies.

Yet, despite Dublin’s literary heritage and wealth of authors, it has only recently come to be recognised as a centre of excellence for such courses. Now, it attracts scores of hopeful young writers from around the world every year.

UCD’s Masters in Creative Writing

“You can’t teach people to be creative. You can only accelerate the pace at which people are developing creatively.”

These are the words of Professor James Ryan, the director of UCD’s creative writing programmes – including its Masters course , which started in 2006 and now receives applications from all over the world.

One of the bigger pulls for me was the fact that I was going to be studying in Oscar’s house.

UCD has a long association with some of Ireland’s greatest writers – James Joyce, John McGahern and Maeve Binchy among them. Its successful MA applicants will go on to work with revered writers, such as distinguished playwright Frank McGuinness, who is a Professor here, and internationally acclaimed novelist Colm Tóibín, who teaches part-time.

Alumni also include Colin Barrett, author of the searingly popular Young Skins  and winner of The Guardian First Book Award. “The people who come to us are already creative writers, who really wish to hone their craft,” says Ryan.

creative writing ma dublin

Plaque on the wall at 21 Westland Row, birthplace of Oscar Wilde (Image: Rohan Swamy)

One student’s experience at UCD

Dublin.ie spoke with Dubliner Helen Chandler, who graduated back in 2008, about her experience on UCD’s Masters in Creative Writing course.

“I was 24 at the time, a year out of undergrad and flailing around without a proper job, wondering what to do with myself,” she says.

The people who come to us are already creative writers, who really wish to hone their craft.

After taking classes at the Irish Writers Centre and working various office jobs, she decided to take the next step in her education and do a Masters. As one student in a class of fourteen, she remembers her time fondly and credits Professor James Ryan as “a warm, kind and supportive presence”.

“It was amazing to have someone like that at my disposal, who believed in my work, who saw my work as legitimate,” she says. “I ran into James at a party years after I graduated and he not only remembered me, but quoted the opening line from a story I’d written for his workshop – word for word! That’s dedication.”

Helen Chandler, who attended the UCD MA in Creative Writing in 2007/2008.

Helen Chandler

Helen is now living in the US, where she teaches Creative Writing at the University of Virginia. Her writing has also appeared in The Dublin Review  and The Stinging Fly.

“There’s so much talk about how writing can’t be taught and about how MA and MFA programmes create a certain ‘type’ of writer,” she says.

However, for Helen, the course was crucial – particularly when it came to providing her with the time she needed to write.

“You just have to be smart about it,” she says. “Don’t go into debt for a degree in creative writing. That would be insane. Save for an MA or get into a fully-funded MFA programme”.

She continues: “And once you’re in, make use of every minute. Conference with the professors, spend hours talking about writing and literature with your colleagues, write like a motherf***er!”

More of Dublin’s creative writing courses

UCD isn’t the only Dublin university offering Creative Writing postgrads. The American College offers an MFA in Creative Writing under the guidance of such acclaimed writers as Mia Gallagher, Sean O’Reilly and Mike McCormack.

Trinity has the city’s longest established programme, offering an M.Phil in Creative Writing since 1997. This is taught in the rooms at 21 Westland Row – the house where Oscar Wilde was born.

creative writing ma dublin

Gavin Corbett

Dublin-based author Gavin Corbett, who was a Writing Fellow at Trinity and taught on the M.Phil, says he sees Dublin as a natural base for courses of this sort.

Beyond the classroom, the streets are steeped in literary history and Dublin’s literary culture is: “One of our most strenuous exports – other than stout, creamy liqueur and soda bread”.

“It’s Dublin’s identity in a nutshell, its writers and writing,” he says.

So to what does he attribute the growing popularity of Dublin’s creative writing programmes?

He thinks that the momentum developed from the MFA culture in America and Dublin’s third-level institutions have recognised the “very unique commodity that we have – something that the wider world is interested in drawing from”.

A Trinity graduate’s experience

Rohan Swamy from Bombay, India completed the Trinity M. Phil five years ago. The course was “on his radar” in India and he was familiar with the work of teachers like Deirdre Madden and Carlo Gebler.

“I knew exactly how good they were,” he says. Plus, Trinity was more financially viable than similar programmes in the US. Once the course began, he says he felt “spoiled” to have the prominent poet, Professor Gerald Dawe, as his supervisor.

Dublin’s writers have long influenced Rohan. “I drew up on Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker when I was doing my own reading back in India,” he says. “One of the bigger pulls for me was the fact that I was going to be studying in Oscar’s house. That was a big deal.”

Making the move from India to Ireland

Rohan also believes that Ireland and India share a lot of values when it comes to cultural history. He cites the two countries’ history of oppression, battles for independence and divisions along religious lines.

“I chose to focus on the similarities rather than the differences,” he says.

creative writing ma dublin

Rohan Swamy

Rohan describes his first night in Dublin after arriving on his own.

“I met random strangers, who told me they’d never met anyone from India before. They showed me around and bought me a couple of drinks and wanted to listen to my story and it was so nice,” he says.

“Even though I knew I was halfway across the world from India, I didn’t feel like I was in an alien land. It was more like home.”

Today, Rohan works behind the scenes at Trinity College, but he continues to write short stories and articles as well. He has been published in both Ireland and India.

Never wanting to leave Dublin

Ana Arellano from California was a classmate of Rohan’s on the M. Phil at Trinity College. She first fell in love with Dublin on a family holiday and became determined to pursue a postgrad here.

“I’ve always had a fascination with Ireland since I was a kid, but I chose Trinity because of its literary history,” she explains.

She calls Oscar Wilde her ‘spirit animal’ and says she went to Trinity specifically to follow in his footsteps. As a writer of young adult fantasy fiction, Ana wanted to find her voice as a writer. And her studies in Dublin have certainly helped.

Ana Arellano

Ana Arellano

On the possibility of returning to California, Ana says: “I don’t ever want to go back. I adjusted quickly to the Dublin way of life. There’s a very: ‘It’s grand’ attitude. And that to me is perfect.”

Ana is still based in Dublin and continues to write young adult fiction. Recently, her work was published in the Honest Ulsterman too.

Ana acknowledges the cynicism that some people have toward creative writing postgrads, but she doesn’t let it get to her.

“I’m doing what I love to do and I’m really proud of the fact that I got accepted into Trinity,” she says. “I still can’t believe that.”

Want to go to university in Dublin? Check out our articles on studying in the city for more information.

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a photo of alison lyons, the director of the Dublin unesco City of Literature programme, holding a copy of echoland

Dublin UNESCO City of Literature

Dublin residents are by now familiar with the UNESCO emblem on programmes and posters for the city’s many literary events, but it was only on the 26th of July 2010, that Dublin was designated a City of Literature by the cultural arm of the United Nations. The fourth city to receive such a designation, after Iowa City, Melbourne and Edinburgh, it was a recognition of Dublin’s lively contemporary literary scene built on the strong foundation laid by past masters.

creative writing ma dublin

The Third Level – From Munich to Dublin

Doing a Masters in Dublin: An international student’s experience Romina Dashghachian is from Germany, while her parents are from Iran, and she came to Ireland to study in Dublin. In 2019, she began her Masters Degree in Public Relations at DCU. During her stay, Romina shared her experience as an international student with Dublin.ie. Why Romina did her Masters in Dublin Romina reckons that Dublin and her hometown of Munich have a lot in common. “Munich has a community feel, so you never feel like you’re in a giant anonymous city,” she says. “And that’s why I like Dublin as well. When you’re here, you don’

creative writing ma dublin

Dublin Treasures – Sweny’s Pharmacy

Sweny’s: A literary landmark frozen in time Tucked away on Lincoln Place, in the heart of Dublin’s south inner city, is Sweny’s pharmacy. 100 years ago, it was made famous by James Joyce’s Ulysses. Though Sweny’s is no longer a working pharmacy, it is a key part of Dublin’s literary culture. Today, it is run by volunteers who maintain its original 1850s Victorian style. A mahogany counter and old glass cabinets outline the room. Shelves of medicine cover the walls and old photographs sit in the cabinets. There’s even some hundred-year-old prescriptions still waiting to be collected. The original chemist sign is still intact too

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MASTER OF FINE ARTS IN CREATIVE WRITING

New programme format.

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing holds accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), an accrediting body recognised for institutions like Princeton, Georgetown, and Columbia. Although our strategic plan involves pursuing Irish accreditation through Quality and Qualification Ireland (QQI), this accreditation is not currently in place. It is important to note that Irish Immigration authorities only grant study visas for QQI-accredited programmes.

Given these circumstances, the new programme format is as follows:

In-person classes

  • EU students
  • Non-EU students residing in Ireland on a non-study visa
  • Non-EU students in special circumstances**

Live stream classes

  • Non-EU students

The live-streamed classes will be held concurrently with in-person sessions from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm (Irish time) on Tuesdays & Thursdays.

**Some non-EU students might be able to attend classes in person for a short duration. However, this is not mandatory. Please send an email to [email protected] for more information.

Based in the childhood home of Oscar Wilde at 1 Merrion Square and delivered in association with the Irish Writers’ Centre, the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing offers aspiring or published writers a one-year course of study which examines the process and practice of producing prose fiction.

Our unique blended learning approach, encompassing both in-person and live-streamed sessions, ensures that both national and international students have access to a world-class educational experience, no matter their location.

The work of recent classes has included pieces that were shortlisted for the Penguin Ireland Short Story Competition, twice longlisted for the Fish Short Story Competition and two students who were selected as finalists in the IWC Novel Fair.

Within a critical workshop and mentoring format, students are provided with tuition and advice in completing either a novel or a short story collection. Consideration is given to the intellectual, psychological, economic and cultural influences that underpin and drive the creative writing process. The course also emphasizes the business and professional environment of writing, with seminars presented by agents and publishers and master classes by established writers. The programme provides the student both with expert guidance in producing a substantial written work of publishable standard, and with a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical and practical requirements of successful participation in the activity of writing, whether as a professional career or as part of a lifelong personal commitment to creative endeavour.

A graduate of the programme will be in a position to consider submission of a complete and polished work to a literary agent or publisher. He or she will also be prepared for participation in a range of complementary fields such as journalism, publishing, editing, online writing, advertising, marketing and teaching.

The degree develops a broad spectrum of transferable skills, including advanced and adaptable writing techniques, informed responsiveness to critical and editorial commentary, self-management and organizational competencies, and a high level of expertise in understanding and locating creative work within a historical and critical context. These skills are applicable not only in careers that draw directly on the ability to write creatively, but also in a wide array of related business, cultural and social activities such as keeping a web page, blogging, advocacy and grant writing, criticism and commentary.

Finally, the degree highlights the beauty and, amid such suffering as is necessary, the joy of creative expression. Regardless of the particular path a graduate follows, he or she will leave the programme with an enhanced, lifelong appreciation of the manifold intellectual and emotional benefits and consolations to be found in the practice of creative writing.

The Irish Writers’ Centre

IWCThe MFA in Creative Writing is delivered in association with the Irish Writers’ Centre, based at 19 Parnell Square. The Irish Writers’ Centre has long been a hub of literary activity in Dublin, supporting established and aspiring writers throughout Ireland from its location in what Joyce called ‘the heart of the Hibernian metropolis.’ It is a non-profit organisation, aimed at promoting literature and writers in Ireland. Since it was founded in 1987, the Irish Writers’ Centre has welcomed many award winning writers through its doors, including Nobel, Costa, Man Booker, IMPAC, and Pulitzer Prize winners. It has also served as an important platform for breakthrough talent, with many young writers giving their first public readings at the Centre.

The Irish Writers’ Centre has considerable experience and expertise in teaching and promoting creative writing. These qualities, allied with American College Dublin’s long background in liberal arts higher education, have informed the development of the programme and provide ongoing support for it. The Centre serves as a space for programme events and presentations, facilitates MFA students in establishing contacts with agents, publishers and other key figures in the publishing industry, and provides a context for students to engage and interact with the Dublin and Irish writing community.

All MFA in Creative Writing students are required to be members of the Irish Writers’ Centre during the year of their registration on the programme and are encouraged to enter into its culture and activities, both during the course and in the years beyond. Additionally, as a general principle, students are encouraged to draw on the observations and other writerly enjoyments and inspirations that attend the experience of travelling the paths, by-ways and spaces that link Merrion and Parnell squares.

Some of our instructors are:

Nessa O’Mahony

Nessa recently published her first novel, The Branchman. She teaches on the MFA’s craft of creative writing course.  Nessa O’Mahony is a Dublin-born poet. She has published four books of poetry – Bar Talk (1999), Trapping a Ghost (2005), In Sight of Home (2009) and Her Father’s Daughter (Salmon 2014). A fifth, The Hollow Woman and the Island, is published by Salmon Poetry in May 2019. She co-edited with Paul Munden Metamorphic: 21st century poets respond to Ovid (Recent Work Press 2017).

Carlo Gébler

Carlo Gébler teaches the short story workshop on the MFA in Creative Writing.  Carlo Gébler was born in Dublin in 1954. His most recent publications (all from New Island) are The Projectionist, The Story of Ernest Gébler, The Wing Orderly’s Tales, a collection of stories told by a prison orderly, and The Innocent of Falkland Road, a novel set in London in the 1960s. Carlo Gébler was a teacher in HMP Maze from 1991 – 1997, writer-in-residence in HMP Maghaberry, Co. Antrim from 1997 to 2015 and now works occasionally in Hydebank College (formerly Hydebank YOC) and HMP Magilligan. He also teaches on the MPhil in Creative Writing in the Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin, and is a member of Aosdana.

Chris Binchy

Chris Binchy teaches the novel workshop on the MFA in Creative Writing.  Chris Binchy is the author of four novels. He has received bursaries from the Irish Arts Council and Dublin City Council. In 2012 he was writer-in-residence for Dún Laoghaire/Rathdown Council. He was Visiting Writer Fellow in Trinity College Dublin in 2013 and in 2015 held the Writer Fellowship at University College Dublin.

The MFA in Creative Writing consists of a variety of taught classes, workshops, and a culminating final project, which is a substantial portion of a novel or a collection of short stories. Although, for the most part, this course is taught remotely, students will have the opportunity to visit the historic Oscar Wilde House in Dublin and attend some classes during the semester. All modules are mandatory, with the exception of one of the writing workshop classes in the first semester; novelists are required only to take the novel writing workshop and short story writers are only required to take the short story workshop, not both (however, though attendance in both is not mandatory, any student is wishes to participate in both is welcome to do so). The creative writing project is developed throughout the course of the programme (indeed, some students may come to the degree with work already in some stage of completion which is developed in the programme) and is completed at the conclusion of the two taught semesters.

Imagination and storytelling

Writing workshop 1: the novel

Writing workshop 1: the short story

The writer as critic

The craft of creative writing

The business of writing and publishing

Writing workshop 2: the novel

Writing workshop 2: the short story

Masterclass in fiction writing

  • Creative writing project

Module descriptions

The module examines the human propensity of using language to transform personal and social experience into imaginative constructs expressed in narratives, oral and written. Storytelling is one of cultural universals, from tribal myths to the modern novel and TV sitcoms, and its main functions include artistic self-expression, imposing cognitive order onto lived experience, and addressing the elusive questions of the purpose and meaning of life.

The module is designed to develop greater competence and self-management in the complex process of writing a novel. Taught by an established novelist, the workshop guides students through the stages of planning, drafting, revising and completing a novel, with a focus on controlling and developing plot, characterisation, dialogue, and narrative style.

Taught by an established short story writer, the workshop is designed to help writers to develop ideas for short stories and to draft and revise their stories effectively. Students are advised on such aspects of short story writing as setting up, developing and resolving the plot; introducing setting and context; developing characters; writing meaningful dialogue; establishing narrative point of view, tone and style.

The module is designed to aid writers in developing skills and techniques of literary criticism; in other words, how to write effective, interesting, and persuasive reviews and interpretive analyses of literary fiction based on one’s experience, knowledge of literature, and insight into the creative writing process.

This module provides students with practical guidance on the structural and technical aspects of fiction writing. Using examples from canonical fiction, the course discusses such topics as planning and preparation; relations between story and plot; plot structure and development; authorial and narrative voice; objective and subjective narration; characterization and character hierarchy; individualization of dialogue; employment of style, tone, metaphor, diction, and other literary devices.

Presented by agents, publishers and other professionals from the publishing industry, the module offers expert guidance on successful interaction with literary agents and publishing houses, publishing rights and contracts, applications for bursaries, e-publishing, publicity and marketing, editing and copy-editing, copyright law.

This workshop is the second semester continuation of the first semester workshop on the novel. Students continue to share and discuss their work-in-progress with an experienced writer and other student-writers. Students offer drafts of their chapters for classroom discussion, thus obtaining the benefit of professional feedback and peer review to help them in the creative process.

This workshop is the second semester continuation of the first semester workshop on the short story. Students continue to share and discuss their work-in-progress with an experienced writer and other student-writers. Students offer drafts of their short stories for classroom discussion, thus obtaining the benefit of professional feedback and peer review to help them in the creative process.

In this module an established writer shares his or her experience and gives expert advice on writing fiction effectively and successfully. The discussion focuses on such aspects of the creative writing process as generating and researching ideas for new fiction; thinking about story and characters; developing the plot; refining sentences and paragraph construction, and developing authorial voice and tone. Students are also given first-hand advice on how to promote their work, how to deal professionally with publishers, agents, and editors.

After completing all the taught modules students are assigned an experienced writer as a supervisor to guide them through the process of writing a work of fiction: selected chapters from a novel, a short story or a collection of short stories. Students work on their writing project on their own, meeting their supervisor regularly to receive helpful feedback and professional advice on their work in progress. The word limit is approximately 15,000 words; the student should include in the submission a 1500 word critical analysis outlining the authorial decisions taken in arriving at the submitted piece.

Attendance in all assigned modules is mandatory. Students are assessed by their participation in classroom activities, as specified by the lecturer. The final award is based on course work and the final project: 50 percent is made up from assessments in the taught modules, while the remaining 50 percent is related to the creative writing project, which involves a portfolio of about 15,000 words of original literary fiction, corresponding approximately to three chapters from a novel or to four short stories.

An honours bachelor degree in a cognate discipline may be an advantage but is not a necessity for entry to the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. The principal requirements for admission to the programme are demonstration of a sufficient interest in the activity of creative writing and furnishing of evidence of an ability to undertake and benefit from a course of master’s level study and tuition in creative writing.

An applicant for the MFA should submit to the Admissions Office a statement of approximately 500 words of his or her interest in undertaking the course and a portfolio of his or her prose writing. The portfolio may consist of a single piece of writing or of a collection of up to four samples; the entire length of the portfolio should be approximately 3000 words. The applicant will also be required to attend an interview (in person or by means of the internet).

Along with academic knowledge that students receive throughout the duration of their chosen subject, students will also acquire and develop transferable career skills from their degree discipline. These skills along with potential career paths are provided below to give you a well-rounded view of what the course has to offer.

These skills include:

  • Advanced skills and competencies in written communication
  • Advanced skills and competences in academic research
  • Detail-oriented
  • Self-management
  • Organisational competencies
  • Critical and editorial commentary

Graduates of MFA in Creative Writing will be prepared to participate in a range of complementary fields including:

  • Online writing
  • Advertising

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MFA Creative Writing

Graduate taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90).

UCD offers two graduate courses in creative writing, an MA and MFA.  The MFA programme is a more advanced degree than the MA, and in some instances can follow on from the MA. MFA students will be part of a smaller cohort which offers very close supervision of a work in progress for the duration of an academic year. It is best suited to students who are working to complete a full-manuscript and have already undertaken courses in craft and/or related fields.

  • Develop your own writing skills under experienced tuition and supervision
  • Structural and line editing of the work in progress is a core component and class groups in this module are from two to four students
  • Taught by experienced, published staff of international reputation

Careers & Employability

Many graduates of the MFA in Creative Writing establish successful writing lives, several securing publishing contracts.  MFA student Colin Barrett (2015) 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. 2015, has also seen the publication of novels by four of our recent graduates; Susan Stairs, The Boy Between ;  Paula McGrath, Generation;  Andrea Carter, Death at Whitewater Church;  Henrietta McKervey, What Becomes Of Us.    Henrietta won both the Hennessy First Fiction Award and the UCD Maeve Binchy Travel Award in 2014. The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Prize 2011 was awarded to graduate, Helena Nolan, while in 2013, graduate Jessica Traynor won the Hennessy Emerging Poet Award and the Hennessy Writer of the Year Award in 2013.

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

This course is suited to students who have already acquired the skills associated with a course in creative writing and have a work in progress to which they now wish to devote the greater part of an academic year with a a view to offering that work for publication.

Course Description

The lectures, 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.

UCD is associated with some of Ireland’s greatest writers UCD has long been associated with some of Ireland’s greatest writers, including James Joyce, Flann O’Brien, Mary Lavin, Anthony Cronin, Maeve Binchy, John McGahern, Neil Jordan, Conor McPherson, Colm Tóibín, Hugo Hamilton, Joseph O’Connor, Emma Donoghue and many others. The distinguished playwright, Frank McGuinness, is Professor of Creative Writing, and internationally acclaimed novelist, Colm Tóibín is Adjunct Professor.

Vision and Values Statement

A fundamental tenet of the Creative Writing Programme at UCD is a belief in the value of learning from writers who have mastered their craft. Accordingly, the emphasis is on learning to read like writers.  Students who embark on this course will already have acquired many of the skills associated with a programme such as the MA in Creative Writing. They will have a full work in progress and will be given close individual supervision in the progress and completion of that work, with a view to offering it for publication at the end of the course.  The MFA focuses on fiction in a small cohort so the learning environment is upbeat and in every sense enabling, and is necessarily quite concentrated.  

Programme Outcomes

On successful completion of the programme, students will have

  • an ability to select , negotiate, adapt and implement approaches / techniques appropriate to the work in progress.
  • an in-depth knowledge of successful works in the field / genre in which they are working.
  • competence in preparing a manuscript, a synopsis and a biog. for presentation to a literary agent / publisher.
  • insight into the different sources and methods of research, with particular emphasis on the assimilation of same into the work in progress.
  • mastery of pacing, narrative coherence and ending.
  • expertise in close editing and overall structuring a work of fiction.
  • contributed to an anthology and attended a selection of the literary events and festivals for which the city is renowned.

What modules can I take?

View All Modules Here

Fees, Funding and Scholarships

Tuition fee information is available on the  UCD Fees website . Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see  International Scholarships .

Entry Requirements

This course is suited to students who have already acquired the skills associated with a full programme in creative writing [MA, M Phil Creative Writing, BFA, BA Creative Writing Major/Joint Major] or equivalent and have a work in progress to which they now wish to devote the greater part of an academic year with a view to offering that work for publication. 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.

Testimonial

Dave Rudden MA 2013 Award-winning Author

The Creative Writing Masters in UCD has been incredibly useful to me as an author. I still use some of the lessons I learned in that year in my creative writing classes, and the expert advice of the lecturers contributed massively to me finding a home for my Knights of the Borrowed Dark trilogy at Puffin. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Related Programmes

  • MA Creative Writing FT

Facilities and Resources

A visiting writer programme brings all graduate students into contact with some of Ireland’s finest writers as well as literary agents and publishers. Every year a writer in residence provides a workshop and individual direction to students. Both MA and MFA students can also gain experience in the editing and production of the programme’s Creative Writing journal HCE, and participate in the UCD-based Associated Writing Programmes’ (Ireland) annual conference.

How to apply?

The following entry routes are available:

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

Open Days and Events

Student stories

See details of any upcoming events and how to register.

Programme Overview:

Ask a question:.

From time to time UCD would like to send you further information that we feel, based on your enquiry, would be of interest to you.

Graduate Research Duration

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Study options.

  • International

What will I learn?

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.

  • Journalism (online, radio & print)
  • Arts administration
  • Directing & producing in theatre, film, radio, television
  • Librarian & bookselling
  • Advertising
  • Education/Teaching
  • Web content creators/managers.
  • The Theatre sector/ Playwrights/ Literary managers/ Dramaturges

Which department am I in?

Full time (1 year).

Please check with institution

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

1 July 2024

More details

Apply online through the Postgraduate Applications Centre. All Applicants must submit: Certified academic transcripts for each and every year of study, with certified English translations if applicable; Personal statement of 200 words maximum outlining your motivation for applying and relevant experience. Non Native English Speakers must also submit: Evidence of English competency which meets DCU entry requirements. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the programme is full or until the following dates: Closing date for non EU applicants is 1st July 2024

9 September 2024

Glasnevin Campus,

Dublin 9, D09 V209,

Republic of Ireland

Entry requirements

For international students.

For admission to the MA in Creative Writing, successful applicants will have:

  • A degree at the level of an Irish or UK Honours undergraduate degree (H2.2 or above) or equivalent, in a Humanities discipline but holders of other degrees or appropriate professional experience should provide information in their personal statement.
  • Applicants with appropriate combinations of professional qualifications and experience may also be considered. This includes discipline-specific knowledge and know-how; transferable skills; basic research competency; personal effectiveness.

English language Requirements

  • IELTS ACADEMIC - Overall score 6.5 or above, with a minimum of 6.0 in all components.
  • TOEFL - Overall score 580.
  • CBTOEFL - Overall score 237.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score 92 or above.
  • English Test for Academic and Professional Purposes (ETAPP) - C1
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CAP) - Postgraduate: Overall score of 180 with a minimum of 169 in all components.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) - Postgraduate: Overall score of 180 with a minimum of 169 in all components.
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic) - 63 with a minimum of 59 in all components.
  • Duolingo - Duolingo will be accepted with a minimum score of 120 and a score of at least 110 in each subscore.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

About Dublin City University

Dublin City University

Three-time winner of the Sunday Times University of the year, DCU is a gateway to fantastic opportunities.

  • Over 3400 international students from 128 countries
  • No. 1 globally for Career Development
  • Based in Dublin, one of the friendliest cities in the world
  • Five faculties offering 80 dynamic programmes

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Course Description

Ma in creative writing.

Introduction

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.

  • 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.

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Dublin City University (DCU)

Dublin City University (DCU)

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2024 creative writing prize winners.

Please join the Department of English and Creative Writing in congratulating the 2024 Creative Writing Prize winners!

Andrea Cohen reading at Creative Writing Prize Ceremony 2024

Andrea Cohen at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony. Photo by Alberto Paniagua

Matthew Olzmann at Creative Writing Prizes Reading

Professor Matthew Olzmann at Creative Writing Prizes Reading. Photo by Alberto Paniagua

Ulla-Brit Libre reading at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony

Ulla-Brit Libre reading at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony. Photo by Alberto Paniagua

Sanjana Raj reading at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony

Sanjana Raj reading at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony. Photo by Alberto Paniagua

Ethan Gearey reading at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony

Ethan Gearey reading at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony. Photo by Alberto Paniagua

Maeve Kenney at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony

Maeve Kenney reading at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony. Photo by Alberto Paniagua

Zhenia Dubrova at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony

Zhenia Dubrova at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony. Photo by Alberto Paniagua

Anne Rhee

Anne Rhee at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony. Photo by Alberto Paniagua

Jessica Yang at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony

Jessica Yang at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony. Photo by Alberto Paniagua

Andrea Cohen at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony

Judge Andrea Cohen at 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony. Photo by Alberto Paniagua

The 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony was held on Thursday, May 9, 2024, at 4:30 p.m. in Sanborn Library, and included readings from the prize winners and this year's judge, Andrea Cohen .

Andrea Cohen's poems and stories have appeared in  The New Yorker, Poetry, The Threepenny Review ,  The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, Glimmer Train ,  etc. A new book of poems,  The Sorrow Apartments,  is forthcoming from Four Way Books. Other collections include  Everything  (Four Way, 2021),  Nightshade  (Four Way, 2019).  Unfathoming ( Four Way, 2017),     Furs Not Mine  (Four Way, 2015),  Kentucky Derby  (Salmon Poetry, 2011),  Long Division (Salmon Poetry, 2009) , and  The Cartographer's Vacation  (Owl Creek Press, 1999). Awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship,  Glimmer Train's  Short Fiction Award, and several fellowships at MacDowell. Over the years, she has taught at The University of Iowa, Emerson College, UMASS-Boston, Boston University, The Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and Merrimack College, where she was the founding director of the Writers' House. She directs the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, MA, and will be teaching at Boston University in the spring of 2024.

The Sidney Cox Memorial Prize

  • Sanjana Raj, "The Museum of Unnatural History"

Honorable Mentions:

  • Maeve Kenny, "The Four Seasons"
  • Eloise Langan, "Oh, Rats."

The Academy of American Poets Prize

  • Maeve Kenney, Poems

The Jacobson-Laing Award in Poetry

  • Ethan Gearey, "I've Been in Love"

The Mecklin Prize

  • Maeve Kenney, "The Four Seasons"
  • Armita Mirkarimi, "Nostalgia is a Wishing Well"
  • Eloise Langan, "Saint Bonnie"
  • Natala Schmitter-Emerson, "A Story that Never Ends"

The Grimes Prize

  • Yevheniia Dubrova, "Blue Heron"

The Lockwood Prize

  • Anne Rhee, Poems
  • Jessica Yang, "Pacific Ghosts"

William C. Spengemann Award in Writing

Erskine Caldwell Prize

Ralston Prize

  • Ulla-Brit Libre

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BA Humanities English with Creative Writing (DN530/ENS6)

  • I am a Non-EU Applicant
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Curricular information is subject to change.

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If your interest in literature extends to an ambition to write creatively, this degree programme will support that ambition through classes, workshops, and seminars dedicated to the development of your creative talent. In the final year, you will work on – and complete to high standard – a substantial writing project. To help you reach this standard, you will be advised and directed by one of the supervisors on the Creative Writing team.

About this Course

Why is this course for me.

You will study the work of a wide range of writers, focusing on how they create their works. You will learn about form and genre. You will explore a range of narrating voices by reading texts selected to illustrate this range. In a similar way, you will learn how characters are constructed, how to handle dialogue, how to manage time and sequencing and many other elements of the craft of writing, which will be generally helpful and occasionally inspiring in your own writing. You will be introduced to contemporary developments in literature by considering the work of a number of Irish writers, who will address the class and provide valuable insight into the writing process.

What Will I Study?

Modules include:

  • Creative Writing 1 & 2
  • How to Read Poetry
  • Writing the Body
  • Reading World Literature
  • Literature & Crisis
  • Contemporary Irish Writing
  • Literary Genre

As well as a range of English with Creative Writing modules students will benefit from an additional subject stream. Options include:

  • Drama Studies
  • Film Studies
  • German Beginners
  • German Non-Beginners
  • Greek & Roman Civilisation
  • Irish Studies
  • Spanish Beginners
  • Spanish Non-Beginners

Second Year

  • Intermediate Creative Writing 1 & 2
  • Critical Theory
  • Medieval Literature
  • Irish Literature in English
  • Renaissance Literature
  • Romanticism
  • Victorian to Modern Literature
  • Modern American Literature
  • The English Novel
  • UCD Special Collections: Archival Resarch Methods

For detailed information on subject content click here.

You will choose from a range of options that will enable you to broaden your horizons and enrich your academic experience:

  • Apply for a competitive internship in an area that interests you and/or relates to your area of study.
  • Study abroad for a trimester/year to develop your language skills and immerse yourself in a new culture.
  • Deepen your knowledge by studying in-depth Creative Writing modules including: Poetry Workshop, Fiction Workshop, Creative Non-Fiction Workshop.

Students will also choose from a wide range of specialist English modules such as Making Shakespeare, Gender & Sexuality in the 18th Century, Austen’s Peer, Yeats, Reading Ulysses, Reading Beckett, The Theatre of Martin McDonagh.

Fourth Year

Students will choose from a wide range of advanced English modules, including: Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Detecting Fictions, Contemporary Irish Writing, Memory & the Irish Stage, Contemporary Irish Women’s Poetry, Modern American Poetry & Poetics. Students will also partake in advanced Creative Writing Workshops.

View All Modules

Below is a list of all modules offered for this degree in the current academic year. Click on the module to discover what you will learn in the module, how you will learn and assessment feedback profile amongst other information.

Incoming Stage 1 undergraduates can usually select an Elective in the Spring Trimester. Most continuing undergraduate students can select up to two Elective modules (10 Credits) per stage. There is also the possibility to take up to 10 extra Elective credits.

International Study Opportunities

Students can study in various EU and non-EU destinations through the Erasmus and Study Abroad programmes, in partnership arrangements between UCD and universities across the world.

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Writer, editor, literary agents and critics, content creator, copywriters, broadcaster/journalist, public relations, business, law, politics, teaching, management consultancy, humanities research and many others.

UCD English, Drama and Film offer a wide range of postgraduate courses, including the MA and MFA in Creative Writing.

See  www.ucd.ie/englishdramafilm/study/  for more details.

Fees, Funding & Scholarships

Non-EU Undergraduate Fee information can be found  here .

UCD offers a number of competitive undergraduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD undergraduate degree programme. For information on Undergraduate Scholarships, please see the UCD  International Scholarships webpage.

How to Apply

What our students and graduates say.

“Studying English with Creative Writing has allowed me to take something I love and incorporate it directly into my degree. The hardest part about writing is often finding the time to do it. The English with Creative Writing course allows me to focus entirely on something I am passionate about. The School of English, Drama and Film offers an impressive range of English modules is unparalleled and gives me the freedom to explore English and Creative Writing in great depth. This year, I was able to do an internship with the National University of Ireland. It was a fantastic practical experience, editing documents for publication and transcribing lectures from politicians.”

Djamel White, Student

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Undergraduate (Level 8 NFQ, Credits 240)

From time to time UCD would like to send you further information that we feel, based on your enquiry, would be of interest to you.

IMAGES

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  5. Dublin's Masters in Creative Writing

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  6. MA Creative Writing

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COMMENTS

  1. M.Phil. in Creative Writing

    The centrepiece of the Creative Writing M.Phil. is the three-hour weekly workshop. This is where you bring work and get to listen to others. The idea of it is daunting, but the reality is hardworking, inclusive and dynamic. For the first term, students are encouraged to range across form and genre, to break habits and open new vistas.

  2. MA Creative Writing

    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 ...

  3. MA in Creative Writing

    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 ...

  4. UCD School of English Drama Film

    ‌MA in Creative Writing *Applications for 2024/25 are open* Creative writing in the UCD School of English, Drama and Film draws on the long literary heritage of Dublin as a place that has produced many world-famous authors. It takes full advantage of the range of vibrant and dynamic literary activities in a country and a city where writers and writing are celebrated.

  5. Masters in Creative Writing (Ireland)

    The MA in Writing is a one-year, full-time course. It covers a range of genres and forms, and it interacts with our other postgraduate offerings in publishing, literature and drama. The course thus builds on our strengths in the teaching of writing for page and stage, screen, journalism and other media. The course is open to applicants from any ...

  6. MFA in Creative Writing

    The Dublin Review, New Irish Writing and The Tangerine. Her story The Wife won the ... The entry requirements for the MFA programme are any of the following; an MA, M Phil [Creative Writing], BFA [Creative Writing], BA Creative Writing Major/Joint Major or equivalent, an outline [approx 1 page] of the novel in progress, together with the ...

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  8. Creative Writing, M.A.

    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.

  9. MA Creative Writing Program By University College Dublin |Top Universities

    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 ...

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    For admission to the MA in Creative Writing, successful applicants will have - A degree at the level of an Irish or UK Honours undergraduate degree (H2.2 or above) or equivalent, in a Humanities discipline but holders of other degrees or appropriate professional experience should provide information in their personal statement. Applicants with appropriate combinations of professional ...

  11. MA in Creative Writing, Postgraduate Course

    College: Dublin City University (DCU) Course Location: Glasnevin, Dublin: Location Postcode: Dublin 9: Course Category: Creative Writing, Arts & Humanities: Entry Requirements: Requirements General Entry Requirements For admission to the MA in Creative Writing, successful applicants will have - A degree at the level of an Irish or UK Honours undergraduate degree (H2.2 or above) or equivalent ...

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    More of Dublin's creative writing courses. UCD isn't the only Dublin university offering Creative Writing postgrads. The American College offers an MFA in Creative Writing under the guidance of such acclaimed writers as Mia Gallagher, Sean O'Reilly and Mike McCormack. Trinity has the city's longest established programme, offering an M ...

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  14. Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

    Overview. Based in the childhood home of Oscar Wilde at 1 Merrion Square and delivered in association with the Irish Writers' Centre, the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing offers aspiring or published writers a one-year course of study which examines the process and practice of producing prose fiction.

  15. MFA Creative Writing

    Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 90) UCD offers two graduate courses in creative writing, an MA and MFA. The MFA programme is a more advanced degree than the MA, and in some instances can follow on from the MA. MFA students will be part of a smaller cohort which offers very close supervision of a work in progress for the duration of an ...

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    Many graduates of the MFA in Creative Writing at University College Dublin establish successful writing lives, several securing publishing contracts. MFA student Colin Barrett (2015) 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.

  17. Study MA in Creative Writing at Dublin City University in Ireland

    Students: Find out about MA in Creative Writing at Dublin City University. MA in Creative Writing course details. 57501358 You are currently browsing our site with content tailored to students in your country

  18. MA in Creative Writing

    Training Provider: Dublin City University (DCU) Course Location: Glasnevin, Dublin: Location Postcode: Dublin 9: Entry Requirements: Requirements General Entry Requirements For admission to the MA in Creative Writing, successful applicants will have - A degree at the level of an Irish or UK Honours undergraduate degree (H2.2 or above) or equivalent, in a Humanities discipline but holders of ...

  19. MA in Writing for Stage and Screen

    If you have queries about this course, we would love to hear from you. Email programme administrator: [email protected]. Email programme director: [email protected]. Tel: +353 1 716 8634. Writing for Stage and Screen School webpages.

  20. Creative Writing Program By Trinity College Dublin, The University of

    This course, the first Masters course in creative writing at an Irish university, was offered by the School of English for the first time in 1997-98. It is based in the Trinity Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing, 21 Westland Row: the birthplace of Oscar Wilde. Its faculty includes some of Ireland's leading contemporary writers, including Eoin McNamee, Deirdre Madden and Kevin Power ...

  21. Master's degrees in Creative Writing in Ireland

    Creative Writing. Check match. 17,799 USD / year. 1 year. The MA in Creative Writing from Dublin City University aims to unlock the writer in you through an immersion in Drama, Poetry and Fiction. M.A. / Full-time, Part-time / On Campus. Dublin City University Dublin, Ireland. Ranked top 3%.

  22. 2024 Creative Writing Prize Winners

    The 2024 Creative Writing Prizes Ceremony was held on Thursday, May 9, 2024, at 4:30 p.m. in Sanborn Library, and included readings from the prize winners and this year's judge, Andrea Cohen. Andrea Cohen's poems and stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Threepenny Review, The New York Review of Books, The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, Glimmer Train, etc.

  23. English with Creative Writing

    This English with Creative Writing degree programme is designed for highly motivated students interested in developing their profile as creative writers by drawing specifically upon the rich literary heritage in English from Anglo-Saxon to the contemporary moments. Students will be educated in the history of literary, dramatic, media and cultural production, in current theoretical methods and ...