Creative Writing & Publishing

MA Creative Writing & Publishing

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MA Creative Writing and Publishing
Duration: 2 academic years, part time

Register now for Open Day on Friday 6 December.
Find out more about funding opportunities.

This programme is for you if you are already a committed writer looking to complete the first draft of a novel. You are keen to further develop your writing and research skills and learn about the publishing process and the role of the professional author in today's publishing environment. Learn from professional authors with extensive creative writing teaching experience and visiting industry professionals. Workshops include experimental collaboration with artists working in other disciplines at West Dean. Intensive study blocks foster an immersive atelier-style experience within the College's School of Creative Arts and allows for self-determination in independent practice.

Benefit from the unique setting and history of the College. The house, its archive and extensive grounds offer opportunities to explore site-specific works, while historic connections to literary and publishing experimentation provide a stimulating environment for study.

What to expect

  • Explore literary fiction in its varied forms
  • Develop your writing, editing and critical skills
  • Complete a first draft of between 45,000 - 60,000 words in year one
  • Redraft the first chapter of your novel for publication in a specially produced anthology
  • Gain hands-on experience of the publishing process
  • Learn how to build your author profile

Learning environment

  • Attend 12 three-day intensive blocks of workshops, lectures and tutorials (over two years)
  • High tutor: student ratio
  • Personal tutorials with subject tutor
  • Intensive workshops
  • Creative interdisciplinary environment
  • Benefit from exposure to prominent visiting guests, writers and publishing professionals.


Immerse yourself in the enriched learning environment of the College, with exposure to artists in other disciplines, access to 800+ short courses and use of the on-site Art and Conservation Library with thousands of specialist books, journals and databases.

Contact Hours


You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and supervised practicals. In addition, you have personal tutorials with your subject tutor.

On the MA Creative Writing & Publishing you typically have around 17-18 contact hours per study block, typically consisting of:

  • 5-6 hours of lectures
  • 4 hours of seminars
  • 8 hours of supervised practicals
  • 30 mins of one-to-one meetings/tutorials

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars and workshop or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:

  • reading journal articles and books
  • working on individual and group projects
  • undertaking research in the library
  • preparing coursework assignments and presentations.

Overall workload

10% of your time is spent in scheduled teaching and learning activity
Scheduled teaching and learning: 171 hours
Independent learning: 1629 hours

Programme Structure Years 1 and 2

Programme Structure Years 1 and 2

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a good honours degree in English or a compatible subject and be able to demonstrate a commitment to writing.

Candidates with a relevant portfolio and alternative accredited learning are also invited to apply.

English language: CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) Level B2 or IELTS 6.5 or above.


Course fees are the same for UK and international students

  • £1,640 per term (£4,920 per year)

Included is mandatory study trip cost of £400, which typically includes tailored visits to collections/exhibitions of specific interest to the programme of study.

Additional costs

Lunch (typically 2 courses) for part time MA Creative Writing students: £57 per term (£170 per year)

Accommodation and other living expenses are additional. Find out more

Postgraduate loans

If you are a UK student and plan to take a postgraduate Master's course you may be able to get a postgraduate loan of up to £10,906 to help with course fees and living costs. See

Find out more about funding opportunities

Untold Stories Anthology

Students experience all stages of the revision and publishing process through the preparation of the first chapters of their novels for inclusion in this specially-produced anthology, Untold Stories, published at the end of the second year.

"I expected to learn about writing, but I also learnt about who I am as a writer. West Dean prepared us for life as writers."

Nicki Herring, MA Creative Writing Student


As part of the College's Artist-in-Residence programme, Creative Writing and Publishing students have assess to a series of professional writers living and working onsite, amongst students. They offer tutorial sessions with students as well as public presentations on the work produced during the residency and their wider practice.

Find out more


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Mark Radcliffe

Mark is an experienced tutor at graduate and undergraduate level and has been awarded and nominated for several teaching awards. He has had two novels published; Gabriel's Angel (2010), and Stranger than Kindness (2013). His third novel, The Library of Love, will be published in 2019.

Domenica De Rosa

Domenica de Rosa is the author of sixteen published novels, twelve of them written under the name Elly Griffiths. As Elly Griffiths she is best known for the highly successful Ruth Galloway crime novels. In 2016 she won the Crime Writer's Association Dagger in Library Award for her body of work.

Lesley Thomson

Lesley Thomson's novel A Kind of Vanishing won The People's Book Prize in 2010. The Detective's Daughter was Amazon's longest running #1 in 2013 and Sainsbury's book of the year. The series has sold over 750,000 copies, Lesley's 9th crime novel The Playground Murders is out now.

Mick Jackson

Mick Jackson's first novel, The Underground Man, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and won the Royal Society of Authors' First Novel Award. His novels, collections of stories and an e-book are published by Faber and Faber. His latest novel, Yuki Chan in Brontë Country, was published in January 2016. Mick was an RLF Writing Fellow at the University of Sussex and has been writer in-residence at the Science Museum, London and the Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton (funded by Arts Council England). He has an MA in creative writing.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for this course or would like further information please contact admissions either by enquiring online or calling the number below. To make your application you will need to download and fill out our application form.

Open Day - register today

Come and find out what makes West Dean College of Arts and Conservation such an amazing place to study. Explore the studios, take a tour with students, discuss your study options, and find out about funding at our next Open Day on:

Friday 6 December 2019

Register your place and find out more