Still accepting applications for September 2017 entry

Duration: 2 academic years, part time

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.

What to expect

  • Explore literary fiction in its varied forms
  • Develop your writing, editing and critical skills
  • Complete a first draft of up to 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
  • Intensive workshops
  • Creative interdisciplinary environment
  • Guest lectures from publishing industry professionals

Entry requirements

Applicants should have a good honours degree in English. Candidates with a relevant portfolio and alternative accredited learning are also invited to apply.


Immerse yourself in the enriched learning environment of the College, with exposure to artists in other disciplines, access to 300+ short courses and use of the on-site Art and Conservation Library with thousands of specialist books, journals and databases.


  • UK/EU Fee: £4,650 pa

Fees payable by term, 2 weeks in advance of term start date.

New 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 £10,000 to help with course fees and living costs.


Find out about funding here.

Event: Literary Salon Series

The College's Creative Writing department invites you to a new series of Literary Salons for 2017, featuring talks and interviews, readings and Q&A with an exciting line-up of authors. The evening events will be held in the richly atmospheric Oak Hall at the College. Image: Author Melissa Benn.

More details and booking here.


Intensive workshops in an inspiring setting
Benefit from a rich heritage of arts and creativity - books and illustrated letter by founder Edward James
Deborah Ravetz (left) at the launch of her new book hosted by the Creative Writing department, with Martine McDonagh (right)


Domenica De Rosa

Domenica de Rosa is the author of fourteen published novels, ten of them written under the name Elly Griffiths. As Elly Griffiths she writes the highly successful Ruth Galloway crime novels ('wonderfully rich' The Guardian, 'highly atmospheric' New York Times).

Martine McDonagh

Martine McDonagh MA

PROGRAMME LEADER - Creative Writing and Publishing MA

Martine's first novel, I have waited, and you have come was traditionally published; her second, After Phoenix, was self-published, and her third, Narcissism for Beginners, was launched in March 2017 by successful crowdfunding publisher, Unbound. Besides a successful 30-year career in artist management in the music industry, Martine is self-agented and has worked as an editor and proof-reader. She is an experienced tutor at graduate and undergraduate level and has an MA in creative writing.

Lesley Thomson

Lesley Thomson's latest novels The Detective's Secret (2015) and The House with No Rooms (2016) were both Sainsbury's Book of the Week. A Kind of Vanishing won The People's Book Prize in 2010. The Detective's Daughter, (2013) sold over 450,000 copies; it was Sainsbury's e-book 2013 and long running Amazon number one. Lesley is an experienced creative writing tutor who regularly runs short courses and masterclasses.

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. 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.

+44 (0)1243 818 291

Apply for Degree and Diploma courses

Applications open for September 2017 entry for UK, EU and International students.

Learn more about applying and entry

Find out about Funding opportunities here