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International Study Programs

MA Creative Writing

MA Creative Writing

University College Cork, Ireland

About This Program

Enrolling in the Creative Writing MA programme of University College Cork will allow you an opportunity to read and write in a context in which literature is being performed, transformed and adapted.  So while the programme encourages its student to be curious about literature and pursue creative excellence, it maintains a strong vocational emphasis.  A rich variety of academic modules are available, including Fiction, Poetry and Life Writing. Creative non-fiction options include innovative courses in Food Writing and Writing for Radio. 

All of the courses are embedded in Cork’s dynamic creative milieu, rooted in expert practice and taught by highly accomplished professionals.  Some of Ireland's greatest writers either studied or taught at UCC, including Frank O’Connor, Sean O’Faolain, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and John Montague. Notable poets associated with UCC include Sean Lucy, Tom McCarthy, Sean Dunne, Paul Durcan, Theo Dorgan and Leanne O’Sullivan.

As the School of English hosts an annual Writer-In-Residence, you are encouraged to cultivate inventive and authentic forms of expression while writing in a university atmosphere.  Previous holders of the prestigious post of Writer-In-Residence include Mary Morrissy (Irish writier, won a Hennessy Award for short fiction in 1984, a Lannan Literary Award in 1995, and was short listed for the Whitbread Prize in 1996), Claire Keegan (recipient of the 2000 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature, short story writer) and Matthew Sweeney (Irish poet).


Course Delivery

The programme involves a mixture of seminars, workshops, placement and writing practice and students will work on self-reflexive essays and projects.  Courses for the MA in Creative Writing is taught on Mondays and Tuesdays during the Autumn and Spring Semesters (September to March). Seminar hours are approximately 6-8 per week and reading hours / writing assignments are likely to take another 8 hours per week.

You will be assessed continuously during the course, submitting specified creative work alongside commentaries on your own creative practice.


This MA in Creative Writing will provides you with an excellent foundation for a variety of writing careers, including authorship across a range of forms and styles, journalism, teaching and arts administration.

Learning Outcomes

Enrolling in this MA in Creative Writing programme will enable you to develop contacts with agents, publishers, and the professional world of the creative industries.

Upon course completion you are expected to:

  • Produce well-crafted writing in one of the forms of creative writing;
  • Have been able to experiment with, engage with, and reflect on a diversity of writing practices;
  • Have developed an awareness of the role of technique and craft in your own work, that of your peers, and that of other writers;
  • Understand the importance of editing and revision in the process of writing;
  • Be aware of the creative process in your own work, that of your peers, and that of other writers;
  • Know and have develop appropriate research methods and record processes of self-reflection;
  • Understand the practical constraints and professional opportunities of life as a writer.

CHECK OUT the other colleges and universities IVC represents 

Course Outline

Core modules of this MA degree address key creative techniques and help sustain and refresh your writing. Professional development is mentored and supported via modules in the Business of Writing and in the Creative Industries.


Core Modules  (15 credits)

These Core Modules address two of the central aims of the programme: to help students understand the practical constraints and professional opportunities of life as a writer in a variety of potential contexts; and to cultivate an inventive, authentic and self-aware writing style.

EN 6034          The Business of Writing         (5 credits)
EN 6035          Writing and Experiment  (10 credits)

plus 35 credits from a combination of  the following elective modules:

Elective Modules

These Elective Modules allow students to experiment with, engage with, and reflect on a diversity of writing practices, and to shape their own creative journey via their chosen modules.

EN6044 Craft and Technique of Fiction (1): The Short Story (5 credits)
EN6056 Craft and Technique of Fiction (2): Reading the Novel (5 credits)
EN6032 Fiction Workshop (10 credits)
EN6033 Writing the Self: Fiction and non-Fiction (10 credits)
EN6031 Poetry 1 (10 credits)
EN6043 Poetry 2 (5 credits)
EN6042 Workshop with Writer-in-Residence (5 credits)
EN6037 Food Writing (5 credits)
EN6038 Writing for Radio (5 credits)
EN6057 Writing for the Media (5 credits)


Core Module

This Core Module represents the culmination of the learning process fostered by this programme. Students produce a substantial portfolio of work and record the processes by which they write and research. 
EN 6040            Dissertation   (40 credits)

Course Info

Course Code : CKE10

College : Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

Duration : One Year

Qualifications Level : NFQ Level 9

Fees :

All fees listed below are in Euros (€).  

Registration Fee 50
Tuition Fee - International Fees 13,000
Non-refundable deposit on acceptance of your place 500
Medicover Standard (O'Driscoll O'Neil Insurance) 120

The above figures represent what UCC expects will be your reasonable international fees. Other fees may not have been included (e.g. living expenses). 

As expenses are subject to change, the above figures may be changed at any time without notice by UCC.  Please check with your IVC-assigned Visa Counselor or Documentation Officer periodically for any changes.

When estimating your cost of living for an academic year, i.e., one nine-month period from September to May inclusive, include rent, weekly supermarket shopping, some meals on campus, electricity bills, heating bills, refuse bills, parking fees, mobile phone expenses, travel, clothing, snacks on campus, socialising, health, books and materials.

Intake Dates :

The  next intake date is 11-September-2017.

IVC however, will be accepting application only until FEBRUARY 28, 2017.  This 7-month preparation period includes:

  • Review by the department/school for your eligibility;
  • Processing by the Admissions Office;
  • Enrollment;
  • Processing of insurance;
  • Seeking accommodation;
  • Processing of your student visa application.

View IMPORTANT INFORMATON about APPLYING for an Irish Student Visa

Make sure you apply early!  We allow two months to coordinate with the university, arrange accommodation and insurance. The next five months is reserved for the visa application process. 

Entry Criteria

Admission and entry requirements for this qualification are in accordance with the academic regulations of University College Cork. As an international student, you must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Academic Achievement
    • Applications will be considered from graduates of all disciplines, including those with relevant writing or arts experience (e.g. working in publishing, journalism or arts administration).
    • You would will normally have an honours primary degree at Second Class Honours level (2.2 or above) in any discipline. If you are from North America, a cumulative GPA of 3.2 is normally expected. 
  • You will have to submit a piece of creative writing of at least 1000 words (any genre). This piece of creative writing will be used by the teaching team to evaluate your suitability to enrol in the program.
  • If English is not your native language, you must provide proof of English language proficiency to a standard of any ONE of the following exams:
    • IELTS (Academic Test): Overall band score of 6.5 with no individual section less than 5.5
    • TOEFL iBT: Overall score of 90. Minimum scores per section as follows: Listening and Writing - 17; Reading - 18; Speaking - 20
    • Cambridge Proficiency Exam: Grade C
    • Cambridge Advanced Exam: Grade B
    • Pearson PTE: Minimum score of 63 with no section score below 59


If you did not meet the academic requirement or there is no equivalency for your country, let us know!  Send your inquiry HERE.

Your English certificate must be up to date which means it should be less than two years old.

You are required to complete a full application for the program AND satisfy all other entry criteria as required by the program team and provide such evidence as required by the university, including, but not limited to:

  • Academic transcripts
  • College diploma
  • Professional references
  • Professional registration details
  • Curriculum Vitae and
  • Identity documents.

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