MA Writing

Study mode

Part-time (2 years)

Start date(s)

September 2019

Tuition fees 19/20
Home (part-time, per year): £3,500

Contact details

General enquiries:

0151 231 5090

Arts, Professional and Social Studies

0151 231 5175

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About this course

This Writing MA from LJMU will provide you with the opportunity to read, write, reflect and develop your identity as a writer.

  • Study on a unique programme providing training in e-publishing and detailed peer critique workshops 
  • Learn from published writers 
  • Enjoy strong links with Curtis Brown, Blake Friedman, The Society of Authors, the Royal Literary Fund, NAWE, Hodder and Stoughton, Parthian, Salt, Everyman Theatre, Byte the Book, Misspelled Word, Tindall Street, BBC Radio, Comma Press and Faber & Faber

This unique programme will help you to develop a contemporary and traditional foundation in creative writing, finding a creative voice of your own.

The programme explores the process of writing from first inspiration to final draft and publication and reflects the need for writers to keep up-to-date with rapid advances in the new technologies of contemporary publishing. You will benefit from the close study of writerly techniques and strategies, develop your work to a professional standard and gain access to professional practitioners, such as visiting novelists, poets and screenwriters as well as editors, agents and publishers. In this way your work will be able to thrive in the wider world.


Although you will be encouraged to explore at least two genres of writing across the programme, you will be free to specialise in any genre. Workshops form the heart of the course, sharing your work, developing your editing skills, defining and enhancing your identity as a writer.

Other activities involve reading as a writer, exploring new technologies such as websites, e-publishing and social networks, as well as meeting guest writers, agents and editors. These further develop the programme’s aim of finding the best ways for you to advance and perfect your writing.

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • Access to programme-appropriate software
  • Library and student IT support
  • Free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to use your own)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)

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  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2017) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

The programme sets out to make you the best writer you can be. It has links with many literary agents and industry experts. Student work is regularly published alongside that of established writers such as Roger McGough, Gunter Grass, Alice Oswald and Dave Eggers.

The MA has produced a wide range of successful writers. Our most recent published authors include: James Rice with his debut novel Alice and the Fly, Claire Coombes with Definitions and Rich Owain Roberts with All the Places We Lived.

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Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

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Core Modules

Foundation: Reading as a Writer

This module aims to introduce you to creative, formal research and technical skills appropriate to writing at Masters level, in particular the techniques of contemporary writing. It:

  • enables you to identify and develop an original and creative voice as a writer
  • enables you to acquire a practical and analytical knowledge of writing techniques sufficient to inform complex, creative composition and problem solving
  • helps you to understand and initiate a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to research that enriches and advances their creative work
  • establishes your practical skills of scholarly presentation, organisation communication, documentation and evaluation
  • helps you to demonstrate a critical awareness of writerly commentary, especially that which shapes or generates current writing

Writers' Workshop 1

The aim of this module is to relate research and writing practice. It helps you to equip yourself with skills important to present work to professional standards and accuracy. It:

  • helps you to further an original and creative voice as writers by fostering close reading and constructive criticism in a workshop setting
  • enables you to produce two pieces of original creative writing
  • enables you to develop a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to research that enriches and advances your work, in particular the importance of the drafting process

Defining a Writer's Identity: New Technologies and the Marketplace

This module aims to deepen your understanding and develop practice of creative, formal and technical skills for the writing industry. It:

  • enables you to create and maintain a web
  • helps you to foster and emphasise the identification of an original and creative voice as writers by creating sites that will serve as a platform for your own writing
  • encourages you to take part in contemporary research methods and electronic communication and to access resources for writers on the World Wide Web, such as publishers' sites, anthologies of news writing, news of competitions and festivals, writers' magazines, reviews and interviews, university library catalogues, language usage archives, author sites, group sites , on-line writing labs, social networking sites and other internet developments
  • enables you to demonstrate a critical awareness of the Internet's potential and disadvantages for writing, promotion and research
  • enables you to develop advanced skills of pitching and presentation informed by practice at the forefront of the profession

Writers' Workshop 2 (Drafting, Editing and Appraising)

This module aims to provide you with the creative, formal, and technical skills of drafting and editing; it confirms and fosters an original and creative voice as a writer through sustained attention on your own work. It:

  • enables you to exercise practical and analytical knowledge of writing through self and peer appraisal
  • helps you to reinforce a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to research that enriches and advances your creative work
  • enhances your skills of scholarly presentation, organisation communication, documentation and evaluation 

Portfolio and Critical Commentary

This module aims to enhance your creative, formal, and technical skills appropriate to writing at Masters level, It:

  • helps you to format and present work to professional standards, including the creation and maintenance of your own websites
  • enables you to express an original and creative voice as writers
  • helps you to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to research that enriches and advances your work
  • helps you to reveal practical and analytical knowledge of writerly techniques sufficient to inform complex creative composition and problem-solving
  • enables you to express a critical awareness of critical theory and writers' commentary, especially that which shapes or generates current writing


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

MA Writing is a flexible, dedicated part-time programme designed to enable people who are in-work or have other responsibilities to undertake their studies and achieve their goals. 

Teaching methods

Examiners attest to the programme’s national standing, scrupulous assessments and high quality of teaching and student work. In the national 2014 Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES), the programme rated 100% satisfaction for most aspects of the course.

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Person sat using laptop


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme. Assessment techniques vary from module to module to reflect relevant assessment approaches and the key learning points of each topic.

Assessment focuses on helping you realise the skills needed to be the kind of writer you want to be. Programme knowledge and understanding are assessed through creative and analytical coursework in written, oral and electronic form. Knowledge of technique and an understanding of research is assessed through the workshop process.

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

Jim Friel

Jim Friel

Programme Leader Writing

Jim Friel is the author of five novels: The Posthumous Affair, The Higher Realm, Left of North, Taking the Veil and Careless Talk. He has adapted works of fiction for radio, including Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day and A Pale View of Hills, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, and Orhan Pamuk’s Snow. His story ‘The Present Lucia’ was shortlisted for the Rome Short Story Competition 2011-2012 and published in the collection 7 Stories About Italian Women.

We create a community of writers, each pursuing differing and highly personal goals, but each also intent on supporting each other. MA Writing regularly achieves 100% approval in the National Taught Postgraduate Survey, where students express the keenest praise for what they gain from each other and the smaller workshops that promote this.

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

The School is based in the Redmonds Building, in the heart of the bustling Mount Pleasant Campus and Liverpool’s growing Knowledge Quarter. Redmonds is shared by two Schools within the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies – Liverpool Screen School and the School of Law - and Liverpool Business School, making for a rich blend of student learning experiences. The building is home to high quality lecture theatres and seminar rooms, broadcast studios, news rooms, media production suites, social spaces and a café. It is only a short walk from LJMU’s Aldham Robarts Library, which contains all the resources you will require for your studies, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Entry requirements

You will need:

  • a minimum 2:1 in English, Writing or a cognate subject. Other academic qualifications, for example: A Levels, BTEC, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers, will also be considered


  • professional skills and evidence of achievement in a related area: film and video production, publishing, journalism, radio, theatre, and creative writing

Additional information:

  • IELTS English language requirement: 6.5 (Minimum 6.0 in each component)
  • Person requirements: 58-64 (Minimum 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
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  • RPL is accepted on this programme
  • As this is only offered as a part-time masters degree, international students are not eligible to study this programme

If you have any specific queries, please contact

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

You will apply for the majority of postgraduate courses using our online application form. You should complete the form thoroughly and provide a detailed personal statement which reflects your suitability and aptitude for the programme.

We place particular emphasis on both the portfolio and the interview. The above requirements may be waived if a portfolio shows promise.

Due to the competitive nature of this programme, applications are being considered in stages, with deadlines for 2018 entry as follows:

Stage 1 Application deadline: 31 May 2018
1. Applicants should complete the online application form and include in the personal statement section reasons why you wish to study this programme.

2. Attach a CV which details your previous studies in the field and any publications

3. Attach a portfolio of work up to 2,500 words in length

4. Prepare for a merit-based selection interview

Stage 2 Short-listed applicants invited to attend interview: Interviews take place week commencing 25 June 2018

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Merit based selection will assess:

1. Quality of work and potential for improvement/development

2. Commitment to the degree

3. Any publications/knowledge of the industry

4. Previous results, especially for those who have undertaken undergraduate studies

The panel will read, discuss and call in for interview in June.

Applications received after the application deadline may not be considered if the programme is full.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.