The Warwick MA Programme in Writing
The Warwick Writing Programme, founded in 1996, is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in Europe. It is an internationally-acclaimed programme drawing students and staff from across the globe.
The permanent Faculty of the Writing Programme includes internationally renowned authors from a variety of disciplines and genres. Among them are Will Eaves, Maureen Freely, Michael Hulse, A.L.Kennedy, David Morley, Sarah Moss, Ian Sansom, Jonathan Skinner,and David Vann. Regular tutors have included Peter Blegvad, Lee Thomas, Tim Leach, Leila Rasheed, Jeremy Treglown, and George Ttoouli. Jonathan Coe is an Honorary Professor, Mahendra Solanki the current Royal Literary Fund Fellow, and Rochelle Sibley leads the Writing Centre.
Visiting Fellows have included Monica Ali, Candida Clark, Geoffrey Hill, Mario Vargas Llosa, Maggie O'Farrell, Fiona Sampson and Wole Soyinka.
Practical professional guidance on and tuition in writing in a range of genres including biography, ‘creative non-fiction’, fantasy/SF, journalism, the novel, poetry, reviewing, the short story, translation, writing for the young.
The Warwick MA in Writing is intended for students who are already experienced as well as ambitious practising writers, whether published or not. We don’t believe that creativity, as such, can be taught, or that it is only fulfilled in ‘the marketplace’, but we do aim to help develop technical writing skills which students will find useful professionally, whether in full-time authorship or in related professions such as publishing, the media or teaching.
Course content and methods of teaching and assessment involve a mixture of approaches based on workshops and 1:1 supervision, portfolios and longer written projects. Students may opt to take modules based on more traditional academic pedagogies. For course outlines and details of options currently available, go to the 'current students' section of the English Department's MA website.
At least as important as teaching are the space and stimulus to write within a community of people with similar aspirations, facing similar practical, imaginative and intellectual problems. The literary community at Warwick is a scholarly as well as a creative one: the University is the most highly ranked research institution, nationally, to offer such a degree. Much of the value of the course comes from students’ working on the University campus and making use of the full range of activities which it offers. (NB while many students will inevitably have to be earning money some of the time, full-time students aren't permitted to have a full-time job. The reasons for this rule – which applies to all full-time degrees at Warwick – are positive rather than negative: we want you to be able to make the most of a year which passes all too quickly.)
Entrance requirements/admissions procedure
Candidates will be selected on the basis of your personal statement and portfolio of written work - this need be no more than 5000 words of poetry or fiction or a mix of the two. They must upload the statement online along with their application. They will normally be required to have an upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification and an IELTS of 7.5 or higher if you have not previously studied in an English speaking institution.
Applications must be made online and these can be found at www.warwick.ac.uk/go/pgapply
The ‘Writers at Warwick’ series and other external links
In partnership with the Warwick Arts Centre, the Writing Programme helps to organize Writers at Warwick, a weekly series of public readings and talks by visiting authors throughout the academic year. More than 300 writers have appeared in the series since 1995, among them Monica Ali, Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, A.S. Byatt, Umberto Eco, Bernardine Evaristo, Esther Freud, Christopher Hampton, Tony Harrison, Nick Hornby, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Hanif Kureishi, Doris Lessing, Mario Vargas Llosa, David Lodge, Ian McEwan, Andrew Motion, Michèle Roberts, Salman Rushdie, Will Self, Helen Simpson, Wole Soyinka, Meera Syal, Derek Walcott, Marina Warner, Fay Weldon and Edmund White. Current details can be accessed at the Warwick Arts Centre website.
Other aspects of the Programme’s work include international conferences and public debates on topics which have included The Needs of Writers, Minority Cultures and the Establishment Press, Science Writing, Creativity, Women in the British Theatre, Writing for Children and Journalism and Public Policy. Staff of the Programme have excellent links not only with other writers but also with particular publishing houses, literary journals and agencies, and with national and regional organizations such as the Arts Council and the Royal Literary Fund. The Programme works closely with other creative writing schools both in Britain and in the USA.