Creative Writing

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Academic Year of Entry: 2024/25
Course overview
(Integrated Master in Literature:) Integrated Master in Literature Studies
Creative Writing
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Creative Writing


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

  • A-levels: ABB - BBB or 128 - 120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A-levels, including B in one essay based subject.
  • BTEC: DDM or 120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of the equivalent of 2 full A-levels. The acceptability of BTECs is dependent on subject studied and optional units taken - email for advice.
  • Combined qualifications on the UCAS tariff: 128 - 120 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A levels or equivalent. Tariff point offers may be made if you are taking a qualification, or mixture of qualifications, from the list on our undergraduate application information page.
  • IB: 32 - 30 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655-555.
  • IB Career-related Programme: We consider combinations of IB Diploma Programme courses with BTECs or other qualifications. Advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diploma: 15 level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • T-levels: We consider T-levels on a case-by-case basis, depending on subject studied. The offer for most courses is Distinction overall. Depending on the course applied for there may be additional requirements, which may include a specific grade in the Core.

Contextual Offers:

We are committed to ensuring that all students with the merit and potential to benefit from an Essex education are supported to do so. For October 2024 entry, if you are a home fee paying student residing in the UK you may be eligible for a Contextual Offer of up to two A-level grades, or equivalent, below our standard conditional offer.
Factors we consider:

  • Applicants from underrepresented groups
  • Applicants progressing from University of Essex Schools Membership schools/colleges
  • Applicants who attend a compulsory admissions interview
  • Applicants who attend an Offer Holder Day at our Colchester or Southend campus

Our contextual offers policy outlines additional circumstances and eligibility criteria.

For further information about what a contextual offer may look like for your specific qualification profile, email

If you haven't got the grades you hoped for, have a non-traditional academic background, are a mature student, or have any questions about eligibility for your course, more information can be found on our undergraduate application information page. or get in touch with our Undergraduate Admissions Team.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Pre-sessional English courses

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email .

Requirements for second and final year entry

Different requirements apply for second and final year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK. Details of English language requirements, including UK Visas and Immigration minimum component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Staff photo
Dr Eleanor Perry

Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry)

University of Kent

External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment. External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course. They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards. External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2024 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  LT705-4-SP-CO  The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways  Compulsory  15  15 
02  LT111-4-FY-CO  Origins and Transformations in Literature and Drama  Compulsory  30  30 
03  LT191-4-AU-CO  The Writer's Toolkit  Compulsory  15  15 
04  LT146-4-AU-CO  Writing for the Radio  Compulsory  15  15 
05  LT143-4-AU-CO  Poetry: A Very Short Introduction  Compulsory  15  15 
06    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 

Year 2 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  LT204-5-AU-CO  Criticism: Practice and Theory  Compulsory  15  15 
02  LT209-5-AU-CO  Writing Structures  Compulsory  15  15 
03  LT219-5-SP-CO  Writing the Short Story  Compulsory  15  15 
04  LT245-5-SP-CO  Creative Non-Fiction  Compulsory  15  15 
05  LT367-5-AU-CO  Understanding and Writing Science Fiction  Compulsory  15  15 
06    Option(s) from list or outside option(s)  Optional  45  45 

Year 3 - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
02    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
03    Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
04  LT832-6-FY-CO  Independent Creative Writing Project  Compulsory  30  30 

Year 4 - 2027/28

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  LT901-7-FY-CO  Dissertation Preparation: Postgraduate Research and Writing Skills  Core  20  20 
02  LT880-7-FY-CO  Dissertation  Core  40  40 
03    Options from list  Optional  60  60 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

The Master of Literary Studies in Creative Writing is a four-year degree that combines elements of undergraduate and postgraduate study. Students will have the opportunity to explore the world of postgraduate creative writing, including specialist writing (in experimental forms or for new media), and receive professional guidance about developing work for publication beyond the university. By offering a shorter dissertation that is competed in the summer term, the MLitSt allows students to move on after just three terms of postgraduate study, with experience of Integrated Masters (level 7) study and a full portfolio of undergraduate work.

Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods

On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:

A: Knowledge and understanding

A101: Specialist knowledge of the dissertation subject.

A102: Advanced knowledge of taught module topics assessed at FHEQ Level 7.

A103: Novel contributions to the field of study in the form of coursework essays and creative projects.

A104: Understanding of research culture and research skills.

A105: Understanding of academic pathways beyond undergraduate study and pathways to academic publication.

Learning methods

A101 – Research and writing of final project or dissertation undertaken with very small group and individual supervision allowing for as broad a range of access requirements as possible.

A102 – Small group seminars delivered by subject experts across topics relevant to the MLitSt disciplines.

A103 – Students have the opportunity to work with module supervisors in writing their coursework pieces, which also build on small group seminar discussion. Essays and final pieces are a pedagogic tool as well as a means of assessment.

A104 – Students will attend specialized research skills modules to help them understand the research culture in which they are participating and to equip them to succeed.

A105 – Through working closely with academic staff in small groups, and through LT 901 and LT 905, students will learn about ways to participate in a research and publication culture beyond the university.

Assessment methods

A101 – Through dissertation marking.

A102 – Through participation marks, included as standard in all LiFTS modules.

A103 – Assessment of written coursework.

A104 – These modules include a coursework portfolio.

A105 – Through student engagement across the course, assessed by all aspects of coursework.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B101: Advanced written communication.

B102: Advanced verbal reasoning and discursive skills.

B103: Advanced independent research skills.

B104: Deeper understanding of the field of literary studies.

Learning methods

B101 – There is a written coursework component to all modules. Students have access to one-on-one writing support in addition to small group seminars making the process maximally inclusive.

B102 – Small group seminars are workshop and discussion led, meaning that learning is directed and sustained by student participation.

B103 – Students will work one-on-one with a member of academic staff to compose and original dissertation.

B104 – Students take a range of taught modules enabling them to see their discipline from a number of different perspectives.

Assessment methods

B101 – Coursework marking including dissertation/ final project.

B102 – Student participation in small-group seminars will influence the nuance and scope of their coursework.

B103 – LT 901/ LT 905 coursework portfolio and final dissertation/ project.

B104 – The holistic mark for the MLitSt will demonstrate the students’ understanding of the field.

C: Practical skills

C101: Ability to express oneself in a clear, argumentative and rigorous way.

C102: Ability to search for, and then abstract and synthesise relevant information from a range of sources, using books, journal articles, library and internet resources.

C103: Ability to select own topic and structure a substantial piece of independent study.

Learning methods

C101 – Students will generate a portfolio of creative work, with critical discussion in seminars and critical commentaries, that builds their argumentative, evidential and expressive communication.

C102 – Students will use a broad range of research methods in undertaking creative work as a research practice..

C103 – All students will design and complete a final project at 10,000 words length.

Assessment methods

C101 – Coursework assessment.

C102 – Coursework assessment.

C103 – Assessed by final project.

D: Key skills

D101: Clear, focused, relevant and effective written expression and oral communication developed through seminar participation and written coursework.

D102: Use appropriate IT to research and present materials.

D103: Management of projects and timetables. Finding, understanding and organising information.

D104: Ability to "read" an argument in seminar discussion; ability to respond effectively; ability to work in a variety of group contexts

D105: Receptivity to feedback in the form of written comments on coursework and oral communications.

Learning methods

The five relevant key skills are implicit throughout the degree, and are supported in their development by seminar work, feedback on essays, and key skills packages.

Assessment methods

All relevant key skills are assessed through coursework and dissertations; D4 is additionally assessed through a participation mark.


The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing

If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing