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Distance/blended learning available?


Tier 4 visa


Previous degree required

1 Year


Jonathan Gibbs

Programme Director for Creative and Professional Writing

Email | 020 8240 4380

Apply now

Write your first novel in a year with the supervision of industry experts. Two evenings a week full or part time

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Why study Creative Writing: First Novel?

Our Creative Writing: First Novel Master's degree works with a very small cohort. This means you'll receive one-to-one tuition on a far more regular basis compared to many other Creative Writing postgraduate courses. Here, you will be personally guided through the journey of your first draft, rather than being another student at the back of a large class. No short stories, no poetry, no screenplay, just your novel. Your novel deserves a tutor that understands all - not just some of its parts - and you deserve a tutor who will coach not just the first draft of your novel, but also the development of your creative process.

Why St Mary's?

Our tutors are practising writers, and have between them written best-selling novels and won major literary awards. Drawing on our connections with the industry you'll also have seminars with some of the most sought-after agents and publishers in London. When you have finished the degree, you can choose to continue workshopping and drafting with the dedicated cohorts we establish every year. We are passionate about our craft and about your craft too. That's why our first PhD student in Creative Writing struck a major two-book deal with Canongate and sales in multiple foreign territories.

Current students are receiving visits from high profile industry experts from the publishing world throughout this semester. These include visits, Q&As and masterclasses from Conville and Walsh, Canongate, Bookouture, Janklow and Nesbit, Little Brown, Corsair and Atom and Picador, and pitching opportunities to top agents and publishers: Hellie Ogden, Jo Unwin, Francesca Main, James Gurbutt, Natalie Butlin, Jessie Botterill, Sophie Lambert.

We want to hear about your novel – the one you know you have to write. Pick up the phone or email the Programme Director: or call 020 8240 4380.

Teaching methods

We run the course on two evenings a week, enabling those with other commitments the opportunity to study with us. You will study individually and as part of a group. At the beginning of the course, you will be allocated a personal supervisor who will oversee the development of your draft through tutorials. The supportive and committed nature of our cohort is important to us, and we seek to put together the best possible people, for the best possible learning experience. The course takes you from the exploratory phase of writing through to re-drafting, in five modules, across three semesters and a lecture series.

Assessment methods

Each module produces a creative element of your draft which will be assessed. In the seminar modules, you will also be assessed by presentation to the group.

One-to-one tutorial feedback and support is essential for the writer aiming to complete a productive draft in just one year.

In formal assessment, each module will produce a mixture of creative submission to deadline, workshop engagement, critical reflection and seminar presentation. The weight of marking always rests with creative submission and the aim is to complete a draft of a novel through continuous assessment.

Key facts

  • Award-winning, bestselling faculty of practising writers
  • Guest visits, seminars and masterclasses from agents and publishers
  • Draft your novel in a year
  • Full time places can be studied over two evenings a week
  • Friendly tutors offering regular one to one tutorials to help shape your novels

Course content


  • Assessment Draft - Tutorial  
  • Reading Like A Writer - Seminar 
  • Structure and Plotting - Seminar 
  • Writing Workshop One: Voice 
  • Writing Workshop Two: Structure 
Please note: information published on this webpage is subject to change before the programme commences. Please refer to the Programme Specification document (PDF) for an authoritative summary of the programme.

Career opportunities

Some of our graduates go on to write full-time or apply to PhD programmes. Others work in publishing, teaching, journalism and a wide range of careers.

The transferable skills of being able to critically evaluate and articulate ideas as well as the ability to write well are relevant skills for any sector.

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.


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Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Home/EU: £6,000
International: £13,650

View Creative Writing: First Novel part-time fee information...

View all postgraduate tuition fees


The tuition fees listed on this page are for the 2018/19 academic year. For information on fees for other academic years - along with information about financing your studies - please check the Fees & Funding section.

International Students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.

Additional costs

Your tuition fee will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme. Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.

For further information about additional costs please contact

Further information