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The award

How long you will study
2 years

Domestic course fees
GBP 6000 per year

How you will study

Course starts

International course fees
GBP 8500 per year

All study options

About Creative Writing (Non-Fiction) at City, University of London

The UK's only dedicated degree in narrative non-fiction writing.

Who is it for?

This master's programme is designed for those with an ambition to write within the range of non-fiction genres. Running over two years, it attracts students from a wide variety of backgrounds and ages, all of whom work closely within workshop and tutorial settings to produce a publishable work. The unifying factor for all writers on the programme is their intention to deliver their research or story through a narrative structure.


Our definition of narrative non-fiction includes biography, travel, history, life writing, true crime, sports and other forms of sustained and structured non-fiction storytelling. The Creative Writing (Non-Fiction) MA provides you with essential skills and a supportive and challenging environment in which to write a full-length work of narrative non-fiction. You will develop your research skills, experiment with different writing styles, reflect on your own and other writer's work and learn the essentials of the publishing industry.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

You will normally have a UK honours degree (in any subject) or the overseas equivalent. But successful completion of a certificate course in creative writing, or a professional qualification, or relevant experience may also be acceptable.

You will need to submit 5,000 words of non-fiction and may need to attend an interview as part of the application process. (Overseas applicants may be interviewed by telephone.)

English requirements

For students whose first language is not English an IELTS score of at least 7.0 is required (with 7.0 in the writing component).

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

The application process for 2018 is now open.

Apply for MA Creative Writing (Non-fiction) (full-time)

You can apply online and will be expected to submit the following:

  • One application form. You can download a pdf file of our application form or apply online.
  • A Personal Statement of no more than 200 words of why you think you would benefit from the course.
  • A portfolio of your non-fiction writing, up to a maximum of 5,000 words.
  • Teaching and learning

    The teaching, all by published authors, across the two years is front-end loaded in terms 1 and 2 with workshops, lectures and seminars held two evenings a week. Here you will extend your writing skills, your understanding of non-fiction genres and your awareness of creative possibilities. You will also analyse the work of leading writers and explore writing through a variety of exercises, encouraging you to experiment with new approaches.

    All workshops are based around the students' own writing assignments which work towards the completion, or opening chapters, of a book. We also closely analyse published works of non-fiction, taking apart books to examine their style, structure and research methods.

    Throughout the two years there are readings and workshops with visiting authors. In terms 3, 4, 5 and 6 you work principally on your own book project with the support of one-to-one tutorials.

    In term 6 (the final term) the lectures and guest sessions focus on the publishing industry which will provide you with the knowledge to be placed with a literary agent. During the final term you will have the opportunity to read from your work in progress, to contribute to an anthology of writing and to submit a full draft of your book.


    Term 1

    • CWM 959 The Fundamentals of Non-fiction (core)
    • CWM 958 Literary Criticism (core)
    • CWM935 Storytelling (core)
    • CWM956 Complete Book (core)

    Term 2

    • CWM957 The Process of Writing (core)
    • CWM 958 Literary Criticism (core)
    • CWM935 Storytelling (core)
    • CWM956 Complete Book (core)

    Terms 3,4,5 and 6

    • CWM956 Complete Book

    Download the relevant programme specification

    Career prospects

    The MA creative writing non-fiction is proud of its track record in publishing with students from the programme winning publishing contracts every year.

    Graduates include:

    • Peter Moore, The Weather Experiment (Chatto and Windus),
    • Anne Putnam, Navel Gazing (Faber and Faber)
    • Bridge O'Donnell, Inspector Minahan Makes a Stand (Picador).

    Graduates have also gone on to work for media outlets and used their transferrable skills in a variety of professions including teaching, political campaigning and in the charity sector.

    100% of graduates in employment or further study six months after completing the course

    Find out more about the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education survey 2014-15

    Study options for this course

    Notes about fees for this course


    Full-time: £6,000 per year


    Full-time: £8,500 per year

    More about fees

    “Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase limited by the All Items Retail Prices Index. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).”


    Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

    Future Finance Loans

    Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

    Course insight

    Find out more about the Creative Writing MA

    Bridget O'Donnell and Peter Moore both had books published after completing City's Creative Writing Non-Fiction MA. Here they offer an insight into the joys and problems of writing non-fiction.

    Learn a language for free

    We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

    Find out how to apply

    Entry requirements

    Contact City, University of London to find course entry requirements.

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