Master of Arts in Literature and Creative Writing

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WSU Alumni Geneva Valek. © Sally Tsoutas, WSU Office of Marketing and Communication 2022.

More than an MA

The Writing and Society Research Centre offers a nationally leading Master of Arts in Literature and Creative Writing taught by eminent authors, critics and editors.

The MA is a challenging, rigorous and industry-focused degree that combines critical research and creative work. Students are guided by publishing writers to produce works of literary scholarship or creative writing across a diverse range of styles including fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, literary criticism, screenwriting and scriptwriting.

Our Centre is unique in Australia in the way it combines scholarship, authorship, publishing expertise and community engagement. Celebrated writers, scholars and editors working in the Centre include Alexis Wright, Felicity Castagna, George Haddad, Luke Carman, Kate Fagan, Mette Jakobsen, James Jiang, Anthony Uhlmann and Tegan Bennett Daylight.

The Centre houses the highly decorated literary press Giramondo Publishing and Australia’s pre-eminent literary review site, the Sydney Review of Books. Doctoral programs of study in Literature and Creative Writing are also available. We are ranked above world standing in the study of literature and creative arts practice.

In short, the Writing and Society Research Centre is one of the best places nationally either to become a writer or to think in a critical and scholarly way about writing.

Subject Offerings in the MLit/CW

The MA program takes 18 months (three semesters) full-time. Part-time study is also possible. Students take two 12-week (semester-long) core subjects: Creative Methods in Research and Creative Writing Practice. These foundational subjects are complemented by four 6-week elective subjects: Writers at Work, Reading and Writing Australia, Writing and Genre and Creative Non-Fiction. Students can also choose electives from the SoHCA MRes elective offerings.

In Year 2, MA students complete a research project that involves either a major creative work (11,000 words or equivalent for your genre, plus a 4000-word exegesis) or a scholarly thesis of 15,000 words. The Masters Project is completed over 6 months. MA students are further encouraged to take part in the vibrant culture of the Centre with its many events and seminars. The MA is taught currently from 5pm-8pm (evenings after work) on Parramatta City campus.

Outstanding MA students may choose to transition to a scholarship-supported MRes thesis year in Year 2. Please see further information below or contact our Postgraduate Adviser, Dr Melinda Jewell:

Pathway to PhD and DCA

At the beginning of Year 2, students who have successfully completed year 1 of the MA in Literature and Creative Writing students can apply for entry with advanced standing into the Masters of Research program which is a pathway to DCA and PhD study. Students who are accepted into this stream of study complete a year-long research project , instead of the half year Masters Project. Students accepted into the Masters of Research program complete a 25,000 word thesis or an equivalent creative work and exegesis.

Find out more about the MA in Literature and Creative Writing

Exit Points

Graduate Certificate

Students can choose to complete three units (one semester long skilling unit and two intensive units) in order to graduate with a Graduate Certificate (something that is particularly beneficial for high school or primary school teachers currently working and looking to upgrade their qualifications as teachers of literature and creative writing). One semester full time or part time equivalent.

Graduate Diploma

Students can choose to complete the full six first year course work units without doing the second year research project, in which case they will graduate with a Graduate Diploma. One year full time or part time equivalent.

MA Literature and Creative Writing

The MA course as described above. One and a half years full time or part time equivalent.

Master of Research

Students can apply for admission into M(Res) degree as described above. If they perform well in this process they will become competitive for further study (either at the DCA level or for a PhD in English literature). Two years full time or part time equivalent.