MA in Literature and Creative Writing

More than an MA Creative Writing

The Writing and Society Research Centre offers a challenging, rigorous coursework and research MA combining criticism and creative work and leading to an MA in Literature and Creative Writing. By connecting creative writing practice to ideas and creative work from across the arts and sciences, we offer students the opportunity to think across creative, critical and disciplinary categories and to produce either works of scholarship or creative writing (or related creative work that crosses over into other areas including music, art, performance and film).

Our Centre is unique in Australia in the way it combines scholarship, authorship and expertise in publishing. The Centre includes some of Australia's most celebrated writers (such as the novelist Gail Jones) and widely published literary scholars and critics with international reputations (such as Ivor Indyk, Chris Andrews and Anthony Uhlmann). We are ranked above world standard in the study of literature and creative arts practice.

The Centre houses the highly decorated literary press Giramondo Publishing, and the pre-eminent literary review site in Australia, The Sydney Review of Books. With all this we are able to offer a multifaceted understanding of literature and writing. In short, we think this is one of the best places in Australia either to become a writer or to think in a critical and scholarly way about writing.

Critical and Creative Writing Program

The MA program takes one and a half years. The first year involves course work units of two kinds. In the first year there are two semester long units that develop student's professional and scholarly skills both in critical and creative practice. These units involve working with some of our distinguished literary scholars in the discipline of English in the School of Humanities as well as meeting with staff involved with Giramondo Publishing and Sydney Review of Books. MA students are further encouraged to take part in the vibrant culture of the Centre with its many events and seminars.

These year long skilling units are complemented by four six week intensive units (two each semester, one following the other). These units are taught by scholars and creative writers in the Centre and follow the logic of what has been termed, a little technically, 'cultural phenomenology': that is, an important object, idea, or cultural practice is brought into focus and examined from a number of different angles, so that an understanding of how we experience that thing is developed.

This method is well adapted to thinking in both creative and critical ways. The MA in Literature and Creative Writing mixes units related to writing and aesthetic practice with the opportunity to work with some of Australia's leading writers, editors and critics in developing creative or critical work.

In Year 2 students complete a research project that involves either a major creative work (with an exegesis) or a scholarly thesis of 15,000 words. The Masters Project is completed in half a year or 1 session.

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 applications and enrolment

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.

MA (Research)

Students can apply for admission into MA Research 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.

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