Postgraduate Courses in Creative Writing

By Gemma Creagh - Last update


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They say everyone has a book in them; have you been threatening to write yours for years? A postgraduate course in Creative Writing is an excellent opportunity to take that plunge and invest time in yourself. Dedicate a year (or two, or three – depending on the level of training) to hone those writing skills and take your creative goals off the back burner.

Reasons to study Creative Writing

1. Expand your network

The baptism by fire that is a Creative Writing postgraduate course creates an intensive environment which often forges longstanding friendships. A big part of what you’ll be doing is meeting other writers and critiquing each others’ work. Done with the right people, this is a bonding experience that will leave you with not only professional acquaintances but also friends.

2. Challenge yourself

In your regular daily life, so often your plans to write get put on the long finger. If you take one of the many postgraduate courses in Creative Writing out there, you might have 2 – 5 deadlines per week, alongside assignments, group work and a thesis. You’ll have tutors pushing you to explore genres and dabble in writing styles you’ve never tried before. Programmes like these are no place for a comfort zone.

3. Develop your skills in a safe environment

The professional realm can be cruel and competitive at times. An educational space provides room for failure, which a lot of the time is the very best way to learn. You’ll have guidance and help of experts, so when a piece isn’t working our tonally, or thematically, you can really get to the crux of why without worrying about losing readers or not delivering to your editor. No writer is an island, and advice can be the best way to really open up your creative flow.

4. Be inspired

Do you want to learn your craft from the person who wrote the book? On a Creative Writing postgraduate programme you can do that… literally. Ireland ranks very high on the international scale when it comes to our literary achievements. As a result, your tutors will be professionals and bestselling authors, esteemed poets or award-winning playwrights.

6. The qualification itself

A postgraduate course in Creative writing is a great way to into the world of teaching. Writing fiction or poetry is a notoriously hard arena to make money in, and a lot of people in this area, subsidise their income with teaching. Also as you advance in your career, it’s a great way to keep your love and inspiration for the craft going as well as staying on top of upcoming trends. Not to mention you have your own dedicated focus group if you want to hash anything out for a piece you’re working on!

7. It’s enjoyable

This is not the type of course where you sit alone studying facts. It’s immersive, creative, and you’ll be assessed on your assignments rather than lots of stressful exams. If you love reading and writing, most of what you’ll be covering could barely be considered as coursework, and rather guided immersion on what you’d be doing anyway.

What to expect from postgraduate courses in Creative Writing

While you can mostly transfer from any field of undergraduate degree, you will be required to submit a portfolio of writing to ensure your level of ability is high enough to manage the programme. A full-time, year-long course might generally cost 6,000-7.500 euros for an EU student. Presently, there’s a broad spectrum of courses nationwide to choose from. You can cover a host of topics, theatre, screenwriting, poetry, prose, creative nonfiction, some can overlap with reviewing, literature, critical reading and creative practice or even touch on publishing.

Most people delivering the programmes will be professionals working in the field; so this is when you put in the research. What do you want to focus on? Which training providers have the best coverage of that field? You need to choose your course accordingly. The more you put into a programme like this, the more you will get out of it, so make sure you turn up to every writing group, go for pints with every visiting tutor, pop along to book launches and make sure to use your mentors’ advice and submit as much of your work as possible. Wouldn’t it be great to graduate as a published author?

Potential career opportunities

Unless you have professional experience prior to entry, a postgraduate qualification itself won’t land you a four book publishing deal. It will, however, set you up to apply for an entry-level job in a number of industries, while the programme itself will furnish you with an impressive, edited portfolio of creative works. A postgraduate course in Creative Writing can be a stepping off point into a career in journalism (online, radio & print), advertising and copywriting, arts administration, editing/publishing, TV, Radio or Theatre, in education or as a digital marketer.

Writing and storytelling is an important skill that you can spend a lifetime improving on. Take that first step today and book on a postgraduate programme in Creative Writing. Start that next chapter today.


Gemma Creagh

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