UCC Postgraduate courses

Creative Writing

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Creative Writing

  • Code


  • College

    Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences

  • Duration

    1 year Full-time; 2 years Part-time

  • Teaching Mode

    Full-time, Part-Time. See Additional Teaching Mode Information for more info.

  • Qualifications


  • EU Fees 2021

    €7,330; €3,700 (Year 1 Part-time); €3,700 (Year 2 Part-time)
    See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Non-EU Fees 2021


  • Entry Requirements

    Applications will be considered from graduates of all disciplines. Applicants will normally have a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or above in any discipline. See Requirements for full details.

  • Closing Date

    EU Closing Date: 1 May 2022

  • Non-EU Closing Date

    Non EU Closing Date: 1 March 2022

  • Start Date

    12 September 2022

Course Outline

Only you can write the book that you would write, be it a collection of poetry, a novel, a memoir… Nobody else could write it like you could write it. The purpose of the UCC MA in Creative Writing is to give you the tools to write that book, and many more after it. As well as honing the techniques and craft of creative writing, the UCC MA in Creative Writing is also designed to prepare you for a career in publishing, and the creative arts; to introduce you to the publishing industry (engaging on a weekly basis with published authors and publishing professionals) and to connect you to your most creative and productive self; to provide access to the community of writers that exists, both in the wider world and in Cork, a thriving literary scene; to give you time to write; to introduce you to other emerging writers, like-minded individuals on the same pathway as you. To empower you.

The School of English in UCC treats writing as a living, evolving practice: students taking the course will read and write in a context in which literature is being performed, transformed and adapted, and in doing so offer you a safe space to learn, to practice, and to develop your craft towards inventive and authentic forms of expression. The course as a whole encourages and supports a full exploration of the creative self while also maintaining a strong vocational emphasis.

Directed by 2021 IMPAC longlistee Dr. Eibhear Walshe, all of our courses are embedded in Cork’s thriving artistic scene, rooted in expert practice and taught by highly accomplished professionals. A rich variety of modules are available, including Fiction, Poetry, Life Writing, Creative Non-fiction, and reading creatively (through Craft of the Novel). Additionall, the Business of Writing module is dedicated to the professional life of the creative writer, including work placements, and a series of visiting speakers such as Mike McCormack, Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, Nicole Flattery, Lisa McInerney, Tramp Press, The Stinging Fly and many more.

Some of Ireland’s greatest writers have studied or taught at UCC, including Frank O’Connor, Sean O’Faolain, Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill and John Montague, while more recently the Creative Writing programme boasts published graduates like Madeleine D’Arcy, Tadhg Coakley and Laura McKenna. Notable poets associated with UCC include Mary Noonan, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, Thomas McCarthy, Sean Dunne, Paul Durcan, Theo Dorgan and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin. The School of English hosts an annual Writer-In-Residence and holders of this prestigious post have included Mary Morrissy, Claire Keegan, Danielle McLaughlin, Thomas Morris, Eimear Ryan, Danny Denton and Matthew Sweeney.   In addition to this we host a reading series that has included guests such as: Kevin Barry, Claire-Louise Bennett, Conor O’Callaghan, Nidhi Zak/Aria Eipe, Nuala O’Connor, Brian Turner and Zadie Smith.

Writing and reading are intertwined as acts—opposite ends of an attempt to understand what it’s like to be in the world. Never has that been more important. Never has the world needed more writers, and more readers, and an over-arching guide to the UCC MA in Creative Writing’s approach is to foster such readers and writers in achieving their potential.

Students take 90 credits as follows:

Part 1 (50 credits)

Core Modules 

  • EN6034 The Business of Writing (5 credits)

Elective Modules
Students take 45 credits from the following:

  • EN6031 Poetry 1 (10 credits)
  • EN6032 Fiction Workshop (10 credits)
  • EN6033 Writing the Self: Fiction and non-Fiction (10 credits)
  • EN6042 Creative Writing Workshop (5 credits)
  • EN6056 Craft of Fiction:  The Novel (5 credits)
  • EN6057 Writing for the Media (5 credits) 
  • EN6060 Poetry 2: Mythology and Contemporary Poetry (10 credits)
  • EN6061 Poetry Workshop (5 credits)
  • EN6062 Craft of Fiction: The Short Story (5 credits)

In order to ensure coherence and a good workload balance over the course of the programme, students will select their modules in consultation with the programme coordinator and other members of the Board of Studies as appropriate. Not all modules may be available every year.

Part II

  • EN6040 Dissertation in Creative Writing (40 credits)

Additional Teaching Mode Information

The part-time option will be taught during weekday working hours and evening hours over 2 years.  Taking the course part-time takes 24 months.

The part-time option for the MA in Creative Writing is offered biannually.  We will be taking a part-time cohort in September 2021.


Further details on the modules listed above can be found in our book of modules. Any modules listed above are indicative of the current set of modules for this course but are subject to change from year to year.

University Calendar

You can find the full academic content for the current year of any given course in our University Calendar.

Course Practicalities

The MA in Creative Writing is taught on Mondays and Tuesdays during the Autumn and Spring Semesters (September to March). Seminar hours are approximately 6-8 per week and reading hours / writing assignments are likely to take another 8 hours per week. The course involves a mixture of seminars, workshops, placement and writing practice and students will work on self-reflexive essays and projects.

Students are assessed continuously during the course, submitting specified creative work alongside commentaries on their own creative practice.

Who Teaches on the Programme

Eibhear Walshe

Danny Denton

Leanne O'Sullivan

As well as modules taught by the core staff, we also host regular masterclasses.  These have been led by luminaries such as Richard Ford, John Banville, Catherine Ryan Howard, Danielle McLaughlin, Sandra Beasley and Paula Bohince.

Why Choose This Course

This Creative Writing MA programme empowers the student in the honing and develop of their craft as a writer, providing them with the tools and critical prowess to commence a career in writing and publishing. As well as honing the techniques and craft of creative writing, the UCC MA in Creative Writing is designed to: provide access to the community of writers that exists both in the wider world and in Cork, a thriving literary scene; to give you time to write; and to introduce you to other emerging writers, like-minded individuals on the same pathway as you. The course as a whole encourages and supports a full exploration of the creative self while also maintaining a strong vocational emphasis, sustaining and supporting a life-long relationship with writing.

Skills and Careers Information

The MA in Creative Writing provides an excellent foundation for a variety of writing and publishing careers, including authorship across a range of forms and styles, journalism, teaching, publishing, and arts administration. The design of the MA fosters contacts with agents, publishers, and the professional world of the creative industries; it also produces well-crafted writing in one (or more) of the forms of creative writing. Students experiment with, engage with, and reflect on a diversity of writing practices and establish an awareness of the role of technique and craft in their own work. They also learn how to interact with peers on an editorial level, and to understand the importance of editing and revision in the process of writing. Developing appropriate research methods and recording processes of self-reflection are also key components of the MA, encouraging students to reflect upon and discuss the conceptual challenges of the creative process, key contexts and practical concerns. Finally, the MA fosters in its students an understanding of the practical constraints and professional opportunities of life as a writer, and a lifelong relationship with the written word.


Applications will be considered from graduates of all disciplines. Applicants will normally have a Second Class Honours Grade II in a primary honours degree (NFQ, Level 8) or above, in any discipline. For North American students a cumulative GPA of 3.2 is normally expected. Applicants with relevant writing or arts experience (eg. working in publishing, journalism or arts administration) are also invited to apply.

All applicants will be asked to submit a short piece of creative writing (of at least 1000 words (any genre). This piece of creative writing will be used by the teaching team to evaluate each applicant's suitability. Further examples of applicant's work may be requested.

English Language Requirements

Applicants that are non-native speakers of the English language must meet the university approved English language requirements available here.

For applicants with qualifications completed outside of Ireland

Applicants must meet the required entry academic grade, equivalent to Irish requirements, please find our grades comparison by country here

International/non-EU applicants

For full details of the non-EU application procedure please visit our how to apply pages for international students. In UCC, we use the term programme and course interchangeably to describe what a person has registered to study in UCC and its constituent colleges, schools, and departments.

Not all courses are open to international/non-EU applicants, please check the fact file above.

For more information please contact the International Office.

Fees and Costs

The EU fee for this course is €7,330; €3,700 (Year 1 Part-time); €3,700 (Year 2 Part-time).

The Non-EU fee for this course is €16,400.


If your course required a deposit, that figure will be deducted from your second semester fee payment in January.

EU student fee payment:

Fees for EU students are payable in two equal instalments. First payment at registration in August and the second in January.

International student fee payment:

Fees for Non-EU Students are payable in one instalment in August.

How can I pay?

By Credit/Debit card online or by credit transfer.


If you have any questions on fee payment please email our Fees Office at fees@ucc.ie .

Non-EU Fees

The fee schedule for 2019/2020 is available here.

How Do I Apply

1. Choose Course

Firstly choose your course. Applicants can apply for up to two courses under one application. Details of taught courses are available on our online prospectus.

2. Apply Online

Once you have chosen your course you can apply online at the online application portal. Applicants will need to apply before the course closing date. There is a non-refundable €50 application fee for all courses apart from the Education - Professional Master of Education - (Secondary School/Post-Primary Teacher Training) which has a €100 application fee.

Applicants for the Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health Nursing must apply on the PAC website when the programme opens for applications.

3. Gather Supporting Documents

Scanned copies of the following documents will need to be uploaded to the online application portal in support of your application. Applicants may need to produce the original documents if you are accepted onto a course and register at UCC.

  • Original qualification documents listed on your application including transcripts of results from institutions other than UCC
  • Any supplementary items requested for your course.

Please log into the online application portal for more details.

4. Application processing timeline

Our online application portal opens for applications for most courses in early November of each year. Check specific course details. 

5. Rounds

For courses that are in the rounds system (Irish and EU applicants), please check the rounds closing dates here.

Questions on how to apply?

Please use our web enquiry form to contact us.

Additional Requirements (All Applicants)

Please note you will be required to provide additional information as part of the online application process for this programme. This will include the following questions:

  • You may enter the details of professional or voluntary positions held. We strongly encourage you to complete this section with all relevant work experiences that will support your application.

  • Please describe your motivation and readiness for this programme.

  • Please submit a short portfolio (no more than 1000 words) of your creative writing. This can be in the form of a poem/poems, a short story or an extract from a novel, or an excerpt of memoir.
  • Please detail your computing/technical/IT skills.
  • Please add the name and email address of 2 referees.


Please note that successful EU applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit of €500 on acceptance of their place.


Deferrals are not permitted on the 2 year part-time option.

The closing date for non-EU applications is Non EU Closing Date: 1 March 2022

Apply Now

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact