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Creative Writing Low Residency MFA

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Full time 2 years Full-time students attend two residency periods, scheduled annually in mid-September and early January. To be confirmed 2017
Part time 4 years Part-time students normally attend one residency in each of the four years. To be confirmed 2017

Choose Kingston's Creative Writing Low Residency MFA

The Creative Writing Low Residency MFA at Kingston University provides the opportunity to work with a wide range of well-established and award-winning writers in the most dynamic writing environment in the UK without having to relocate or give up your current job.

Developed to complement the University's growing and acclaimed suite of courses in creative writing, the Low Residency gives you the option of completing the majority of your credits through distance learning while enjoying both accredited and non-accredited residency periods on campus, scheduled annually in mid-September and early June. All residency periods will combine writing workshops with critical reading seminars, masterclasses, guest readings, supervisions and visits to cultural events in London. Accommodation is located close to the University and arranged before arrival by the course team.

What will you study?

The Creative Writing Low Residency MFA follows the same general course structure as the successful and popular Creative Writing MFA.

Full-time students take two 30-credit modules in semester 1, combining the first residency module with a Writers' Workshop module. In semester 2, they will take two more 30-credit modules, this time following their choice of a Special Study workshop with their second residency module in June. During this time they will complete work on structure and style begun online during the semester, while participating in general workshops and reading sessions and tutorials with their assigned dissertation supervisor.

Students then complete a 15,000-word formatively assessed dissertation across the summer leading to the third residency module, which is non-accredited and optional. They will begin to plan their 15,000-word dissertations as part of the first June residency and will receive one-to-one supervision as they work towards their September completion date. They will then be required to write a 40,000-word 120-credit advanced dissertation project to be finished in one year by full time students and two years by part time students. Supervisors for the 40,000-word dissertation will be assigned in at the time of the third residency period, with those students choosing to attend this residency given the opportunity of one-to-one tutorials with their supervisors.

Instruction during all of the residency periods will combine small group workshops and reading classes along with readings by colleagues, writers-in-residence, students and guests. Modules delivered by distance learning will be organised normally to achieve staff student ratios of 8:1 and will include individual tutorials as well as peer group discussion seminars and workshops. Students will be able to access supporting materials, including streamed lectures and readings held at or sponsored by the University.


Continuous assessments in individual accredited modules plus assessment of final dissertation.

Course structure

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

Core modules

  • This module provides students with one-to-one supervision delivered primarily online through Flexible and Distributed Learning over an extended period of time (approximately one year for full time students and two years for part time students). The module is assessed in two ways: firstly, by a creative dissertation of 40,000 words that may take the form of a single sustained piece of writing or a collection of pieces from a suitable range of genre; and secondly, by a critical reading log of approximately 4,500 words.

  • This online advanced graduate level workshop is designed to help students to extend the experience of workshopping their own work and the work of their peers as they begin work on their advanced creative dissertation projects. Creative work will be circulated, read and critiqued at every online workshop session, which will take place every two weeks.

  • Creative Dissertation (Low Residency)
  • The module is designed to engage students with issues of critical and literary theory. The module is also designed to make students more aware of how their work impacts with wider literary, cultural, political and philosophical issues. Awareness of these theories and of some of the issues surrounding the production and reception of literary texts will stimulate students, encouraging them to think ‘outside the box’.  The module will explore debates about literature and the practice of creative writing through readings of essays and texts that are relevant to criticism and theory.  The academic component of the assessment will support the creative work with the objective that students will also have to demonstrate critical, academic, analytical skills.

  • The online workshop module will be devoted to the creative writing of students all working in the same form and genre of their choice.  It will enable students to develop drafts in their chosen form and genre, and to master its specific codes and conventions. Draft work to be reviewed may include, for example, poetry, prose fiction, non-fiction, writing for the stage, or screenwriting, perhaps in a choice of genres such as crime writing, fantasy fiction, writing for children, historical fiction, science fiction, romance and autobiography. Students will be advised how best to strengthen their knowledge of that form or genre in order to reflect critically and constructively on their own writing.  Attention will then be given to the production of a substantial piece or a collection of pieces of creative writing that reflects their knowledge of and engagement with their chosen form or genre.

  • The module is taught through a series of workshops and seminars during a week-long residency period in June that are preceded by regular cross-form online writing discussion groups throughout the semester. The complementary format and curriculum will enable students to benefit from specific writing assignments and a review of fundamental elements of good writing. Students will write in the related forms of poetry, prose and drama. Because the boundaries among literary forms overlap increasingly in contemporary literature, writers who normally work in one form will learn from the study of the others. Students will be expected to produce work in each of the forms of prose, poetry and playwriting as well as a sustained work in their chosen form. There will be formative exercises periodically across the semester leading up to the residency period followed by a review and further exercises in the residency workshops. Students will learn to be rigorous, critical and analytical readers of their own work as well as constructive readers of their peers.

  • This is a workshop-based online module in which students will present and discuss their own work and that of their peers within a group of students writing in a variety of genres and forms. The draft work presented in the module will normally include forms such as poetry, prose fiction, non-fiction, writing for the stage or screenwriting, in a variety of genres, but it may also include genres such as science fiction, romance, crime fiction, writing for children, historical fictional, and autobiography. Students will develop a strong knowledge of the writing workshop ethos, its requirements and etiquette as mutual practical criticism of peer writing will be accompanied by discussion of the scope or constraints of the various genres as well as the implications of working in various forms.  Attention will be paid to the relevant components of good writing: appropriate use of language, narrative pace, dialogue, expression, characterisation and mood.


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road (residency modules only)

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Contact us

Admissions team


This course is taught at Penrhyn Road (residency modules only)

View Penrhyn Road (residency modules only) on our Google Maps
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