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PGDip Creative Writing (online)

Balance literary appreciation with practical application to master your craft.

Year of entry: 2020/21


2 years part-time

Start date

September 2020 (term dates)

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Address the central role of language and meaning as you further your academic and creative development.

This flexible course explores a variety of interesting genres and major forms of prose, poetry and scriptwriting. Guided by a supportive tutor, you will strengthen your writing style and sharpen your critical prowess. You'll gain a wealth of technical and production convention knowledge and write convincingly in an array of literary forms. 

Your learning will take place online alongside a lively global community. You'll have the option to attend bi-annual Writers' Weekends to reinforce your online relationships, collaborate on writing tasks and learn from practising writers, publishers and directors.

This qualification is ideal for writers of all levels. Knowledge sharing, constructive feedback and encouragement are central tenets of the course that create an inclusive learning atmosphere in which you can feel comfortable sharing your creative work. 

An outstanding course! It's designed to be interactive, the content is engaging, and I look forward to the materials being released each week via video, podcasts, handouts, web links and core texts.
PGDip Creative Writing student

Read more from our students and visiting writers.

Join a global community

Broaden your academic horizons alongside enthusiastic staff and students.

Learn online

The flexible modules can be accessed from anywhere, at any time; allowing you to shape your own learning experience.

Writers' Weekends

Be inspired by distinguished professionals at relaxed and friendly biannual writing events.

Course content

This part-time two-year programme is made up of six 20-credit modules.

The programme is structured to equip you with the practical skills to effectively apply scholarly and creative techniques to your own writing. Discovering new modes of expression and literary conventions, you will learn how to communicate complex arguments and transition imaginative concepts into literary realisation. Modules have built-in opportunities for independent study and reflective learning.

We hold optional two-day Writers' Weekends in York each year. The events provide an opportunity for you to meet fellow students and staff, engage in writing workshops and hear from professionals about their experiences of the writing process and publication. Find out more from our students and visiting writers.


Year 1

Year 1 will familiarise you with common writing conventions, purposeful research, blogging, editing and redrafting, feedback language and peer review etiquette. You will explore short fiction, long fiction, scriptwriting and poetry in great detail.

Year 2

In Year 2 you'll delve into the areas of journals, self-reflection, wide-reading, viewing and listening, disciplined writing sessions, peer critique and critical analysis. 

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Write convincingly in an array of literary forms, with a comprehensive knowledge of the techniques and conventions involved in their production
  • Communicate effectively to present a complex argument or a creative conceit
  • Apply scholarly and creative techniques to their own critical and creative writings
  • Critically reflect upon peer feedback and its appropriateness to the development of their own practice, and manage the process of moving inspirational ideas from initial concepts to literary realisation
  • Articulate an understanding of critical traditions in shaping literary history and the linguistic, literary, cultural and socio-historical contexts in which literature is written and read
  • Interrogate and make incisive assessments of concepts and theories concerned with the practice of creative and critical writing

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2020/21

Study modeUK/EU/International
Part-time, distance learning (2 years)
This is the year 1 fee. Fees for future years are subject to confirmation.

For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).

Additional costs

We strive to make reading materials available digitally within licensing agreements. When this is not possible, you may have to obtain some key texts yourself. You'll be issued reading lists in advance of each term.

UK-based students are encouraged to make use of the SCONUL Access scheme which allows the borrowing of reading materials from other libraries belonging to the scheme. 

The optional residential weekends at York are free of charge to attend but you should expect to pay for food, accommodation and travel, which will vary in price depending on your location and the standard of accommodation you choose to book.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

You will study online for an average of 15 hours per week. You can decide when you choose to work, as all activities can be completed around your schedule. Our supportive staff will guide you through a well-structured syllabus that encourages discussion and informed argument.

You will learn through a combination of directed reading and guided online tasks that will challenge you to develop your independent learning, critical review, research, performance, analysis and communication skills. You'll engage with a range of learning resources such as lectures, podcasts, readings, videos, interactive quizzes and talks. 

We embrace self-reflective learning through the regular keeping and sharing of writer logs and annual Writers' Weekends where you can meet and learn from established writers and publishers.


Your learning will take place within a supportive Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Blackboard which will give you access to study resources, discussion forums, the University of York Online Library and your University email account.

Within the VLE you will have access to a personal journal, for talking to your tutor on a one-to-one basis, and an online social space, for conversing with other students about programme material and interests or to organise social events.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed through a balance of creative portfolios at the end of every module, alongside critical essays, reflective journals and literary reviews.

Careers and skills

This Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Writing is enriching to writers at various stages of their writing journeys. As a graduate, you will have a newfound confidence in your personal writing as well as an established variety of transferable skills and a rich literary knowledge of a variety of genres and written forms. 

Throughout the programme, publishing, performance and writing opportunities are regularly communicated to supplement your awareness of, and involvement in, the literary arena. You will also learn about editing, marketing, publishing and self-promotion; attributes attractive to employers in the creative industry and highly valuable to students hoping to publish their work.

Career opportunities

Common careers for those with Creative Writing qualifications include: 

  • Advertising/digital copywriter
  • Arts administrator and creative director
  • Editorial assistant, proof-reader and editor
  • Lexicographer
  • Journalist
  • Professional blogger
  • Web content editor
  • SEO (Search engine optimisation)
  • Social media specialist
  • Literary criticism and artistic reviewer
  • Creative writing teacher


Transferable skills

You'll develop a range of transferable skills including:

  • Critical reading and writing 
  • Creativity
  • Team working
  • Time-management
  • Performance
  • Editing and redrafting
  • Critiquing

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Undergraduate degree Typically you'll be a graduate in a related subject area. We favourably consider students with a BA/BSc award in any subject and evidence of recent higher education level of study in this area.
Other qualifications and experience We are committed to ensuring open access and will seek to ensure those without the qualifications highlighted above, but with evident ability to succeed, have the opportunity to study. In such instances, you may be asked to submit a piece of creative writing for consideration of the admissions panel. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis and we follow the University's Equal Opportunities policy throughout.
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

Additional requirements

You will require access to a personal computer with a broadband internet connection and Microsoft Office software suite, compatible with Word and Excel formats.

The University of York reserves the right to ask students for academic work to support their application and any student may be called to interview.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Qualification Minimum requirement
IELTS 7.0, minimum 6.5 in each component
PTE Academic 67, minimum 61 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 185, minimum 176 in each component
TOEFL 96, minimum 23 in each component
Trinity ISE III Distinction in all components
Duolingo Minimum overall score of 120

For more information see our English language requirements.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Applicants are advised to submit applications as soon as possible as places on programmes are limited. Applications can take up to six weeks to process. Our programmes are extremely popular but, to support the student experience, minimum numbers also apply, so we recommend that you submit your application by mid/late-July.

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Next steps

Contact us

Get in touch if you have any questions

Amanda Pauw, Postgraduate Administrator

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Centre for Lifelong Learning