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Master of Creative Writing

Key facts

  • Available via Distance Learning
  • Not available for international students

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Details you need to know about the structure, courses and requirements for this programme.

View regulations

Entry requirements

This is a Selected Entry programme, based on a portfolio of creative writing prepared by the applicant. Applications close 31 October prior to the year of study.

Applicants require a Bachelor’s degree with at least a B grade average across the 200 and 300 level courses.

Applicants who have a Bachelor’s with Honours degree or a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Creative Writing, Expressive Arts or English, with at least a B grade average for the qualification may be admitted directly into Part Two.

Full details can be viewed in the regulations.

What documents do you need to supply to support your application?

  • verified copy of your academic transcript/s
  • a summary of your research interests: a brief (one to two paragraphs) outline of your proposed MCW thesis, summarising your proposed creative project (about 70% of the thesis) and proposed critical project (about 30% of the thesis); please indicate the genre in which you would like to write your creative thesis in this outline; critical projects usually take the form of a literary essay, a craft essay, or an exegesis
  • your current curriculum vitae showing relevant publishing and professional experience only (you may omit if you have no relevant publishing and professional experience)
  • a personal statement: a brief (one paragraph) supporting statement explaining why you would like to study creative writing
  • a portfolio of your creative writing (please refer below)
  • confirmation that your creative portfolio is your own personal work
  • you do not need to upload a passport sized photograph

Please contact Janet Lowe for more information on required supporting documents.

Creative writing sample requirements

Your creative writing sample should be in the genre you wish to pursue in your thesis and limited to 4,000 words maximum for fiction, creative non-fiction, a theatre or film script, or a hybrid writing sample. For poetry, please submit a sample of up to ten poems (about 10-15 pages). If you are unable to upload your portfolio, please upload confirmation that you are sending your portfolio in hard copy to:

Academic Support
Massey University
Private Bag 11-222

For general entry requirements see Massey University entry requirements.

Planning your programme

The Master of Creative Writing may be awarded with Distinction or Merit when a superior/high standard is achieved. To be considered for Distinction/Merit all requirements must be completed within 18 months of first enrolling in full-time study or 4 years of first enrolling in part-time study.

The maximum time-frame for completion of this qualification is 5 years.

Master of Creative Writing structure

The degree consists of two parts.

Part One (60 credits) is composed of two online, distance courses that may be taken full-time in a single semester or part-time over two consecutive semesters.

It is recommended that you take both of the List A courses to fulfil the requirements of Part One, but you may choose to take only one of the courses. They are 139.765 New Directions in Creative Writing (a multi-genre creative writing workshop), and 139.703 Critical and Creative Research (a research methods course which includes creative research).

If you choose to take only 30 credits from List A, you must take 30 credits from List B.

Part Two (120 credits) is a thesis.

A grade average of at least B+ is required in Part One in order to progress to Part Two.

Note: Part Two of the Master of Creative Writing includes a compulsory 1-3 day residential course, held on one of the Massey University campuses.  The course venue and dates vary from year to year.  Online workshops as well as optional face-to-face meetings may supplement this compulsory residential course.

These regulations should be read in conjunction with all other Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas and Postgraduate Certificates


Part One (60 credits)

List A (minimum of 30 credits)

139.703 Critical and Creative Research
139.765 New Directions in Creative Writing

List B (maximum of 30 credits)

Selected from courses listed on the programme schedule.  Check the regulations for a list of courses.

Part Two (120 credits)

120 credits from the courses listed below:
139.861 Thesis Creative Writing Part I (60) and
139.862 Thesis Creative Writing Part II (60)

How much will it cost?

We can't tell you the exact cost until you have chosen your courses, as the tuition fees you pay each year vary depending on the courses you choose. There will also be compulsory non-tuition fees you have to pay in addition to your tuition fees. For some courses there may be other charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

To get an approximate idea of tuition costs for typical study areas, you can use our quick guide to programme fees.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

If you already know which courses you are going to take, you can use our Fees calculator to get an estimate of your fees.

Financial assistance

You might be eligible to apply for a scholarship or award. You can use our scholarship search to see what is available. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

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