Our Writing Poetry MA will develop your creative ability through practice, discussion and revision. You'll work with established poets and writers to refine your work. You'll also consider the processes of writing and develop advanced editing skills.

About this course

Our Writing Poetry MA is for those who want to put poetry at the centre of their creative practice. You will receive expert tuition from nationally and internationally renowned poets. With them you will develop your poetry-writing and reflective abilities through reading, discussion and revision, and will progress to receive formal recognition for your work.

You can choose to study either in Newcastle or London. All classes are in the evening if studying at Newcastle and during the day in London. Newcastle University leads the North East cohort. The London course is run in collaboration with The Poetry School.

What you'll learnWhat you'll learn

By the end of the course, you will have:

  • an advanced awareness of the processes of writing in your own work and that of others
  • advanced your creative ability through practice, reading, discussion and revision
  • learned new ways to generate work, and refine it through the development of enhanced revision skills
  • a range of knowledge on the writing of poetry in English
  • an enhanced sensitivity to verbal creativity
  • an advanced ability to understand and judge the timing and duration of creative projects
  • the ability to revise and prepare poetry for submission and publication 
  • knowledge of the professional world of writing and publishing

Your development

You'll develop your poetry-writing and reflective abilities through:

  • reading
  • discussion
  • revision.

You will progress to receive formal recognition for your work. 

Our staff

The programme is rooted in the experience and expertise of our award-winning tutors:

  • Glyn Maxwell (London)
  • Tamar Yoseloff (London)
  • Tara Bergin (Newcastle, Degree Programme Director)
  • W.N. Herbert (Newcastle)
  • Sinéad Morrissey (Newcastle) 
  • Jacob Polley (Newcastle).

You will also receive tuition from guest tutors. Our guest tutors are from The Poetry School and Newcastle University's teaching communities.


The course is delivered through Workshops and Masterclasses. Workshops focus on:

  • reading
  • discussion
  • revision of your own work.

 Masterclasses focus on:

  • the generation of new work and new understanding, often through responses to published contemporary poetry
  • place
  • archives
  • un-poetic texts
  • translation
  • the visual arts

 Summer school

Each year both cohorts come together for a one week summer school. The summer school alternates between the two cities each year.
The summer schools will focus on professional skills related to:

  • creative writing teaching techniques
  • the publishing industry and literary world
  • residency work



The School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics is a lively and diverse community with over 700 undergraduates and 200 postgraduates. We are based in the Percy Building where the majority of your seminars and tutorials will take place. Our purpose-built postgraduate suite includes:

  • several dedicated computer clusters
  • meeting rooms
  • a kitchen and lounge area

You also have access to the award-winning Peter Robinson Library, which has an extensive audio-visual collection.

 The Newcastle Centre for Literary Arts (NCLA) is a world-class centre of excellence in the field of creative writing which contributes to the cultural life of the North East via:

  • readings
  • projects
  • teaching 
  • research.

The NCLA offers you the opportunity to get involved in our writing community through readings and events that feature:

  • poets
  • scriptwriters
  • non-fiction writers
  • novelists.

Past speakers include:

  • Paul Muldoon
  • Claudia Rankine
  • Carol Ann Duffy
  • Carolyn Forché
  • Jorie Graham Alice Oswald.


You will study at the Poetry School in Lambeth, a short walk from Canada Water. The National Poetry Library British libraries and London's central cultural hubs are nearby. The Poetry School has a small but growing library.

You will have the opportunity to enrich your practice through The Poetry School's many collaborations. The Poetry School is embedded in the poetry world with links to other poetry and arts organisations. You will be situated at the centre of a thriving poetry community.

A large and varied short course programme runs alongside the MA. You can choose to access these courses for a supplementary fee.

MA Award
Part-time Study Mode
24 months Duration

Entry Requirements For This Course

A 2:1 honours degree, or international equivalent, in a related subject. Along with your application you will need to submit a portfolio of up to ten poems. 

We will also consider applicants on an individual basis with lower or non-standard qualifications. 

International Students

To study this course you need to meet our Band 10 English Language requirements:

Direct Entry: IELTS 7.0 overall (with 6.5 in writing and a minimum of 6.0 in all other sub-skills)

Pre-sessional English Language courses are not accepted as an alternative entry to this course.

Our typical English Language requirements are listed as IELTS scores but we also accept a wide range of English Language tests.

The equivalent academic qualifications that we accept are listed on our country pages.

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