Professional Writing MA

Poet and playwright Owen Sheers ran workshops as the second writer in residence at Falmouth University.
Falmouth Campus
1 year full-time
Direct line
01326 213730

On this commercially focused course, you'll develop the core skills you need to write flexibly and effectively.

Whether it's fiction, non-fiction, marketing copy, magazine features or screenplays, you'll learn how to tailor your work to competitive and fast-moving markets, developing a high-quality portfolio along with the confidence and professionalism you need to forge a successful career.

The MA has a strong reputation for giving talented writers the skills needed to build a viable career. That's because we recognise that only by working to exacting, real-world standards can you rise to the tough demands of life as a writer.

You'll be immersed in the world of writing from the outset, learning how to create compelling narratives and voices before going on to apply these techniques to the specialist areas of your choice. You'll gain an in-depth understanding of the content industry, and of how to raise your own professional profile within it, and will be part of a lively and supportive community of fellow writers.

On graduation you'll be primed to tackle the writing industry head on – with a portfolio and accomplished working style ready to impress potential employers and meet any writing challenge.


  • Learn from practising writers and editors
  • Make use of our outstanding connections across the writing and publishing sector
  • Learn from leading writers and publishing industry insiders
  • Uncover your strengths as a writer
  • Explore media and audience
  • Learn to develop and pitch your ideas

Building professional experience

From day one, you'll be supported in shaping your work for publication. Many students succeed in placing work in both local and national publications while still on the course.

During the second half of the MA, you'll be encouraged to identify and undertake writing-related work experience that can feed into your industry-focused research project.

In previous years, students have secured placements with many leading publishers, media organisations, copywriting agencies, magazines and newspapers, often leading to ongoing work after graduation.

How the course is taught

The MA is structured around a mix of seminars, lectures, real-world briefs and practical workshops, along with your own self-managed work. You'll work individually and in teams, collaborating with other media professionals and developing your own projects and business ideas. Critiquing will form a valuable part of your learning experience.

As successful practising writers themselves, your tutors will expect you to take a disciplined and professional approach to your work.

Course outline

The course runs over 45 weeks, and is delivered across three study blocks:

Study Blocks 1 & 2

You'll start by developing your core writing skills across a range of formats, then choose two specialist options from a selection that includes Fiction, Non-fiction, Scriptwriting, and Business & Editorial Writing – building a portfolio that showcases your abilities.

To help guide your choice of specialism, you'll take a module that looks at how writers work in different areas of the content industry. You'll also learn how to use the web and social media to build a profile as a writer.

After completing your specialist options, you'll take a module in research skills. As part of this, you'll carry out industry-focused research and develop a proposal for a longer creative project – your MA project.

Study Block 3

In the final part of the course, you'll work independently on this project, supported by a specialist tutor. To accompany your project, you'll write a contextual essay focusing on an aspect of your writing practice.

Enhanced learning opportunities

We are delighted to host the Writers in Residence programme. Wyl Menmuir is Writer in Residence in 2017, and previous Writers in Residence have included Emily Barr, Matt Haig, Lionel Shriver, Owen Sheers and Philip Marsden.

Students have the opportunity to attend the London Book Fair and Port Eliot Festival.


  • Our library offers access to a wide range of online resources
  • For campus-based students, our Media Centre has industry-standard audio/video recording and editing equipment
  • Course-specific Virtual Learning Environment


  • Formal assessment and feedback at the end of each module.
  • Final assessment is largely based on your extended creative project, which is accompanied by a contextual essay.


Our graduates have forged careers across the publishing and content industry. Potential careers include:

  • Full-time author
  • Entertainment blogger
  • App content creator
  • Freelance journalist
  • Website editor
  • Business writer
  • Script editor
  • Press officer
  • Playwright

Interview and selection process

When you apply, we'll ask you to send us a sample of your work along with your application. This could be an unpublished (or published) short story, screenplay, report, journalistic feature, novel extract or anything else that demonstrates your aptitude for writing. If the course team feels you have potential, we'll invite you to interview. We value meeting you in person but Skype interviews can be arranged if this isn't possible.