Falmouth University students sat on sofas in a blue room with bookshelves

Professional Writing MA

Forge a successful career in professional writing.

Key details
Location
Falmouth Campus
Course duration
1 year
Attendance
Full-time

Course overview

Develop the skills to forge a career in writing. On this engaging MA course, you’ll learn to craft a variety of writing forms, including fiction, poetry and non-fiction, as well as magazine features and marketing copy, for a range of competitive and fast-moving industries. 

Immerse yourself in the literary world as part of Falmouth’s lively community of writers and visiting speakers. Learning from active professionals, you’ll study and experiment with all forms of the written word and develop core skills across areas including genre writing, narrative structure, pitching and presenting ideas, research and self-promotion. Graduating with a portfolio and an accomplished working style, you’ll be primed to tackle the industry head on. 

Study at Falmouth:

  • Explore a broad range of disciplines, developing the skills you need to succeed as a professional writer 
  • Be guided by our team of writers, publishers, editors and industry professionals 
  • Join a supportive campus writing community, surrounded by innovators from different disciplines in a region rich with history, arts and culture 
  • Be inspired by our guest speaker programme, which has previously featured Patrick Gale, Nina Mingya Powles and Raynor Winn, as well as literary agents, editors and publishers 

Course details

Throughout this Professional Writing MA you’ll be challenged to experiment and develop your voice whilst writing for a broad range of contexts. Building on a foundation of creative problem solving, critical thinking and analysis, you will learn to articulate your ideas clearly in a variety of professional scenarios including pitching and presenting work to industry.  

From the moment you join the Professional Writing MA, you will begin to develop the skills you need to practise as a professional writer and will be supported to explore a variety of different fields.  

You will develop a broad range of creative, practical, critical, cognitive and intellectual skills, which will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of current practices in your specialist area and enable you to recognise and understand opportunities that exist across the contemporary writing and publishing industries.  

You will learn how to operate independently and to exercise the advanced critical judgement needed to negotiate, develop and complete a sustained writing project to professional standards. 

Modules

Telling Good Stories

This module introduces you to the structures of good storytelling and encourages you to explore and develop core writing skills and key techniques such as character development, point-of-view, use of time and space, and genre conventions through extensive reading and analysis of a range of literary or creative forms, and through the application of these techniques in your own writing. 

Making a Living 1: Professional Contexts

This module introduces you to the skills needed to operate across the professional writing industries. You will learn what it means to work a ‘portfolio career’ and you will have the opportunity to discuss and practice the core skills of such a career, such as interviewing techniques, reviewing, pitching, performance, developing writing workshops, purpose-led storytelling and effective uses of social media. 

Creative Writing Careers: Building a Portfolio

Building on your learnings from the previous modules, you will begin to develop a significant idea for publication for which you will produce an industry-standard portfolio of material that is ready to be submitted to an appropriate professional body, such as a publishing company or literary agent. This might include a synopsis, market or audience analysis, chapter outlines, a treatment for a script, a cover letter, cover copy or an introduction. 

Making a Living 2: Writing for Business

This module gives you the opportunity to explore and develop the research, writing and editing skills that go into writing for business, non-profit organisations, and for editorial publications including newspapers, magazines and websites. You will produce a portfolio that spans a range of formats and contexts, from press releases to feature articles and web copy. 

Final Project

In this module you will work on an individual project, which builds on the work completed in previous modules. Each student is allocated a supervisor who is a specialist in the appropriate field to supervise the broad development of the project, setting deadlines and advising on areas of possible improvement. An essay will contextualize your work regarding current practice and theory.  

As part of our process of continuous improvement, we routinely review course content to ensure that all our students benefit from a high-quality and rewarding academic experience. As such, there may be some changes made to your course which are not immediately reflected in the content displayed on our website. Any students affected will be informed of any changes made directly.

How you'll learn & be assessed

This 45-week Professional Writing course covers 3 study blocks and brings together seminars, workshops and your own self-managed practice. You'll work individually and in teams, collaborating with others, developing your own projects and business ideas, and giving and receiving feedback. 

  • Assessments are coursework based, consisting of portfolios, reviews, creative and practical work, as well as presentations and pitches.  
  • Formative feedback is delivered throughout the modules, in workshops, tutorials and via the Learning Space. Summative feedback is delivered at the end of every assessment via Turnitin. 

Facilities

  • Digital labs, lecture theatres and seminar rooms. 

  • Libraries housing 140,000 books, 17,000 DVD and video titles, and exhaustive electronic and journal resources. 

  • The Lighthouse – a dedicated writers' room and events space 

  • The Soundhouse – podcasting facility 

Staff

Teaching staff on the MA Professional Writing include award-winning publishers, novelists and writers of non-fiction, published poets, brand communicators, copy-writers, journalists and reviewers. 

Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every staff member who teaches on the course.

Dr Jennifer Young staff picture

Dr Jennifer Young

Head of People Success

Jennifer Young came to Falmouth in 2019 to take up the post of Head of Writing and Journalism. She o...

Dr Jennifer Young

Tom Scott

Senior Lecturer

Tom studied english at Keble College Oxford before taking an MA in African Studies at the School of ...

Tom Scott

Dr Luke Thompson

Course Leader, MA Professional Writing

Luke is a writer and publisher from Cornwall. His interests include human-animal relationships, smal...

Dr Luke Thompson

Dr Marshall Moore

Course Leader and Senior Lecturer

Dr. Marshall Moore hails from North Carolina and relocated to the UK in 2020 after living and workin...

Dr Marshall Moore
Wyl headshot

Wyl Menmuir

Lecturer, Creative Writing

Wyl Menmuir is an award-winning author based in Cornwall. His 2016 debut novel, The Many was longlis...

Wyl Menmuir
Nic Coplin headshot

Nicola Coplin

Lecturer

Nic has taught at Falmouth University since 2013. She trained in acting at the Hub Theatre School in...

Nicola Coplin
Lecturer in Creative Writing

Dr Adrian Markle

Lecturer in Creative Writing

Adrian joined Falmouth in 2019. Originally from Canada, he moved to the UK in 2011 for the MA at Bat...

Dr Adrian Markle
Clare Howdle headshot

Clare Howdle

Associate Lecturer: Professional Writing

From writing copy for Discovery Channel as a fresh new graduate, to launching independent surf lifes...

Clare Howdle
Dr Jo Parsons

Dr Jo Parsons

Lecturer in English and Creative Writing

Dr Jo Parsons has been a Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Falmouth University since 2019....

Dr Jo Parsons
Head of Writing and Journalism Dr Jennifer Young
Jennifer Young
Head of Writing and Journalism Dr Jennifer Young

Got a question about this course?


If you want to know more about the course structure, our application requirements or what our graduates have gone on to achieve, our friendly course team is here to help.

Chat to Jennifer
Pile of books by the writers in residence that have been at Falmouth.
SoWJ book pile

Careers

Graduates have become novelists, copy and content writers, writers for script and screen, editors and editorial managers, have worked freelance and for companies including branding agencies and streaming services. 

A woman smiling into the camera with her head tilted sideways
Ceda Parkinson

Graduate Spotlight: author Ceda Parkinson

28 May 2024

Since completing her master's in Professional Writing at Falmouth in 2023, Ceda Parkinson’s writin...

Graduate Spotlight: author Ceda Parkinson
Graduate Thomas Young sitting cross-legged on a sofa with a wall of artwork and photos behind him
Thomas Young

Graduate spotlight: Reigniting your creative fire

25 October 2022

BA Musical Theatre and MA Professional Writing graduate speaks about discovering, losing and finally...

Graduate spotlight: Reigniting your creative fire
Adrian Martin poses as he signs at book
Adrian book signing new

Meet the accidental author juggling multiple books deals

16 March 2022

After honing his authorial prowess on Falmouth’s English & Creative Writing degree, Adrian Mar...

Meet the accidental author juggling multiple books deals
Fresh From Fal Light Blue
Fresh From Fal Light Blue

Fresh from Falmouth October edition

26 October 2021

Fresh from Falmouth, our monthly roundup of creative offerings from the talented students, staff and...

Fresh from Falmouth October edition
Dunkirk to D-Day Book Cover (Book by Philip Hamlyn Williams)
Dunkirk to D-Day

Graduate author publishes new book: Dunkirk to D-Day

19 August 2021

Philip Hamlyn Williams has published five books since graduating from MA Professional Writing at Fal...

Graduate author publishes new book: Dunkirk to D-Day
Nantwich Gin New
Nantwich Gin New

Graduate launches award-winning gin

04 May 2021

Falmouth graduate Holly Challinor has applied the lessons she learnt from her univers...

Graduate launches award-winning gin
Mark Illes

Professional Writing with Mark Iles

18 October 2018

Professional Writing graduate Mark Iles has achieved considerable success with his debut novel serie...

Professional Writing with Mark Iles
Judy Leigh

Postgraduate Publishes Debut Novel

30 May 2018

Female heroines have captured the imagination of readers and authors for time immemorial. From Hermi...

Postgraduate Publishes Debut Novel

How to apply

Have a question?

To find out more about this course, how you'll learn and what funding is available, get in touch with our friendly Course Advisors using our online form:

Ask us a question

Apply now

Ready to apply for postgraduate study? You can apply online by clicking the button below. 

Apply now

Professional Writing course application process

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 you've written. If we feel you have potential, we'll invite you to an interview. Skype interviews can be arranged if this isn't possible.

Once you've applied, you'll receive a Falmouth Applicant Portal login, where you'll find more details about these requirements.

We welcome applications from those with relevant equivalent Level 6 qualifications. Our typical applicants hold an undergraduate degree of 2:2 or above, or equivalent experience and a demonstrable interest in the subject.

We’ll also welcome your application if you have formal or 'certified' learning (such as training courses not run by universities or colleges) and learning from work experience or self-study. This is called Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL), and should have been gained within the last five years, and be equivalent to the learning outcomes of our minimum entry qualifications.

APL applicants using experience to apply should note there is an application fee for entry with advanced standing or with exemption from specific modules or credit.

If English isn’t your first language, you'll need to demonstrate English language skills that are sufficiently developed for successful completion of your studies. We accept a range of recognised English language qualifications that are equivalent to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic minimum score of 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

International applicants who require a student visa to study in the UK must take a recognised language test that is approved and vouched for by the University. Our Applicant Services Team can help with any questions you may have about study visas or suitable language tests.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees for September 2024 entry

£9,200 per year - full-time UK (£250 acceptance fee payable. This is deducted from tuition fees.)

£17,950 - full-time EU/international (£500-£2,500 acceptance fee payable depending upon your status. This is deducted from tuition fees)

Tuition fees for September 2025 will be confirmed in summer 2024.

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Typical course costs

Recurring annual costs 

Books. Course books are available from the library but there are some core texts, which, should you wish to buy them, would cost approx. £60-100. 

One-off costs for the duration of the course 

You do not need any specific software, but a reasonable home or work computer and standard wifi will be required for this course. 

If you need to bring equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.

Ask a student

What better way to find out about life at Falmouth University than by asking our current students?

From course details and academic support, to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.

Speak to an advisor

Do you have questions about the course or studying at Falmouth? Fill in our simple online form and we'll get in touch to support your application journey.

Submit form
Student funding staff at a table with palm trees

Similar courses

MA Profesional Writing Patrick Gale notebook
Author Patrick Gale's notebooks from the University archive

Writing for Script & Screen MA (Online)

Gain the writing techniques, industry know-how, professional skills and experience of collaborative ...

Writing for Script & Screen MA (Online)
Remote learning
Comedy Writing

Comedy Writing MA (Online)

Get the skills, tools and industry insights to push your projects to the top of the commissioning ed...

Comedy Writing MA (Online)
Journalism students sitting in a circle
Journalism and Creative Writing 3

Journalism MA (Online)

In a rapidly changing world, where people have never been more connected or content-hungry, agile th...

Journalism MA (Online)