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More in this section MA Creative Writing

MA Poetic Practice


This unique, practice-based course draws upon the Department of English’s expertise in contemporary experimental poetry and writing within an expanded field. 


MAPoeticPracticeImage  The Poetic Practice pathway of the Creative Writing MA will
  immerse you in poetry and poetic production for the 21st
  Century. You will cultivate your own creative practice within
  the context of current experimental poetic practice and
  related  developments in visual and performing arts, new
  media and contemporary theory. Innovative poetries by
  writers from the UK and North America will be studied,
  and you will consider how contemporary poetry and poetics
  intersect with such fields as conceptual art writing, sound
  art, live art, digital poetics, book arts, installed texts and
  writing in relation to site. During this MA you will produce
 your own writing and gain skills in writing for a range of contemporary contexts and environments. In addition, you will undertake a practical work project and a dissertation which contextualises your own practice.

Why choose this course?

  • Poetic Practice is internationally renowned for its commitment to the exploration and development of contemporary innovative writing. The course provides a unique space for students to experiment with different writing strategies and to cultivate a creative writing practice in relation to a broad and interdisciplinary context.

  • The course is unique in its synthesis of academic and creative research, combining theory and practice through a rigorous, practice-based program.

  • Students on the MA are taught by members of staff actively engaged in the field of contemporary poetic practice, both as creative practitioners and scholars. Each member of the teaching team brings his/her research interests and expertise to the course, thereby exposing students to a broad range of ideas, practices and pedagogical strategies.

  • Students will benefit from the wider community of scholars in the Department of English at Royal Holloway. The Department's major research strengths span the Renaissance, the nineteenth century and the twentieth century, contemporary critical theory and creative writing. All members of staff are actively engaged in major research projects and the Department was ranked 14th nationally for internationally significant 4* work in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. This commitment to scholarly research means all our postgraduate courses are informed by the latest developments in literary studies.

  • The College provides all the IT facilities and training that students need in order to access the burgeoning resources for study on the Internet.

  • Our excellent library resources span the full range of English studies and you will also have access to the University of London Library at Senate House as well as the British Library and the many specialist libraries located in central London.

MA Creative Writing Open Day

To find out more about what RHUL can offer you, join us on our MA Creative Writing Open Day. The pathways on offer include Fiction, Poetry, and Poetic Practice.

Our next MA Creative Writing Open Day is Monday 19th March 2018 6-8pm. See flyer here for more information

Course Director

Susanna Jones (Susanna.Jones@rhul.ac.uk)

Contact for More Information

Lisa Dacunha
Postgraduate Programmes Administrator

Telephone: +44 (0)1784 443215

Students will take part in a three- hour Poetic Practice workshop weekly. This taught course unit involves the study of contemporary UK and North American experimental poetic practice and foregrounds the development of the student's own poetic practice in response to this context.

EN5901 Poetic Practice

This taught course unit involves the study of contemporary UK and North American experimental poetic practice and foregrounds the development of the student's own poetic practice in response to this context.

EN5901 is assessed by a portfolio of work that comprises two projects and relevant methodologies.


EN5113: Practical Work Project

From May to September, full-time students will undertake a major extended fiction, non-fiction or poetry writing project (under supervision).

Part-time students will undertake this from September in the second year.


EN5117: Dissertation

From May to September, full-time students will be required to produce a critical and/or theoretical piece of writing relating to their Practical Work Project.

Part-time students will produce this in the second year alongside the Practical Work Project.


As part of the course, students also attend the Department's research seminars as well as the TALKS series organised by Professor Hampson and the POLYply even series organised by the Poetics Research Group.  Students also have the opportunity to attend a variety of other seminars at the CES, IUSS and other central London locations. Studenst are also expected to attend some of the numerous poetry readings that take place in London


On completion of the course graduates will have:

  • gained a broad and thorough understanding of developments within contemporary poetry and poetics as well as writing in an expanded field

  • refined a mode of poetic practice to produce a substantial body of creative work in relation to this context

  • honed critical and analytical skills in order to effectively evaluate and reflect on creative work

  • combined academic research and creative practice in such a way as to prepare one for further practice-based research at PhD level.


The EN5901 course is assessed by a portfolio of work that comprises two projects and relevant methodologies. In addition, students are required to produce a substantial final creative project and write a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a 2:1 UK honours degree in Single Honours English, Fine Art, History of Art or Combined Honours English or overseas equivalent. 

Students should possess a familiarity with at least some of the following areas: contemporary literature and theory, the visual arts and theory, the practices of literary study.  All applicants will be requested to submit a portfolio of their creative work.  Overseas applicants will be interviewed by email: a portfolio of creative work will be required with the application.

Candidates with professional qualifications and relevant experience in an associated area or with relevant publications will be considered. Non-standard applicants are considered on their merits, but ability to follow the course depends on a degree of familiarity with contemporary literature and with the practices of literary study.

To apply, do so via Embark.

Course Teachers

Past students

Students from the MA Poetic Practice have been highly successful in gaining recognition for the work that they have produced on the course. They include:

Each student is examined in elements (1), (2), (3), and (4) of the programme. Element (5) is not examined. There are no traditional examination papers. Instead, each course in elements (1) and (2) is examined by a portfolio of work, which comprises four projects and relevant methodologies. In addition, students are required to write a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words (excluding bibliography and appendices) on an approved topic related their practice and its contextualisation, to be submitted at the end of the year's study. Part-time students submit the dissertation at the end of their second year.

Karen Sandhu, Baby 19 Block Distress

Alison Gibb, 'I am knot . . a. Poster in Pieces of POWER'










Jennie Cole - A Hidden Side

Emma Conway - Shima/Island


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