MFA in Creative Writing
** Please note that the MFA does not have a poetry strand**
Creative writing in the UCD School of English, Drama and Film draws on the long literary heritage of Dublin as a place that has produced many world-famous authors. It takes full advantage of the range of vibrant and dynamic literary activities in a country and a city where writers and writing are celebrated. The University has played a major role in the development of literary cultures both in Ireland and internationally and has long been associated with some of Ireland's greatest writers, including James Joyce, Flann O' Brien, Mary Lavin, Patrick Kavanagh, Maeve Binchy, Thomas Kinsella, Eilis Ni Dhuibne and Marina Carr. It is committed to supporting writers in all fields, including fiction, poetry and performance writing, as well as a diverse range of creative non-fiction.
UCD offers two taught graduate courses in creative writing, an MA and MFA. The MA is usually the most suitable programme for someone coming directly from a BA. Most students on the MFA have an MA or an equivalently developed writing practice. Admission to the MFA programme is very competitive. You will be taught in a small group by writers of international reputation. Our focus is on prose fiction and non-fiction, and the degree suits students working to finish a draft of a full-length novel, memoir or short story collection. Writing workshops run twice weekly through two semesters, and over the summer students receive individual supervision as they complete a final project.
Writers currently involved with the MA and MFA programmes in creative writing include the playwright, novelist and poet Frank McGuiness, poet Ian Davidson, novelist and poet Paul Perry, novelist Anne Enright, short story writer and novelist Katy Hayes, novelist Declan Hughes, novelist Gavin Corbett and Sinéad Gleeson as Arts Council Writer in Residence. Participants in the MFA also get the opportunity to attend the very many cultural and literary events that take place in UCD, and recent visitors include Margaret Atwood, Kevin Barry, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanain, Paula Meehan and Paul Muldoon.
The School of English, Drama and Film has always included in its programme of extra-curricular activities a rich array of readings, writing workshops, writers’ groups, and special seminars offered by writers-in-residence. In 2006, we introuced the MFA in Creative Writing to enable committed writers to develop their potential within a supportive framework. It is a one-year course of seminars, workshops and supervisions providing teaching in theories and practices of writing.
There are first-rate libraries and archives in UCD and the Dublin area. Over many years, the School has established a worldwide reputation for excellence in fostering postgraduate research and in teaching. Designated as a UNESCO City of Literature in 2009, Dublin has an immense amount to offer aspiring writers.