Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing*


* Not open to new enrolments in 2017.

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is an endorsed MFA degree.

It is designed for students who have studied courses in creative writing at undergraduate and honours level and professional writers who wish to gain an internationally recognised formal qualification in their field.

The degree requires students to complete under supervision a single artistic project to a level considered suitable for publication or presentation, for example a collection of short stories, a novel or novella, a volume of poetry or a play.

They must also complete a 5000–7000 word supplementary essay and formally present their work as part of an oral exam.

The degree may be awarded with Distinction or Merit.

Entry requirements

Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent.

If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard.

Qualification specific requirements

Candidates require  a portfolio of original work and one of the following:

  • Bachelor of Arts with Honours in English or another approved subject
  • other bachelor's degree in an appropriate area and evidence of substantial professional experience in the area
  • an appropriate overseas qualification


  • a portfolio of original work.

Entry into the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is limited to eight students at any one time.

Selection will be made on the basis of the student’s prior submission of a folio of work and a research proposal to be approved by the Board of Studies.

For the full entry requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing or use the admission requirements checker

You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification structure and duration

The MFA(CreativeWriting) takes one year full-time or two years part-time.

Subjects and courses

The course required for the MFA(CreativeWriting) is ENGL692 Creative Writing (in English) Thesis.

How to apply

Find out how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline. 

Useful information:

More information

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

For study planning help contact the College of Arts: 

College of Arts
University of Canterbury
History Building, Level 4
Private Bag 4800
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 364 2176
Email arts@canterbury.ac.nz