MFA in Creative Writing and Publishing West Dean

Creative Writing and Publishing

MFA Creative Writing & Publishing

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Course subject to validation

Applications open
Duration: One academic year, part time
School: Arts
Location: West Dean
Scholarships and bursaries: See available funding

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programme is designed to follow on from the established MA in Creative Writing and Publishing. It provides a high-level pathway aimed at emerging writers who wish to complete work-in-progress to a publishable standard. This MFA is unique in providing a supportive context specifically designed to support you to finish your unfinished novel.

You will already have completed the MA in Creative Writing and Publishing at West Dean and produced a body of work to a high standard. The MFA offers an ongoing, dynamic and intensive programme that will support you to a professional conclusion. 

The MFA is delivered over one year and comprises of four intensive study blocks and one extended writing retreat, supported in between with online tutorials and mentoring. Teaching focuses on advanced skills development in areas such as narrative arc, consistency of voice, refinement, pacing and editing. Additionally, the programme provides a framework through which to address and navigate the ‘blocks’ that writers typically encounter. 

The MFA benefits from a similar model to the MA, requiring the regular submission of your work to tutors who will offer considered and constructive feedback as well as one-on-one tutorials. Alongside this, you will develop your reflective practice, articulating your learning and individual process to enable you to independently apply your skills to future projects beyond the MFA.

Learning environment

  • Attend four 3-day intensive blocks of workshops, lectures and tutorials (over one year) and one intensive 5-day writing retreat 
  • Excellent staff: student ratio
  • One-to-one tutorials with a personal tutor as part of every study block
  • Intensive practical workshops that support the development of your work
  • Receive professional input from publishers and agents
  • Be part of an active writing community with regular high-profile writers-in-residence
  • A supportive and individualised approach to your learning and the development of your craft

What to expect

  • Focus on your work in progress with the aim of completing your book
  • Continue to develop your writing, editing and critical skills and develop a clear understanding of genre
  • Benefit from teaching and support from publishers and how to market your work.
  • Further develop and articulate a critical insight into your own writing process, challenges, strengths and direction.
  • Learn from a range of published writers and industry experts in a way that enhances your development as an emerging writer.

Course structure

Learn more about the programme structure.

Course units

Term 1 
(10 weeks)
  Term 2 (10 weeks)   Term 3 (10 weeks)  
  Christmas vacation   Easter vacation   Summer assessment
Writing To Completion
60 credits


Contact hours


This 60-credit course is delivered over one academic year and comprises four intensive study blocks (three days per block) and one extended writing retreat (five days in length), supported in between by online tutorials and mentoring. The total course is expected to be a minimum of 600 hours of learning.

Term dates

Entry requirements

MFA only pathway

  • MA in Creative Writing & Publishing from West Dean
  • Portfolio showing evidence of current practical work and related development and an appropriate level of engagement with current debates in the publishing industry

MA & MFA pathway (three years, part time)*

MA in Creative Writing & Publishing

  • Applicants should have a good honours degree in English or a compatible subject and be able to demonstrate a commitment to writing
  • Candidates with a relevant portfolio and alternative accredited learning are also invited to apply
  • English language: CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) Level B2 or IELTS 6.5 or above

MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing

  • MA in Creative Writing & Publishing from West Dean
  • Portfolio showing evidence of current practical work and related development and an appropriate level of engagement with current debates in the publishing industry

*please note, the fees for this pathway are: £1,890 per term (£5,670 per academic year)


As part of the College's Artist-in-Residence programme, Creative Writing and Publishing students have access to a series of professional writers living and working onsite, amongst students. They offer tutorial sessions with students as well as public presentations on the work produced during the residency and their wider practice.

Recent Writers-in-Residence included Rutendo Chabikwa and Anni Domingo, to coincide with their work being published in Myraid Edition’s New Daughters Of Africa, Elizabeth Haynes, William Shaw and Allie Rogers.

Writers in Residence
School of Art Credit Thom Atkinson.jpg

School of Arts

Explore and expand your work in a uniquely immersive environment with its own connections to art history. Our School of Arts students enjoy specialist studio spaces dedicated to painting and drawing, sculpture and tapestry and textile-based work as well as exceptional exhibition space.

School of Arts

Fees and funding

Course fees are the same for UK and international students

  • £1,890 per term (£5,670 per academic year)

Lunch, accommodation and other living expenses are additional. Find out more.

A £250 course fee and £200 accommodation deposit (if residential) is required to secure your place. Details will be provided to you in your offer. Fees are billed termly in advance. Please see the Terms and Conditions for further information.

Postgraduate loans

If you are a UK student and plan to take a postgraduate Master's course you may be able to get a postgraduate loan of up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. See

Student scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and bursaries are available, based on individual needs.

Find out more about funding

How to apply

Applications for this course can be made by submitting a completed application form and emailing it to: [email protected].

Any questions?
Email [email protected]; call us on: (01243) 818 300 and select option 1, or read more about our Admissions processes.


Mark Radcliffe Creative Writing Tutor at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation

Mark Radcliffe

Subject Leader - MA Creative Writing and Publishing 

Mark Radcliffe is the author of three novels; Gabriel's Angel (2010), Stranger Than Kindness (2013), and most recently, Three Gifts (2023). He has a PhD in Creative Writing and Philosophy (University of Sussex) and an MA in Creative Writing (UEA).

Beth Miller

Beth Miller is the author of six novels, including the bestselling The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright (2020). Her most recent novel, The Woman Who Came Back to Life (2022), will be published in seven languages. She has also published two non-fiction books. She has a PhD in Psychology and is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Brighton University. She teaches regularly for Arvon, and is a book coach for writers at all stages.