The MCW is for writers working on a large-scale creative writing project: a novel, short story collection, full-length work of creative nonfiction, or poetry collection.
The programme is convened by the award-winning fiction writer and essayist Paula Morris. Selina Tusitala Marsh, a former Poet Laureate, co-supervises poets in the programme.
Each week writers meet for both workshops and seminars. Our visitors include local and international writers; practitioners from the world of film, radio and theatre; and speakers from the publishing and literary arts world.
Recent visiting writers include Airini Beautrais, Teju Cole, Michel Faber, Aminatta Forna, Stephanie Johnson, Karl Ove Knausgaard, Elizabeth McCracken, Amy McDaid, Frankie McMillan, Karlo Mila, Ben Okri and Ngugi wa Thiong'o.
The MCW is a one-year, full-time programme of study with entry in Semester Two only. You will enrol in CREWRIT 797 Creative Writing (120 points).
If you are writing a novel, short stories or creative non-fiction, you are expected to produce a portfolio of between 40,000 and 80,000 words. Poetry collections should have a minimum of 80 pages.
Class contact time and peer interaction are an essential part of the programme. In both semesters of the MCW, you must be able to attend two weekly classes – workshops and seminars. In the workshop you will submit drafts for discussion and give considered feedback to the other writers in your cohort. The weekly seminar is a forum for thinking and talking about writing. In these classes we discuss published work and explore the key issues of technique you need to consider in your work.
You'll also need to meet other requirements, including time limits and total points limits. See Postgraduate enrolment.
2024 entry requirements
The MCW is a highly competitive programme.
You should have a book project in mind or already underway and demonstrate a clear creative focus and accomplishment in your chosen genre.
To enrol in a MCW you need to have completed one of the following at a recognised university (or similar institution):
- A four-year bachelors degree
- An honours degree
- A three-year bachelors degree, and a professional qualification in writing or at least three years of professional experience in writing
Professional experience can include previously published creative writing, working in a field involving writing such as journalism or copywriting, involvement in writers’ groups or participation in writing events.
You will also need to submit a portfolio of creative writing that is judged by the convenor to be of sufficient standard for entry into the programme.
Further programme requirements
English language requirements
If you are an international applicant whose first language is not English you will need to provide evidence of your English proficiency.
You will require an IELTS Academic score of 6.5 with no bands less than 6.0. See alternative English language requirements.
How much does a Master of Creative Writing cost per year?
- Domestic students
- International students
Fees are set in advance of each calendar year and will be updated on this website. Fees are inclusive of 15% GST, but do not include the Student Services Fee, course books, travel and health insurance, or living costs. Amounts shown are indicative only. In addition to the tuition fees, there is a Student Services Fee of $8.38 per point, estimated at $1,005.60 for full-time study (120 points). Fees will be confirmed upon completion of enrolment into courses.
*Please note: amounts shown are indicative and estimates only.
Find out about the scholarships you may be eligible for.
Are you a New Zealand citizen or resident? You could be eligible for a student loan or allowance.
Get an idea of how much accommodation and general living in Auckland will cost.
International students should start the application process as early as possible to allow sufficient time to apply for a visa.
All candidates must submit two applications: one to the University of Auckland, and a separate portfolio application to English, Drama and Writing Studies.
Please note: We will consider late applications if places are still available. International students should start the application process as early as possible to allow sufficient time to apply for a visa.
Here are the start dates for the programme.
|Semester Two||Starts – 17 July|
|Ends – 13 November|
|Semester Two||Starts – 15 July|
|Ends – 11 November|
Other important dates
See important dates for the academic year, including orientation, enrolment, study breaks, exams, and graduation.
Before applying, we advise potential candidates to contact us for information about the application process and what the programme involves. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the MCW information sheet.
How to apply for the Master of Creative Writing
You need to submit two separate applications:
- An Application for Admission to study at the University of Auckland
- An application for the Master of Creative Writing programme
Admission to the University of Auckland does not guarantee you a place on the MCW; the offer is conditional, subject to approval by the programme convenor.
The deadline for MCW applications is 8 April.
You may submit your application at any time, but no applications will be read by the programme convenor until April.
Where could this programme take you?
This programme will help refine the skills you need to finish your book and develop your creative practice. Our graduates have published books with a range of publishers including Allen and Unwin, Penguin Random House, Cuba Press, Bloomsbury, Auckland University Press, Canterbury University Press, Huia and Text. These graduates include Rosetta Allan, Caroline Barron, Rose Carlyle, Gina Cole, Jack Remiel Cottrell, Daren Kamali, Angelique Kasmara, Renee Liang, Amy McDaid, Linda Olsson, Emily Perkins and Ruby Porter. As the MCW is entirely comprised of creative practice research, it is not a qualifying programme for a PhD at the University of Auckland. If you are considering a PhD with a creating writing component please contact email@example.com to discuss entry requirements.