Creative Writing

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Do you have a good imagination? Are you an aspiring writer looking to develop your skills? There are plenty of opportunities to do so. If you’re looking to look at literature in depth while developing your own skill of writing, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. 

What is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is writing done that is imaginative or inventive. It is writing that goes outside the bounds of normal writing. Examples of creative writing include writing, poetry and fiction and place an emphasis on narrative craft. 

What third level courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland offer courses in the following subject areas:

  • Arts – English and Creative Writing
  • English with Creative Writing – Humanities 
  • Creative Writing and Cultural Studies (PLC)
  • Creative Writing and Media Production(PLC)
  • Creative Writing and Digital Media (PLC)
  • Creative Writing with Digital Publishing (PLC)

Studying Creative Writing in college

There are courses available at undergraduate level and PLC courses in this area. All PLC courses are a year long while the undergraduate courses are all 4 years long. The undergraduate courses are offered by NUI Galway and UCD. Course content will differ depending on the exact course as in most courses you will pair creative writing with another subject, for example, English. 

The PLC courses in Creative Writing offer the opportunity to gain a foundation in creative writing and improve your skills in the area. In the case of undergraduate courses your first year will be the foundation year. You may look at areas in creative writing, reading poetry, Irish writing and gain an introduction to the world of literature. In NUIG’s Arts programme you will look at fiction and non-fiction.

In your second and third year you will look more in  depth at different literature and explore a wider variety. For example, English with Creative Writing in UCD will give you the opportunity to look at areas from Medieval Literature and Romanticism to American Literature and Intermediate Creative Writing. Third year may offer the opportunity to choose specialist modules, for example, Yeats or Shakespeare. In NUIG’s course you will focus on screenplays, plays and poetry. You may also have the opportunity to study abroad in your third year. 

In your final year of your undergraduate course you will focus on your specialist subjects and take part in workshops in order to reach your full potential and exercise your creativity and imagination. Depending on your course, you may also have to work on and complete your portfolio and publication planning. 

Career Options

There are a few routes that you can take in the area of Creative Writing. Many go on to become writers of novels, poetry, screenplays and more while others may move into the area of journalism. Examples of related jobs in this area are also listed in the next session. 

A popular option in this area is continuing with your studies and taking a postgraduate course in a relevant area either to increase your writing skills or to go in the direction of becoming an English teacher. Another option following on from this is to work in colleges and universities in research or as a lecturer or teacher. 

Important skills and qualities in this area include imagination, creativity, writing skills, strong communication skills, adaptable, flexible, organization skills, editing skills, the ability to work well under pressure, the ability to meet deadlines and the skill of storytelling. 

Related Jobs

  • Writer
  • Poet
  • Novelist
  • Journalist
  • English teacher
  • Lecturer
  • Researcher
  • Technical writer
  • Editor
  • Blogging
  • Drama and theatre
  • Scriptwriter

Further Study

Visit for more information.


Different courses and different colleges will have different entry requirements. It’s always safest to check with the individual higher education institution which is available on their websites. As a general rule Leaving Cert students should have a minimum of six subjects which should

include: Two H5 (Higher Level) grades and Four O6 (Ordinary Level) grades or four H7 (Higher Level) grades. Subjects must include Mathematics, Irish or another language, and English. 

PLC courses will accept Leaving Certificate results. Specific courses may have their own requirements. For example, some courses may have a certain interview process or expect a portfolio of sorts so it is always important to look into these things in depth. 

The highest points needed for a course in this area were 336 points to study English with Creative Writing in UCD. Studying Creative writing as part of an Arts degree in NUI Galway was 330 points in 2020.

Where can I study?

For other courses in the area you would like to explore, you can do so here.

Did you know?

  • There are so many languages in the world that a language dies every 14 days.
  • ‘I am’ is the shortest complete sentence in the English language. 
  • Writing is a great mental exercise
  • March 21st is World Poetry Day
  • The oldest written poem is the Epic of Gilgamesh originating in Babylon.
  • A manuscript over 40,000 words is considered to be a novel. 


Aedín Dunne

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