Studying Creative Writing at Postgraduate Level

Close-up of books written by Department of English staff
Books by Department of English staff

PhD in Creative Writing

A PhD in Creative Writing gives you the opportunity to develop a piece of original writing in the context of the academic discipline of English. Doctoral candidates might choose to develop a collection of poems, short stories or a novel, or to think more about interdisciplinary collaborations.

Creative work submitted for the Creative Writing PhD is always accompanied by critical writing, usually in a 60/40 creative / critical percentage split. Critical work allows for a rigorous engagement with ideas or writing that underpins the development of creative work.

We are members of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Programme and have a small but growing number of postgraduate students.

We would especially welcome interest from students writing on the effects of digital technologies on writing and reading, global identities, post-colonial fiction, post-millenial fiction, the interface between critical and creative writing, poetry and film, poetry and the archive, poetry and myth, writing and health and well-being, science fiction and fantasy.

Contemporary Writers Masterclass Series

Contemporary Masterclass

The annual Contemporary Writers Masterclass Series, run by Dr. Lucienne Loh, brings internationally acclaimed writers and critics into the postgraduate classroom. Based on readings chosen by the invited writer, these 90-minute workshops afford postgraduate students an invaluable opportunity to engage with some of the foremost contemporary thinkers today. Major themes which the masterclasses seek to cover include racial issues in a globalized world; immigration; the legacies of colonialism; new empires; contemporary Britain and social justice. Professor Caryl Phillips (Yale University) held the inaugural masterclass in 2014, which was followed by classes from Professor Thomas Glave (Binghamton University) in 2015 and Professor David Marriott (University of California, Santa Cruz) in 2016. 

The masterclasses are frequently organized in collaboration with other institutions and have been supported by funding from Lancaster University, The Leverhulme Trust and the AHRC’s North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership. The masterclass writers are also supported by the English Department and the CNIW to hold outreach and public engagement activities. In the past, these have included workshops for local schools and public lectures. PhD students at Liverpool have also assisted in the organization of these activities which provides training around organizing impact events. 

Library Specialisms

The University's Sydney Jones Library has an impressive archive and substantial electronic resources. It is home to the archive of the Liverpool Poets and to the largest Science Fiction collection in Europe.