Creative Writing PhD

The Department of English conducts research in three main areas: literature, language, and creative writing. We aim to foster and develop strategic partnerships, particularly with local and national cultural organisations, to reach those who can benefit from our research.

Why study with us?

There is a close postgraduate community within the department.  There is always someone around to talk to about your research and plenty of activities to get involved in including, reading groups, lectures by visiting speakers and conferences.

Emma Hayward - Creative Writing PhD student
  • 2/3

    of our research activity was classed as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

  • 100%

    of respondents agreed our courses met or exceeded expectations PTES (2010).

  • 93%

    for overall satisfaction has averaged 93% over the past four years (NSS).

Overview

The School of English has an outstanding international reputation.  Students will benefit from this strong research-led teaching covering a wide and continuous range of writing which equips students with the critical and communication skills and the capacity for adaptable intelligence which are in demand in all areas of modern life.

Engagement with media has allowed our researchers to be at the forefront of developing a rich cultural agenda at national and international levels, opening access to literature to a diverse audience. This has resulted in four staff members succeeding in the New Generation Thinkers scheme. We also actively support impact in terms of reaching the general reader, through the publication of research in various, high-profile formats.  The impact of such intervention into the nation’s cultural life creates new and evolving long-term contexts for thinking, understanding, writing and imagining.

Many of the Centre’s members specialize in Contemporary Literature that overlaps with science fiction, climate change, visual arts, comics and graphic novels, travel and nature writing as well as psychogeography and the urban environment. Putting gender and race at the forefront, Anglophone and postcolonial writing as well as the fostering of genuinely innovative interdisciplinary creative writing projects which have application and potential impact (e.g. Mental health, environment), is central to the way the Centre aims to diversify and expand the reading, writing and teaching of literature in the UK. Currently the Literature and Science Hub, formerly the Centre for Poetry and Science, established 2007, sits under the wing of the Centre.

Research themes

Our research themes are:

  • Citizenship and Identity
  • Poetry and Diversity
  • Literature and the Visual Arts.

Facilities

We have access to a variety of subscription databases, such as Early English Books Online, Eighteenth-Century Collections Online, Literature Online and the Burney Collection of Newspapers.

In addition the Special Collections and Archives department of the library houses:

  • Literary manuscripts, including papers by Seamus Heaney, Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes
  • The Science Fiction Foundation collection, including the archive of John Wyndham
  • Rare and early printed books
  • Medieval manuscripts
  • Poetry archives from the Romantic period to the present day.

Study options and fees


PhD Duration UK students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,500* (2021) £24,250* ^ (lab based programmes)
£18,450* (non Lab based programmes) (2021)
Part time 4-6 years £2,250* (2021) £12,125* (lab based programmes)
£9,225* (non Lab based programmes) (2021)

* This excludes potential research support fees also known as ‘bench fees. You will be notified of any fee which may apply in your offer letter.

^ Self funded full time international students studying a lab based programme will receive a £2,000 reduction in their fees for the first year only.

If an EU student starts their studies in 2020-21, before 1 August 2021, they will have a fee classification of EU and pay UK fee rates for the duration of this registration. The exception being ROI students, who will continue to be charged fees at the UK fee rate, post 1 August 2021.


Entry requirements

Students will normally have a strong (2.1 or above) first degree in English, Creative Writing, or a related subject and a master's degree in Creative Writing. Creative and critical work will be required as part of the application.

English language requirements

IELTS Academic requirement - SELT and non-SELT 7.0 average with 7.0 minimum in each component
TOEFL iBT requirement Minimum 100 overall with L 24 R 24 W 24 and S 26
C1 Advanced CAE requirement Overall 185 with no less than 185 in any paper
PTE Academic requirement69 with minimum scores of 69 in each component
Trinity College London, Intergrated Skills in English (ISE II)ISE II with an overall pass with pass in components
Cambridge IGCSE as a First LanguageGrade C
Cambridge IGCSE as a Second LanguageGrade B
Cambridge English Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International (Proficiency)Overall 176 with 162 in components
Cambridge English Level 3 Certificate in ESOL International (Advanced)Overall 176 with 162 in components
Cambridge English Level 2 Certificate in ESOL International (Advanced)Overall 176 with 162 in components

How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

More about applying for research degrees

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Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal


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