Creative writing

Qualifications Duration Start dates Application period
(MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
October January
PhD (MPhil also available)
Full time: 3–4 years
Part time: 6–8 years
Start dates
Application period

The Creative Writing discipline supports practice-based and critical research and PhD study focused on creative writing. This research activity is associated with the discipline's Contemporary Cultures of Writing Research Group. The core activity in this type of PhD study is the creation of a book-length work of literature (or script equivalent) and an accompanying critical reflective thesis, which elucidates the research and creative strategies involved in making the work. In this way the essence of the Creative Writing PhD is research through creative practice. The final creative work emerges from and embodies the research questions, and the decisions and discoveries made while producing the work. We welcome applications from candidates suitably qualified and with appropriate writing experience and ability.

We expect well-structured proposals which set out specific research questions and clearly outline creative and critical approaches. A substantial writing sample is also required.

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 undergraduate degree (or equivalent) and a strong academic and creative record, usually evidenced by an MA in Creative Writing and relevant publications. If you are not a UK citizen, you may need to prove your knowledge of English

Potential research projects

  • Fiction – novel and short stories
  • Creative Nonfiction – including life writing
  • Poetry
  • Script for stage, radio or screen

Current/recent research projects

  • The Longest Fight: a novel and Getting into the Ring: an investigation of archetypes of the boxing hero, the creative influences of boxing reportage, and the role of personal memories in historical fiction.
  • Freethinkers, a novel, and Inventing history: how do research, imagination and memory fuse creatively in the writing of an historical novel?
  • Darkness Is Never Absolute: Ekphrasis of the Formless and Near-Black Paintings.
  • The Other Mothers: Exploring adoption, surrogacy and egg donation through life writing.
  • The Electric: A novel and critical commentary investigating narrative disruption in sign language, cinemagoing, and trauma.
  • Longing to belong: an investigation into the potential for alternative storytelling techniques.
  • A Sudden Light: a practice-led exploration of the significance and potential of the contemporary timeslip novel.

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

UK fee International fee
Full time: £4,712 per year Full time: £11,958 per year
Part time: £2,356 per year Part time: £5,979 per year

Some of our research students are funded via the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership; others are self-funded.

For detailed information about fees and funding, visit Fees and studentships.

To see current funded studentship vacancies across all research areas, see Current studentships.


Book spines

How to apply

Get in touch

If you have an enquiry specific to this research topic, please contact:

Dr Molly Ziegler / Dr Ed Hogan
Email: FASS-EnglishCreativeWriting-Enquiries
Phone: +44 (0)1908 652092

Apply now

If you’re interested in applying for this research topic, please take a look at the application process.