Creative Writing

PhD, MPhil

PhD study in the area of Creative Writing is offered by the School of English at Leicester and this means becoming part of an exciting and dynamic research and creative environment.

The PhD programme helps give structure to your creative project, and invites you to ask searching questions about your practice, to reflect on the process of producing creative work, and so to write a long critical-reflective essay (usually 15 to 20,000 words) to accompany the creative work. The creative body of work normally makes up 70% of the PhD, and the reflective thesis 30%.

At its broadest, the emphasis is on trying to comprehend the practice of creation itself - surely one of the most fascinating subjects imaginable. Creative Writing doctorates lead to a variety of potential career paths. These include novelist, poet, playwright or screenwriter, of course, but there are many related industries that Creative Writing research degree graduates nationally have gone on to work in, including (but not limited to):

  • TV storyline writing
  • Video game creation
  • Journalism
  • TV and film production
  • Publishing
  • Working as a literary agent 
  • Teaching or lecturing
  • Working as a professional stand-up comedian
  • Post-doctoral academic research
  • Public relations
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Political research and speech writing
  • Arts management
  • Content provision
  • Tweet writing
  • Web editing
  • Blogging
  • Franchise creation
  • Branding consultancy
  • Literary and other arts events management
  • Intellectual property advising

Supervision and research areas

Supervision in Creative Writing can be found within our School of English

Interested in a different research area?

It is important that the area you want to work in is broadly compatible with our research interests - otherwise we may not be able to accept your application.

However, please do not feel we will not be interested if there is not an exact match. It is sometimes possible to be flexible, so please contact us.

Entry requirements

You should have a strong creative and academic track record - entry requirements are a UK undergraduate (Bachelor's) degree with at least First-Class or Upper Second-Class honours or an equivalent qualification from a recognised overseas institution and an MA or similar in Creative Writing and some prior publication history.

Otherwise, you should have compelling evidence of advanced writing experience, and an awareness of the technical and reflective elements of creative writing practice in an academic environment.

See academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements.

How to apply

  1. Make sure we offer PhD supervision in the area in which you want to work.
  2. Download and save the Research Proposal Form and prepare your proposal. Complete all sections and make sure it tells us what you want to research, how you intend to do it, and why it is worth doing.
  3. Prepare your supporting documents - with your application you need to include proof that you meet the academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements: 
  • Include all relevant certificates/diplomas and transcripts
  • International applicants must provide official copies of their entire course transcripts including explanations of the mark schemes used
  • Supporting documents not in English must be provided with a certified English translation
  • CV
  • Enter contact details for two academic (not personal) referees who can comment on your suitability for the research degree programme or upload letters of reference if already available
  • Personal Statement

Submit your online application using the Apply button at the bottom of this page. Upload your supporting documents and your completed Research Proposal Form. 

When to apply 

We have intakes in January, April, July, and September each year. 

You should try to submit your application as far in advance of your preferred start date as possible. If you are an international applicant and require a visa to study in the UK you should submit your application at least three-to-four months before the proposed start date.

After you have submitted your application, it will take a minimum of six weeks for you to receive a decision about your application.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees vary according to your fee status and the mode of study (full-time or part-time). For clarification please contact pgradmissions@le.ac.uk.

UK/EU Campus-based 

Full-time

  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £4,407 per year

Part-time 

  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £2,203.50 per year

International Campus-based

Full-time 

  • Starting in 2020/21 academic year: £15,520 per year

Part-time

Please note that owing to UK visa restrictions, part-time campus based registration is not normally available to international applicants.

Duration of study

The normal duration of a PhD programme is three years (full-time). PhD students may use the fourth year as a 'writing-up' year for which a reduced fee is payable if active research has been completed (currently £100). The maximum registration permitted is four years full-time or seven years part-time.

Funding

For a list of our available scholarships/studentships, please visit our funded opportunities pages.

PhD description