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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    Bath Spa University

  • Study mode

    Part time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    24 months

Course summary

The PhD in Creative Writing combines a proposed manuscript (e.g. novel, short story collection, poems, playscript, narrative non-fiction, digital writing) with an element of supporting or contextualising research. The proposed creative manuscript will be volume length (the natural length of a book, depending on genre). The supporting research will be 20,000 words.

A large number of our graduates have successful careers as writers and many have secured academic jobs. We encourage our students to publish and offer an exciting variety of research training opportunities through our campus-based and international low-residency streams.

We receive a large number of applications for the PhD in Creative Writing, and are extremely selective in our recruitment. Criteria for selection include the viability of the proposal, the strength of the creative writing sample, the applicant’s academic and creative writing experience and achievements, and the ability of the University to support the applicant with appropriate supervision and resources. Applicants for this programme will normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent), as well as an MA in Creative Writing with Distinction (or comparable achievement).


The emphasis is not on creating two separate pieces of work, but on integration, on purposeful exploration through practice: an interdependent programme of contextual and practice-based creative work.

Both sections of the PhD must contain work of publishable quality. In the case of the contextualising research, this might mean some of the material could be turned into an article for an academic journal, but this element of the PhD must contain original, rigorous research. Together - taken as a whole - the contextual and creative elements must make a new contribution to knowledge.


An examination team assesses the PhD thesis and conducts an oral examination (viva) of the student. The examination team consists of one internal examiner and one external examiner (two external examiners if the candidate has a relationship with the University beyond their PhD work, for instance through regular hourly paid teaching during the twelve months before examination paperwork is submitted).


As far as getting academic posts is concerned, a PhD will be a requirement for some and will always help. As the subject is relatively new in British higher education, quite a few people have secured jobs without having doctorates, but this may change gradually as more and more people complete PhDs.

The indispensable requirement if you want a permanent university job (as opposed to hourly paid teaching), is that you must be a published creative writer of some substance and reputation. It may well be that this AND the PhD will become the norm, though a successful enough writer will always be very attractive to departments.

An understanding of how university departments work, and the other administrative responsibilities associated with a lectureship, will also help. A PhD in Creative Writing should offer you this kind of professional development training.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 13,700per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

Bath Spa University

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    Bath Spa University, Newton Park, Newton St Loe, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 9BN, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    23rd out of 53 1

  • Entry standards

    / Max 168
    108 63%


  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    65 65%


  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.75 75%



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