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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Aberdeen

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    MAR-21, APR-21, MAY-21, JUN-21, JUL-21

  • Duration

    36 months

Course summary

The Creative Writing PhD programme offers a dedicated, supportive and multi-award winning team of full-time supervisory staff specialising in poetry, fiction and non-fiction prose.

Our writers include internationally renowned novelist Alan Warner (author of Morvern Callar, The Sopranos and The Stars in the Bright Sky as well as film and stage adaptations of his work); David Wheatley (author of Mocker, A Nest on the Waves and The President of Planet Earth, and a 2015 judge of the National Poetry Competition); Helen Lynch (author of The Elephant and the Polish Question and Tea for the Rent Boy; Wayne Price, author of Furnace, Mercy Seat and the Laureate’s Choice poetry collection Fossil Record).

The University of Aberdeen offers a rich and unique variety of inter-disciplinary creative opportunities based on the University’s centres of research excellence such as the WORD Centre for Creative Writing, The Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies (host of visiting writers such as Michael Longley and James Kelman), the Centre for the Novel (host of visiting writers such as Michele Roberts, Janice Galloway and Will Self), and the Sir Herbert Grierson Centre.

Our postgraduate programmes host masterclasses from world-class visiting writers (recent workshops have featured Claire Keegan, Don Paterson and Simon Armitage) and The WORD Centre organises a number of highly popular literary events each year as part of the University’s May Fest. The Centre also fosters many active and productive links with the wider writing community of the north east.

PGR students may opt to study part-time or full-time, and all successful applicants are considered for competitive bursary funding. We are open to discussing all potential projects with applicants, including the possibility of undertaking these via Distance Learning.

Approaches from applicants who wish to undertake their studies as Distance Learners will be considered, subject to discussion with an appropriate supervisor.

In Creative Writing, Helen Lynch has research and practical expertise in short fiction, nature writing, life writing, travel writing, and fictional autobiography. She also has strong research interests in the literature and politics of the early modern period (especially Milton, Spenser, Shakespeare and the connections between them).

Wayne Price's research interests include the short story (particularly the Russian and American realist traditions), the novel as creative practice and contemporary poetry.

Please note that part-time study is not available for resident international students. The PhD may be conducted, full-time or part-time, by distance learning, which carries no residency requirement.

The PhD at the University of Aberdeen is a research degree. Research degrees are defined by the student’s own research proposal, on which the student will write a thesis. Research students read on their own research topic and work closely with their supervisors to define their research and write a thesis. They also attend regular research seminars, are provided with opportunities to attend conferences and for some postgraduates, there are opportunities to gain undergraduate teaching experience.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

Information not available

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University information

University of Aberdeen

  • University League Table


  • Campus address

    University of Aberdeen, Directorate of External Relations, King's College, Aberdeen, Aberdeen, City Of, AB24 3FX, Scotland

One of the top 30 universities in the UK (Complete University Guide).
Student population includes over 130 nationalities, with strong international global networks.
An International Centre provides support to students from application to graduation.

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