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PhD Creative Practice

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phd creative writing ireland

UCC’s new PhD in Creative Practice is a dynamic Artistic  Research (practice-based) doctoral programme for emerging and professional artists, whose work moves across multiple arts disciplines.

Examples of PhD Creative Practice projects include; dance and film; theatre and visual arts; music and digital arts; somatics and creative writing. They might be projects which investigate creative practice in relation to science, or within education, or communities.

We expect these PhD projects to be innovative in form as well as content, and students will be supported to develop structures and weightings between different elements of their doctoral study, as well as develop new forms to meet the multi-disciplinary reach of their work. All iterations of the PhD are by Artistic Research; original creative practice entangled with critical reading and reflection.

This new Artistic Research PhD programme answers a strong and current need in the field for artist-scholars to develop doctoral work that acknowledges their inter and trans-disciplinary work.

PhD Requirements

The PhD in Creative Practice is an interdisciplinary doctoral degree.

The design of the structure of the PhD is developed in consultation with supervisors, but will normally include a written element of at least 30,000 words . Students will be required to take at least 15 credits of graduate level courses in one or more of the relevant constituent disciplines of their PhD.

Candidate must normally hold at least a Second Class Honours, Grade I , in a relevant Masters degree in one of the proposed arts disciplines of their PhD project, such as Dance, Theatre, Music, Film, Radio, Visual Arts, Digital Arts, Creative Writing.

Candidates are also expected to have professional experience in the arts . Candidates with a Second Class Honours, Grade I, in a relevant primary degree and evidence of advanced arts experience will also be considered.

This programme is currently anchored in the Department of Theatre. For more information contact the Theatre Admin office [email protected] or apply in the first instance to UCC’s Professor of Creative Practice, Jools Gilson [email protected]

Department of Theatre

Roinn na hAmharclannaíochta

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phd creative writing ireland

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Creative Writing


Aim for the pinnacle in writing with the Warnborough College PhD in Creative Writing. Use the modules to bolster your existing skills, challenge your own writing techniques and create a worthy full-length work.

3 Years minimum ^

160  ECTS credits


 Master’s degree; or equivalent.

phd creative writing ireland

Who Should Do This?

Serious writers who already have a Master’s degree in Creative Writing or similar, and/or writers who have many years of writing experience. The PhD program is flexible, yet comprehensive in scope and allows writers of different genres to tailor the program to suit their needs.  Candidates on the program will get to demonstrate that the pen really is mightier than the sword.

Program Requirements – PhD in Creative Writing

Creative writing pathway at Warnborough College

The PhD is open to students who have completed an MA or MFA in Creative Writing, or an MA in English or American Literature. The requirement is to complete 160 ECTS credits, 80 US-style credits.  These credits are split as follows:

Total = 160 ECTS credits

The Dissertation (investigation into a genre or variety of genres) should be approximately 70,000 words.  Students may combine research with a portfolio of their own creative work, or write a creative novel from the outset.  In some instances, you may be able to transfer credit / exit points  from your prior learning ( Recognition of prior learning ).

The following modules are compulsory:

See all  Creative Writing modules and descriptions .

NOTE:  If you have already completed our  Master of Arts in Creative Writing  program, you must complete additional modules to make up the 12 modules.

Additionally, students can work with their mentors to combine modules into customized programs, suited to their interests and capabilities. The descriptions above give you a sense of areas in which to proceed, at the graduate level, and professionally.  We may award exemptions based on prior courses taken, professional experience, writing and research samples, and art portfolios.

Alternatively, students may choose to embark on a  research-only program .  For this you will need to work with your mentor to divide your work into 160 ECTS credits. All research work must be approved by the Academic Board in the first instance. Because of the enormous flexibility of the WCI program, learners can work with their mentor to structure their program in the context of their professional and academic goals.  Read the complete module descriptions for information as well as ideas.

This program is offered through distance learning. This involves a fully open experience and is achieved through a combination of distance, on-site and virtual learning.

Individual programs can be structured in module formats; can be project/research directed, or can combine these options.  At the doctoral level, learners are expected to be highly self-motivated and capable of independent work.

Sandi Hutcheson holds a BA in English from Georgia State University, an MFA in English from Spalding University, and a PhD in Creative Writing from Warnborough College.  As well as working as a newspaper columnist, was has been a professor at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida.

Sandi has taught English and writing to students on nearly every level – high school, college, graduate school, and even senior adults in continuing education courses.  Her writing has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, Southern Journal, and New Southern magazines, and she is the author of both fiction and nonfiction books

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Dr Shurooq Amin is a mixed-media interdisciplinary artist and an Anglophone poet whose purpose is to instigate positive change in society.

She has a PhD in Ekphrasis, the relationship between art and poetry, and has been published and anthologized internationally. She has been a guest speaker at various universities, a judge for various events, including panel examiner at various viva voce s. Visit her Website .

phd creative writing ireland

* Fees: Fees refer to tuition only. It does not include ancillary expenses such as required materials (see above), textbooks, internet connections, postage, telephone calls, insurance and printing. More …

^ Duration: Depending upon exemptions, performance and the workload, it may take more or less time. Accreditation for Prior Learning or Experience (APEL) can reduce time and fees.

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PhD Programme

Studying for a PhD in English at University of Galway enables you to undertake a major original research project within the field of literary studies. As you work together with a primary supervisor from the discipline, a Graduate Research Committee of complementary expertise supports your progress.

  Our four year Structured PhD programme represents a exceptional opportunity to allow researchers to enhance their work on a primary thesis by taking modules from across the university to enhance their research skills and professional development. Many hundreds of course modules are on offer from a huge variety of fields, with specialist courses in historical periods, research skills, languages old and new, and critical theories proving very popular. In exceptional circumstances some students may proceed with a purely research full-time or part-time PhD without access to these programmes.

  Over your years of study the chief focus is on preparing a doctoral thesis, typically consisting of an academic dissertation of up to 80,000 words. Researchers are encouraged to develop skills in presenting research papers at conferences, and preparing work for publication. Many researchers also grasp the excellent opportunities for undergraduate teaching,

  Choosing a practice-based PhD programme allows for the inclusion of non-traditional elements within the PhD thesis, such as a collection of short stories or creative non-fiction, alongside a reflective approach to writing practice. Our thriving Digital Humanities programme collaborates with four partner Irish universities and INSIGHT , University of Galway’s digital hub.

Why Study this Programme? PhD study represents the chance to explore a range of ideas, texts, arguments, and cultural developments in great depth. If you are interested in reading, writing, and the detailed analysis of literature and culture, and keen to explore the intellectual and personal development PhDs can bring, you will find a home at University of Galway. The Discipline of English has an exemplary track record in guiding students to successful funding applications .

New researchers join a thriving community of postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers . Stunning state-of-the-art research facilities at the  Moore Institute  and  Hardiman Research Building  (featuring research hubs and individual workstations for all researchers) provide a home for new ideas and make cross-disciplinary collaboration routine. Researchers participate in a programme of seminars, research days, performances, conferences, symposiums, and invited speakers on campus. Workshops prepare researchers for international conferences and give advice on writing, teaching, and publishing.

  The James Hardiman Library is host to exceptional archive collections providing the foundation for numerous innovative doctoral research projects. Rare books, scholarly journals, and microfilms are enhanced by subscriptions to global online journals and resources, so students have instant access to the latest and best research.

  Career Opportunities Employers increasingly value creativity above all other qualities in the workforce. PhD researchers in English study at firsthand the processes of creativity, and evaluate how language performs in social and political contexts. PhD study develops high-level skills in critical thinking, research, data analysis, communication, and information/project management. Many PhD graduates proceed to third-level teaching and research, and many find success in publishing, media, advertising, and public service, as well as in the ICT, business, and financial sectors.

  Areas of Interest Research activity in the   Discipline of English   extends from sexuality to technology, embracing many periods and methodologies from early manuscript studies and book history to new media landscapes and digital poetics. Keynotes of our approach are interdisciplinarity, textuality, and cultural exchange. Our researchers are very keen to discuss possibilities for doctoral study in their areas of interest . 

Visit University of Galway's  Courses page  for information on how to apply, entry requirements and assessment.

We welcome prospective researchers in English at University of Galway, You will find outstanding research facilities and a great record of securing funding. We would be delighted to hear more about your research ideas, and we urge prospective applicants to discuss their plans with a member of staff with appropriate areas of interest before submitting their application.

  Studying for a PhD thesis is a challenging but rewarding choice for study. Your work is supported chiefly by a primary supervisor from the discipline of English. Alongside your supervisor, a Graduate Research Committee of complementary expertise drawn from across the university supports your studies and helps to assess and progress your work.

  A PhD thesis is expected to make a substantial and original contribution to its field of knowledge. The PhD degree is awarded for work that is 'worthy of publication, in whole or in part, as a work of serious scholarship' (University of Galway Calendar). The length of the thesis in English is normally up to 80,000 words. The duration of research is usually four years: in a Structured PhD programme this includes courses to support your primary research. At the close of your research you will defend your thesis in a viva voce examination.

  The minimum qualification necessary to be considered for admission to the PhD programme is a high honours primary degree, or 'other such evidence as will satisfy the Head of Department and the Faculty of his/her fitness' (University of Galway Calendar). It is more usual, however, for successful applicants to have already gained a Master's degree.

phd creative writing ireland

Applying to do research in English

  Download a pdf of our  Application Guide to Research in English.

Applications to all postgraduate programmes in English are made online via  Ellucian Recruit Login .  You will need an active email account to use the application website, and will be guided through the system, step by step, until you complete the online form. You will be asked to enter the course code for each programme you apply for.  Applicants should normally apply for a Structured PhD rather than a Full-time PhD or MLitt, unless permission is sought from the department. Structured PhDs allow you to take further courses to help your study. Your application includes the following: the title of your proposal, curriculum vitae details (including your qualifications and personal information), copies of degree certificates (if not currently held by the university), and two independent  academic references , which are submitted directly in confidence by the referees concerned. You must also submit a sample of academic writing . This might be a recent MA course  essay or chapter from an MA thesis; it might be a published piece of work. Our practice-based PhDs are divided equally between academic and practice-based work, so for these courses in addition you should submit a sample of creative writing , whether a group of poems, short story, piece of creative non-fiction, or other representative work.

  All applicants must submit a 1500 word  research proposal . The proposal should be structured under the following headings.

1. Title 2. Description of proposed research (800 words) 3. Critical context (350 words) 4. Methodology (250 words) 5. Sources and archives (100 words)

Admission is at the discretion of the Postgraduate Research Committee in the discipline, which assesses all applications. The success of your application depends on a number of factors: the quality and viability of your proposal, the standard of writing displayed, your qualifications and achievements to date, referees’ reports, and the availability of appropriate supervision. The postgraduate research committee in English considers the application at several opportunities throughout the year and its decision is final.

For more details contact the Director of Graduate Research in English:

Dr Cliodhna Carney Discipline of English School of English & Creative Arts University of Galway [email protected]

NUI Regulations on Submission and Formatting of PhD Theses You should become familiar with the National University of Ireland regulations for PhD theses. You will find these in the University of Galway General Calendar, or you may obtain them directly from the Registrar, National University of Ireland, 49 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

University of Galway English has an excellent track-record of securing scholarships and receiving funding awards. Funding for PhD study is provided by many sources, including Hardiman Research Fellowships, Galway Doctoral Scholarships from the College of Arts, and externally from funding bodies like the Irish Research Council and the National University of Ireland. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact potential supervisors and the Director of Graduate Research as early as possible in the process. Once you are a registered PhD student at University of Galway there are also excellent opportunities available for travel bursaries and study abroad opportunities.

  The outstanding record of English in securing funding for postgraduate research transpires because full discussions are had with prospective candidates. If you are thinking of applying to funding bodies you must contact the Director of Graduate Research and your potential supervisor in the discipline to discuss and formulate the application. Clinching funding for study at University of Galway often depends upon a good fit between the project proposed and the university. For further information regarding collections and archives at the James Hardiman Library see http://www.library.nuigalway.ie

phd creative writing ireland

Funding opportunities for PhD study

The following provides a few common options for funding PhD research in English. For more information about funding opportunities and scholarships you should consult the university funding page and consider signing up to research professional .

Irish Research Council The Irish Research Council (IRC) is funded by the Government of Ireland and provides generous but competitive funding awards for PhD and postdoctoral research in all subjects. English at University of Galway has an outstanding record of successful funding through the scheme, but it should be stressed that the application process is intensive, and you should seek discussions with the discipline as early as possible. Calls and deadlines occur early in the academic year, usually by November of the year before study commences. Click here for details

Hardiman Scholarships These prestigious and generous scholarships provided by University of Galway match IRC funding and are named in honour of literary scholar, poet, and librarian James Hardiman. They apply to all fields of study and are very competitive, with applications followed by interviews. The application deadline is early in the academic year, with funding calls open in September and closing in November.   http://universityofgalway.ie/hardiman-scholarships/

Galway Doctoral Research Scholarships Funded through the College of Arts and the School of Humanities, Galway Doctoral Research Scholarships provide excellent opportunities for prospective scholars. The funding is competitive and applications usually close in early June. http://universityofgalway.ie/colleges-and-schools/arts-social-sciences-and-celtic-studies/phd-research-degrees/scholarships/index.html

National University of Ireland The National University of Ireland offers a range of doctoral scholarships, travelling studentships, and postdoctoral fellowships for study at universities in Ireland and abroad. These awards are competitive and deadlines vary. http://www.nui.ie/awards/

Student Support Especially if you have been in receipt of a student support grant during your BA degree, in some cases you may be eligible for grants towards a postgraduate degree. More information and eligibility criteria can be found at Student Universal Support Ireland https://susi.ie . For policies consult the Higher Education Authority http://www.hea.ie

University of Galway Further Education University of Galway is committed to supporting those that work for the university to undertake educational programmes to enhance their professional or personal development. In some cases this includes PhD study. To find out more consult the University of Galway Further Education Policy http://universityofgalway.ie/media/stafftraining/FEP-Scheme.pdf

Funding for current PhD students

Travel Bursaries All registered postgraduate students in the College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies are eligible to apply for a travel bursary to assist them in their research. These bursaries are awarded annually; application forms are normally available in the early spring. Details and dates are available from the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies .

Study Abroad Opportunities There are many study abroad opportunities available for students at University of Galway. There are also opportunities for students abroad to study here. For more contact the International Office. http://universityofgalway.ie/international-students/

Ireland Canada University Foundation If you are a PhD student or post-doctoral academic in the early stages of your research career, you may be eligible for the Flaherty Research Scholarship . This award supports a short research visit of four to six weeks, and is designed to help scholars make contacts with researchers working in related research topics, with a view to widening and deepening the scholar’s research horizons, ideally leading to continued collaboration in future research. The James M. Flaherty Program is provided with the assistance of the Government of Canada , via the International Education Division of Global Affairs Canada, and with the assistance of the Irish Government , via the Emigrant Support Programme, administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs. http://www.icuf.ie/scholarships/

Study Abroad at University of California University of Galway is a partner with the University of California for study abroad. Reciprocal exchange students can attend the University of California for up to one academic year on a no-fee-exchange, non-degree basis. UC is the major public research university in the state of California serving both undergraduate and graduate students. There are ten campus locations: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Diego and San Francisco. http://eap.ucop.edu/ReciprocalExchanges/Pages/default.aspx

If you are thinking of applying for funding, or for more details on the university or funding opportunities please contact the Director of Graduate Research in English:

Dr Cliodhna Carney Discipline of English School of English & Creative Arts University of Galway

[email protected]

PhD Scholarship in Digital Arts and Humanities – Call for Applications

University of Galway invites applications for a four-year structured PhD scholarship in Digital Arts & Humanities to commence in September 2017.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 14 April 2017 . Applications are made via Ellucian Recruit Login  (see below).

The Structured PhD in Digital Arts & Humanities at University of Galway is a full-time four-year interdisciplinary programme from which seven students have graduated since its inception in 2011. This PhD programme provides fourth-level researchers with the platform, structures, partnerships, and innovation models to engage and collaborate with a wide range of academics and practitioners. Our ambition is for students to contribute to the developing digital arts and humanities community world-wide. The programme welcomes proposals on the use of digital tools and methodologies in the scholarly analysis of cultural texts and phenomena, and on practice-based research in digital art and media. Students will gain exposure to transferable skills in digital content creation and analysis that are academically and professionally beneficial.

See http://mooreinstitute.ie/2017/02/01/phd-scholarship-digital-arts-humanities-call-applications/ for further details

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UCD School of English Drama Film Scoil an Bhéarla, na Drámaíochta agus na Scannánaíochta UCD

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‌ MA Creative Writing  &  MFA Creative Writing [Fiction & Poetry]

The School of English, Drama & Film offers two taught postgraduate programmes in Creative Writing, an MA and an MFA [Master of Fine Arts] Fiction and Poetry, and a research degree, the PhD in Creative Writing.

The MA in Creative Writing builds on the well-established commitment of the UCD School of English, Drama and Film to fostering and supporting new writing. The university has long been associated with some of Ireland’s greatest writers, including James Joyce, Flann O’Brien, Mary Lavin, Anthony Cronin, John McGahern, Neil Jordan, Conor McPherson, Marina Carr, Colm Tóibín, Emma Donoghue, Maeve Binchy and many others. There are over thirty full-time members of staff with expertise ranging from Old English to contemporary literature and drama and a number of practising writers, including the distinguished playwright, Frank McGuinness.

The School of English, Drama and Film has always included in its programme of extra-curricular activities a rich array of readings, writing workshops, writers’ groups, and special seminars offered by writers-in-residence. In 2006 a structured programme of courses and supervision, the now well-established MA in Creative Writing, was introduced to enable committed writers to develop their potential within a supportive framework. It is a one-year course of lectures, seminars, workshops and supervision meetings which aims to provide committed writers with taught classes on theories and practices of writing, presentation and editing techniques, reading of selected texts as writers and supervision of a major writing project.

UCD now offers an MFA in Creative Writing (both fiction and poetry).  This is the first MFA (Master of Fine Arts) degree in Creative Writing (fiction and poetry) to be offered by an Irish university. It is a full-time course, devised in response to demand for an advanced postgraduate course, offering close supervision and direction of a novel / collection of short stories/ collection of poetry for the duration of an academic year. This course is suited to students who have already acquired the skills associated with a full programme in creative writing; MA, M Phil Creative Writing, BFA, BA Creative Writing Major/Joint Major or equivalent and have a work in progress to which they now wish to devote the greater part of an academic year with a view to offering that work for publication. Credits are weighted accordingly. Fifty of the overall ninety are allocated to this work, which on submission will be a complete novel or collection of short stories or a collection of poetry. In addition, this course offers a module in the teaching of creative writing, comprising both theoretical and practical components.

The PhD programme in Creative Writing provides you with the opportunity to engage in individual research over three years of full time study under the supervision of a member of academic staff, leading to a thesis that combines creative work with a critical commentary. The majority of your research will be practice based, that is carried out through your own creative practice, and will lead to a novel, a collection of short stories, a poetry collection or other major piece of writing. You will also need to produce a critical commentary that contextualises your writing and demonstrates understanding of the writing process. The final composition of the submitted thesis will be a matter of negotiation between the supervisor and the candidate in order to ensure that it satisfies the requirements of doctoral study, but will be approximately 70% creative work and 30% commentary.

There are first rate libraries in UCD and the Dublin area. Several have renowned archives as well as expertly resourced electronic collections. Over many years, the School has established a worldwide reputation for excellence in fostering postgraduate research and in teaching. Designated as a UNESCO City of Literature in 2009, Dublin has an immense amount to offer aspiring writers.

The MA programme

•  provides opportunities to explore and develop your own creative writing skills under experienced

   tuition and supervision

•  ensures that the art of writing is informed by of theories and practices of contemporary writing

•  allows for small classes by strictly limiting the number of participants

•  actively fosters the development of students’ capacity to edit their own work

•  is taught by experienced, published staff of international reputation

•  builds on UCD 's long tradition of fostering literary talent

•  offers courses incorporating the manuscripts of works of leading writers held in Special  Collections

• benefits from engaging with many visiting guests across the arts and publishing sectors. Seamus Heaney, Salman Rushdie, and J.K. Rowling were among the many writers to read at the college in recent years. In addition, students have participated in writing seminars presented by William Trevor, Edna O’ Brien, Jane Urquhart, Alistair MacLeod and Paul Harding. Booker Prize winning author, Anne Enright, in her capacity as Laureate for Fiction, taught on both the MA and MFA programmes in 2015-16.

Semester One

Semester Two


Writing Project –c.15,000 words  (35 Credits)

The MFA programme

In addition to sharing the objectives as outlined above for the MA programme, the MFA [Fiction and Poetry] provides close supervision and direction of a novel, a collection of short stories or a poetry collection already well underway prior to the commencement of the course.

* The modules offered in the teaching of creative writing, Pedagogic Strategies 1 & 2 are only available to those holding a post graduate degree.

Students are assessed in a variety of ways, which may include writing assignments, editing exercises, creative responses to texts, class presentations, and writing portfolio.

The Teaching Team

Prof. Frank McGuinness   – Playwright, Poet.

Prof. Ian Davidson – Poetry

Katy Hayes – Writer Fellow in Fiction

Dr Paul Perry – Writer Fellow in Poetry and Fiction

Declan Hughes --  Fiction

A writer-in-residence is appointed for the second semester by the University in conjunction with the Arts Council.

Among the visiting writers, publishers, editors, scholars 2007-2015 were;

Brendan Barrington (Publisher & Editor) Catriona Crowe (Archivist, essayist and Critic) Prof. Paul Durcan (Poet) Hugo Hamilton (Fiction and Memoir Writer) Claire Keegan, (Fiction Writer), Claire Kilroy (Fiction Writer), Maggie McKernan (Literary Agent), Conor McPherson (Playwright, Screenwriter, Film and Theatre Director), Deirdre Madden (Novelist), Edna O Brien (Former Adjunct Professor of Creative Writing at UCD), Fiction writer), Denis O’Driscoll (Poet, Prose Writer, & Critic), Billy Roche (Playwright, Novelist, Short-story & Screenwriter), Jonathan Williams (Literary Agent), Michael Longley (Poet and Ireland Professor of Poetry), Caroline Walsh (Literary Editor, Irish Times), Catherine Dunne (Fiction Writer), Dave Rudden (Fiction Writer), Claire Hennessy (Fiction Writer), Donal Ryan (Fiction Writer), Peter Murphy (Fiction Writer) Chris Binchy (Fiction Writer)  Ferdia MacAnna (Fiction Writer, Playwright, Screenwriter, Film and Theatre Director) Siobhan Parkinson (Fiction Writer), Faith O’Grady 9Literary Agent), Siobhan Parkinson (Fiction Writer and former Childrens’ Literature Laureate), Louise O'Neill (fiction writer) Declan Meade (Stinging Fly Director and Ed. In Chief)


The entry requirement for the MA programme is a BA Hons English or equivalent, and/or proven commitment to and experience in the field of creative writing; a portfolio (c.25 pages) of recent creative work; a personal statement of reasons for taking the course and references.

The entry requirements for the MFA programme , as stated earlier, are any of the following; an MA, M Phil [Creative Writing] BFA [Creative Writing], BA Creative Writing Major/Joint Major or equivalent, a portfolio with an outline [max 2.000 words] of the novel in progress, together with the opening 25 /30 pages. In the case of a short story collection, two stories, and in the case of poetry, a minimum of ten poems, maximum of fifteen; and finally, a personal statement of reasons for taking the course and references.

 Any candidate considering a PhD is required to complete a detailed project proposal. These should be developed in collaboration with your potential supervisor. An essential first step is making contact with a potential supervisor to discuss possible research topics.   See here for further general information.

Please contact Prof. Ian Davidson ( [email protected] ) if you have any queries about which staff member may be most relevant to your proposed research.

Enquiries about the Graduate Studies programmes can be emailed to [email protected] or telephone 716 8323.   

Student Profiles

Our students come from a variety of backgrounds and countries, including Ireland, the UK, US, New Zealand, India, Austria and Germany.  Most have a good deal of writing experience and wish to pursue professional careers in writing, with specialisations in novel writing/ short stories or poetry. Several have won prestigious awards. Last year, 2014, Colin Barrett won the Guardian First Fiction Prize with Young Skins [Pub. Stinging Fly Press / Jonathan Cape (UK) Grove Black Cat editions (US) then went on to win both the Frank O'Conner International short story award and the  Rooney Prize for Literature.  This year Colin was nominated as one of the five under 35 honourees by the National Book Foundation in the US. His stories have appeared in Five Dials, A Public Space and The New Yorker. 2015, has also seen the publication of novels by four of our recent graduates; Susan Stairs, The Boy Between , [Pub. Hachette Ireland ];  Paula McGrath, Generation , [Pub. John Murray Originals];  Andrea Carter, Death at Whitewater Church , [Pub. Constable/Little Brown]; Henrietta McKervey, What Becomes Of Us [Pub. Hachette Ireland]; Henrietta won both the Hennessy First Fiction Award and the UCD Maeve Binchy Travel Award in 2014. See Photo below.  The Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Prize 2011 was awarded to graduate, Helena Nolan, while in 2013, graduate Jessica Traynor won the Hennessy Emerging Poet Award and the Hennessy Writer of the Year Award in 2013.

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The University of Edinburgh home

Postgraduate study

Creative Writing PhD

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Creative Writing

Upcoming live online events

Postgraduate Discovery Day

(29 March, 09:00 - 18:00 BST)

Research profile

The PhD in Creative Writing offers committed and talented writers the opportunity to study Creative Writing at the highest level.

Supported by an expert supervisory team you will work independently towards the production of a substantial, publishable piece of creative writing, accompanied by a sustained exercise in critical study.

The academic staff you will be working with are all active researchers or authors, including well-published and prize-winning writers of poetry, prose fiction and drama. They include:

Alice Thompson - Fiction

Find out more about the programme and our team

Training and support

We encourage you to share your research and learn from the work of others through a programme of seminars and visiting speakers.

We have an in-house Writer-in-Residence, annual writing prizes, and a range of opportunities to learn from experts in the publishing industry.

We also offer access to opportunities provided by the Sottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities.

Our postgraduate journal, Forum, is a valuable conduit for research findings and provides an opportunity to gain editorial experience.

A UNESCO World City of Literature, Edinburgh is a remarkable place to study, write, publish, discuss and perform prose, poetry and drama.

Take a PhD with us and you will be based in the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) in the historic centre of this world-leading festival city.

Our buildings are close to:

We have strong links with the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which annually welcomes around 1,000 authors to our literary city.

There are lots of opportunities to write and share your work, from Forum to The Selkie, which was founded by Creative Writing students in 2018 to showcase work by people who self-identify as underrepresented.

Around the city, you’ll find library readings and bookshop launches, spoken word gigs, cabaret nights and poetry slams, including events run by celebrated publishing outlets, from Canongate and Polygon / Birlinn to Luath Press, 404 Ink, Taproot Press and Mariscat.

You will have access to the University’s many literary treasures, which include:

The Centre for Research Collections also holds a truly exceptional collection of early Shakespeare quartos and other early modern printed plays. These have been put together by the 19th century Shakespearean James Halliwell-Phillipps, the correspondence of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle (the focus of one of the major editorial projects in Victorian studies of the last half-century), and the extensive Laing collection of medieval and early modern manuscripts.

You will also have access to letters and papers by - and relating to - authors including:

Entry requirements

These entry requirements are for the 2023/24 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2024/25 academic year will be published on 2 October 2023.

A UK masters degree, or its international equivalent, in creative writing, normally with distinction.

We may also consider your application if you have equivalent qualifications or experience. For additional information please refer to the pre-application guidance in the 'How to apply' section.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS , TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE , in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Fees and costs

Scholarships and funding, featured funding.

There are a number of scholarship schemes available to eligible candidates on this PhD programme, including awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Please be advised that many scholarships have more than one application stage, and early deadlines.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

Further information

Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.

PhD Creative Writing - 3 Years (Full-time)

Phd creative writing - 6 years (part-time), application deadlines.

If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit two references with your application.

Before you formally apply for this PhD, you should look at the pre-application information and guidance on the programme website.

This will help you decide if this programme is right for you, and help us gain a clearer picture of what you hope to achieve.

The guidance details the writing samples you should send us as part of your application (either fiction or poetry, along with a shorter sample of your academic writing).

It will also give you practical advice for writing your project summary – one of the most important parts of your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Creative Writing/John Hewitt-Ulster University Writer in Residence

We welcome applications for Doctoral projects in Creative Writing.

The English subject at Ulster University forms part of the School Arts and Humanities in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. It is a vibrant and diverse centre for the study of literatures in English and hosts an active and thriving body of postgraduate students.

Individual scholars within the department are engaged in a range of research in the fields of English Studies and would welcome proposals that fall within any of the following parameters: Early Modern, Eighteenth Century and Victorian Literature and Culture, through to Modern, Postmodern, Contemporary, and Creative Writing, as well as Critical Theory. In addition, we have significant subject expertise and reputation in Irish Literature from the Early Modern Period onwards. Also, the department would welcome applications in the following subject areas: Literary Adaptation, Feminism and Gender studies, Romanticism, the Gothic, American Literature, Biographical Studies, and, Scottish and Ulster-Scottish Literature. As well as these, we would welcome applications in creative writing, particularly within poetry and prose fiction.

Applicants are invited to make contact with us in advance of application to discuss the feasibility of their chosen topic.

Candidates will be required to send through a portfolio as part of the application.

Essential criteria

Applicants should hold, or expect to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a subject relevant to the proposed area of study.

We may also consider applications from those who hold equivalent qualifications, for example, a Lower Second Class Honours Degree plus a Master’s Degree with Distinction.

In exceptional circumstances, the University may consider a portfolio of evidence from applicants who have appropriate professional experience which is equivalent to the learning outcomes of an Honours degree in lieu of academic qualifications.

Desirable Criteria

If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.

Funding and eligibility

The University offers the following levels of support:

Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)

Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £18,000 (tbc) maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance).

This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)

Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).

This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £8,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)

Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).

This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.

Department for the Economy (DFE)

The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £18,000 (tbc) per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance).

Due consideration should be given to financing your studies. Further information on cost of living

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Submission deadline Monday 27 February 2023 04:00PM

Interview Date week commencing 17 April 2023

Preferred student start date 18 September 2023

Apply Online  

Contact supervisor

Dr Frank Ferguson

Frank Ferguson

Telephone Contact by phone

Email Contact by email

Apply Online

Please read and check the funding and eligibility section.

When applying for this PhD opportunity please quote reference number:

Start Application  

Maynooth University

Undergraduate Studies


Search form

Phd english.


Award Type and NFQ level : RESEARCH PH.D. (10)

CAO/PAC code : MHK02 (PT), MHK03 (FT)

CAO Points :

View FETAC details


Candidates take 50 credits over three years. This is comprised of GSA1, GSA2, GSA3, EN841, EN842, EN851, EN852, EN861, EN862 plus at least one other module from the list of optional modules.

Closing date Research applications are generally accepted at any time

Commences September (or other agreed time)

Applicants must have a recognised primary degree which is considered equivalent to Irish university primary degree level.

Minimum English language requirements:

Maynooth University's TOEFL code is 8850

Prof. Lauren Arrington   Research interests include: twentieth-century British and Irish literature, modernism, drama, life writing, war writing, and imprisonment. 

Dr. Conrad Brunstrom   Research interests focus on eighteenth century culture and literature, with particular attention to theories of rhetoric, and gender theory. 

Dr. Denis Condon   Research interests include film in Ireland in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; the interrelationships between popular theatre, tourism, and spectatorship; European cinema. 

Dr. Íde Corley   Pan-African nationalism and political cultures especially the writings of W.E.B. Du Bois, C.L.R. James and Ken Saro-Wiwa; black internationalism; classic and contemporary Anglophone African fiction; black autobiography; Afropolitanism and the New African diaspora; contemporary Nigerian genre fiction; queer African writing; queer visual cultures in Africa. 

Dr. Michael G. Cronin   Twentieth century and contemporary Irish fiction; Irish gay and lesbian/queer fiction; history of the bildungsroman and Irish writing; Realism and Irish writing; Catholicism and Irish writing. Irish Studies; Gender and Sexuality/Lesbian and Gay/Queer Studies; Marxist, Postcolonial and Feminist literary criticism. 

Dr. Oona Frawley   Academic research interests include Irish literature and culture; memory and trauma studies; ecocriticism; postcolonialism; writings of New Zealand and Australia; Edmund Spenser. As a novelist and short story writer, I also supervise and am interested in supervising creative writing work, particularly in prose.  

Dr. Catherine Gander   American literature and culture: modern and contemporary poetry and fiction, including Muriel Rukeyser, Frank O’Hara, Claudia Rankine, and Don DeLillo; radical literature and art; art, photography, and visual culture; the intersections between word and image; documentary/witness poetics and aesthetics; anticolonialism; embodiment; pragmatism. 

Prof. Colin Graham   Research interests include: Irish visual culture; contemporary writing from Northern Ireland; Brexit and Ireland; nineteenth-century poetry. 

Dr. Conor McCarthy   Interests include Edward Said, Edmund Burke and James Connolly.  Intellectuals as a social and political category or class, intellectual politics and activism.  Also, the history of criticism, especially Marxist criticism, in Ireland and elsewhere.   Methodologies and theories of intellectual history. Also the question of Palestine and the fiction of contemporary Palestine/Israel. 

Prof. Emer Nolan   Irish and British nineteenth-century fiction; Thomas Moore; nineteenth-century Irish political writing; the Irish Literary Revival; modernism; James Joyce; Marxist, feminist and postcolonial literary and cultural theory; Irish women’s writing; contemporary Irish fiction.   

Dr. Stephen O’Neill   Shakespeare studies, especially Shakespeare’s afterlives; contemporary Shakespeare adaptation studies and digital cultures; early modern literature, especially drama and theatre; early modern Ireland.  

Prof. Pat Palmer   Early Modern Ireland; the writing of violence, conflict, and conquest; linguistic colonisation; Renaissance poetry; translation. 

Dr. Rita Sakr   Migrant and refugee literature and film; postcolonialism; Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean studies; modern Arab (including diasporic) literature and film;   modern Turkish and Kurdish literature in translation; literary and cultural geography; the city in literature and film; interdisciplinary approaches to human rights, peacekeeping and peacebuilding; post-conflict memory studies. 

Dr. Moynagh Sullivan   Research interests include Irish postmodernism, gender theory and contemporary Irish women’s writing. 

Under construction

Online application only  www.pac.ie/maynoothuniversity

PAC Code MHK02 PhD Full-time MHK03 PhD Part-time

The following information should be forwarded to PAC, 1 Courthouse Square, Galway or uploaded to your online application form:

Covering letter and draft proposal.

Certified copies of all official transcripts of results for all non-Maynooth University qualifications listed MUST accompany the application. Failure to do so will delay your application being processed. Non-Maynooth University students are asked to provide two academic references and a copy of birth certificate or valid passport. 

University of Aberdeen

Creative Writing


Our 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.

Study Information

At a glance, want to know more.

phd creative writing ireland

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); Alan Marcus (filmmaker of In Place of Death, The New Colossus and 216 Beach Walk, Waikiki).

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

Our Research

David Wheatley is a poet and critic with particular research interests in the field of twentieth-century and contemporary poetry, Irish literature and Samuel Beckett. As well as Creative Writing applications in poetry and translation, he welcomes applications from prospective PhD students in the above research areas.

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 practice-based research in fiction, particularly realism, postmodernism, regional literatures and short story theory and practice.

Alan Marcus engages with different methodological approaches to creative non-fiction filmmaking, with an interest in documentary, the essay film, experimental film and drama. His research incorporates cinematic storytelling involving post-traumatic sites and marginalized communities. Thematically, his work is often located in the visualisation of urban environments in conflict settings, in addition to research on differing perceptions of the landscape and notions of home and displacement.

Alan Warner is interested in Creative Writing research projects (generally in prose), across all genres, especially literary fiction, short stories, or thriller, crime, fantasy, science fiction, memoir and non-fiction.

Potential Supervisors

Entry Requirements

Our minimum requirement is a 2:1 Hons degree or better in a cognate discipline (such as Creative Writing, English Literature, or other literature-focused discipline). Strong performance at PGT level (folio dissertation at Merit or above) is strongly preferred but not essential if UG performance has been outstanding.

Where applicants possess relevant professional expertise (such as in Journalism or accredited authorship), the degree requirement may be waived, but this would only apply where applicants can clearly demonstrate an ability to work at an advanced level in both creative practice and academic research.

International Applicants

Fees and Funding

Please refer to our InfoHub Tuition Fees page for fee information for this Research Area.

Further Information about tuition fees and the cost of living in Aberdeen

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database .

Graduates go into Public/Private Sector Accounting and Management, Fund Management, Stockbroking, Investment Analysis, Banking and Financial Services and Academia.

Get in Touch

Contact details.


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