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PhD, MPhil, MRes Creative writing

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Research opportunities

As well as the popular MLitt in Creative Writing, and a research-led MRes in Creative Writing route at Masters level, we also offer PhDs in Creative Writing which may suit those who wish to pursue a particular sustained project. You can study the PhD in Creative Writing full-time, over three years, or part-time over six years.

You'll create a piece of imaginative writing in collaboration with a successful, published author – either the novelist and screenwriter Andrew Meehan (One Star Awake, The Mystery of Love), Dr. Rodge Glass, novelist, short story writer, editor and biographer of the great Glaswegian writer Alasdair Gray, or the novelist and poet Sarah Bernstein (The Coming Bad Days, Now Comes the Lightning).

You can specialise in one of these genres:

  • poetry
  • fiction
  • imaginative non-fiction
  • hybrid writing

The length of your project can be negotiated with your supervisor, but will usually be around 80,000 words. All projects are different, and exact word counts will be tailored to particular projects, usually dependent on the form of the work, also the nature of the accompanying critical element that is also submitted as part of a PhD alongside the creative work. A good Creative Writing PhD contains these two parts - creative and critical writing - working in conversation with each other.

Previous PhD students at Strathclyde have gone on to notable success, such as the poet and performer Dr. Katie Ailes (I Am Loud Productions) and short story specialist Dr. Scott McNee (New Writing Scotland, 2022). As of September 2022, current PhD students in Creative Writing include:

  • the novelist and short story writer Sindhu Rajasekaran (author of Smash the Patriarchy and So I Let it Be)
  • poet, fiction and nonfiction writer Meredith Glasson-Darling (‘Notable Essay’ in Best American Essays, 2021)
  • Sunday Times No.1 Bestselling author of The Young Team, Graeme Armstrong

Alex's Strathlife

Find out why Alex Wasalinko chose Strathclyde and what she thinks of Glasgow and the course.

 

I went to Scotland for the first time when I was a junior at university and fell in love with the country and I decided I wanted to come back to do my postgrad here...

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Scholarships

  • EU Engagement Scholarships are available to EU applicants who would have previously been eligible for Home (Scottish/EU) fee status
View all our scholarships
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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are per academic year unless otherwise stated.

Entrants may be subject to a small fee during the writing up period.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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Scotland
  • 2024/25: TBC
  • 2023/24: £4,712
England, Wales & Northern Ireland
  • 2024/25: TBC
  • 2023/24: £4,712
International

£18,050

Funding

Our postgraduate students are eligible to apply for doctoral studentships from the Arts & Humanities Research Council, the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

Take a look at our funding your postgraduate research web page for funding information.

You can also view our scholarships search for further funding opportunities.

Postgraduate research opportunities

Search for all funded and non-funded postgraduate research opportunities.

Additional costs

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year.

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Supervisors

SupervisorAreas of expertise

Dr Sarah Bernstein

  • prose fiction (the novel, the short story)
  • hybridity, experiment, 'difficulty'
  • literature & gender

Dr Rodge Glass

  • The contemporary Novel
  • The contemporary Short Story
  • Latin American Fiction
  • Alasdair Gray Studies
  • Contemporary Scottish writing
Andrew Meehan
  • fiction (the novel and the short story)
  • screenwriting (including adaptation)

Maria Sledmere

  • Poetry and poetics
  • Creative nonfiction
  • Experimental fictions
  • Innovative practice-based and interdisciplinary research
  • Ekphrastic, diaristic and epistolary mod

Our research

Storytelling is at the heart of our culture. Whether you’re interested in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, or screenwriting, we'll guide you towards telling the best story possible.

We combine the best creative instincts with first-hand experience in the creative industries. The world of storytelling is ever-changing, so we make sure to invite only the most relevant industry speakers from the worlds of broadcasting, publishing and digital media.

Find out more about our research

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Support & development

The Graduate School

The Graduate School is a friendly and supportive study environment for research students studying subjects within Humanities & Social Sciences.

Our staff will support you through your studies and you'll become part of a community of students who get involved with our workshops, seminars and competitions.

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD)

Our PgCert RPD programme aims to ensure you get the most out of your current research activities at Strathclyde and helps you prepare for your future career as a researcher.

We'll help you recognise and develop your transferrable skills that'll have a positive impact on your research, now and in the future.

Careers

The University Careers Service can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation. Take a look at our careers service pages to get more information.

Student support

From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have a wide range of support for all students here at Strathclyde. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

MRes Creative Writing graduate Craig Lamont
My whole journey at Strathclyde was instrumental for my career. It was here that I learned how to write essays to a higher standard, how not to write essays, how to express myself creatively, how to work as part of a team, how to publish and edit a book, how to wander the library and lose track of time reading about something new.
Dr Craig Lamont

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

Postgraduate research at the Strathclyde Doctoral School

The Strathclyde Doctoral School provides a vibrant and comprehensive student-centred research and training environment in order to grow and support current and future research talent.

The School encompasses our four faculties and is committed to enriching the student experience, intensifying research outputs and opportunities, and ensuring training is at the highest level. As a postgraduate researcher, you'll automatically become a member of the Strathclyde Doctoral School.

Find out more about the Doctoral School

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Apply

Entry requirements

Normally, a first-class or upper second-class Honours degree, or overseas equivalent.

The Creative Writing PhD is recommended for applicants who show equal ability in academic scholarship as well as creative work. Before applying to study a PhD with us, it is encouraged that you contact a prospective supervisor who works in your proposed area to check their availability. Please note that members of staff do not normally accept PhD students working on areas outwith the staff member’s area of expertise.

The application

Applications to undertake a PhD in Creative writing must include:

  • your full contact details
  • proof of English language proficiency if English isn’t your first language.  For postgraduate studies, we require a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent (no individual test score below 5.5, the test must be taken within two years of the programme start date)
  • a proposal of between 1,500 and 2,000 words (see below for details).
  • a 3-5 page writing sample
  • two references, one of which must be academic
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees

Before you apply

In line with Humanities research proposals, the Creative Writing PhD proposal should be between 1,500 and 2,000 words and should cover: 

  • Title 
  • Research Question(s) 
  • Research Context 
  • Research Methods
  • Preparedness: You should outline your suitability and preparedness for undertaking the proposed project.
  • Environment: You should outline why you think Strathclyde’s School of Humanities is the best place to undertake your PhD; you should also indicate why you want to work with a particular named supervisor.

In outlining the Research Question(s), Context and Methods, your proposal must include an outline of your creative project as well as a detailed discussion of the critical component of the PhD.  The critical component will comprise approximately 25% of the overall word count of your PhD.  As the PhD is usually around 80,000 words in total, this means we expect the critical component to comprise approximately 20,000 words.

The critical component often takes the form of a study of a particular theme, theory, history, or specific element of craft in already published works. This will be a theme, theory, history, or element of craft that is relevant to your own creative project. The critical component may also reflect on the connections between the operation of these elements of craft in the published works and in your own creative practice.  

Funding opportunities

Offered by the University: The University runs a number of schemes each year for incoming PhD students. These are advertised on our website in the autumn.

The main external funding body Creative Writing students apply to is SGSAH. There is an internal selection process in the autumn of each year.

There are a number of other external funding schemes you can apply to.

Accepting an offer

Once you've accepted our offer, we'll need you to fulfil any academic, administrative or financial conditions that we ask.

UK or EU students

If you're applying as a UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Creative Writing

MPhil
full-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Creative Writing

PhD
full-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Creative Writing

PhD
part-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Creative Writing

MPhil
part-time
Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Creative Writing

MPhil
full-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Creative Writing

PhD
full-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Creative Writing

PhD
part-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Creative Writing

MPhil
part-time
Start date: Oct 2024 - Sep 2025

Start date: Sep 2024

Creative Writing

MRes
full-time
Start date: Sep 2024

Start date: Sep 2024

Creative Writing

MRes
part-time
Start date: Sep 2024

Start date: Sep 2025

Creative Writing

MRes
full-time
Start date: Sep 2025

Start date: Sep 2025

Creative Writing

MRes
part-time
Start date: Sep 2025

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Creative Writing

MPhil
full-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Creative Writing

PhD
full-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Creative Writing

PhD
part-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

Creative Writing

MPhil
part-time
Start date: Oct 2025 - Sep 2026

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Contact us

Admissions - Graduate School

Telephone: +44 (0) 141 444 8400

Email: hass-pgr-applications@strath.ac.uk

Lord Hope Building Level 1 - LH128
141 St. James Road
Glasgow
G4 0LT