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Bath Spa University

Creative Writing

Bath Spa University’s Creative Writing PhD has a reputation as one of the country’s leading doctoral programmes. Students are taught by teams of literary scholars and published creative writers with expertise in most areas of prose, poetry, fiction, children’s fiction, narrative non-fiction and scriptwriting. The PhD in Creative Writing combines a proposed manuscript (fiction, poems or playscript) with an element of supporting or contextualising research. The proposed manuscript will be volume length (the natural length of a book, whether poetry or story collection, novel, or playscript). The supporting research will be 20,000 words.
Duration 2-6 years
Level PhD
Cost UK Home/EU Tuition Fees 2012/13: £3,765. International Tuition Fees 2012/13: £12,499. The university has been awarded block grants for two, full time, PhD in Creative Writing students. The first block grant holder will begin their full time PhD study in October 2012. The second block grant holder will begin their full time study in October 2013.
Our Creative Writing PhD students constitute a writing and research community. The School’s Research Centre for Contemporary Writing sponsors a range of events and activities, some specially arranged for PhD students, and most of which are open to them to attend. These activities include a strand of events at the annual Bath Literature Festival; a Poetry Series; an exchange programme with Columbia College, Chicago; and a series of visits in which literary agents, published writers of all genres, and editors present talks and answer questions. Specialised research training is given through a programme of Writing Workshop Master Classes in which students take it in turns to have their writing workshopped by other Creative Writing PhD students, supervisors, and a published writer from outside the institution.
Please note that there are four enrolment dates in any one year; 1st January, 1st April, 1st July and 1st October. It is recommended that application forms be submitted at least 6-8 weeks before your intended enrolment date. Dr Tracy Brain, Creative Writing PhD Programme Leader, is the first point of call for all applicants. She has an overview of procedures that monitor students’ progress, including Registration Applications submitted by students after enrolment and Progression Assessments. Application forms and admission details can be found on our Graduate School website. Proposals should be two to four pages long. Please ensure that your proposal contains the following: A full description of the creative piece you are proposing to write; A detailed account of the supporting research you are proposing to engage in. This will be a step-by-step account of your investigation, indicating the types of sources and methods you will use, why you will use them, and a list of key books in your area; An analysis and justification of how and why these two components are necessary to each other; How will the research component help your creative writing? Why will it be a necessary part of your creative process? It is important also to offer an account of the original contribution to knowledge that your project will make. What will be new about your argument? What will be original about the piece of creative writing? Please also include a sample of your recent creative writing, in the genre you are proposing to work in, of no more than twenty pages. Hard copies of completed applications and supplementary material need to be sent to our Graduate School Administrator, Allison Dagger.
Together, the student and the supervisory team negotiate a series of assignments and activities that help to advance the student’s own work while at the same time equipping him or her with the knowledge and techniques they need to complete their PhD research. Examples of activities might include a student’s presentation of their creative writing at a PhD Master Class Writing Workshop, the submission of a treatment to a publisher, attendance of professional events hosted by the university (e.g., talks by agents and publishers and writers) or leading some undergraduate creative writing seminars. Research training might take the form of a series of one-to-one tutorials with a supervisor on the subject of their contextualizing critical research, for example on narrative theory, or the presentation of a paper at a relevant academic conference, or the targeting of academic journals with material for publication.
Contact Information
Institution Bath Spa University
The Graduate School Administrator,
Corsham Court, Corsham
SN13 0BZ

Tel: (01225) 875693
Fax: (01225) 875605
Department: The Graduate School
Contact Name: Creative Writing PhD Programme Leader: Dr Tracy Brain/ Graduate School Administrator: Allison Dagger
Contact Email: /