About This Course
If you take this Creative and Critical Writing PhD or MPhil course you will experience:
- One-to-one teaching and supervision by established writers and academics.
- The opportunity to develop your own specific interests, working in the genre and style of your choice.
- The flexibility to study on a full or part-time basis.
- The opportunity to develop an awareness of your own writing and writing processes through combining creative and critical work, preparing you for a future career in writing or as an academic.
The Creative and Critical writing course provides you with the opportunity to work over an extended period on a collection of short stories, a novel or a collection of poems under the individual supervision of a writer actively publishing in your field. Your creative work will be accompanied by a critical commentary; researching this element will ensure that you are well read in your chosen field and have a good knowledge of current trends in writing. The thesis, comprising both the creative and critical components, is expected to have a word count of about 100,000 words (for prose).
You will be joining a vibrant postgraduate community and a School with significant experience in teaching creative writing at postgraduate level. Bangor offers the opportunity to work with award-winning authors in different fields who are closely involved in the world of contemporary writing. For further information see the individual staff pages of Alys Conran, Zoë Skoulding and Fiona Cameron, who will be happy to respond to any enquiries about prospective PhDs in their area.
The School has regular readings by visiting writers each year in the Y Llechan series, as well as creative-critical seminars via ContemPo. As part of the School of Arts, Culture and Language, PhD students are welcomed into a dynamic, outward-looking and multilingual research environment that benefits from its connection with Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre.
What will you study on this course?
This Creative and Critical writing course provides the opportunity to work over an extended period on a collection of short stories, a novel or a collection of poems under the individual supervision of a writer actively publishing in your field. Your creative work will be accompanied by a critical commentary, which should be mainly focused on exploring some idea, topic, genre, theme, writer or group of writers that has a relationship with the creative work being undertaken. Researching this element will ensure a good knowledge of current literary concerns. The critical commentary should include a section in which you discuss your own work and the ways in which it relates to the literary texts you have discussed. The major component of the PhD is the creative element, which the critical commentary is intended to support. The creative element should be 70,000 to 80,000 words in length if prose. For poetry an equivalent length, depending on the exact nature of the creative work submitted, will be negotiated with your supervisor. The critical commentary should be 20,000 to 30,000 words. The thesis, comprising both creative and critical components, is expected to have a total word count of about 100,000 words or equivalent.
You will be joining a vibrant postgraduate community and taught by staff with significant experience in teaching creative writing at postgraduate level. A number of staff members are published and award-winning authors, and are involved in a variety of editing and judging activities. We also benefit from the presence of the poet Professor Carol Rumens and the visits of Honorary Professor Philip Pullman.
A first class or a good second-class degree. In many cases PhD applicants have studied to MA level, though this is not compulsory. Students without an MA are required to follow the research training module offered by the school.
We are able to accept some students on a distance-learning basis, but they should have already acquired the skills taught in the introductory seminars, or should make arrangements to attend equivalent seminars at another institution, at their own expense.
Students whose first language is not English are expected to have achieved an IELTS score of at least 6.5 with no element below 6.0.
Potential students should submit a writing sample of approximately 3,000 words with their application in the case of prose fiction, or a sample of ten poems.
This course prepares you for a career in higher education, as well as in publishing, arts administration, media research, and a range of related careers. This course fully prepares you for a future career as a writer and as an academic. Students also have the opportunity to follow a range of training programmes offered through the University that significantly enhance their chances of finding work in the field of their choice. A number of recent or existing creative writing students have successfully published collections of poems or short stories that have arisen from their studies here at Bangor. These include John Tanner, Richard Jones and Nessa O’Mahoney. Others have published stories including Terri Lee Hackman, Zoe Perrenoud, and Lisa Blower (who also won the 2009 Guardian Short Story Competition).