About This Course
If you take your PhD or MPhil in course in The School of English at Bangor University 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 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. A number of staff members are published and award-winning authors, and are involved in a variety of editing and judging activities; Zoe Skoulding is editor of Poetry Wales, Ian Gregson is editor of Salt Wales and Kachi Ozumba was a judge for the Commonwealth Short Story competition in 2010 and 2011.
The School benefits from the presence of the poet Professor Carol Rumens as a visiting professor and the frequent visits of honorary professor Philip Pullman, who offers both readings and workshops.
Our students are successful. A number of recent or existing postgraduate students have successfully published collections of poems or short stories that have arisen from their studies here at Bangor. These include John Tanner, Zoe Skoulding, and Nessa O’Mahoney. Others have published stories including Terri Lee Hackman, Zoe Perrenoud, and Lisa Blower (who won the 2009 Guardian Short Story Competition) or individual poems and other forms of writing.
The environment in Bangor couldn’t be better for studying creative writing, situated as it is between the mountains and the sea. It is a place where creativity, is the norm rather than the exception.
PhD: 3 years full-time; 6-8 years part-time
MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4-5 years part-time
The School puts on a number of readings by writers each year, and recent visitors have included George Szirtes, Anne-Marie Fyfe , Erin Moure, Andrea Brady, Robert Hampson, Jeff Hilson, Michael Symmons Roberts, Tiffany Atkinson, Patrick McGuinness, Richard Marggraf Turley and Damian Walford Davies.
The Contempo seminar series, run jointly with Aberystwyth University, is a staff and postgraduate seminar series that also has a regular programme of visiting writers and critics.
What will you study on this course?
PhD/MPhil in English Literature
The MPhil in English Literature is awarded for a dissertation of not more than 60,000 words and the PhD in English Literature for a dissertation normally of not more than 100,000 words. Research may be carried out in the main fields of English literature post-1300; Arthurian literature. Areas of staff research expertise include: Arthurian literature, Chaucer and his contemporaries, medieval and early modern women’s writing, medieval and early modern drama, early modern autobiography, Shakespeare, George Herbert, Restoration drama, Milton, the literature of the English Civil Wars, Romanticism (especially Hazlitt and his contemporaries), Victorian literature (especially Dickens and Oscar Wilde), Welsh writing in English (especially R.S. Thomas), London-Welsh writing at the turn of the twentieth century, Modernism, Edward Thomas, the poetry of the First World War, Modern English and American Drama, David Mamet, film history and the screenplay, the history of reading, experimental writing, contemporary poetry, global literatures, comparative literature and postcolonialism.
PhD/MPhil in Creative and Critical Writing
This programme 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.
The PhD/MPhil in English Literature 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).