Creative and Critical Writing PhD/MPhil

Overview

Course facts

  • Name: Creative and Critical Writing
  • Qualification: PhD/MPhil
  • Duration: PhD: 3 years full-time; 6-8 years part-time
    MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4-5 years part-time

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.

Further Details

To read more, consult the current Postgraduate Handbook, available here.

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Entry Requirements

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.

International Students

For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages on the International Education Centre section of our website.

Ask the IEC for assistance...

If you want advice or a general chat about what’s available contact the International Education Centre on +44 (0) 1248 382028 or email international@bangor.ac.uk

Apply

Application advice

Applications for research degrees differ substantially from applications for taught courses such as Masters degrees. Although the application form is the same, the way in which you approach your application can make all the difference.

Applying for a self-funded or externally-funded Research Degree

As with all of our courses, you can apply to fund yourself through a PhD/Mphil at Bangor, or you may already have sourced external funding (e.g. from your employer or government), and we warmly welcome all expressions of interest in so doing. However, rather than simply filling in an application form, there are a few steps that you can take in order that your application stands a greater chance of being successful.

All PhD/Mphil students require supervision from at least one academic member of staff at the University, and if you are considering a PhD/Mphil, you will already have a good idea of the specific area or theme that you want to research. In order to ascertain that we hold sufficient expertise in your chosen topic to provide supervision, you should first look at our staff pages. This will provide you with a breakdown of each staff member’s area of academic focus.

Once you have found a member of staff whose research interests broadly accord with your own, you should contact them directly with a concise research ‘brief’ that outlines your proposal and ask whether s/he would consider supervising your project. If the academic expresses his/her interest, you may then further discuss your ideas and develop a full PhD/Mphil research proposal.

At this stage, you should formally apply online for the PhD/Mphil programme. You should fill the form out thoroughly, including academic references, your research proposal and the name of the academic member of staff under whose supervision you intend the research to be conducted.

Your research proposal

A good research proposal is essential if you are applying for a PhD or MPhil. The proposal should include:

  1. Overview – give a brief abstract of the subject area you wish to research and include information on the key theoretical, policy or empirical debates that will be addressed.
  2. Planning – you need to demonstrate that you are aware of the research timescales and have a plan in place to conduct your work. You need to demonstrate that the research is manageable in the given time period.
  3. Literature references – you need to show that your planned area of research has not been studied before. Provide references to key articles and texts relevant to your area of study.
  4. Methodology – you need to show that you are aware of the methodological tools available and have identified which ones would be suitable for your research.

More advice about preparing a research proposal

Applying for funded PhD studentships advertised by Bangor University

Funded PhD studentship opportunities arise frequently throughout the year, and are advertised as specific opportunities for which you must formally apply. The application process for funded PhD studentships may differ according to the academic School in which the studentship opportunity is held, so please check the relevant School’s homepage and follow the application advice therein. If you are unsure of any part of the application process, please contact the individual School for advice, or e-mail postgraduatestudy@bangor.ac.uk.

Online applications can now be made by prospective applicants for all postgraduate taught programmes and postgraduate research programmes at the University (with the exception of the PGCE, Diploma in Occupational Therapy and DClinPsy).

Home/EU students

Apply Online here...

Apply online

  • Please read through the Guidance Notes before you begin the online application form
  • Apply online yourself through our online application system.

Home/EU students with admissions queries please contact...

Postgraduate Admissions: postgraduate@bangor.ac.uk, telephone: +44 (0)1248 383717 or write to:

Postgraduate Admissions Office.
Academic Registry
Bangor University
Gwynedd UK
LL57 2DG

International students

  • Agents: if you are an agent applying on behalf of the student, then you can Apply here.  For further guidance click here

International students with admissions queries please contact...

International Education Office: international@bangor.ac.uk or write to

International Education Centre
Bangor University
Gwynedd
LL57 2DG

Telephone: +44 (0) 1248 382028

When do I Apply?

The University will accept applications throughout the year. We would generally advise that you submit your application in enough time for you to make any funding and/or accommodation arrangements, and for documents such as transcripts and references to be obtained if not submitted with the application.This will also give you more time to meet any conditions we may potentially attach to an offer (e.g. in the case of overseas students, taking an IELTS or TOEFL test to meet the English Language requirement).

Careers and Employability

The programme 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.

Research / Links with Industry

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.

Further information

Next steps