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Caroline Millar

creative writing phd university of kent

Illuminations

I am lucky enough to have a room with a view. I look out across rooftops and a black metal tower used by the fire brigade next door to practice high rise evacuations, then across more rooftops to the gunmetal grey of the Thames estuary. At night, the lights of Sheppey flicker with a distant promise and if I turn my head a little, on the far horizon is Southend. I realise, that I’m not describing my room at all, but what’s outside. Inside, I’ve tried to recreate a cabinet of still life finds, similar to one I saw at Brantwood, John Ruskin’s house on Coniston Water. I’ve collected curious shells, animal bones, a small carved mouse and a fabric owl bought from a Christmas fayre. It’s not as good as Ruskin’s, but I find these objects comforting.

A cacophony of seagulls draws my eyes outwards again and back to the view, their black shapes silhouetted against a slowly bruising sky.

When I look towards Southend and Essex, the county of my birth, I watch a set of lights on the coastline turn from red to blue and back to red again. These lights pulse in a rhythm different to the other lights which merely blink. I tell myself (and others) that these lights are the illuminations on Southend pier. I watched these lights flash on and off all through the long nights of lockdown, attempting to write before succumbing to Yoga with Adriene to calm my mind before sleep. I wondered who was there to appreciate the pier’s illuminations, pulsing as they were with the promise of gaiety, frivolity, abandon. The grind of bumper cars, scream of the waltzer, head spinning and taste of toffee apple rising to the back of your throat. The pier was empty, locked up, off limits, so who were these lights for? And then I realised they were there for me.

Caroline Millar is a second year PhD candidate in Text, Research and Practice at the Centre for Creative Writing at the University of Kent where she is writing a novel inspired by walking the Thames Estuary.

https://www.kent.ac.uk/english/people/3293/millar-caroline

twitter: @carolinejmillar

King's College London

Creative writing research phd.

study-maughan

Key information

The PhD in Creative Writing at King’s is a practice-led course, incorporating taught elements and aspects of professional development. It is designed to cater for talented, committed writers who are looking to complete a book-length creative work for publication and sustain a long-term career in writing.

Key Benefits

Our unique programme offers students:

  • a varied, structured framework for the development of their creative work, with regular feedback from experienced author-lecturers in the department through supervision and workshops
  • purposeful engagement with professionals from the publishing and performance industries throughout the course, building potential routes to publication
  • valuable teaching experience in creative writing at HE-level through our Graduate Teaching Assistantship scheme
  • practical experience in public engagement, through curating and chairing public literary events at King’s
  • a community of fellow writers and collaborative projects

English Department

We have over 100 doctoral students from all over the world working on a wide range of projects. Together with our community of postdoctoral fellows, our early career researchers both organise and participate in our thriving seminar and conference culture.

The English department is home to award-winning novelists, poets, essayists, biographers, non-fiction authors, and literary critics, who supervise creative projects at doctoral level within their specialisms.

Works by our staff have won or been shortlisted for a number of literary accolades, including: the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize, the Man Booker Prize, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, the Costa First Novel Award, the Costa Poetry Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Commonwealth Book Prize, the Biographers’ Club / Slightly Foxed First Biography Prize, the U.S. National Book Critics Circle Award, the CWA Gold Dagger Award, the European Union Prize for Literature, the RSL Encore Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Letters, le Prix du Roman Fnac, le Prix du Roman Etranger, the Kiriyama Prize, the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Royal Society of Literature’s Encore Award, and the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. Many of the creative writing staff are Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature.

Their most recent publications are:

Benjamin Wood

The Young Accomplice (Penguin Viking, 2022) – fiction

A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better (Scribner, 2018) – fiction

Edmund Gordon

The Invention of Angela Carter (Chatto & Windus, 2016) – creative non-fiction

Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015) – poetry

Anthony Joseph

Sonnets for Albert (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2022) – poetry

The Frequency of Magic (Peepal Tree Press, 2019) – fiction

Lara Feigel

The Group (John Murray Press, 2020) – fiction

Free Woman: Life, Liberation and Doris Lessing (Bloomsbury, 2018) – creative non-fiction

Homing: On Pigeons, Dwellings, and Why We Return (John Murray Press, 2019) – creative non-fiction

Daughters of the Labyrinth (Corsair, 2021) – fiction

Beethoven Variations: Poems on a Life (Chatto & Windus, 2020) – poetry

Emerald (Chatto & Windus, 2018) – poetry

Andrew O'Hagan

Mayflies (Faber & Faber, 2020) – fiction

The Secret Life: Three True Stories (Faber & Faber, 2017) – creative non-fiction

*may vary according to research leave and availability.

King's Alumni

The list of King’s alumni not only features many acclaimed contemporary authors—Michael Morpurgo, Alain de Botton, Hanif Kureishi, Marina Lewycka, Susan Hill, Lawrence Norfolk, Ross Raisin, Alexander Masters, Anita Brookner, and Helen Cresswell—it also includes major figures in literature, such as Maureen Duffy, Arthur C Clarke, Thomas Hardy, Christopher Isherwood, BS Johnson, John Keats, W. Somerset Maugham, and Virginia Woolf.

Course Detail

Our postgraduate writing students are given a supportive environment in which to enhance their technique, to explore the depths of their ideas, to sustain their creative motivation, and to prepare them for the demands of the writer’s life beyond the College.

At King's we know that writing well requires self-discipline and an ability to work productively in isolation; but we also appreciate that postgraduate writers thrive when they are part of a community of fellow authors, an environment of constructive criticism and shared endeavour.

That is why we offer our PhD students the guidance of knowledgeable and experienced practitioners. They will have frequent opportunities to interact and collaborate with peers and forge lasting connections within London’s writing industry.

Students will be expected to attend the quarterly Thesis Workshop, and also to take an active part in curating literary events at King’s, including the Poetry And… quarterly reading series. They will be invited to apply for positions teaching undergraduate creative writing modules as part of the Department’s Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) scheme.

After three years (full-time) or six years (part-time), students are expected to submit either:

  • a novel or short story collection
  • a poetry collection
  • a full-length work of creative non-fiction

In addition, they are also required to submit an essay (up to 15,000 words) that examines their practical approach to the conception, development, and revision of their project, and which explores how their creative work was informed by research (archival, book-based, or experiential).

  • How to apply
  • Fees or Funding

Many of our incoming students apply for AHRC funding via the London Arts and Humanities Partnership. Please see their website ( www.lahp.ac.uk ) for more detail of deadlines, application procedure and awards available. Also the ‘Student Funding’ section of the Prospectus will give you more information on other scholarships available from King’s.

UK Tuition Fees 2023/24

Full time tuition fees:

£5,820 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

Part time tuition fees:

£2,910 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

International Tuition Fees 2023/24

£22,900 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

£11,450 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

UK Tuition Fees 2024/25

£6,168 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

£3,084 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

International Tuition Fees 2024/25

£24,786 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

£12,393 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

  • Study environment

Base campus

The Quad - Strand campus

Strand Campus

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Strand Campus houses King's College London's arts and sciences faculties.

PhD in Creative Writing students are taught through one-to-one sessions with an appointed supervisor in their chosen specialism (fiction, creative non-fiction, or poetry) as well as through quarterly thesis workshops. They are also appointed a second supervisor whose role is to offer an additional perspective on the work being produced.

We place great emphasis on pastoral care and are a friendly and welcoming department in the heart of London. Our home in the Virginia Woolf Building offers many spaces for postgraduate students to work and socialise. Studying in London means students have access to a huge range of libraries from the Maughan Library at King’s to the Senate House Library at the University of London and the British Library.

Our PhD Creative Writing students are taught exclusively by practicing, published writers of international reputation. These include:

Benjamin Wood (Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing)

Supervises projects in fiction.

Edmund Gordon (Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing)

Supervises projects in fiction and creative non-fiction.

Sarah Howe (Lecturer in Poetry)

Supervises projects in poetry.

Anthony Joseph (Lecturer in Creative Writing)

Supervises projects in poetry and fiction.

Jon Day (Senior Lecturer in English)

Supervises projects in creative non-fiction and fiction

Lara Feigel (Professor of Modern Literature)

Supervises projects in creative non-fiction and fiction.

Ruth Padel (Professor Emerita of Poetry)

Andrew O’Hagan (Visiting Professor)

*Teaching staff may vary according to research leave and availability.

Our programme also incorporates the following taught components:

Thesis Workshop

A termly writing seminar for the discussion and appraisal of works-in-progress. These are taught on a rotational basis by all members of the creative writing staff, so that students get the benefit of hearing a range of voices and opinions on their work throughout the course.

The Writing Life

A suite of exclusive guest talks and masterclasses from leading authors, publishers, and editors, in which students receive guidance from people working at the top level of the writing industry and learn about the various demands of maintaining a career as a writer.

Recent speakers have included Amit Chaudhuri, Chris Power, Rebecca Watson, Mendez, Frances Leviston, Joanna Biggs, Joe Dunthorne, Francesca Wade, Kishani Widyaratna, Jacques Testard and Leo Robson.

Other elements of professional development are included in the degree:

Agents-in-Residence

Candidates in fiction or creative-nonfiction will meet and discuss their work in one-to-one sessions with invited literary agents, who are appointed to yearly residencies. These sessions offer writers a different overview of the development of their project: not solely from the standpoint of authorial technique, but with a view towards the positioning of their writing within a competitive and selective industry. Poetry candidates will meet and discuss their work with invited editors from internationally recognised poetry journals and presses.

Undergraduate Teaching

Through our Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) training scheme, our PhD students can apply to lead undergraduate creative writing workshops in fiction, creative non-fiction, and/or poetry, enabling them to acquire valuable HE-level teaching experience that will benefit them long after graduation.

Reading Series

Our students are required to participate in the curation of literary events at King’s. They are also responsible for curating Poetry And… , a quarterly reading in which leading poets illuminate the powerful connections between poetry and other disciplines. Students will develop skills in public engagement by chairing discussions and may also perform excerpts of their own writing.

Postgraduate Training

There is a range of induction events and training provided for students by the Centre for Doctoral Studies, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the English Department. A significant number of our students are AHRC-funded through the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) which also provides doctoral training to all students. All students take the ‘Doctoral Seminar’ in their first year. This is a series of informal, staff-led seminars on research skills in which students can share and gain feedback on their own work. We run a series of ‘Skills Lunches’, which are informal lunch meetings with staff, covering specific topics, including Upgrading, Attending Conferences, Applying for Funding and Post-Doctoral Awards, etc. Topics for these sessions are generally suggested by the students themselves, so are particularly responsive to student needs. We have an Early Career Staff Mentor who runs more formal workshops of varying kinds, particularly connected to career development and the professions.

Through our Graduate Teaching Assistantship Scheme, doctoral students can apply to teach in the department (usually in their second year of study) and are trained and supported as they do so.

  • Entry requirements

creative writing phd university of kent

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Creative Writing (Paris)

Entry requirements.

A first or second class honours degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent), or substantial creative writing experience. You are required to submit a sample of your creative writing, and this will be the most significant factor in admissions decisions.

Writing Sample

A piece or portfolio of creative work should be uploaded on the ‘Declaration’ page of the online application form. If fiction, this should be around 1,500–2,000 words; if poetry, approximately 4 pages.

On the ‘Course Details’ page, you should submit a description of around 300 words of your creative writing plans. Please tell us whether you intend to work in fiction, poetry, or narrative non-fiction and what experience you have working in this form. Please also give some indication of the concerns, style, ideas and/or themes that you are interested in exploring in your work.

Request for consideration on the grounds of equivalent professional status

Candidates who hold no first degree, or a first degree in a non-literary/creative subject area should include in their applications a summary of any information that might allow us to support the application on the grounds of ‘equivalent professional status’. This could include previous writing publication credits or other successes and/or relevant professional achievements.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content

Designed with serious, ambitious writers in mind, this innovative and interdisciplinary Creative Writing MA combines taught modules and a dissertation. Your studies take place at Kent's Paris School of Arts and Culture.

Through seminars, tutorials, workshops, and precise editing, you will learn to take control of your own work and write exciting, contemporary material.

Alongside your creative writing modules, you are encouraged to consider choosing modules from the broad range of options offered at our Paris School of Arts and Culture. This programme offers students a unique opportunity to find inspiration both in and out of the classroom and to develop a creative voice in the stimulating surroundings of Montparnasse.

You can choose to begin your studies in September or January and can take a standard (90 ECTS) or an extended (120 ECTS) version of the programme. Part-time study is only available for EU/EEA passport holders, and for those who have the right to remain in France for the duration of their degree.

Studying at the Paris School of Arts and Culture

You spend the entire year at Kent’s Paris School of Arts and Culture where you study at the Columbia Global Center (known as Reid Hall), which is located in a historic corner of Montparnasse in the heart of Paris. At this specialist, postgraduate centre, we offer interdisciplinary, flexible programmes, taught in English, which take full advantage of all the cultural resources Paris offers. Study trips to the city’s museums, art exhibitions, archives, cinemas and architectural riches are an integral part of your studies.

The interdisciplinary nature of the School means you can choose modules from outside your subject area, broadening your view of your subject. As part of our international community of students and staff, you can take part in regular seminars and talks, write for the student-run literary magazine or help to organise our annual student conference.

The Creative Writing MA is also available at our Canterbury campus or split between Canterbury and Paris .

Information for international students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Please note that international fee-paying students cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages.

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways .

Fees and funding

Please see our funding pages for the most up to date information.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • Campus-based learning is available for this qualification

Duration: 1 to 3 years depending on options taken

Course contact details

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Creative Writing - MA (Canterbury & Paris)

University of kent, different course options.

  • Key information

Course Summary

Tuition fees, entry requirements, university information, similar courses at this uni, key information data source : idp connect, qualification type.

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Creative Writing

Course type

Find out how to make your way in the world as a writer, through our MA in Creative Writing. Discover your literary voice, exploring your creative potential in a supportive and well-resourced environment.

A cross-cultural, interdisciplinary programme, you spend your first term at our Canterbury campus with full access to its excellent academic and recreational facilities. You also visit Paris, where you meet our Paris staff and are taken on a tour of the city. We offer advice and support to help you relocate.

In the spring term, you then relocate to the Paris School of Arts and Culture where you study at the Columbia Global Center, in a historic corner of Montparnasse.

In your final term, you complete your MA by writing a portfolio of creative work defined in collaboration with your academic supervisors.

Teaching and assessment

You take a total of four modules, for which you will produce approximately 5,000 words each (or an equivalent number of poems or translations). In addition, you write a creative dissertation of about 12,000 words (or an equivalent number of poems or translations).

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

  • provide you with the opportunity to obtain a postgraduate qualification (MA) in one year, and to allow you, if required, a smooth transition to doctoral studies
  • give you the breadth of experience of studying creative writing modules in Canterbury in the Autumn term, and then spending the Spring term in Paris writing ‘in residence’ while pursuing one other Kent at Paris module
  • extend and deepen your understanding of your own writing practice through coursework and research
  • enable you to develop an historical awareness of literary and creative writing traditions, particularly those that have been located in, or in some other way focussed on, Paris develop your independent critical thinking and judgement
  • develop your independent creative thinking and practice
  • develop your knowledge and understanding of relevant aspects of contemporary Paris and the literary history of the city with a view to you incorporating some of these aspects into your own creative and critical writing
  • develop your understanding and critical appreciation of the expressive resources of language

Many career paths can benefit from the writing and analytical skills that you develop as a postgraduate student in the School of English. Our students have gone on to work in academia, journalism, broadcasting and media, publishing, writing and teaching; as well as more general areas such as banking, marketing analysis and project management.

UK fees Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)

International fees Course fees for EU and international students

A first or second class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or substantial creative writing experience. You are required to submit a sample of your creative writing, and this will be the most significant factor in admissions decisions. Applicants may be called to interview.

The University of Kent is an internationally renowned institution located in Canterbury and offers an impressive portfolio of postgraduate degree courses. The university teaches advanced skills, and provides access to fantastic professional networks and learning facilities to help postgraduate students realise their academic and personal goals. Kent's campuses are based in amazing locations, with two UK campuses in Canterbury and Medway... more

Text, Practice and Research - PhD

Full time | 3 years | 23-SEP-24

Creative Writing - MA (Canterbury)

Full time | 1 year | 23-SEP-24

Creative Writing - MA (Paris)

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University of kent: creative writing (paris).

Institution
Department
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Study type Taught

Designed with serious, ambitious writers in mind, this innovative and interdisciplinary Creative Writing MA combines taught modules and a dissertation. Your studies take place at Kent's Paris School of Arts and Culture. Alongside your creative writing modules, you are encouraged to consider choosing modules from the broad range of options offered our Paris centre. This programme offers students a unique opportunity to find inspiration both in and out of the classroom and to develop a creative voice in the stimulating surroundings of Montparnasse.

You can choose to begin your studies in September or January and can take a standard (90 ECTS) or an extended (120 ECTS) version of the programme. Part-time study is only available for EU/EEA passport holders, and for those who have the right to remain in France for the duration of their degree.

Full-Time, 1 years starts Jan 2025

Level RQF Level 7
Entry requirements

A first or upper-second class honours degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent), or substantial creative writing experience. You are required to submit a sample of your creative writing, and this will be the most significant factor in admissions decisions.

A piece or portfolio of creative work should be uploaded on the ‘Declaration’ page of the online application form. If fiction, this should be around 1,500–2,000 words; if poetry, approximately 4 pages.

On the ‘Course Details’ page, you should submit a description of around 300 words of your creative writing plans. Please tell us whether you intend to work in fiction, poetry, or narrative non-fiction and what experience you have working in this form. Please also give some indication of the concerns, style, ideas and/or themes that you are interested in exploring in your work.

Candidates who hold no first degree, or a first degree in a non-literary/creative subject area should include in their applications a summary of any information that might allow us to support the application on the grounds of ‘equivalent professional status’. This could include previous writing publication credits or other successes and/or relevant professional achievements.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications.

Location Paris School of Arts and Culture
Reid Hall
4 Rue de Chevreuse
Paris
75006

Full-Time, 1 years starts Sep 2024

creative writing phd university of kent

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creative writing phd university of kent

English - Ph.D.

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Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective teaching skills and knowledge of appropriate teaching theories.
  • Demonstrate the ability to read and interpret research in their field.
  • Write coherently and clearly about research topics and other topics.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how disciplines are interconnected.
  • Demonstrate the ability to think critically and creatively about topics both inside and outside academia.
  • Apply appropriate research methods to objects of study.

For more information about graduate admissions, visit the graduate admission website . For more information on international admissions, visit the international admission website .

Admission Requirements

  • Master's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 2.750 GPA on a 4.000-point scale
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Goal statement
  • Writing sample (8-15 pages) relevant to the field of study
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Minimum 94 TOEFL iBT score
  • Minimum 7.0 IELTS score
  • Minimum 65 PTE score
  • Minimum 120 DET score

International applicants who do not meet the above test scores may be considered for conditional admission.

Application Deadlines

  • Funding deadline: January 15 Applications must be submitted by this deadline to be considered for an assistantship or any other funded position.
  • Rolling admissions

Program Requirements

Graduation requirements, major requirements.

Course List
Code Title Credit Hours
Major Requirements
ENG 76706METHODS IN THE STUDY OF LITERATURE 3
Focus Requirement, choose from the following:27
Literary Traditions Focus
Theory and Criticism Focus
Culminating Requirement
ENG 89199DISSERTATION I 30
Minimum Total Credit Hours:60

Each doctoral candidate, upon admission to candidacy, must register for ENG 89199 for a total of 30 credit hours. It is expected that a doctoral candidate will continuously register for ENG 89199 , and thereafter ENG 89299 , each semester, until all requirements for the degree have been met.

Graduation Requirements Summary
Minimum Major GPA Minimum Overall GPA
- 3.000
  • Students on appointment who have not had college teaching experience are required to take ENG 61094 . The master's-level course cannot be applied toward the doctoral degree.
  • Students are required to pass a foreign language requirement for the degree.

Candidacy for the Degree

Doctoral students must pass two written examinations in two distinct areas of English studies before being admitted to candidacy. They must also defend a dissertation prospectus.

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Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries

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about as fast as the average

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Poetry: Text, Practice as Research

This programme enables promising poets to develop the potential of poetry as a tool of inquiry within the humanities.

Key information

  • Duration 3 to 4 years full-time
  • Start date September, January, May
  • Location Canterbury

You will produce a volume of poetry as well as a piece of scholarly research of 30-40,000 words. Given its emphasis on poetic practice as research into the possibilities and potential for contemporary poetry, the programme integrates with the aims and objectives of the Centre for Modern Poetry allowing for joint supervision between the two centres. Cross-faculty work on modern poetry with colleagues in Modern Languages and in Comparative Literature is also encouraged. The programme acknowledges the fact that poetry has historically understood itself as an art, consciously informed by research.

About the School of English

The School of English has a strong international reputation and global perspective, apparent both in the background of its staff and in the diversity of our teaching and research interests.

Our expertise ranges from the medieval to the postmodern, including British, American and Irish literature, postcolonial writing, 18th-century studies, Shakespeare, early modern literature and culture, Victorian studies, modern poetry, critical theory and cultural history. The international standing of the School ensures that we have a lively, confident research culture, sustained by a vibrant, ambitious intellectual community. We also count a number of distinguished creative writers among our staff, and we actively explore crossovers between critical and creative writing in all our areas of teaching and research.

The Research Excellence Framework 2021 has produced very strong results for the School of English at Kent. With 100% of its research environment and 100% of its research impact judged to be ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. The  Times Higher Education  has ranked English at Kent in the UK top 20 in its subject league table, out of 92 universities. As scholars and creative practitioners, academic staff in the School of English are national and international leaders in their fields. The expert panel judged 93% of its research overall and just under 90% of its research outputs, as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.

Everything you need to know.

Entry requirements, study support.

A first or upper-second class honours degree in a relevant subject (or equivalent) and, normally, a taught MA qualification.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications. 

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country  and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, students who require a student visa to study cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

This course requires a Good level of English language, equivalent to B2 on CEFR.  

Details on how to meet this requirement can be found on our English Language requirements webpage . 

Examples:  

IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component 

PTE Academic 63 with a minimum of 59 in each sub-test 

A degree from a UK university 

A degree from a Majority English Speaking Country 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways . 

Postgraduate research is a fantastic opportunity and significant investment in your future, enabling you to expand your knowledge, skills and career options – all while making a meaningful impact and contribution to an area you are passionate about.

At Kent, we also recognise the significant financial investment that comes with postgraduate study, and we offer a range of scholarships for our postgraduate researchers, to help keep your mind on your studies, and off your finances.

Scholarships can be broad, or specific to your situation, background or even country – so please do use our scholarships finder to discover the options available to you.

We also have research partnership funding with research councils and government schemes in specific areas of interest that can help you take your research to the next level with additional financial support.

Find out more on our fees and funding page and discover what option is right for you.

You meet regularly with your supervisor, and have the opportunity to take part in informal reading groups and research seminars to which students, staff and visiting speakers contribute papers. You also benefit from a series of research skills seminars that run in the spring term, which gives you a chance to share the research expertise of staff and postdoctoral members of the department.

As a basis for advanced research, you must also take research methods programmes.

Postgraduate resources

The Templeman Library is well stocked with excellent research resources, as are Canterbury Cathedral Archives and Library. There are a number of special collections: the John Crow Collection of Elizabethan and other early printed texts; the Reading/Raynor Collection of theatre history (over 7,000 texts or manuscripts); ECCO (Eighteenth-Century Collections Online); the Melville manuscripts relating to popular culture in the 19th and early 20th centuries; the Pettingell Collection (over 7,500 items) of 19th-century drama; the Eliot Collection; children’s literature; and popular literature. A gift from Mrs Valerie Eliot has increased the Library’s already extensive holdings in modern poetry. The British Library in London is also within easy reach.

Conferences and seminars

Our research centres organise many international conferences, symposia and workshops. 

School of English postgraduate students are encouraged to organise and participate in a conference which takes place in the summer term. This provides students with the invaluable experience of presenting their work to their peers.

The School runs several series of seminars, lectures and readings throughout the academic year. Our weekly research seminars are organised collaboratively by staff and graduates in the School. Speakers range from our own postgraduate students, to members of staff, to distinguished lecturers who are at the forefront of contemporary research nationally and internationally.

The Centre for Creative Writing hosts a very popular and successful weekly reading series; guests have included poets Katherine Pierpoint, Tony Lopez, Christopher Reid and George Szirtes, and novelists Abdulrazak Gurnah, Ali Smith, Marina Warner and Will Self.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. They also edit several periodicals including: Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities ; The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature: 600-1500 ; The Dickensian; Literature Compass ; Oxford Literary Review ; Theatre Notebook and Wasafiri .

Researcher Development Programme

Kent's Graduate School co-ordinates the Researcher Development Programme for research students, which includes workshops focused on research, specialist and transferable skills. The programme is mapped to the national Researcher Development Framework and covers a diverse range of topics, including subject-specific research skills, research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking and teamworking, and career management skills.

Research in the School of English comes roughly under the following areas. However, there is often a degree of overlap between groups, and individual staff have interests that range more widely.

Eighteenth Century

The particular interests of the Centre for Studies in the Long Eighteenth Century converge around gender, class, nation, travel and empire, and the relationship between print and material culture. Staff in the Centre pursue cutting-edge approaches to the field and share a commitment to interdisciplinary methodologies. The Centre regularly hosts visiting speakers as part of the School of English research seminar programme, and hosts day symposia, workshops and international conferences.

Nineteenth Century

The recently established Centre for Victorian Literature and Culture provides a stimulating and distinctive research environment for staff and students through seminars, conferences and collaborative research projects. The MA in Dickens and Victorian Culture is the only MA of its kind in the UK, and both the MA and the Centre places a particular emphasis on Victorian literature and culture associated with Kent and the south-east.

American Literature

Research in north American literature is conducted partly through the Faculty-based Centre for American Studies, which also facilitates co-operation with modern US historians. Staff research interests include 20th-century American literature, especially poetry, Native American writing, modernism, and cultural history.

Creative Writing

The Centre for Creative Writing is the focus for most practice-based research in the School. Staff organise a thriving series of events and run a research seminar for postgraduate students and staff to share ideas about fiction-writing. Established writers regularly come to read and discuss their work.

Medieval and Early Modern

The Faculty-based Canterbury Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Studies has a distinctive brand of interdisciplinarity, strong links with local archives and archaeological trusts, and provides a vibrant forum for investigating the relationships between literary and non-literary modes of writing in its weekly research seminar.

Modern Poetry

The Centre for Modern Poetry is a leading centre for research and publication in its field, and participates in both critical and creative research. Staff regularly host visiting speakers and writers, participate in national and international research networks, and organise graduate research seminars and public poetry readings.

Postcolonial

Established in 1994, the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Research has acquired an international reputation for excellence in research. It has an outstanding track record in publication, organises frequent international conferences, and regularly hosts leading postcolonial writers and critics. It also hosts a visiting writer from India every year in association with the Charles Wallace Trust.

Staff research interests

Kent’s world-class academics provide research students with excellent supervision. The academic staff in this school and their research interests are shown below. You are strongly encouraged to contact the school to discuss your proposed research and potential supervision prior to making an application. Please note, it is possible for students to be supervised by a member of academic staff from any of Kent’s schools, providing their expertise matches your research interests. Use our ‘ find a supervisor ’ search to search by staff member or keyword.

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website .

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Many career paths can benefit from the writing and analytical skills that you develop as a postgraduate student in the School of English. Our students have gone on to work in academia, journalism, broadcasting and media, publishing, writing and teaching; as well as more general areas such as banking, marketing analysis and project management.

creative writing phd university of kent

The 2024/25 annual tuition fees for this course are:

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide .

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact [email protected] .

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from  UKCISA  before applying.

General information

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Additional costs

General additional costs.

Find out more about  general additional costs  that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Search our scholarships finder for possible funding opportunities. You may find it helpful to look at both:

  • University and external funds
  • Scholarships specific to the academic school delivering this programme.

creative writing phd university of kent

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Unlock your potential with scholarships up to £5,000

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Learn more about the  application process  or begin your application by clicking on a link below.

You will be able to choose your preferred year of entry once you have started your application. You can also save and return to your application at any time.

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Research student scoops scriptwriting award

creative writing phd university of kent

Research student John-Francis Nero has won the Best Student Screenplay Award at the Oxford Script Awards for his project The Wisdom of Dragons.

I interviewed him to find out what inspires him, why he had to learn basic Cantonese for his award-winning project, and why he chose our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies  for his PhD.

When did you first get interested in writing scripts and what was the inspiration?

I have always written stories, from quite an early age, it is the easiest form of escape.

It was only as I got older that I considered applying myself to the discipline, so the first thing was to learn the rules, this way I could know how far I could push them.

My first inspiration came from my father when he told me a tale about ‘The Bull Ring’ a Friday night illegal bare knuckle boxing club. That was the starting point for my first feature script.

John-Francis Nero photographed at an angle, smiling and wearing a flat cap.

What writer(s) do you most admire and why?

This is the second time I have been asked this question (hahaha) for me it has to be David Mammet (he has a master class online which is very informative).

He has a different style of writing, something that I discovered in Glengarry Glen Ross, which is worth watching just for the Alec Baldwin scene.

What is Where Angels Would Fear about and what was the inspiration?

The Wisdom of Dragons is an episodic television drama centralised in and around the first European Chinatown in Liverpool.

The central protagonist is Fei Lai, a Chinese immigrant, part-time cook, part-time private detective. He is the bridge between Chinatown and the city police force.

When we are introduced to the character in episode one he is a fully functioning and fleshed out character, he has established himself within the boundaries of Liverpool Chinatown. His story is explored through flashbacks, it is here that the audience can witness his journey.

The inspiration came from a small book I read by Maria Lin Wong, in which she looked at the history of the Liverpool Chinatown. I think it is on page three that she lists the first few businesses to be established, which were a bakery, a butchers and a private detective agency….which as a writer makes you sit up somewhat and say !HELLLOOOOO!”

What was the biggest challenge writing Where Angels Would Fear and how did you overcome it?

Qualitative interviews were somewhat problematic, as I only studied Mandarin at university and the local dialect was Cantonese, so I took a crash course in Cantonese (I’m so bad at it hahaha) but luckily for me a lot of the candidates understood English

What inspired you to do a PhD and what made you chose Essex?

I had sent my proposal to lots of universities(and had lots of interest) but it was only when I spoke with Dr Daniel O’Brien and Dr Mary Mazzilli that I felt they had a genuine interest in the research topic, so that made the choice to attend Essex easier.

What is your PhD about?

The six episodes of The Wisdom of Dragons (season 1) are part of my PhD Research (By Creative Practice). Chinatowns: The Janus Effect is an exploration and analysis of Hollywood’s portrayal of Chinatowns and Chinese people in cinema during the 1900’s, and how Euro-American audiences accepted what was visually presented as a ‘truth’.

The research deals with segregation, marginalisation, ethnicity and otherness (“The other, from that which is not of I”). The research was undertaken using a theory called ‘factional’ - taking qualitative interviews and archival reports (fact) and then combining them with a creative licence (fiction).

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Get use to hearing the word “No” or “Thanks, but no thanks” or my favourite “It’s not really what we are looking for at this time”.

Rejection stings, but it makes you stronger, use that energy and keep driving forward, keep writing….NEVER STOP! prove them wrong, remember “success is the best form of revenge”.

About the Author:

Kate Clayton, Senior Communications Officer

Kate Clayton

Senior Communications Officer, University of Essex

Kate Clayton is a Senior Communications Officer with specific responsibility for promoting research from across the Humanities Faculty. She has expertise in corporate communications, crisis communications, copywriting and storytelling, media relations and publications.

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IMAGES

  1. Creative Writing

    creative writing phd university of kent

  2. Former Creative Writing PhD student longlisted for Booker Prize

    creative writing phd university of kent

  3. Postgraduate Study of Creative Writing at the University of Kent

    creative writing phd university of kent

  4. Creative Writing

    creative writing phd university of kent

  5. English Literature and Creative Writing

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  6. Creative Writing

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COMMENTS

  1. Creative Writing

    A style of your own. As a student of creative writing you join a lively, diverse community committed to high-quality literary fiction and exciting, experimental contemporary poetry. We give you lots of opportunities to practise, through workshops, writing exercises and assignments. We understand that the most ambitious work takes time and we ...

  2. The Contemporary Novel: Practice as Research

    Creative Writing. The Centre for Creative Writing is the focus for most practice-based research in the School. Staff organise a thriving series of events and run a research seminar for postgraduate students and staff to share ideas about fiction-writing. Established writers regularly come to read and discuss their work. Medieval and Early Modern

  3. Creative Writing

    Overview. This challenging, practice-based course will lift you as a writer, offering you a unique approach emphasising innovation and experimentation, and encouraging you to develop your best and most authentic work. You will graduate with the skills required for professional practice in the creative writing industry.

  4. Study

    The School of English offers a variety of taught and research creative writing courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students. At the undergraduate level, we offer a popular course in English and American Literature and Creative Writing which allows students to combine the study of literature whilst developing their creative writing skills. . At postgraduate level, we offer a taught MA as ...

  5. Creative Writing

    Creative Writing. At Kent we are committed to high quality literary fiction, and the most exciting and experimental contemporary poetry. We love great literature and don't see any reason why our students should not aspire to produce it. We are excited by writing that changes the reader and, ultimately - even if it is a very small way ...

  6. Creative Writing (Canterbury and Paris)

    Writing Sample A piece or portfolio of creative work should be uploaded on the 'Declaration' page of the online application form. If fiction, this should be around 1,500-2,000 words; if poetry, approximately four pages. On the 'Course Details' page, you should submit a description of around 300 words of your creative writing plans.

  7. Caroline Millar

    Caroline Millar is a second year PhD candidate in Text, Research and Practice at the Centre for Creative Writing at the University of Kent where she is writing a novel inspired by walking the Thames Estuary.

  8. Creative Writing

    Writing Sample. A piece or portfolio of creative work should be uploaded on the 'Declaration' page of the online application form. If fiction, this should be around 1,500-2,000 words; if poetry, approximately four pages. On the 'Course Details' page, you should submit a description of around 300 words of your creative writing plans.

  9. Postgraduate Creative Writing Courses at University of Kent

    1 year Full time degree: £15,900 per year (UK) 1 year Full time degree: €21,800 per year (UK) 3 years Part time degree: €7,950 per year (UK) 3 years Part time degree: €10,9

  10. Creative Writing

    Our MA in Creative Writing will help you develop your creative writing practice, experiment with a variety of forms, and discover your voice. Find out how to make your way in the world as a writer, exploring your creative potential in a supportive and well-resourced environment. This challenging, practice-based course will lift you as a writer ...

  11. Text, Practice as Research

    This programme addresses one of our main aims at Kent, which is to enable research students to take risks and use cross-disciplinary techniques to explore research questions. This is the PhD that covers narrative non-fiction, as well as other forms of creative writing that are not poems or a novel. Our first student on this programme is exploring identity through hip-hop, and will be handing ...

  12. Creative Writing Research

    Creative Writing Research PhD. The PhD in Creative Writing at King's is a practice-led course, incorporating taught elements and aspects of professional development. It is designed to cater for talented, committed writers who are looking to complete a book-length creative work for publication and sustain a long-term career in writing.

  13. Creative Writing (Canterbury)

    Summary. The MA in Creative Writing at Kent offers you the opportunity to study fiction and poetry (exclusively or together) along with optional modules in translation, and writing and the environment. Designed with serious, ambitious writers in mind, our programme uses seminars, tutorials, workshops, and precise editing to enable you to take ...

  14. Creative Writing (Paris)

    School of English. Email. [email protected]. Phone. +44 (0)1227 823054. Visit website. Apply. Discover entry requirements, content, fees and contact details for Creative Writing (Paris) at University of Kent on prospects.ac.uk.

  15. Creative Writing, M.A.

    About. Designed with serious, ambitious writers in mind, this innovative and interdisciplinary Creative Writing programme from University of Kent - Paris School of Arts and Culture combines taught modules and a dissertation, and allows you to share your year between Canterbury and Paris. Visit the Visit programme website for more information.

  16. Creative Writing

    The 2024/25 annual tuition fees for this course are: Creative Writing (90 ECTS) - MA at Paris. Creative Writing (120 ECTS) - MA at Paris. For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide. For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic ...

  17. Creative Writing

    Overview. Through seminars, tutorials, workshops, and precise editing, you will learn to take control of your own work and write exciting, contemporary material. Alongside your creative writing modules, you are encouraged to consider choosing modules from the broad range of options offered at our Paris School of Arts and Culture.

  18. Creative Writing

    In your final term, you complete your MA by writing a portfolio of creative work defined in collaboration with your academic supervisors. Teaching and assessment. You take a total of four modules, for which you will produce approximately 5,000 words each (or an equivalent number of poems or translations).

  19. Aeronautics Camp/Creative Coding/Fashion/Theatre/Writing

    Choose "Live Video Chat" session for a video conference session with a writing consultant, using your Kent State University Google Meet application. Choose a "Live-Text Chat" session to chat with your writing consultant using your Kent State University Google Hangouts chat tool. During the hours we are open, we can answer quick questions!

  20. Creative Writing

    Why study Creative Writing at Kent: A wide range of expertise: Teaching is delivered by practising, award-winning writers with a wide range of experience. We bring expertise in the industry to our teaching and research. Make your voice heard: Be at the forefront of debate in our lively, confident, and engaged research community.

  21. Creative Writing (Paris)

    Paris School of Arts and Culture. Reid Hall. 4 Rue de Chevreuse. Paris. 75006. Here at the University of Kent, we understand your passion to progress. Whether gaining advanced skills or joining a global academic research community drives you, our networks and facilities will help you achieve your ambition.

  22. English

    The Ph.D. degree in English permits students to focus on literary traditions and literary theory. Doctoral students identify, investigate and theorize the social functions of texts in a variety of contexts both within and outside the academy, doing work that crosses the increasingly fluid boundaries that have begun to characterize the ...

  23. Poetry: Text, Practice as Research

    The Times Higher Education has ranked English at Kent in the UK top 20 in its subject league table, out of 92 universities. As scholars and creative practitioners, academic staff in the School of English are national and international leaders in their fields. The expert panel judged 93% of its research overall and just under 90% of its research ...

  24. Research student scoops scriptwriting award

    The six episodes of The Wisdom of Dragons (season 1) are part of my PhD Research (By Creative Practice). Chinatowns: The Janus Effect is an exploration and analysis of Hollywood's portrayal of Chinatowns and Chinese people in cinema during the 1900's, and how Euro-American audiences accepted what was visually presented as a 'truth'.

  25. Creative Writing, M.A.

    This Creative Writing programme from University of Kent will lift you as a writer, offering you a unique approach emphasising innovation and experimentation, and encouraging you to develop your best and most authentic work. You will graduate with the skills required for professional practice in the creative writing industry. Career