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Course summary

Nottingham is a fantastic place to study creative writing. From readings to workshops, to guest lectures, we have a wide range of literary and cultural activities on offer. Since 2015, we've also been a UNESCO City of Literature, offering an annual programme of literary events. You will join a friendly and supportive research community, which provides the opportunity to:

  • Meet established and emerging writers at our ‘Off The Page’ event series
  • Write for Impact, the University magazine
  • Take part in the Nottingham Poetry Exchange’s open-mic sessions, magazine, and reading group
  • Write or direct for Nottingham New Theatre
  • Join the Creative Writing Society: write for Firefly magazine, or share your podcasts and blogs
  • Get editing experience through The Letters Page online journal, working with award-winning writer Jon McGregor
You are also welcome to attend presentations, guest speaker events and reading groups, hosted by our interdisciplinary Research Centres.


A PhD in English is mainly made up of independent study, with supervision meetings spread throughout the year. There are no taught credits attached to a PhD, although it is compulsory for full-time students to attend the Arts Faculty Researcher Skills training programme. Some PhD students also choose to audit masters modules taught by their supervisors where appropriate, though this is not compulsory, nor does it involve any formal assessment. If you are studying part-time you will be expected to attend some face-to-face meetings in the school during the course of their PhD. Although most supervision meetings can be held online, you will be asked to attend the induction sessions during welcome week if possible, and have your first supervision meeting and at least one supervision a year face-to-face with their supervisory team. You will also be required to attend/take part in all required research training, attend PG seminars where possible and one PGR symposium over the period of their registration. Wherever possible the final viva examination will be face-to-face. You will complete a written thesis of up to 100,000 words, with expert support and advice from your academic supervisor(s). You will also take a verbal examination called a viva voce, where you explain your project in depth to an examination panel. All periods of registration are followed by a period of writing-up (called the thesis-pending period) when tuition fees are not paid and students are writing up their thesis. You can find information about this in the University's Quality Manual. All PhD students take part in annual review assessments to ensure that their project is progressing satisfactorily. An annual review usually consists of a written report. For full-time students, the first year is probationary (first two years for part-time students), and the first year annual review involves a viva with an independent internal assessor.

Entry requirements

2.1 (or international equivalent) in a related arts, humanities, or social science subject. For PhD level study, the university would usually expect applicants to hold, or be working towards, a Master's degree in a relevant subject. English language requirements: IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element).

Fees and funding

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University of Nottingham
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Creative Writing PhD at University of Nottingham - UCAS