PhD Creative Writing

PhD Creative Writing

The English Department provides an excellent intellectual environment for postgraduate study. The main University library is well stocked with standard texts and critical works, and the National Library of Wales, adjacent to the campus, is one of the UK’s five copyright libraries, holding one of the most extensive collections of books and manuscripts in Europe. As a department that values a research ethos highly, we place great emphasis on the provision of high quality teaching, supervision and facilities for our postgraduate community. We have dedicated a significant level of financial resources to this in terms of both studentships and other resources such as computing and office facilities. As a result, our postgraduate community is dynamic and thriving. It is very pleasing to note that our graduates secure employment in academic and various other professional fields.


Research Strengths

This is a research-based course, 'research' in this context implying everything that is required to bring to completion a novel or substantial collection of poems, as well as to provide a critical/analytical account of the work produced.  You will be expected, under the guidance of your supervisor, to demonstrate your skills in handling a sustained creative project, while at the same time establishing a critical framework for your writing. Your research will be closely supervised throughout by one or more core members of the Department’s Creative Writing staff.

Please visit our School's Research pages for information regarding our staff, areas of interest, facilities and other information. The department has a proud tradition of research excellence, as demonstrated in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014) assessment. It found that 97% of research assessed was found to be of international standing or higher.

Our Staff

All academic staff in the Department of English and Creative Writing are active scholars and experts in their fields. They are either qualified to PhD level or have commensurate experience. Our Lecturers either hold or are working towards a Higher Education teaching qualification and the majority of academic staff also hold the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

How to Apply

Postgraduate applicants can submit their application either on-line or off-line. Please see our How to Apply page for further information.

Entry Requirements

The normal entry requirement for the three-year PhD research programme is a 2:1  honours degree or its equivalent in a subject relevant to the intended area of research.

In addition to submitting the standard application materials (please see how to apply) applicants are asked by the Department to supply additional supporting materials before their application will be considered. Please see the PhD in Creative Writing application procedure for further details.

English Language Requirements

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Your application

In addition to an application form, you should send us a letter of application. This letter (between 1 and 2 sides of A4) should explain why you want to enrol on the course. It should include an outline of your proposed creative work, and should also touch on relevant literary influences as well as on the themes and issues you will be addressing in the work itself - and, by extension, in your commentary on it. The account will be important in helping us to arrive at a decision about your general suitability for the programme, but it is understood that your work may to some extent redefine itself as you proceed. 

You should also submit a small amount of creative work, written during the past three years. The sample should comprise one of the following:

  • five or six poems of not more than 40 lines each
  • two prose pieces of 1,500 to 2,000 words each or
  • one prose passage of 3,000 to 4,000 words in total

Please be sure to keep a copy of any work you send. If your work has been published we should like to see a copy, in its published form; this will be returned.

Departmental contact details 

Tel: (01970) 621945

Fax: (01970) 622530


Department of English and Creative Writing

Aberystwyth University

Penglais Campus


SY23 3DY

If you'd like to see how we assess your application please click and watch our Application videos.

Further Information

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