Creative Writing (MA by Research / MRes / PhD)

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Full-Time or Part-Time


Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham

Conduct your own unique piece of research in an area of interest or one related to your career. Benefit from academic supervisors with extensive experience in contemporary writing.

Access well-known writers through our close links with the Cheltenham Poetry Festival and Cheltenham Festival of Literature. Strengthen your research through our sponsorship of the annual Laurie Lee Memorial Lecture in tribute to this famous Gloucestershire writer. Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural and literary scene in the county which strengthens research projects.

As well as research students at MA and PhD levels, there is a very strong taught MA programme in Creative and Critical Writing. This provides a healthy and diverse postgraduate community of dedicated and talented writers.

Applications for interdisciplinary research degrees in creative writing and in other areas are also possible. Our system of using a supervisory team, as opposed to an individual supervisor, makes this mode of study particularly appropriate for interdisciplinary study.

All students are required to take and complete a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods to support the development of their project and their education as researchers.

Research Areas:

Research topics include contemporary poetry and poetics; novel and short story writing; drama, radio and screenwriting; hybrid writing; transgressive writing and the creative process. The research undertaken will have a strong practical creative focus. The aim will be to produce a thesis which contains a ground-breaking and original text of publishable standard and a complementary discourse which contextualises its critical and creative aspects.

We enjoy an established research reputation, having been recognised for our world-leading and internationally excellent research output in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

There is also a thriving and vibrant extra-curricular cultural and literary scene in the county, which further enriches our research environment. For example, students benefit from the Dymock Poets Archive and Study Centre, containing manuscripts, first editions and other materials relating to Robert Frost, Lascelles Abercrombie, Edward Thomas, Rupert Brooke, Wilfrid Gibson and Eleanor Farjeon. The university library also includes a wide selection of contemporary writing and creative writing journals.

This research contributes to the subject community Literacy and Critical Studies and the research priority area Being Human: Past, Present and Future.

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Entry requirements

  • MA by Research/MRes: a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area. On successful completion you can normally progress to a PhD
  • PhD: a masters degree or equivalent in a subject area relevant to the proposed research topic
  • We actively encourage applications from students from different backgrounds who demonstrate appropriate research experience and achievement
  • EU and international students need IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in any other component) or equivalent 


See the further details of tuition fees when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

Dr. Paul Vare

Staff Profile

Dr. Paul Vare

Postgraduate Research Lead - School of Education

"Starting as a teacher in UK and Tanzania I soon switched to community-based environmental education, firstly in Leicester and then Mount Elgon, Uganda. My career has focused on international education and sustainability projects working for charities but with communities, large corporations and governments including the UN. I joined here in 2013 to follow my interest in teaching and research."


Man smiling with books behind him

Work with published writers on your research project

close up of different books

Opportunities to publish and hold internships with IOTA poetry.

Chelt literature festival

Benefit from our strong links with Cheltenham Poetry Festival and The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.

School of Education and Humanities

Our School of Education and Humanities will help you graduate as a well-rounded, innovative and passionate individual. You will work with experienced practitioners, engage with active researchers and be inspired by published authors.

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