Creative Writing (MA by Research / MRes / PhD)

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Full-Time or Part-Time


Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham

Join our diverse postgraduate community of dedicated and talented writers. Our teaching staff’s research expertise ranges across all the major genres and mixed genre writing, offering an extensive supervision experience in contemporary writing.

Research topics include:

  • contemporary poetry and poetics
  • novel and short story writing
  • drama radio and screenwriting
  • hybrid writing
  • transgressive writing
  • 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. As well as research students at MA and PhD levels, there’s a very strong taught MA by research programme in creative and critical writing in the department, which provides a healthy and diverse postgraduate community of dedicated and talented writers. 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’s also a thriving and vibrant extracurricular 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. 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.

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

Training in Research Methods

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.


  • Work with published writers on yourresearch project
  • Opportunities to publish
  • Links with Cheltenham Poetry, Festival and The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham, Literature Festival

Get Creative Writing course updates and hear more about studying with us.

Entry requirements

  • MA by Research/MRes: a 2:1 honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject area. On successful completion youcan normally progress to a PhD
  • PhD: a master’s 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 researchexperience and achievement
  • EU and international students need IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in any othercomponent) 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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