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Prof Nigel McLoughlin

Head of Research Innovation

As Head of Research Innovation, I have responsibility for Research Leadership and Development across the University as well as responsibilities as Head of Postgraduate Research.


Nigel is an award-winning Irish poet and author of five collections of poetry, including Chora: New & Selected Poems (Templar Poetry, 2009). His research interests and academic writing include the creative process, creative writing pedagogy, and cognitive stylistics. He holds postgraduate degrees in Creative Writing, Literary Linguistics, and Neuropsychology.

In 2011 he was awarded a prestigious UK National Teaching Fellowship Award for teaching excellence, and he was elected a Fellow of the RSA in 2005.


  • PhD: Creative Writing, University of Lancaster, 2004
  • MA: Literary Linguistics, University of Nottingham, 2014
  • MSc: Neuropsychology, University of Bristol, 2012
  • MA: Creative Writing, University of Lancaster, 2000.


National Teaching Fellow

University Teaching Fellow

Membership of professional bodies

Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Fellow, RSA

Member, Poetics and Linguistics Association

Member, International Association of Literary Semantics

Teaching & Research


HM7108 Cognition, Language and Literature


Nigel’s current research focuses on cognitive stylistic approaches to poetry, with a particular interest in ambiguity and liminality, and the mechanisms by which poems create these effects. His most recent publications have used Text World Theory, Conceptual Integration (Blending) Theory, and Cognitive Grammar as approaches to analyse imagery, metaphor, style, and ambiguous, liminal, and uncanny effects in poetry. His research also explores what writers can learn from these approaches, and how they might be creatively deployed as tools for creative writing and in teaching creative writing.


More publications from Prof Nigel McLoughlin can be found in the Research Repository.

External responsibilities

Subject for media interview


Writing poems

Teaching creative writing