COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

Plymouth’s PhD in Creative Writing is one of the longest running in the UK, going back to the late 1990s. Our MA, and PhD students have had books published in all forms and received many kudos over the years, including being shortlisted for The Forward First Book Prize for Poetry, receiving a two-novel deal with Headline, winning the £10,000 Ballymaloe Poetry Prize, and winning the Manchester Metropolitan Novella Prize (Jamie Edgecombe, see his student profile below).

We offer a rich and warm post-graduate culture in English and Creative Writing at Plymouth, based in fellowship and scholarly interaction with the other departments in the Faculty (including Fine Art, Computer Music, and Theatre and Performance). Our award-winning writers include Miriam Darlington (author of the nature writing book, Owl Sense), Ben Smith (author of the novel, Doggerland), and Anthony Caleshu (author of The Victor Poems and founding editor of Periplum press).

This full time or part time doctoral programme is suitable for people who have a particular research question or topic in mind, and wish to explore this through independent study in order to produce an original contribution to the subject. If you aspire to a research career this is the most appropriate research degree to undertake.

You will be guided by a small supervisory team of academic experts under the direction of a Director of Studies. Even if you already have a masters degree, you will normally be registered as a ‘MPhil/PhD’ candidate and may apply to transfer to ‘PhD’ status around 10–22 months after registration, based on your progress to date.

Overseas applicants must submit their application 4.5 months prior to the proposed programme start date. For Home/EU applicants the deadline is 2.5 months prior to the proposed programme start date. There are three possible start dates per year, 1 October, 1 January and 1 April.

Which department am I in?

School of Humanities and Performing Arts

Study options

Full Time (3 years)

Tuition fees
£17,170.00 (US$ 23,632) per year
This is a fixed fee

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

1 January 2022, 1 April 2022


Plymouth University

Drake Circus,


PL4 8AA, England

Entry requirements

For international students

Students should have Masters degree or equivalent from a UK higher education institution in a relevant subject. Applicants normally have to supply a research proposal, personal statement, and occasionally evidence that they are prepared to undertake the proposed project. This may include a portfolio, or a sample of critical writing, depending on their area of study. Other UK or overseas qualifications may also be accepted – with academic reference. Students need to have an IELTS score of 6.5 overall includes 5.5 in all four components (listening, reading, speaking and writing). The TOEFL Score would be 90 and Component scores of listening 17, reading 18, speaking 20, writing 18.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About University of Plymouth

Two-thirds of the research conducted by the University of Plymouth is ranked as either world-leading or internationally excellent.

  • Short drive to Dartmoor National Park
  • The university has 139,000 alumni across 135 countries
  • 3-time winner of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize