Postgraduate study

Creative Writing

Awards: PhD

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

Programme website: Creative Writing

The PhD in Creative Writing provides the capstone to the postgraduate Creative Writing suite, offering students graduating from the MSc an opportunity to undertake work at a higher level. You will aim towards the production of a substantial, publishable piece of creative writing, accompanied by a sustained exercise in critical study.

The academic staff you will be working with are all active researchers or authors, including well-published and prize-winning writers of poetry, prose fiction and drama.

We encourage you to share your research and learn from the work of others through a programme of work-in-progress seminars, reading groups, visiting speakers and conferences.

Our postgraduate journal, Forum, is a valuable conduit for research findings and provides an opportunity to gain editorial experience.

Our location in the first UNESCO City of Literature places you at the heart of a major cultural centre, enriching your experience with opportunities for literary engagement through world-class facilities and events, such as the National Library of Scotland and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The resources of the English Literature department at Edinburgh offer an attractive environment in which students can study for an advanced research degree. You will have access to IT and common-room facilities and benefit from visiting lectures from international scholars. Tutorial assistants have shared offices.

A UK masters degree with distinction, or its international equivalent, in creative writing, normally with distinction.

We may also consider your application if you have equivalent qualifications or experience; please check with your potential supervisor before you apply.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit two references with your application.

Before you apply, we strongly recommend that you discuss your research proposal by email with a prospective supervisor.

In addition to the supporting documents requested on the application form, you should include a research proposal and a sample of either fiction (3,000-5,000 words, not exceeding 5,000 words) or poetry (10-15 pages of poetry, not exceeding 15 pages), as well as a shorter sample of your academic writing (circa 2,000 words).

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Graduate School
  • School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
  • Room 1.13, 50 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9LH