Postgraduate research 

Creative Writing DFA/MFA

Start dates for incoming postgraduate research students

1 October 2020 was the preferred date to start your PhD [or the date on your offer letter].

We will run a full on-line induction and training programme that may be taken remotely for the first month. Most of our doctoral researcher training programme will also be available online and we will offer many remote opportunities to help you become part of the Graduate School and wider University community.  

Research that involves laboratory work may start following the completion of induction (all labs are currently up and running).

Some types of research (such as non-laboratory work) and supervision can be carried out entirely remotely and this may be the most appropriate way for you to work at the moment.  Contact your supervisor, if you believe this applies to your research to discuss requirements for home/remote working. You may also require the agreement of the subject, school or institute convener if you wish to carry out your PhD remotely for a fixed period. You may not continue remotely unless an adequate plan is agreed to ensure sufficient work can be undertaken prior to starting the experimental work. It is important that starting remotely does not affect the overall PhD timescale.

Delayed start dates

We understand there may be good reasons to delay:

  • If it is necessary to travel to Glasgow to begin your research, but there are restrictions preventing travel at this time, then a delay to 5 January 2021 is encouraged [when we will run full on-line induction and training programme]. You may also delay to another start time with the agreement of your supervisor and Graduate School.
  • For subjects where laboratory work is required to commence immediately following on-line induction and training and you are unable to come to Glasgow, you should consider delaying your start-date. Contact your supervisor or the Graduate School in this instance.
  • If your research involves objects, artefacts, archives or fieldwork, you should discuss this with your supervisor. Some kinds of work may be able to be started remotely; in other cases, it may be advisable to delay the start-date.
  • External government sponsors may prefer a delay and the University is happy to support this.

From our point of view, there is no disadvantage in deferring your PhD to a later agreed start date. Scholarship holders should check that this can still be provided with a delayed start.

Office and study space

At present, current staff and research students are not using office spaces on campus. We do not have a confirmed date for the return to office use, but all work that can be undertaken off-campus (ie is not lab-based) should be done at home or remotely at present.

Some study spaces are becoming available on campus with a booking system in place, such as the postgraduate study space in the University Library.

International/EU students remotely starting a funded PhD

You should check with your funder that you can be paid a stipend if you are not in the UK. If you are in receipt of a scholarship, you should contact the Graduate School for advice on opening a bank account to allow stipend payments.


Creative Writing

Our Creative Writing Research degrees are unique and intense programmes for practising writers who wish to complete an ambitious creative project.

  • DFA: 3 years full-time; 5 years part-time; Thesis of 70,000-100,000 words
  • MFA: 2 years full-time; 4 years part-time; Thesis of 40,000-60,000 words

Overview

Our new research Master of Fine Arts (MFA) and Doctor of Fine Arts (DFA) build on a long history of offering Masters and Doctoral options in the study and practice of Creative Writing. 

Our research degrees incorporate hybrid taught elements (literary and practical seminars; workshops; and practical pedagogy) within a supervised research context that best support your creative and critical work. 

Both programmes give you dedicated, supported time to complete a substantial creative work, include opportunities to teach writing to undergraduates and apply to be a graduate teaching assistant for other literature courses, and the DFA additionally allows you to undertake an extended academic research, informed by your work and practice, leading to a significant critical essay or output. 

Our students enjoy the guidance of writers including Carolyn Jess-Cooke, Colin Herd, Laura Marney, Elizabeth Reeder, Zoë Strachan and Louise Welsh, and critics such as John Coyle, Jane Goldman, Rob Maslen, Alan Riach, and Helen Stoddart. 

Across all our postgraduate provision, both taught and by research, students have access to the best of the new and also develop a sense of the origins and histories.

Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow is based in the Edwin Morgan Writing Room with its book, periodical and audio-visual library.  There is an ambitious programme of visiting speakers, masterclasses and public events.  The University Library with its modern collections and archives is a crucial resource, including the archive for Edwin Morgan’s Papers. We also collaborate with the Mitchell Library, one of the great civic libraries of Europe.  And our popular Creative Conversations bring a carefully curated range of visiting speakers to campus every week during the semester.

We have strong links with literary agents and an impressive history of published graduates.

Study options

DFA: 3 years full-time; 5 years part-time. Thesis length 70,000-100,000*

MFA: 2 years full-time; 4 years part-time. Thesis length 40,000-60,000*

* or approved equivalencies for poetry or cross-genre work

Both the MFA and DFA run as Low Residency options, where students must attend at least two intense weeks of seminars, visiting speakers, workshop and practical elements (including teaching creative writing in the second year).  One week will take place during the first week of the autumn semester in first year; the other will take place in the spring or early in the summer semester of second year.

Entry requirements

This is a popular and selective programme.

All applications must follow the standard entry requirements for the College of Arts:

  • First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or equivalent qualification (2:1 in the case of UK Research Council supported students)
  • A Masters qualification or equivalent

In addition, for both our MFA and DFA we are looking for writers to have a preparatory one-year, postgraduate masters in Creative Writing with either Merit or Distinction (MA, MLitt or MPhil) or three publications in respected literary journals or magazines, in the intended genre of study. Compelling equivalencies will be considered.

We also require a 20-30 page portfolio of your writing. This portfolio must include a one-page proposal for the project you intend to undertake on our courses and a short sample (5-6 pages) of critical work, if you are applying to the DFA.

As with standard entry requirements we require two letters of reference. Your referees should include an academic and a creative referee where possible. Where this is not possible, you can provide referees from other areas who can vouch that you are who you say you are and that your work and achievements are your own. It is particularly helpful if these referees are familiar with your writing and can provide references on that basis.

Application deadlines

  • 20 November 2020: Please apply by this date to receive a decision on your application by 11 December 2020.  
    (if applying for funding from the University of Glasgow, this deadline must be met)
  • 19 February 2021:  Please apply by this date to receive a decision on your application by 19 March 2021.
  • 21 May 2021: Please apply by this date to receive a decision on your application by 18 June 2021.

Fees and funding

Fees

2021/22

  • UK fee to be confirmed by ukri.org (2020/21 fee was £4,407)
  • International & EU: £19,350

Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.

Additional fees for all students:

  • Re-submission by a research student £540
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,355
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £350
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £790

Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee (also known as research support costs) to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

Alumni discount

We offer a 10% discount to our alumni on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School with us. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

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2020/21 fees

  • £4,407 UK/EU
  • £18,370 outside EU

Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.

Additional fees for all students:

  • Re-submission by a research student £525
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,315
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £340
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £765

Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee (also known as research support costs) to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

Alumni discount

We offer a 20% discount to our alumni commencing study in Academic session 2020/21, on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed a Study Abroad programme or the Erasmus Programme at the University of Glasgow. This discount can be awarded alongside other University scholarships. 

Funding for EU students

The Scottish Government has confirmed that fees for EU students commencing their studies 2020/21 will be at the same level as those for UK student.

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Support

Resources

Teaching and research in the Arts and Humanities is supported by the outstanding resources of our University Library with its special collections and our on-campus Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery.

Our close links and partnerships with Glasgow Life, and the city’s many museums, art galleries, performing arts and music venues, international festivals and creative industry organisations make the University of Glasgow the ideal place for postgraduate study of the arts.

Graduate School

Our College of Arts Graduate School creates a productive and interdisciplinary collegiate environment for all of our research students. We offer a range of services, courses and skills development opportunities for research students.

The College of Arts is home to a vibrant and diverse community of students enrolled on taught masters and research programmes within a stimulating intellectual and cultural environment. Across every school and subject area the college is home to world-leading and agenda-setting research.

Find out more about what is happening in the community by following us: 

You will also be part of the wider Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, the world's first national graduate school in the Arts & Humanities. Membership includes 16 Scottish universities, four art schools & the national conservatoire, with support from the arts, culture, creative & heritage sectors. 

How to apply

Identify potential supervisors

All Postgraduate Research Students are allocated a supervisor who will act as the main source of academic support and research mentoring. You may want to identify a potential supervisor and contact them to discuss your research proposal before you apply. Please note, even if you have spoken to an academic staff member about your proposal you still need to submit an online application form.

You can find relevant academic staff members with our staff research interests search.


Gather your documents

Before applying please make sure you gather the following supporting documentation:

  1. Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  2. Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  3. Two references on headed paper and signed by the referee. One must be academic, the other can be academic or professional. References may be uploaded as part of the application form or you may enter your referees contact details on the application form. We will then email your referee and notify you when we receive the reference.  We can also accept confidential references direct to rio-researchadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk, from the referee’s university or business email account.
  4. Research proposal, CV, samples of written work as per requirements for each subject area.

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