Our Creative Writing Research degrees are unique and intense programmes for practising writers who wish to complete an ambitious creative project, representing a distinctive contribution to the field of Creative Writing.
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.
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.
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.
- 19 November 2018: to receive a decision on your application by 10 December 2018
- 18 February 2019: to receive a decision on your application by 18 March 2019
- 20 May 2019: to receive a decision on your application by 17 June 2019
English Language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English.
Fees and funding
- £4,320 UK/EU (to be confirmed by UKRI)
- £17,620 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 £500
- Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,250
- Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £320
- Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £730
- Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period) £300
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.
A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. 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.
- College of Arts Graduate School funding opportunities
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.
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:
- Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document
- Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document
- Two references on headed paper (academic and/or professional).
- Research proposal, CV, samples of written work as per requirements for each subject area.
To complete your application we will need two references (one must be academic the other can be academic or professional).
There are two options for you to submit references as part of your application. You can upload a document as part of your application or you can enter in your referee’s contact details and we will contact them to request a reference.
Option 1 – Uploading as part of the application form
Your references should be on official headed paper. These should also be signed by the referee. You can then upload these via theOnline Application form with the rest your documents to complete the application process.
Please be aware that documents must not exceed 5MB in size and therefore you may have to upload your documents separately. The online system allow you to upload supporting documents only in PDF format. For a free PDF writer go to www.pdfforge.org.
Option 2 - Entering contact details as part of the application form
If you enter your referees contact details including email on the application form we will email them requesting they submit a reference once you have submitted the application form. When the referee responds and sends a reference you will be sent an email to confirm the university has received this.
After submitting your application form
Use our Applicant Self Service uploading documents function to submit a new reference. We can also accept confidential references direct to email@example.com, from the referee’s university or business email account.
Once you have all your supporting documentation you can apply through our Online Application System
I've applied. What next?
If you have any other trouble accessing Applicant Self-Service, please see Application Troubleshooting/FAQs.
If you are requested to upload further documents
Log into the Applicant Self Service and scroll down to the Admissions Section. The screenshot below indicates the section on the page, and the specific area you should go to, highlighted in red:
Documents must be uploaded in .jpg, .jpeg or .pdf format and must not exceed 5MB in size. There is a maximum 10MB upload size for all documents with the application.
Once a decision has been made regarding your application the Research Admissions Office will contact you by email.
If you are made an unconditional offer
You can accept your offer through the Applicant-Self-Service by clicking on the ‘Accept/Decline link’ for your chosen programme under the ‘Admissions Section’ at the bottom of the Applicant Self Service screen. You can access the Applicant Self Service by using the link, username and password you used to apply and selecting the “Self Service” button below your application.
Please make sure you accept your unconditional offer within 4 weeks of receiving your offer. If you are an international student your CAS will not be issued until you have accepted an unconditional offer.
If you are made a conditional offer
If you accept a conditional offer then the offer status on Applicant-Self-Service will change to ‘incomplete’ to indicate that the application is incomplete until such time as all the conditions are met.
Your offer letter will list all the conditions that apply to your offer and you can upload the required document(s) through Applicant Self Service. If you have met the conditions satisfactorily, you will automatically be sent an unconditional offer.
If your application is unsuccessful
If your application is unsuccessful then we will send you an email to inform you of this which will outline the reason why we have been unable to offer you a place on this particular programme. Please note that your application status will be updated to 'Cancelled' on Applicant Self Service if the offer is rejected.
Deferring your offer
If you want to defer your start date, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need authorisation from your supervisor before we confirm your request to defer. Once we have this we will contact you by email to confirm.
How to register
After you have accepted an unconditional offer you will receive an email nearer to the start of your studies to tell you how to register online using the University's MyCampus website, the University’s student information system. That email will provide you with your personal login details and the website address. Please ensure that your email address is kept up to date as all correspondence is sent via email. You can update your email address through the Applicant Self Service Portal under the Personal Information section.
- If you have any questions about your application before you apply: contact our College of Arts Graduate School
- If you have any questions after you have submitted your application: contact our Admissions team
- Any references may be submitted by email to: email@example.com
- Advice on visa, immigrations and the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) can be found on our International student pages