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Creative writing phd essex

Film and Creative Writing BA (Hons)

Our course combines hands-on practical filmmaking, creative writing workshops, and theoretical and contextual studies. We encourage you to forge links between theory and practice, and to make critically-informed choices in your own creative work through the knowledge you gain of film history, literary classics and writing across a range of genres.At Essex we offer an unusual approach to the practice of writing, combing innovative and traditional methods in order to develop your writing skills . READ MORE

Our course combines hands-on practical filmmaking, creative writing workshops, and theoretical and contextual studies. We encourage you to forge links between theory and practice, and to make critically-informed choices in your own creative work through the knowledge you gain of film history, literary classics and writing across a range of genres.At Essex we offer an unusual approach to the practice of writing, combing innovative and traditional methods in order to develop your writing skills and abilities to judge your work critically, while expanding your knowledge across different modes and genres. In our Centre for Creative Writing we encourage a culture of experiment and creativity, enabling you to feel part of a community of writers.For your modules in filmmaking and screenwriting, you are taught by film professionals with extensive industry experience. You gain hands-on practical training in all aspects of film production, including camera work, editing, lighting, scriptwriting, and production management. You produce group films (learning how to work together as a team) as well as personal projects – by the end of your three or four years at Essex you’ll have built up a fully rounded portfolio of work, enabling you to showcase your creative potential for future employers. Your second-year module on screenwriting forms the keystone of your course, bridging the two parts. You will also have the opportunity to write a script as part of your final-year independent study.Based in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, we are ranked top 20 for dance, drama and cinematics (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021).

Centre for Creative Writing

The Centre for Creative Writing is a research hub specialising in innovative approaches to the study and practice of creative writing.

Established in 2010 by Professor Marina Warner, Philip Terry and Adrian May, the Centre for Creative Writing is unique in that it was set up from its inception to develop and explore innovative practices in Creative Writing.

It was the first place in the UK to develop modules on the emergent practices of memory mapping, walking and place – which are now widely imitated – and it was the first in the UK to devote a module to the now highly influential work of the Oulipo (Workshop of Potential Literature).

It is interdisciplinary in its approach and engages with forms of writing which move between traditional boundaries of mode and genre. Key areas of research interest include the Oulipo, Wild Writing, Memory Mapping, prismatic translation, experimental forms of poetry, and science fiction.

Since our department’s inception in the 1960s under the poet Donald Davie, we have nurtured a tradition of distinguished writers, who have shaped literature as we know it. These include Robert Lowell, Michèle Roberts, Ken Smith, Tom Raworth, Ed Dorn, Ben Okri, Pierre Joris and Ted Berrigan.

The modern-day Centre for Creative Writing consists of writers with a unique breadth of experience across literary genres, from novels, prose and plays, to poetry and song.

PhD Creative Writing

Our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies offers supervision for PhD Creative Writing in all fields of staff research interest within this area. Creative writing is an area of particular growth for us and all genres are catered for, with published novelists, poets, and playwrights on our teaching staff and great programme of visiting writers through the Essex Book Festival to stimulate your imagination.

A number of our graduates have gone on to undertake successful careers as writers. Other past students are now established as scholars, university lecturers, teachers, publishers, publishers’ editors, journalists, arts administrators, theatre artistic directors, drama advisers, and translators

We also offer an MPhil and a Masters by dissertation in this subject.

Please note, part-time research study is also available.

Chat to our staff and students

Find out what it’s like to live and study at Essex from those who are already here.

  • Our department offers talented students the support and confidence to respond both critically and artistically to their academic study.
  • Join a community of award-winning writers, film-makers and theatre-makers, as well as leading academic specialists.
  • We encourage both artistic expression and critical discernment in our unique literary conservatoire.

Our expert staff

Within our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, you will be allocated a supervisor whose role it is to guide you through the different stages of your research degree. In some cases, you may have joint supervision by two members of our staff.

The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.

Twice a year, you will have a supervisory board meeting, which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months.

Specialist facilities

If you are studying within our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, then you will have access to a range of exceptional facilities to enhance your learning and research, including our Lakeside Theatre.

Over the past three decades, our Lakeside Theatre at our Colchester Campus has been established as a major venue, known for a commitment to new writing for the stage. Not only do many professional touring companies bring their productions of new plays here but there has been a wealth of new work produced by our own staff and students.

An essential element of our Lakeside Theatre’s programme has been the opportunity it has given students to write or direct new plays, as well as re-define classics and re-discover neglected masterpieces.

Your future

A number of our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies graduates have gone on to undertake successful careers as writers.

Other past research students are now established as scholars, university lecturers, teachers, publishers, publishers’ editors, journalists, arts administrators, theatre artistic directors, drama advisers, and translators.

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

You will need a good Masters degree or equivalent, in a related subject. Some applicants may be accepted on the basis of an outstanding Bachelors degree. A well-developed research proposal is also essential.

You may be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you’ll find this information.

English language requirements

Structure

Course structure

A research degree doesn’t have a taught structure, giving you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers.

Teaching and learning disclaimer

Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.

Assessment

From the first day of your research within our Department, we encourage you to plan your work so that you can expect to submit your thesis for examination by the end of three years. Aside from strong financial reasons to do this, it is wise to limit the scale and scope of what you can achieve in a set period of time. Indeed, to work within limits allowed by the time available is part of the exercise of research itself.

A typical first year of undertaking research within our Department would involve developing a statement in which you will define the aims, theories and methods proposed for the thesis, an indicative bibliography and a timetable for the thesis completion. During this year, you will start collecting your primary and secondary research material according to your chosen topic and timeline.

Your typical second year should involve continuing to investigate and write. In this second year (or the end of your third year, if studying part-time), your first supervisory board of the year will be your Confirmation Board. This will review the evidence to confirm whether or not you should progress and whether your work is at PhD level. After confirmation of your status, you should undertake further substantial research and writing over the next 12 months.

In a typical third year, you should complete the writing of your draft chapters and move to revise your work into a final version ready for submission.

Dissertation

Within our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, your PhD thesis is generally completed within three to four years and has a length of around 80,000 words.

Your PhD is awarded after your successful defence of your thesis in an oral examination, in which you are interviewed about your research by two examiners, at least one of whom is from outside Essex.

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

International fee

EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

What’s next

Applying

You can apply for this postgraduate course online. Before you apply, please check our information about necessary documents that we’ll ask you to provide as part of your application.

We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.

We aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.

For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet – we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England’s oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tour allows you to explore the Colchester Campus from the comfort of your home. Check out our accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications. The University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.

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