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Key information

Award:
PhD
Study mode:
Full time
Part time
Campus:
Strand Campus
Duration:
Expected to be MPhil two years FT, three years PT; PhD three years FT, four-six years PT; September to September

The PhD in Creative Writing at King’s is a practice-led course, incorporating taught elements and aspects of professional development. It is designed to cater for talented, committed writers who are looking to complete a book-length creative work for publication and sustain a long-term career in writing.

Key Benefits

Our unique programme offers students:

  • a varied, structured framework for the development of their creative work, with regular feedback from experienced author-lecturers in the department through supervision and workshops
  • purposeful engagement with professionals from the publishing and performance industries throughout the course, building potential routes to publication
  • valuable teaching experience in creative writing at HE-level through our Graduate Teaching Assistantship scheme
  • practical experience in public engagement, through curating and chairing public literary events at King’s
  • a community of fellow writers and collaborative projects

English Department

We have over 100 doctoral students from all over the world working on a wide range of projects. Together with our community of postdoctoral fellows, our early career researchers both organise and participate in our thriving seminar and conference culture.

The English department is home to award-winning novelists, poets, essayists, biographers, non-fiction authors, and literary critics, who supervise creative projects at doctoral level within their specialisms.

Works by our staff have won or been shortlisted for a number of literary accolades, including: the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Forward Prize, the Man Booker Prize, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, the Costa First Novel Award, the Costa Poetry Award, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Commonwealth Book Prize, the Biographers’ Club / Slightly Foxed First Biography Prize, the U.S. National Book Critics Circle Award, the CWA Gold Dagger Award, the European Union Prize for Literature, the RSL Encore Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Letters, le Prix du Roman Fnac, le Prix du Roman Etranger, the Kiriyama Prize, the Republic of Consciousness Prize, the Royal Society of Literature’s Encore Award, and the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. Many of the creative writing staff are Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature.

Their most recent publications are:

Benjamin Wood

The Young Accomplice (Penguin Viking, 2022) – fiction

A Station on the Path to Somewhere Better (Scribner, 2018) – fiction

Edmund Gordon

The Invention of Angela Carter (Chatto & Windus, 2016) – creative non-fiction

Sarah Howe

Loop of Jade (Chatto & Windus, 2015) – poetry

Anthony Joseph

Sonnets for Albert (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2022) – poetry

The Frequency of Magic (Peepal Tree Press, 2019) – fiction

Lara Feigel

The Group (John Murray Press, 2020) – fiction

Free Woman: Life, Liberation and Doris Lessing (Bloomsbury, 2018) – creative non-fiction

Jon Day

Homing: On Pigeons, Dwellings, and Why We Return (John Murray Press, 2019) – creative non-fiction

Ruth Padel

Daughters of the Labyrinth (Corsair, 2021) – fiction

Beethoven Variations: Poems on a Life (Chatto & Windus, 2020) – poetry

Emerald (Chatto & Windus, 2018) – poetry

Andrew O'Hagan

Mayflies (Faber & Faber, 2020) – fiction

The Secret Life: Three True Stories (Faber & Faber, 2017) – creative non-fiction

*may vary according to research leave and availability.

King's Alumni

The list of King’s alumni not only features many acclaimed contemporary authors—Michael Morpurgo, Alain de Botton, Hanif Kureishi, Marina Lewycka, Susan Hill, Lawrence Norfolk, Ross Raisin, Alexander Masters, Anita Brookner, and Helen Cresswell—it also includes major figures in literature, such as Maureen Duffy, Arthur C Clarke, Thomas Hardy, Christopher Isherwood, BS Johnson, John Keats, W. Somerset Maugham, and Virginia Woolf.

Course Detail

Our postgraduate writing students are given a supportive environment in which to enhance their technique, to explore the depths of their ideas, to sustain their creative motivation, and to prepare them for the demands of the writer’s life beyond the College.

At King's we know that writing well requires self-discipline and an ability to work productively in isolation; but we also appreciate that postgraduate writers thrive when they are part of a community of fellow authors, an environment of constructive criticism and shared endeavour.

That is why we offer our PhD students the guidance of knowledgeable and experienced practitioners. They will have frequent opportunities to interact and collaborate with peers and forge lasting connections within London’s writing industry.

Students will be expected to attend the quarterly Thesis Workshop, and also to take an active part in curating literary events at King’s, including the Poetry And… quarterly reading series. They will be invited to apply for positions teaching undergraduate creative writing modules as part of the Department’s Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) scheme.

After three years (full-time) or six years (part-time), students are expected to submit either:

  • a novel or short story collection
  • a poetry collection
  • a full-length work of creative non-fiction

In addition, they are also required to submit an essay (up to 15,000 words) that examines their practical approach to the conception, development, and revision of their project, and which explores how their creative work was informed by research (archival, book-based, or experiential).

 

Many of our incoming students apply for AHRC funding via the London Arts and Humanities Partnership. Please see their website (www.lahp.ac.uk) for more detail of deadlines, application procedure and awards available. Also the ‘Student Funding’ section of the Prospectus will give you more information on other scholarships available from King’s.

UK Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees:

£5,820 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

Part time tuition fees:

£2,910 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

International Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees:

£22,230 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

Part time tuition fees:

£11,115 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

UK Tuition Fees 2023/24

Full time tuition fees:

£5,820 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

Part time tuition fees:

£2,910 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

International Tuition Fees 2023/24

Full time tuition fees:

£22,900 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

Part time tuition fees:

£11,450 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Base campus

strand-quad
Strand Campus

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Strand Campus houses King's College London's arts and sciences faculties.

PhD in Creative Writing students are taught through one-to-one sessions with an appointed supervisor in their chosen specialism (fiction, creative non-fiction, or poetry) as well as through quarterly thesis workshops. They are also appointed a second supervisor whose role is to offer an additional perspective on the work being produced.

We place great emphasis on pastoral care and are a friendly and welcoming department in the heart of London. Our home in the Virginia Woolf Building offers many spaces for postgraduate students to work and socialise. Studying in London means students have access to a huge range of libraries from the Maughan Library at King’s to the Senate House Library at the University of London and the British Library.

Teaching

Our PhD Creative Writing students are taught exclusively by practicing, published writers of international reputation. These include:

Benjamin Wood (Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing)

Supervises projects in fiction.

Edmund Gordon (Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing)

Supervises projects in fiction and creative non-fiction.

Sarah Howe (Lecturer in Poetry)

Supervises projects in poetry.

Anthony Joseph (Lecturer in Creative Writing)

Supervises projects in poetry and fiction.

Jon Day (Senior Lecturer in English)

Supervises projects in creative non-fiction and fiction

Lara Feigel (Professor of Modern Literature)

Supervises projects in creative non-fiction and fiction.

Ruth Padel (Professor Emerita of Poetry)

Andrew O’Hagan (Visiting Professor)

*Teaching staff may vary according to research leave and availability.

 

Our programme also incorporates the following taught components:

Thesis Workshop

A termly writing seminar for the discussion and appraisal of works-in-progress. These are taught on a rotational basis by all members of the creative writing staff, so that students get the benefit of hearing a range of voices and opinions on their work throughout the course.

The Writing Life

A suite of exclusive guest talks and masterclasses from leading authors, publishers, and editors, in which students receive guidance from people working at the top level of the writing industry and learn about the various demands of maintaining a career as a writer.

Other elements of professional development are included in the degree:

Agents-in-Residence

Candidates in fiction or creative-nonfiction will meet and discuss their work in one-to-one sessions with invited literary agents, who are appointed to yearly residencies. These sessions offer writers a different overview of the development of their project: not solely from the standpoint of authorial technique, but with a view towards the positioning of their writing within a competitive and selective industry. Poetry candidates will meet and discuss their work with invited editors from internationally recognised poetry journals and presses.

Undergraduate Teaching

Through our Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) training scheme, our PhD students can apply to lead undergraduate creative writing workshops in fiction, creative non-fiction, and/or poetry, enabling them to acquire valuable HE-level teaching experience that will benefit them long after graduation.

Reading Series

Our students are required to participate in the curation of literary events at King’s. They are also responsible for curating Poetry And…, a quarterly reading in which leading poets illuminate the powerful connections between poetry and other disciplines. Students will develop skills in public engagement by chairing discussions and may also perform excerpts of their own writing.

 

Postgraduate Training

There is a range of induction events and training provided for students by the Centre for Doctoral Studies, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the English Department. A significant number of our students are AHRC-funded through the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) which also provides doctoral training to all students. All students take the ‘Doctoral Seminar’ in their first year. This is a series of informal, staff-led seminars on research skills in which students can share and gain feedback on their own work. We run a series of ‘Skills Lunches’, which are informal lunch meetings with staff, covering specific topics, including Upgrading, Attending Conferences, Applying for Funding and Post-Doctoral Awards, etc. Topics for these sessions are generally suggested by the students themselves, so are particularly responsive to student needs. We have an Early Career Staff Mentor who runs more formal workshops of varying kinds, particularly connected to career development and the professions.

Through our Graduate Teaching Assistantship Scheme, doctoral students can apply to teach in the department (usually in their second year of study) and are trained and supported as they do so.

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Many of our incoming students apply for AHRC funding via the London Arts and Humanities Partnership. Please see their website (www.lahp.ac.uk) for more detail of deadlines, application procedure and awards available. Also the ‘Student Funding’ section of the Prospectus will give you more information on other scholarships available from King’s.

UK Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees:

£5,820 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

Part time tuition fees:

£2,910 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

International Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees:

£22,230 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

Part time tuition fees:

£11,115 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

UK Tuition Fees 2023/24

Full time tuition fees:

£5,820 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

Part time tuition fees:

£2,910 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

International Tuition Fees 2023/24

Full time tuition fees:

£22,900 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

Part time tuition fees:

£11,450 per year (MPhil/PhD, Creative Writing)

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Base campus

strand-quad
Strand Campus

Located on the north bank of the River Thames, the Strand Campus houses King's College London's arts and sciences faculties.

PhD in Creative Writing students are taught through one-to-one sessions with an appointed supervisor in their chosen specialism (fiction, creative non-fiction, or poetry) as well as through quarterly thesis workshops. They are also appointed a second supervisor whose role is to offer an additional perspective on the work being produced.

We place great emphasis on pastoral care and are a friendly and welcoming department in the heart of London. Our home in the Virginia Woolf Building offers many spaces for postgraduate students to work and socialise. Studying in London means students have access to a huge range of libraries from the Maughan Library at King’s to the Senate House Library at the University of London and the British Library.

Teaching

Our PhD Creative Writing students are taught exclusively by practicing, published writers of international reputation. These include:

Benjamin Wood (Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing)

Supervises projects in fiction.

Edmund Gordon (Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing)

Supervises projects in fiction and creative non-fiction.

Sarah Howe (Lecturer in Poetry)

Supervises projects in poetry.

Anthony Joseph (Lecturer in Creative Writing)

Supervises projects in poetry and fiction.

Jon Day (Senior Lecturer in English)

Supervises projects in creative non-fiction and fiction

Lara Feigel (Professor of Modern Literature)

Supervises projects in creative non-fiction and fiction.

Ruth Padel (Professor Emerita of Poetry)

Andrew O’Hagan (Visiting Professor)

*Teaching staff may vary according to research leave and availability.

 

Our programme also incorporates the following taught components:

Thesis Workshop

A termly writing seminar for the discussion and appraisal of works-in-progress. These are taught on a rotational basis by all members of the creative writing staff, so that students get the benefit of hearing a range of voices and opinions on their work throughout the course.

The Writing Life

A suite of exclusive guest talks and masterclasses from leading authors, publishers, and editors, in which students receive guidance from people working at the top level of the writing industry and learn about the various demands of maintaining a career as a writer.

Other elements of professional development are included in the degree:

Agents-in-Residence

Candidates in fiction or creative-nonfiction will meet and discuss their work in one-to-one sessions with invited literary agents, who are appointed to yearly residencies. These sessions offer writers a different overview of the development of their project: not solely from the standpoint of authorial technique, but with a view towards the positioning of their writing within a competitive and selective industry. Poetry candidates will meet and discuss their work with invited editors from internationally recognised poetry journals and presses.

Undergraduate Teaching

Through our Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) training scheme, our PhD students can apply to lead undergraduate creative writing workshops in fiction, creative non-fiction, and/or poetry, enabling them to acquire valuable HE-level teaching experience that will benefit them long after graduation.

Reading Series

Our students are required to participate in the curation of literary events at King’s. They are also responsible for curating Poetry And…, a quarterly reading in which leading poets illuminate the powerful connections between poetry and other disciplines. Students will develop skills in public engagement by chairing discussions and may also perform excerpts of their own writing.

 

Postgraduate Training

There is a range of induction events and training provided for students by the Centre for Doctoral Studies, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities and the English Department. A significant number of our students are AHRC-funded through the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) which also provides doctoral training to all students. All students take the ‘Doctoral Seminar’ in their first year. This is a series of informal, staff-led seminars on research skills in which students can share and gain feedback on their own work. We run a series of ‘Skills Lunches’, which are informal lunch meetings with staff, covering specific topics, including Upgrading, Attending Conferences, Applying for Funding and Post-Doctoral Awards, etc. Topics for these sessions are generally suggested by the students themselves, so are particularly responsive to student needs. We have an Early Career Staff Mentor who runs more formal workshops of varying kinds, particularly connected to career development and the professions.

Through our Graduate Teaching Assistantship Scheme, doctoral students can apply to teach in the department (usually in their second year of study) and are trained and supported as they do so.

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Key information

Award:
PhD
Study mode:
Full time
Part time
Campus:
Strand Campus
Duration:
Expected to be MPhil two years FT, three years PT; PhD three years FT, four-six years PT; September to September

Accommodation

Discover your accommodation options and explore our residences.