The School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing at UEA has enjoyed an unchallenged reputation in creative writing since the foundation of its MA in Creative Writing in 1970. We were the first British university to offer a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing.
The School encompasses a wide range of creative and critical activities, and it is this conjunction of criticism and creativity which characterises its unique approach to the study of literature and writing. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, 65% of the School's research was rated as ‘world leading' or ‘internationally excellent' in terms of originality, significance and rigour.
We welcome applications for research degrees at three levels: Masters by Research, MPhil and PhD.
Research and supervision
Creative and critical writing:
The School has continued to strengthen its provision of creative writing supervision and can offer outstanding expertise in the following areas: the novel, the short story, poetry, play-writing or screenplay. Candidates present a substantial and original piece of creative writing and a critical element.
Modernism and contemporary writing: The School has an extremely strong research culture in the areas of 20th- and 21st-century poetry and prose. We have particular research interests in the areas of modernist literature and culture, writing of the 1940s and 1950s, contemporary writing and critical theory. Areas of specialist expertise in modernism include poetry and poetics, modernist writing and censorship and late modernist writers. The School also has a research interest in the post-war period, with a particular research interest in war writing and trauma theory, narrative theory and the folk and fairy tale. Find out more.
Literary cultures pre-1900:
The School has substantial research interests in literature from the medieval period to the present. We have particular research interests in the following areas: sexuality and hagiography in the medieval period; witchcraft and fairylore in the Renaissance; Shakespeare; the literary and social contexts of journalism in the 17th and the 19th centuries; Romantic poetry and philosophy; 19th-century literature and science.
This doctorate grows out of the MA in Literary Translation, and can be one of two types, though some overlap is possible. The first type is a scholarly study of the theory and practice of literary translation. The second type is based on an original literary translation, accompanied by a critical essay, possibly including a scholarly introduction and notes or commentary, which explores the process of translation while maintaining a dialogue with current research. We welcome research proposals for either type, and based on translation from (or into) any language and any literary genre. To discuss your proposal before application, contact Professor Jean Boase-Beier.
The School offers a PhD in Life Writing. We have particular research interests in the areas of 19th-century and early 20th-century writers.
We host a weekly wide-ranging research seminar with our own and visiting speakers and offer courses in research methodology. We aim to provide most of our research students with experience of undergraduate teaching, usually towards the end of their period of study. We provide training opportunities in bibliography and copy editing, and we help fund the creation, publication and distribution of magazines. The Journal of Commonwealth Literature is based in the School. The School is home to the British Centre for Literary Translation and the Centre for Creative and Performing Arts.
Former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro, Rose Tremain, Angela Carter, Andrew Miller, Ali Smith, Tracy Chevalier, Giles Foden, Toby Litt, Andrew Cowan, Trezza Azzopardi, Helen Cross, Lavinia Greenlaw, Ann Enright, Glenn Patterson, Owen Sheers, and Adam Foulds are among a growing number of writers who have studied, taught or teach at the University. The Spring and Autumn Literary Festivals and other events attract a wide range of authors to the University.
Enquiries and how to apply
The School welcomes research enquiries from prospective students. Please contact individual academics or, Dr Jeremy Noel-Tod the School's Postgraduate Research Director for Critical research degrees or, Prof Rebecca Stott the School's Postgraduate Research Director of Creative-Critical research degrees, to discuss your proposal.
For admissions enquiries and general information contact the PGR Office:
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591709