Master of Philosophy in Creative Writing

Below is School-specific information for an MPhil in Creative Writing, general UQ information can be found here.

The Master of Philosophy in Creative Writing, enables students to undertake a creative writing project and a related critical essay. Students can work in the genres of fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, drama, or screenwriting. Students study the research, composition, editorial skills and critical writing skills necessary for a career in writing. National and international students are encouraged to apply.

Course of Study

The Master of Philosophy in Creative Writing requires a minimum of one-and-a-half years of full-time study or three-years of part-time study. In order to have the degree conferred, the students must complete:

  • ENGL9000 Advanced Research Methods (ARM): a highly recommended course for all research higher degree students in the School of Communication and Arts
  • HDR Progress Review: designed to help students and advisors monitor progress of the thesis
  • WRIT9510 Creative Writing Workshop: an online workshop offered to creative writing students in the first semester of the second year of candidature
  • The Thesis (maximum 40,000 words): a creative project and related critical essay that together examine an aspect of creative-writing practice and demonstrates specialised knowledge and skill in the creative writing discipline.

It is expected that during the candidature students will disseminate their creative and/or critical research to peers and research communities in the School, University and at conferences. Students are also encouraged to endeavour to publish work in high-quality outlets. 

The Thesis

The thesis is composed of an interrelated creative project and critical essay that together present and examine an element of practice.

The creative project should display originality, a critical understanding of genre, and make a significant contribution to the practice. It typically takes the form of (1) a work of prose of approximately 30,000 words; or (2) a poetry manuscript of approximately 48 pages; or (3) a screenplay for a short feature film; or another short creative writing project related to television, stage or radio production as approved by the advisory team.

The critical essay may employ a wide variety of approaches and rhetorical strategies. It should demonstrate expert understanding of the discipline, reflect critically on practice, and locate the work in relation to current critical writing. Appropriate approaches include, but are not limited to (1) a reflection on an issue germane to creative writing practice, such as the processes or techniques of creative writing within a genre or within the creative project; or (2) an examination of the contexts and conditions of the candidate’s creative writing or the critical, industrial or historical issues relevant to the candidate’s creative project; or (3) an exploration of a scholarly issue of genre, theory, representation, or themes in another creative work of demonstrated relevance to the candidate’s creative project. The critical essay is typically about 10,000 words in length, including footnotes and appendices but excluding a list of cited works. 

Where the creative project is substantially shorter than is typical for this degree (see above), a longer critical essay may be required. Likewise, where the creative work contains substantial scholarship and research (such as in a biography, history, or research-based creative non-fiction), the requirements for the critical essay may be modified.


Students in the program will have two advisors (a principal and an associate) drawn from the creative writing staff and/or members of the School with a PhD who have a strong involvement in producing or assessing creative writing.


Applicants to the Master of Philosophy in Creative Writing will preferably hold a good bachelor degree, or a bachelor degree with honours, plus an emerging record of publication appropriate to the proposed project. A cognate honours degree that includes a component of creative writing practice may form part of the record of publication. 

Domestic and International Scholarships

Applicants for the Masters in Creative Writing degree may be eligible for a scholarship if (1) they are accepted into the Masters program by the School; and (2) they have a strong academic and publishing record. Further information on domestic and international scholarships can be accessed from the UQ Graduate School website.