Centre for Multidisciplinary and Intercultural Inquiry


Creative Critical Writing MPhil/PhD


Barcelona a Pablo Picasso 1983 is Antoni Tàpies’s monument to Pablo who died in 1973.

" Embarking on the PhD with documentary track is one of the best decisions I made as a UCL doctoral student. The support I received in the process was excellent—in terms of supervisory guidance, peer collaboration, as well as training and teaching opportunities. Silvia Kadiu - read full testimonial
" The Creative Critical Writing PhD definitely reflects a movement currently underway in literary study, not least seen in the introduction of 'Creative Writing' courses at universities – although it should be noted that the 'Critical' plonked in the middle divides this programme from a degree in Creative Writing – it is not about writing fiction, but about doing criticism creatively. Matelinda Nabugodi - read full testimonial

Programme Description

In the history of critical thought resort to literary procedures is a key feature in developing arguments and formulating original ideas.

Examples include: Montaigne, Vasari; Diderot, Pope; Coleridge, Baudelaire; Nietzsche; Adorno, Benjamin; Wyndham Lewis, Eliot, Breton; Barthes, Cixous, Sebald, Kundera; John Berger, TJ Clark.

This PhD pathway provides the opportunity to develop innovative research ideas in a variety of forms not restricted to conventional academic prose, allowing form to play its active part in the development of content. Discursive forms that may be offered include: the essay, in various lengths; the dialogue; biography; travel writing; the self-reflexive diary or critical journal; the translation. The interplay of visual and verbal elements in the use of the page may also be used.

This PhD research allows students to investigate form and content in dialogue with each other rather than in isolation; and to investigate practically as well as analytically the discursive forms in which the material they study is produced.

The pathway will appeal to students seeking to produce research aimed at an academic audience but not restricted to it.

Publishers frequently encourage critical analysis developed in a variety of arresting and approachable ways.

Students thinking of careers in the media will also benefit from producing PhD material accessible to a diverse audience.

This degree programme involves the integration of creative and critical practice, rather than a parallel approach. This pathway complements but is distinct from various other PhD pathways and programmes in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities: PhD with documentary; PhD in translation; practice-led as well as practice-based PhD programmes in the Slade.At the same time opportunities exist for interaction between all these various pathways, as well as with SSEES. The pathway also interacts with PhD research in the Bartlett.

How to Apply

Before applying, all applicants must approach prospective supervisors with their research proposal and secure the agreement of two supervisors to supervise the proposed project. Applications which are received without two previously agreed, named prospective supervisors will not be considered.

The admission process requires an interview with your prospective supervisor(s) and another academic member of staff. Once you have submitted your application to UCL, your prospective supervisor will contact you to set up an interview. It can be conducted in person or via skype (for applicants who are not currently based in London).  


CMII offers several funding opportunities for prospecitve and current research students.

Contact Us


Professor Timothy Mathews
Email: t.mathews@ucl.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 3080


Ms Patrizia Oliver
Email: patrizia.oliver@ucl.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 7024


Ms Jo Wolff


Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 3096

 Dr Julia Wagner
Email: j.wagner@ucl.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 3676