Prospective students wishing to apply for a graduate research degree such as the Doctor of Philosophy - Arts or Master of Arts (Research) should establish whether supervision is likely to be available for their proposed research.
Please email the School's Research Higher Degree Administrator with a:
- Brief CV or resume including full contact details and educational background
- 2,500 word research proposal
The research proposal should outline the specific area and methodology of your intended research, a brief summary of the key literature in this field and a sketch of the key research questions you hope to answer. Should supervision be provisionally available an invitation to submit a formal application for admission will be extended. Only after a formal application has been received can the application be fully assessed against the entry requirements for the degree and other applicants in that round.
Creative Writing research proposals
Some guidelines to assist you in developing a proposal for a research higher degree in Creative Writing at The University of Melbourne (MA or PhD).
The creative PhD at The University of Melbourne is developed and marked as a single thesis, with two major elements: a dissertation and a creative work.
Each part usually contributes 50% to the overall word count. It is possible to increase the dissertation above 50%, but the creative work cannot be more than 50%.
One way to understand the unity of the creative PhD thesis is to consider that there is one overarching research question or hypothesis, which is approached within the thesis in two different manners, a scholarly one and a creative one.
The dissertation is not an exegesis. The dissertation does not offer a commentary on the creative processes or the intentions of the writer. The dissertation is intended to stand independently as a scholarly work making an original contribution to its field or discipline. In creative writing, this field is often interdisciplinary, but it can be characterised as a discipline interested in writerly questions, that is questions that take into account creativity, creative processes, the decision-making that goes into a creative text, cultural and technological influences on writing, questions of genre boundaries (including emerging genres, hybrid genres), and questions that address issues in conceiving of writing as a craft. This is a broad description and it is not exhaustive, but it does indicate that most dissertations are investigating aspects of the act of writing.
In your proposal you should make it clear what your research question is, and how this question fits with or responds to an ongoing critical discourse. You should identify the fields or disciplines you will draw upon, what models of analysis you will adopt, and what critical and creative texts you wish to discuss in your dissertation.
The creative work will need to be articulated in your proposal with some detail, understanding that as with all creative works there will be room for re-considerations and re-drafting. You should show how your creative work addresses or arises from your research question.
Your proposal should include an indicative list of the texts you will consult.
The Faculty of Arts has two admission rounds for local students per year, the deadlines are 31 May and 31 October. International applications may be submitted at any time.
Complete the 'Application for Admission to Graduate Research Candidature and Scholarship' on the Admissions and applications Graduate research degrees web page.
The following documentation must also be included with the application:
- Certified academic transcripts, including an explanation of the grading system used by that institution
- A copy of the 2,500 word research proposal
- A 5,000 word writing sample
- Two written academic references. These can be sent directly to the Graduate Research Admissions office by the referees.The references should assess the applicant's research abilities to date (skills in identifying research areas, carrying out independent research, motivation and organisation, writing skills, ability to meet deadlines, etc), as well as your research potential
Please note: If you have recently completed honours, Postgraduate Diploma, or a Masters by Coursework with research component, in this School, you do not need to provide academic references.