facebook MRes Transnational Writing – Bath Spa University

Transnational Writing


Postgraduate degree

Key facts

MRes Transnational Writing
College of Liberal Arts
Campus or location
Low residency
Course length
One year full time.

Entry requirements

Admission to the course is based on a portfolio of creative writing, and our estimate of your commitment and potential as a writer and ability to benefit from the course.

Please contact our admissions team for more information: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Together we can tell powerful new stories about the world. Join us and our partners: #culturematters.

  • Tailor-make your own creative inquiry with this pioneering Bath Spa Creative Writing course.
  • Our goal is to bring emerging writers and spoken word artists to the world stage.
  • We’ll connect you with publishers, festivals, and international arts bodies, to make culture matter.

This exciting new field of creative inquiry develops the artist’s capacity to respond creatively to the world. The course brings together creative writing, spoken word, and creative research. You’ll design your own research plan, and produce a portfolio of creative writing or a spoken word performance.

We’ll encourage you to conduct extensive fieldwork at home or abroad, and you’ll be able to tap into our vibrant network of international partner organisations.

This Bath Spa creative writing course is designed to prepare you for a PhD or career in the creative sector, and sits within The Research Centre for Transnational Creativity and Education (TRACE). We’re a pioneer and leading provider in the teaching of Creative Writing. 

“A Master of Research in Transnational Writing, encompassing writing practices across and between frontiers and creative research methods, such as cross-genre and cross-border collaborations, could not have arrived on the academic map at a more appropriate time.”

Siân Dafydd, course leader, for Wales Arts Review

What you'll learn


The course introduces the concept of transnational research and creativity, exploring its application as a mode of cultural production. It considers engagement with other art forms, approaches to creative writing, fieldwork, and a diverse contemporary context of international creative expression, as the basis of research.

Activities such as writing exercises, field trips, visiting tutors from our international partners, and workshops will form the core of the first half of the programme. In the second part of the programme, you’ll undertake an extended period of self-directed creative research, giving you the freedom to develop expertise in your own craft and to attempt the production of a substantial piece of creative work to a publishable standard.

You’ll be able to take advantage of a growing international network and can apply to take part in local and overseas residencies such as the Writing China initiative.

The Research and Development backbone of this MRes introduces a contemporary and transformed understanding of research and its possibilities for artistic practice. You’ll develop an original project that draws on and demonstrates one or more of these approaches, expanding the notion of practice as research (for example: spoken word, writing, performance, digital output, exhibitions).

Course structure

Trimester one
Use your own experience of people, places, and environment as a source and inspiration for creative writing.

This trimester sets the foundations for independent study and is designed to give you a real sense of what writing from experience in the field is about. It usually begins with an intensive residential week of outdoor and indoor workshops, focusing on experiential writing, engagement in landscape, place and language, and representations of journeying, nature, culture, and people. You can choose to specialise in Spoken Word or Creative Writing.

Trimester two
Gain an overview of the key ideas and processes associated with transnational writing and research. You’ll prepare further for independent study and work on establishing a research plan for your six-month creative project.

Employers and recruiters to PhD programmes are increasingly looking for students who have undertaken rigorous and innovative research-orientated training.

Trimester three
Carry out a creative project, working closely with your supervisor. You can submit your project in a variety of formats. This includes a novel, collection of stories, a short film, scripts, poetry, a spoken word performance, or an action-based portfolio.

We encourage you to conduct extended studies in the field or abroad, and to explore externally funded schemes, so you can take up a position as a writer, artist, producer, or editor in residence. You’ll be able to take advantage of a growing international network, and can apply to take part in residencies such as the Writing China Global Academy of Liberal Arts (GALA) initiative.

Course modules

This course includes or offers the following modules. Please check the course handbook or definitive programme document for full details on which modules are core, required or optional.

  • Creative Ecologies and Practices
  • Writing in the Field
  • Spoken Word: The Power of Speech
  • Independent Creative Inquiry.

How will I be assessed?

16,000-20,000 word portfolio submission (or the equivalent) of creative work of a transnational nature, a well as course-specific written and/or spoken-word assignments for chosen modules.

How will I be taught?

The course is low residency, with residential periods at Corsham Court campus.

The learning process will involve a variety of forms of interaction, study, and experience, including masterclasses, workshops, and creative labs. During workshops, tutors and students present core material with the expectation of lively interaction and designated group discussions.  

The low-residential aspect of this MRes equally allows you the time and freedom to research your own points of transition, to write from place, between places and people, while fitting the requirements of the course around your life.

You’ll be able to move between private study, supported tutorials, workshops, and a global community, to construct your own writing and research pathways.


UK and EU students full time

Course fees
2018/19 entry £7,195
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

International students full time

Course fees
2018/19 entry £13,900
2019/20 entry Published Jan 2019
2020/21 entry Published Jan 2020

Interested in applying?

What we look for in potential students

Admission to the course is based on a portfolio of creative writing, and our estimate of your commitment and potential as a writer and ability to benefit from the course.

How do I apply?

Ready to apply? Click the "apply now" button in the centre of this page.

Need more guidance? Head to our how to apply webpages.

Interview and portfolio guidance

The portfolio should consist of one or more short pieces of creative writing submitted with the application form, such as two chapters of a novel or non-fiction, two short stories, or the equivalent.

Interviews (Skype) will be arranged if a candidate is being considered for a place on the course.

Admissions service: +44 (0)1225 876 180
Email: admissions@bathspa.ac.uk
Course leader: Siân Melangell Dafydd
Email: s.dafydd@bathspa.ac.uk

Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk