Story Foundry (Distance) – PhD by Publication – Bath Spa University Skip to main content

Story Foundry PhD by Publication (Distance Learning)

Postgraduate degree

    Award
    PhD Story Foundry
    School/s
    School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
    Campus or location
    Distance learning
    Course length
    One to two years full time.

    Entry requirements

    We encourage applicants from across the arts, culture, sciences and humanities disciplines, who are already champions of story and who want to add a PhD qualification to their practice/career. You'll need to be demonstrably dedicated to crossing disciplinary boundaries both within and outside of the University and the industry. 

    This PhD by Publication encourages innovative and interdisciplinary forms of practice with a narrative or story-based focus.

    • Complete a high-quality research programme from your current location.
    • Gain accreditation for your professional contribution to knowledge in your field.
    • Join a dynamic international network of cultural sector professionals and academics.

    The Story Foundry PhD by Publication is an international liberal arts PhD for established practitioners to integrate innovative forms of practice into critical narrative investigation.

    The PhD by Publication differs from the regular Story Foundry PhD in that it's for practitioners who already have a substantial body of work and want to take their career to the next level by achieving academic accreditation. The programme encourages unique and diverse interdisciplinary approaches to research with an emphasis on narrative-based approaches in film, creative writing, immersive technology, science communication and performance.

    This doctoral programme is hosted by leading industry experts within Bath Spa University’s Research Centre for Transcultural Creativity and Education (TRACE). Since 2016, Professor Bambo Soyinka and the TRACE team have been supporting students from a diverse range of backgrounds to complete innovative PhDs across borders. Our alumni and current students include published novelists, Hollywood scriptwriters, film festival directors, spoken word artists and broadcasters.

    What are we offering?

    This programme is a distance learning PhD, open to full-time international students who have a well-established professional career. It gives you the flexibility to continue to live and work where you're based while following an independent research programme supported by regular supervision sessions. You'll have the opportunity to engage with a shorter time of study, taking two years instead of three, to complete and submit a 10,000-20,000-word thesis. This programme does not require UK residency.

    What kind of PhD Proposals are you looking for?

    Your PhD proposal must have a clear central vision and concept. Narrative research, creative nonfiction, creative writing, scriptwriting, or contemporary approaches to storytelling should sit at the heart of your proposal.

    Beyond these requirements, the field is open. Your project may span several disciplines or may incorporate elements that are not usually found in a standard course of study, for example:

    • Films: One of our students has produced several short films and a feature-length film. The student’s thesis explores the motifs in his cinematic process.
    • A body of writing: Another student has produced a body of writing over a period of 30 years, including several novels and plays. The student’s thesis explores paradigms of power, time and space in her selected textual works.

    Your established outputs to-date can include (but are not limited to) written publications, conference presentations, or a track record of creative artworks, such as fine art, design, music or performance. These outputs will be the foundation on which you continue your study on the course. Innovative projects which cross boundaries and borders are of particular interest. More generally, we're keen to support projects that have the potential to inspire, impact and transform society.

    Who is eligible?

    The PhD by Publication is no less rigorous than the traditional route. We welcome candidates who are active researchers/practitioners and who have developed their research skills to doctoral level. You must be able to demonstrate an extensive portfolio of creative work, public works or publications which highlight the potential for original contribution to knowledge. It's important that your creative work/practice can be judged against the PhD assessment criteria.

    Please note, only International Students (i.e. from outside the UK) are eligble for this PhD course.

    PhD structure

    Overview

    By adding an academic accreditation to your existing portfolio of work or career, you'll position yourself to take the next step, and open up further academic and industry opportunities.

    You’ll be able to frame and articulate your practice and career within specialist contexts, such as situating your work within literary and storytelling traditions or within the context of social, economical and digital transformations.

    Rather than focusing narrowly on the discipline or subject, we'll support you to focus on the purpose of your research and we'll help you to produce a thesis that aligns with your career goals.

    This course is only available as a full-time PhD. However, highly focused candidates will be able to fit their programme of study around existing commitments.

    Attendance and timetables

    You'll take part in an independent research programme supported by professional mentoring and supervision sessions with your Director of Studies. You'll have the opportunity to complete your PhD sooner than you would normally do. Students usually submit the thesis for their PhD by Publication within two years.

    Individualised, subject-specific research training

    The majority of your PhD will be delivered through bespoke 1-2-1 mentoring sessions with your Director of Studies.

    Other research training

    Throughout the programme you'll have access to a range of researcher development courses and groups. Towards the end of your PhD, we'll support you to prepare for your viva and to develop a career plan for life beyond your thesis.

    Assessment

    You'll complete and submit a 10,000-20,000 word thesis. Most students will submit this thesis after two years but some students may find they're in a position to submit it after one year.

    Opportunities

    Open lectures and seminars

    Situated in the Research and Enterprise Department as part of the Graduate College at Bath Spa University, TRACE works closely with other departments and schools across the University. You'll automatically become a member of the TRACE research centre and you can select which other research centres you would like to join.

    At the start of every term, TRACE publishes and shares a programme of events led by other research centres across the University.

    Work placements, industry links and internships

    As part of the Story Foundry PhD you'll be surrounded by leading professionals connected to a wide range of key networks in the UK writing industry. You can select which network you would like to work with to integrate and present your work, attend and present at conferences and submit publications. Our networks include:

    The Story Foundry

    The Story Foundry is a hybrid incubator-accelerator for researchers, writers, artists, imagineers and other practitioners of story and storytelling across disciplines and cultures, and between academia and the wider private, cultural and public sectors.

    We seek to explore what can happen if we apply our understanding of story and the role of the storyteller to current societal challenges, such as increasing wellbeing, supporting ageing populations, economic renewal, cultural recovery, evolving technologies, facilitating next-generation job skills, and environmental sustainability.

    Paper Nations

    Paper Nations is a creative writing incubator funded by Arts Council England and founded by Dr Bambo Soyinka. It's a network of writers at all levels of their writing journey and initiates creative research projects which develop an inclusive and author-centred approach to writing practice. These projects include the Writing Producers’ Scheme, The Writer’s Cycle, The Great Margin and many more.

    NCACE

    This PhD programme is supported by NCACE which is a new initiative funded by Research England to facilitate knowledge exchange across UK universities. Bath Spa University is one of the four university partners working to communicate the essential value of knowledge exchange across the arts and cultural sectors.

    Transnational Literature Journal

    The Transnational Literature Journal is an online, open access academic journal that releases bi-annually with an adjoining annual conference. As a student you would have the opportunity to submit publications and be involved in the yearly conference.

    GALA

    The Global Academy of Liberal Arts (GALA) is one of our international partners and consists of a select international community of institutions that seeks to develop new kinds of research and teaching collaboration, to support enhanced international mobility among staff and students, and to reimagine liberal arts education for the twenty-first century.

    NAWE

    As part of this PhD, you'll get the chance to join the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) as a member giving you access to their conferences and resources, enhancing your knowledge, good practice and facilitation in the creative writing education sector.

    Careers

    Graduates of PhDs within the Research Centre for Transcultural Creativity and Education have gone on to be successful academics and creative practitioners. Alumni include published novelists, Hollywood scriptwriters, film festival directors, spoken word artists and broadcasters.

    Professor Bambo Soyinka leads the Story Foundry programme and is the Chair of the TRACE research centre.

    View Bambo's staff profile
    profile photo

    Research environment

    Where the subject is taught

    The Story Foundry PhD is a remote-working PhD with supporting staff based at either Corsham Court, Locksbrook Campus or Newton Park. This PhD is truly global and forms part of an international community.

    Resources

    Learning resources for the programme will be available through the University's library and Minerva, the University's Virtual Learning Environment. There is a wealth of material available via electronic sources that can be accessed on and off campus.

    Key components of the programme are the support networks and expertise available within and across the Graduate College and the three strategic research centres: TRACE, Environmental Humanities and Creative and Cultural Industries.

    Students will also have access to the University's Researcher Development Programme and additional training and engagement opportunities with the National Centre for Academic and Cultural Exchange (NCACE).

    Fees

    Please note: Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland are not generally eligible for the UK (Home) fee status. Please refer to the international student rate. Irish citizens and those granted Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for UK (Home) fee status. There are also other circumstances where this may apply: See UKCISA for more information.

    UK students full time

    2022/23 Entry

    Course fees
    Year 1 £17,510
    Year 2 Published Jan 2023
    Year 3 Published Jan 2024

    2023/24 Entry

    Course fees
    Year 1 Published Jan 2023
    Year 2 Published Jan 2024
    Year 3 Published Jan 2025

    2024/25 Entry

    Course fees
    Year 1 Published Jan 2024
    Year 2 Published Jan 2025
    Year 3 Published Jan 2026
    International students full time

    2022/23 Entry

    Course fees
    Year 1 £17,510
    Year 2 Published Jan 2023
    Year 3 Published Jan 2024

    2023/24 Entry

    Course fees
    Year 1 Published Jan 2023
    Year 2 Published Jan 2024
    Year 3 Published Jan 2025

    2024/25 Entry

    Course fees
    Year 1 Published Jan 2024
    Year 2 Published Jan 2025
    Year 3 Published Jan 2026

    Interested in applying?

    What we look for in applicants

    We encourage applicants from across the arts, culture, sciences and humanities disciplines, who are already champions of story and who want to add a PhD qualification to their practice/career.

    You'll need to be demonstrably dedicated to crossing disciplinary boundaries both within and outside of the University and the industry. Projects can include practical methodologies such as fieldwork, ethnography, autoethnography and practice-based research.

    How are applications assessed?

    Your application will be reviewed by at least two specialists in your proposed area, who will then decide if you should be called to interview. If you're invited, you'll be interviewed by a panel of three interviewers, including a chair, a potential Director of Studies who is an expert in the proposed field/genre, and an academic member of staff from another subject area. The application process will be highly selective, but we'll aim to inform all applicants of the outcome of their application by August.

    Interview and portfolio guidance

    Your established outputs to-date can include (but are not limited to) film, creative writing (for example, novel writing, poetry, scriptwriting, writing for games, spoken word, memoir and nonfiction), immersive technology, performance, theatre, journalism, conference presentations, or a track record of creative artworks, such as fine art, design, music or performance. These outputs will be the foundation on which you continue your study on the course. Innovative projects that cross boundaries and borders are of particular interest.

    If the Story Foundry Low-Residency PhD appeals to you, we would love to hear from you. Please get in touch via this expression of interest form at the same time as starting your application. This will give you the opportunity to chat with a member of our team to discuss your query further.

    This is not an official application or proposal, so don’t be shy. We would just like the opportunity to hear a bit about you and your proposed research so that we can discuss how this programme might suit you. You may also use this form to ask us any questions if you are not yet ready to make an application.

     

    How do I apply?

    Please begin your application as soon as possible, as we have a limited number of places available for an October 2021 start. Find out more on our how to apply page.

    You can get in touch with our Graduate College at pgradmissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

    If you’d like to talk to a member of the course team or arrange a visit, please email trace@bathspa.ac.uk.

    Applications should be submitted by midnight (BST) on Tuesday 6 July.

    Fast Track Interviews: Applicants who meet the entry requirements with respect to the quality and concept of their proposal will be offered a Fast Track Interview on 12 or 14 July. These will be allocated on a first come first served basis and we, therefore, recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. Should you be successful in your interview, you'll receive priority access for entry to our October 2021 programme.

    The second round of interviews will be held towards the end of July for consideration for entry in October 2021 (if there are still places available) or March 2022.

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