Understanding the value and the impact of the shock: Examining the creative writing doctorate

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The creative arts disciplines are comparative newcomers to the academy, and newer yet to what is formally classed as research. However, they have been very successful in establishing research degrees and attracting students who are keen to pursue practice-led research projects. What is less well established is how we examine the results of doctoral studies in, and through, the arts. Creative writing is comparatively young as a research discipline in universities, with dedicated doctoral programmes in writing only emerging over the past decade or two. As a consequence, there is still considerable uncertainty about the quality of examination in the discipline. Questions that emerge in the limited literature on creative arts examination include: what constitutes a contribution to knowledge that is presented in the form of a creative artifact; in what ways does a creative research doctorate differ from a more conventional output; and how can we examine a creative writing doctorate in a way that accommodates the differences and preserves the integrity of the creative and critical elements of the thesis? In this paper we draw on findings from our recent research on the topic to discuss current approaches and questions of standards in the Australian and British contexts. © 2013 Taylor and Francis.




Webb, J., & Melrose, A. (2014). Understanding the value and the impact of the shock: Examining the creative writing doctorate. New Writing, 11(1), 134–148. https://doi.org/10.1080/14790726.2013.849744

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