WPCS 2.1.2
Tuition Fees:$2,619 /year
Applications Begin:April 2021
Final Award:PhD
Start Date:February 2022
Academic Unit:Humanities
Application Deadline: September 2021
Programme Overview

It comprises two parts: a creative project (novel, collection of stories/essays/poems, play script, etc.) plus a scholarly dissertation that illuminates, contextualises in terms of genre, form and subject, and discusses themes arising from the creative work.

These two parts of the PhD will constitute the thesis and be examined as a whole. They should comprise 80 000 to 100 000 words, the larger portion being the creative work.

Before graduating, students are required to have two papers accepted for publication in an accredited journal.

Acceptance into programme will be partly dependent on the ability of the Department to provide suitable supervision for the project.

Admission Requirements


  • A masters degree from Wits or another university with a 70% total mark aggregate.
  • A supervisor from the Faculty of Humanities must be identified and approached prior to application.

Additional Entry Requirements

  • An MA in Literature or Creative Writing.
  • At least one book of writing (preferably in addition to an MA manuscript), in a creative-writing genre (fiction or non-fiction) published through a reputable publisher; or a substantial body of work (short stories, essays etc) published in reputable journals or anthologies.
  • A work/several works that demonstrate competency to conduct the research and writing for the dissertation. The latter might take the form of non-fiction essays, or academic papers and should show ability to conduct a scholarly argument and to make use of other texts in the construction of this argument. These works should be of a standard consonant with entry to a PhD programme as rated by peer review (newspaper and/or journal reviews and/or expert opinion solicited by the coordinator of the PhD in Creative Writing).
  • Candidates should submit this work and other examples of their published writing to the coordinator of the PhD in Creative Writing before they will be allowed to register with the University and begin work on a proposal. This portfolio of published work must be of such a standard as to justify the admission of a candidate to a PhD programme in which a creative writing project, and a scholarly dissertation, of a PhD standard, will be required from the candidate. The creative work and the dissertation will be completed during the period of registration (over not less than two years).
  • Candidates must FIRST be accepted by the Department before they can apply to the University.
Application Process
Application Fees for South African Students: $13
Application Fees for International Students: $13

  • Applications are handled centrally by the Student Enrolment Centre (SEnC). Once your application is complete in terms of requested documentation, your application will be referred to the relevant School for assessment.
  • Please apply online. Upload your supporting documents at the time of application, or via the Self Service Portal.
  • Applicants can monitor the progress of their applications via the Self Service Portal, view academic application status, accept an offer (once certified hardcopies have been received by SEnC), apply and check residence application status, and generate a fees estimate.
  • Selections for programmes that have a limited intake but attract a large number of applications may only finalise the application at the end of the application cycle.

Please note that the Entry Requirements are a guide. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee a place. Final selection is made subject to the availability of places, academic results and other entry requirements where applicable.

For more information, contact the Student Call Centre +27 (0)11 717 1888, or log a query at

Career Opportunities

Some career opportunities linked to this programme include:
– Greeting Card Author
– Journalist
– Comic Book Writer
– Novelist
– Copywriter (business, advertising, marketing, etc.)
– Writing Coach
– Screenwriter
– Songwriter (Lyricist)

Relevant Contact

Mr Mumtaz Adam
Postgraduate administrator
Prof. Ling Cheng
Postgraduate Coordinator
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