Policies and Practicalities: Examing the Creative Writing Doctorate

Jeri Kroll, Jennifer Webb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The creative arts disciplines constitute an important growth area for research higher degrees (HDR), and in recent decades they have built a body of knowledge and set of practices associated with them. There is little empirical work, however, which investigates how examiners of creative arts theses arrive at the commentary presented in their reports. This essay debates key issues around the examination of doctoral theses in creative writing. Drawing on their extensive experience in supervising and examining doctorates in the UK and Australia, the authors address issues such as standards, rigour and ethics in examination, examiners’ capacity to evaluate work produced through a range of research methodologies, and the need to understand and apply the often very different policies adopted by individual universities. Examination policies and practices vary, but the flow of students and teachers between countries, and the scarcity of qualified examiners, raise common questions about standards and consistency. Collaborations with both local and overseas colleagues have begun to build knowledge about these similarities and differences, which will be instructive for those of us involved in reviewing policy or shaping practice, and which certainly makes more transparent the diversity in our sector
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-178
Number of pages13
JournalNew Writing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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