What does a creative PhD look like?

I’m in my third year and have decided to switch to a creative PhD. I really want to write a book to honour the wonderful stories of my research participants. It seems a long way around to write a formal dissertation first, when what I really want to create is a popular book . So a book it is.

My current task is to take what I’ve written so far and decide what will be in the book, and what will be in the exegesis.

Problem: how long does each need to be?

I could find nothing on the Griffith website. Of course, the answer is to ask other candidates. Here’s what I found out:

  • A PhD needs to be approx. 80,000 words.
  • If a book, this is split between book and exegesis, and there seems some flexibility here about the word length of each.
  • For translations, a 50/50 split between book/translation and exegesis is good.
  • One option is to make your book approx. 80,000 words with the exegesis being the first chapter or last chapter.
  • I’m not sure what the exegesis requirements are for a non-narrative creative work like an exhibition or artwork.

This is all I know so far. Many thanks to Valentina Maniaco for her advice.

Please don’t take this as the official word –it’s just word of mouth.

I’ll update this when I find out more.

Please comment on this post if you are either able to confirm or add any more information.

Post image is artwork at ‘The Mill’ Castlemaine, Victoria. Image J. Hanley 2019.



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