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School of Arts and Media

Dr Ursula Hurley

Senior Lecturer in English & Creative Writing


I took a circuitous route to academia, having worked teaching English as a foreign language, in advertising, where I found myself mentoring other copy writers, and then in community engagement, where I helped others to express their needs and opinions. Eventually the penny dropped, and I realised that the power of language was my driving passion. Thus enlightened, I set up and ran the Writing Centre at Liverpool Hope University, winning a number of learning and teaching awards, before joining the Creative Writing team at Salford. Since then I have gained my Ph.D., become a prize-winning poet and prose writer, and continue to work in community engagement.


My specialist, research-led modules focus on innovative practices in creative non-fiction:

Module leader for:

Writing Workshop (postgraduate)

Biography: Tradition and Innovation (year 3)

Creative Non-fiction (year 2)

I also contribute to the following team-taught modules:

Literary Research Practice (postgraduate)

Anthony Burgess and his Contemporaries (postgraduate)

Theory, Text, Writing (postgraduate)

Final Portfolio (year 3)

Research Interests

I am interested in the innovative application of creative processes. My creative practice plays on the boundaries of fiction and non-fiction, and my critical work explores contemporary understandings of 'truth' and 'fiction'. I am committed to engaging communities in creative practice research. Currently I am Principal Investigator for the AHRC's Connected Communities project, 'In the Making', investigating disability and 3D printing:

Qualifications and Memberships

BA (Hons) English, St. John's College, University of  Cambridge. 

Postgraduate scholarship, Collegio Ghislieri, University of Pavia, Italy.

MA Writing Studies (Distinction), University of Lancaster.

Ph.D. 'Truths and Their Telling': A Novel with Complementary Discourses, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Member of the National Association of Writers in Education.


2014, with Szilvia Naray-Davey, '''Fail Again, Fail Better”: The Case for Formative Assessment in First-year Undergraduate Creative Practice-based Modules', The International Journal of Arts Education, 8(3), pp.1-13.

2012, 'The Delicate One with Sugar', a collection of visual text on the Zimzalla website in response to Jo Langton's Poetea project:

2012 'Standing on deep shale: the problem of originality', in: Beyond the Workshop, 1 edition, Kingston University Press, Kingston, UK, pp.85-104.

2011, 'Walking in the world of ruins : explorations in the processes and products of autobiographical fiction', International Journal of the Arts in Society, 5(6), pp.1-12.

2011, 'Look back in wonder: how the endings of short stories can be their most powerful and effective distinguishing features. ', Short Fiction in Theory and Practice, 1(1), pp.25-35.