Prof Ursula Hurley

School of Arts, Media and Creative Technologies

Photo of Prof Ursula Hurley

Current positions

Professor of Life 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 arriving at Salford in 2005 I have gained my Ph.D., become a prize-winning poet and prose writer, and in 2023 received my Chair in Life Writing. Dreams really can come true!

Areas of Research

I'm a widely published, award-winning creative writer with an international profile in applied research and socially engaged practice. My application of creative methodologies to digital technology in community and commercial settings has led to significant impact and research outputs. In 2016, my ground-breaking combination of poetic practice and 3D printing technology won AHRC funding for the UK’s first inclusive mobile FabLab, led advances in the theory and practice of auto/biographical expression, and raised awareness of disabled people as makers of their own solutions (see BBC coverage). My work in applying creative writing to social issues contributes to the regeneration of Salford and Greater Manchester, supporting students into the cultural and creative industries with major industry partners including Morsons who consider my practice transformational.
Alongside my research projects, I was founding Director of Salford’s Doctoral School (2018-21), supporting our postgraduate researcher community throughout the pandemic with a commitment to inclusivity, collaboration, interdisciplinary working, and researcher wellbeing. Currently, I am Equity, Diversity and Inclusion lead for the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology.

Areas of Supervision

I'm interested in supporting creative, unconventional, interdiscplinary projects across a range of concerns including disability, translation, gender, and creative writing.


I enjoy teaching all aspects of creative writing and literary criticsm. My particlular passions are creative nonfiction, historical fiction, biography and all varieties of bio-fictions.

Qualifications and Recognitions

  • Creative Writing

    2005 - 2011
  • Writing Studies

    1997 - 1999
  • English

    1993 - 1996