Develop your skills in various kinds of writing, including short fiction, non-fiction, script-writing, poetry and writing for children. On-campus and online options available.

Programme Overview

Learn about the craft of writing through exercises, workshops, discussion, speakers, but most of all through writing itself. Develop your strengths, your critical eye, your knowledge of how the writing business works, and discover where you fit in the vast landscape of writing. Become part of a vibrant writing community.

You can enrol for the on-campus Diploma in Creative Writing

  • as a one year, full-time diploma
  • as the first year of the Bachelor of Applied Arts (Creative Writing)
  • as a part-time student

This programme is delivered online or on-campus. Online students can study at their own pace by completing one module at a time. Study and practice involves approximately 12 hours per week per module. A tutor is available for contact throughout the programme and offers feedback on material presented at workshops at various intervals.

Students may write and submit work in English or te reo Māori.

Programme Outline

Short fiction I: Develop an ear and eye for a good story, and learn the craft that can make a good story great. Exercise the imagination every day through writing exercises, learn to critique and edit your work, and hear how a range of writers talk about their work and the writing life. 15 credits.

Short fiction II: Be challenged in technical skill and imagination, in both what you write about, and how you write it. A strong emphasis is given to revising and crafting. 15 credits.

Poetry: Develop skills for writing original poetry. Learn about ways of seeing, poetic forms, and rewriting and editing. Lear​n about performance techniques and get to hear some of New Zealand’s top poets share what it means to be a poet today. 15 credits.

Scriptwriting (stage and screen): Step into the world of dramatic and visual writing, and develop the craft skills for writing original scripts for stage and film. Workshop short drama scripts with acting students and have sessions with writers, directors and producers, giving you a practical understanding of the New Zealand film and theatre industry. 15 credits.

Non-Fiction: Develop skills for writing factual prose for a specified audience and purpose. Write a short personalised essay, a feature article, a proposal for a non-fiction book, and a short piece for the web. Learn about the non-fiction publishing industry from those in the business. Add a marketable edge to your writing skills. 15 credits.

Introduction to publishing: Research the latest developments in the publishing world with visits to printers, visiting speakers and your own investigations. 15 credits. 

If you are doing this programme to gain a formal qualification you will also need to complete the following modules:

Origins: Explore what influences you as a writer and how context has affected other writers. Look at how you write in the light of your history. Develop your reflective and critical thinking. Develop skills for researching and presenting the information acquired. Learn how research fits with creative writing and how academic writing is structured. 15 credits.

Editing: Being able to edit your own work well is an essential skill for writers. The editing module aims to improve writers’ general ability to edit their own work to a high standard. It deals with common problems with grammar and style, and includes regular copy-editing exercises.


Entry Requirements

Whitireia degree academic entry requirements; evidence of suitability for on-campus based on interview and portfolio.

International students

Proven equivalence of entry requirements plus IELTS 6.0 (no band lower than 5.5)

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