Where you can study
International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.
Specialise in Creative Writing for your Bachelor of Arts at Massey
Inspiration, communication and vocation are at the heart of Massey’s exciting Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing).
It offers you the chance to develop your writing so that it’s pitch-perfect for a variety of audiences. You’ll enhance your critical thinking and master a wide range of transferable communication skills while pursuing your own creative vision.
Choose your canvas
Creative writing offers you flexibility in writing original work in a variety of genres. Learn to write fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, travel writing, and scripts for the stage and screen.
Learn from published authors
Our award-winning teachers are internationally acclaimed writers in their own right. They teach from their own first-hand experience in moving from idea to page, polishing their work and sending it off to be published or performed.
Your third year has a vocational focus. You’ll develop your writing in a genre of your choice and learn how to submit it for publishing. You’ll also have the opportunity to gain hands-on editing and publishing experience, or facilitate a creative writing arts project in your local community.
Students who have taken our creative writing courses have gone on to publish poems, stories, essays and books as well as winning some of New Zealand’s top writing prizes. Why not join them?
A Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing is a good fit if you:
- are seeking opportunities to get creative, get writing and get published
- want practical writing experience in a range of genres
- enjoy critical and creative thinking.
If you study full time, in the first year you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.
If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school if you wish. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.
You need to pass five courses at 300-level for your BA. One of these (230310) is in the compulsory core and three are required for your major. If you are not taking a double major or a minor, you will need to take one 300-level elective course to meet this requirement.
About this major
The Creative Writing major in the Bachelor of Arts consists of 120 credits.
Completing a minor is optional. Minors increase the breadth of your degree. They give you extra knowledge, attributes and capabilities.
A minor must be in a different subject from your major.
A Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) with a minor
You may choose a minor from the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business or Bachelor of Science. If the minor is from another degree the regulations of that qualification will apply.
A creative writing minor (for students who are studying a different degree)
If you are not studying towards a BA (Creative Writing) and wish to complete a minor in creative writing see the BA regulations for requirements.
To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.
You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.
For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.
In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.
Please contact us through the Enquire button on this page if you have any questions.
Courses you can enrol in
Course planning key
- Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
- Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
- Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.
Course code: 139123 Creative Writing I credits 15
An exploration of the processes involved in writing poetry and short stories. Students learn the fundamental elements of craft, such as metaphor, structure and plot, through the close reading of published poetry and fiction, through their own practice as creative writers, and through providing and receiving workshop feedback.View full course details
Course code: 139280 Creative Writing II: Creative Nonfiction credits 15
An intermediate-level introduction to the craft of nonfiction writing in a variety of genres, with a particular focus on the application of techniques usually associated with fiction and poetry to nonfiction material.View full course details
Course code: 139380 Creative Writing III: Starting Your Manuscript credits 15
An advanced study of the process of writing that consolidates knowledge of creative writing craft, expands understanding of genre, and analyses aesthetic and/or cultural aspects of published manuscripts across genres. The first portion of an envisioned full-length creative manuscript will be drafted with an emphasis on the critical evaluation of its aesthetic and/or cultural implications.View full course details
Course code: 139223 Creative Processes credits 15
An investigation of human creativity that involves the study of creative practice and the making of original works of performance, film and writing.View full course details
Course code: 139224 Making Plays for Theatre credits 15
Students will receive a grounding in the skills of writing experimental theatre and an opportunity to employ these skills in the creation of original scripts.View full course details
Course code: 139225 Writing for Children credits 15
An intermediate-level introduction to the craft of writing targeted at ‘middle readers’ – roughly 9-13 years – across a variety of forms.View full course details
Course code: 139229 Writing Poetry credits 15
A creative writing course in which students develop and advance poetry skills within the major modes of lyric poetry and within the context of a more advanced engagement with fundamental elements of craft. In addition to reading poetry and critical essays on the genre, students will write original poetry and critically review their own work and the work of peers.View full course details
Course code: 139285 Fiction Writing credits 15
An intermediate-level study of the craft of fiction, investigating a range of forms by means of creative production, workshopping and peer review.View full course details
Course code: 139309 Eco-fictions and Non-fictions credits 15
A study of the relationships between creative writing and ecological concerns, covering a range of contemporary forms from eco-fictions, nonfictions, or poetry, to nature writing, to animal stories. It engages students in the workshopped production of original creative work.View full course details
Course code: 139323 Script Writing credits 15
An in-depth study of the skills, formats, technique and terminology of professional script writing, with emphasis on the adaptation of traditional approaches across the diversity of contemporary media.View full course details
Course code: 139326 Travel Writing credits 15
A study of travel writing, involving both critical and ideological analysis and creative writing developed from the students' own field work.View full course details
Course code: 139329 Advanced Fiction Writing credits 15
An exploration of the poetics and politics of experimentation and subversion in contemporary fiction and metafiction including analysis of the work (both creative and critical) of major practitioners, theorists and original student compositions.View full course details
Course code: 139333 Creativity in the Community credits 15
The course provides an applied service learning project in the disciplines of expressive arts and media studies. Working collaboratively, students apply skills in theatre, performance, film-making, creative writing, media practice or mixed media to developing a creative response to a social issue or community need.View full course details
Course code: 139340 The Publishing Project credits 15
In this course, students study and experience the principles, processes and practice of publishing, through the co-production of an online publication. Key concepts include teamwork, co-production, theme selection, peer review, production scheduling, source selection, and online publishing.View full course details
Course code: 139362 Oceanic Literatures of Aotearoa: Ngā Tuhinga Kōrero o te Moana nui a Kiwa credits 15
A study of contemporary Oceanic (Māori and Pasifika) literature in English contextualised in relation to customary and pre-colonial Oceanic literatures, narratives, and storytelling methods.View full course details
Elective subject courses
Course code: 139109 Prize-Winning Fiction credits 15
A study of short stories, novellas and novels from the last 50 years emphasising the varieties of award-winning fiction.View full course details
Course code: 139139 Introduction to English Literature credits 15
An introduction to the nature and functions of literary texts and the ways in which they are invested with meaning, with a focus on the skills necessary for reading and writing critically about them.View full course details
Admission to Massey
All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.
There are no specific entry requirements for the Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing), outside of university admission regulations.
English language requirements
To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.
English language skills
If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.
Can't meet the entry requirements?
If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.
Fees and scholarships
Fees, student loans and free fees scheme
Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.
There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.
- Get an estimate of the tuition fees for your qualification
- View a list of non-tuition fees that may be payable
Already know which courses you're going to choose?
You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.
Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme
You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.
The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.
Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.
This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.
Careers and job opportunities
A Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing) is one of the most creative and enriching degrees you can do. Employers seek out BA students for their lateral and analytical thinking, communication skills and creative ability.
There are various possibilities for creative writing graduates, including:
- writing for television, magazines, blogs or the book-publishing industry
- corporate or non-profit freelance writing
- creative arts project coordination
- inter-arts collaboration for arts festivals
- writing for public relations
- creative writing in advertising
- working in communications
- being a journalist
- performance-related writing and production
- writing and advising on government policy
- writing for social media.
New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.
Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.
As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.
Related study options
Creating writing teachers
Associate Professor Ingrid Horrocks
Ingrid’s publications include a genre-bending travel book, a book on the history of women’s travel writing, an edited collection of essays on imaginings of place in Aotearoa New Zealand, and two poetry collections. She has been a recipient of Massey’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences Teaching Award.
Professor Bryan Walpert
Bryan is the author of three poetry collections, most recently Native Bird; a novel, Late Sonata; a collection of short stories, Ephraim’s Eyes, and two scholarly books, Resistance to Science in Contemporary American Poetry and Poetry and Mindfulness: Interruption to a Journey. He has received writing awards in New Zealand, Australia and the US.