Creative Writing – Graduate Diploma in Arts

Examine great creative works and start writing your own. The Graduate Diploma in Arts (Creative Writing) will give you the equivalent of an undergraduate major in creative writing without completing a second bachelor’s degree.

Where you can study

Auckland campus
Distance and online
Manawatū campus (Palmerston North)

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand, or studying on-line out
Note: Not all courses are available in any one year.

Specialise in Creative Writing for your Graduate Diploma in Arts at Massey

Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Arts (Creative Writing) will give you the equivalent of an undergraduate major in creative writing without completing a second bachelor’s degree. You can then apply for postgraduate study in creative writing if you wish.

Be inspired

Inspiration, communication and vocation are at the heart of this exciting qualification. You’ll develop your writing so that it’s pitch-perfect for a variety of audiences. You’ll enhance your critical thinking. You’ll also master a wide range of transferrable 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, scripts for the stage and screen, poetry, creative non-fiction, life writing and travel writing. You’ll cap off your study with a complete and polished creative manuscript.

There are also opportunities to participate in a community arts project as well as an online publishing project.

Learn from published authors

Our award-winning teachers are internationally acclaimed and best-selling writers who 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.

Get published

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?

Further study

If you successfully complete your Graduate Diploma in Arts, you could go on to study a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts or a Master of Arts.

A Graduate Diploma in Arts in Creative Writing is a good fit if you:

  • have a bachelor’s degree and want to expand your horizons
  • want to develop your interest in creative writing
  • are creative.

Planning information

If you study full-time, in your 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. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

Not all courses are available in any one year.

Official regulations

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.

Returning students

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 Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Prerequisites
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.
Corequisites
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Restrictions
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.

Compulsory courses

Course code: 139280 Creative Writing II: Creative Nonfiction 15 credits

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.

Restrictions: 139327

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Course code: 139380 Creative Writing III: Starting Your Manuscript 15 credits

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.

Prerequisites: Any 200-level Creative Writing course

View full course details

Subject courses

Course code: 139223 Creative Processes 15 credits

An investigation of human creativity that involves the study of creative practice and the making of original works of performance, film and writing.

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Course code: 139224 Making Plays for Theatre 15 credits

Students will receive a grounding in the skills of writing and devising experimental theatre and an opportunity to employ these skills in the creation of original scripts.

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Course code: 139225 Writing for Children 15 credits

An intermediate-level introduction to the craft of writing targeted at ‘middle readers’ – roughly 9-13 years – across a variety of forms.

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Course code: 139229 Writing Poetry 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 139285 Fiction Writing 15 credits

An intermediate-level study of the craft of fiction, investigating a range of forms by means of creative production, workshopping and peer review.

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Choose at least 45 credits from
Course code: 139309 Eco-fictions and Non-fictions 15 credits

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.

Restrictions: 139381

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Course code: 139323 Script Writing 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 139326 Travel Writing 15 credits

A study of travel writing, involving both critical and ideological analysis and creative writing developed from the students' own field work.

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Course code: 139329 Advanced Fiction Writing 15 credits

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.

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Course code: 139333 Creativity in the Community 15 credits

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.

Prerequisites: Any one of 139123, 139104, 139133, 154204, or 139223

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Course code: 139340 The Publishing Project 15 credits

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.

Prerequisites: Any 200-level course with a 139 prefix or 219202

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Course code: 139362 Oceanic Literatures of Aotearoa: Ngā Tuhinga Kōrero o te Moana nui a Kiwa 15 credits

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.

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Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

To enter the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Creative Writing) you will have been awarded or qualified for a bachelor’s degree or equivalent.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

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.

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.

Fees disclaimer

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

In a global marketplace, creativity and related skills are more important than ever. Creative writing will prepare you not just for the range of careers that exists today, but also for new roles that will appear in the future.

Gain marketable skills

Massey’s Graduate Diploma in Arts (Creative Writing) will prepare you to work in the creative world and provide transferable skills for other industries.

The following careers are a natural fit for creative writing graduates:

  • writing for television, magazines, social media or the book-publishing industry
  • corporate or non-profit freelance writing
  • creative arts project coordination
  • advertising
  • performance-related writing and production
  • writing and advising on government policy.

International students

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.

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