Two people with theatre masks on a stage
Areas of interest

Study English, writing and theatre , Ākona te reo Ingarihi, tuhituhi me te whare tapere

Study English, creative writing and theatre at Massey to create and produce works for the page, stage and screen. Or apply your skills to many other professions.

Need help or know what you want to study?

Express yourself

Check out Massey's unique degree in expressive arts, which combines theatre, creative writing and innovative media production.

The heart of the matter

Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey. Explore what it means to be human, why we act like we do and the ways we create meaning.

Make a contribution

Make sense of the world from different perspectives through Massey. Contribute to education, defence, sustainability and more.


Let your imagination soar. Boost your confidence. Innovate and collaborate.

Learn from lecturers who are also award-winning writers and theatre professionals. Explore new ideas in areas such as creative writing, Māori literature, or theatre and performance. Get hands-on with projects such as poetry writing or staging a play. Develop your analytical thinking, communication skills, and creative ability. Graduate with the creative and organisational skills needed by arts sector employers.

English, writing and theatre are a good fit if you:

  • enjoy school subjects such as drama and English
  • want to turn your creativity into a career
  • like thinking critically and imaginatively.

English, writing and theatre courses may cover:

  • creative writing, including creative non-fiction, novels, plays and poetry
  • literature, ranging from Shakespeare to contemporary fiction
  • Māori and Pacific literatures and storytelling methods
  • presentation and public speaking skills
  • project management skills, such as problem solving and setting budgets and goals
  • theatre skills such as acting, directing, set and lighting design
  • theatre for social change.

How to study English, writing and theatre

Discover what we offer if you’re interested in English, writing and theatre – whether you’re coming to university for the first time, changing direction or returning to advance your study or career.

Undergraduate study

An undergraduate qualification is generally the first thing you’ll study at university.

Bachelor's degrees

Degrees are the standard qualifications you do at university – the most common is called a bachelor’s. Degrees give you enough time to explore your interests, and also focus on specific subjects.

Undergraduate certificates

If you want to study at university, but aren't sure if you want to commit to a degree, try an undergraduate certificate.

Graduate certificates

Graduate certificates let you study in a subject you're interested in without doing a second bachelor's degree. Or you can use it as a bridge to postgraduate study if you already have an undergraduate degree.

Undergraduate diplomas

Undergraduate diplomas let you try university study before you commit to a degree. They’re also useful if you need to advance your career.

Graduate diplomas

Graduate diplomas can help you advance to postgraduate study or research in a subject you haven’t majored in for your undergraduate study.

Relevant undergraduate subjects to major or specialise in

When you apply to study at Massey, for some undergraduate qualifications you can choose what subject you’d like to specialise in. You can usually change your mind after you get to university, depending on the courses you enrol in.

Postgraduate study

Once you’ve graduated with a bachelor’s degree – or have equivalent experience – you’ll be ready to take on postgraduate study.

Postgraduate bachelor's degrees with honours

Go deeper into a major subject from your undergraduate bachelor's degree, graduate certificate or graduate diploma; at a higher level of study.

Master's degrees

A master's degree normally builds on a main subject of study from your undergraduate degree.

Postgraduate diplomas

Postgraduate diplomas are postgraduate-level qualifications that are longer than a postgraduate certificate. If you’re successful, you might be able to use the credits towards the longer master’s degree.

PhD and other doctoral degrees

Doctoral degrees, including PhDs, are the highest degrees we award. They’re very demanding and their entry criteria reflect this.

What our students say

“Poetry is like fiction – it can be close to the truth, but it is a piece of art.”
Janet Newman

Master of Creative Writing

“Between my first writing course at Massey and finishing my master’s, I’ve published novels, short stories, non-fiction and poetry.”
Jillian Sullivan

Master of Creative Writing

“My thesis included the play I wrote, Trans Tasmin. Subsequently, a professional theatre company has shown interest in the script.”
Robert Gilbert

Master of Arts (English)

Theatre for the real world

Explore the change you want to see in the world, with Massey's unique focus on theatre and social justice.

Perform in theatre spaces with:

  • lighting rigs
  • projection capability
  • video recording.

Location: Auckland, Manawatū and Wellington campuses

Jobs in English, writing and theatre

As well as jobs in the arts sector, many other employers value the analytical and communication skills gained by studying English, creative writing or theatre. Some graduates move into research or teaching. Others become published authors, or write and direct original theatre productions.

English, creative writing and theatre careers include:

  • actors and entertainers
  • arts administrators or publicists
  • artistic directors, who plan performance programmes at festivals, theatre companies or venues
  • communications roles in government or businesses, publishing or the media
  • policy analysts, who interpret information for government or businesses
  • producers and production assistants, who plan how to stage performances
  • writers, including children's authors, novelists, playwrights and screenwriters
  • teachers and lecturers.

Annual salary ranges for jobs

Salary ranges disclaimer

Indicative pay rates are:

Which English, writing and theatre qualification?

Examples of where our qualifications may take you.

Table showing jobs and what you could study to enter them.
Jobs Examples of what you could study
Actor or entertainer Bachelor of Communication (Expressive Arts)
Bachelor of Arts (minor in Theatre Studies)
Communications professional for business or government Bachelor of Arts (English)
Bachelor of Communication
Director Bachelor of Communication (Expressive Arts)
Bachelor of Arts (minor in Theatre Studies)
Writer or author Bachelor of Arts (Creative Writing)
Bachelor of Communication (Expressive Arts)
School drama or English teacher Bachelor of Arts (minor in Theatre Studies)
Bachelor of Arts (English)
Further study to qualify as a teacher
University lecturer in creative writing or English Masters degree in your chosen specialisation

Get an information guide

Download our guide to find out more about studying English, writing and theatre at Massey.

Search courses or qualifications