New Zealand Diploma in Writing for Creative Industries (Level 5)

Learn the craft of writing through exercises, workshops, course reading, regular feedback, but most of all through writing itself. Develop skills in genres including short fiction, non-fiction, scriptwriting and poetry.

What you will learn

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.

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

More detail about this qualification 

You can enrol on the New Zealand Diploma in Writing for Creative Industries as a one year, full-time diploma, or as a part-time student. This course is delivered online.

The online writing courses are designed to build on one another, starting with Short Fiction I. You can also do the Diploma part-time as long as it’s finished within three years.  Each course is worth 15 credits.

Short Fiction I: 

Join this intensive, practical writing course, balancing imagination and craft. Each week you'll do writing exercises, and some will lead to completed short stories. Through online workshops, you work closely with other writing students. This module is the foundation for the rest of the Diploma and is a prerequisite for Short Fiction II. It has been developed by Adrienne Jansen, writer and teacher.

Short Fiction II: 

For the fiction writer who wants to be challenged in technical skill and imagination, in both what you write about, and how you write it. Through online workshops, you'll work closely with other writing students. A strong emphasis is given to revising and crafting your first draft. This course is also written by Adrienne Jansen. You must complete Short Fiction I before doing Short Fiction II.

Poetry I:

Written by Wellington poet, James Brown, this course will take you through the many and varied forms of writing poetry. At the end of the course, you will have a portfolio of work and a good understanding of what makes good poetry and how to critique it.

Cultural and Contexts:

The aim of this paper is to introduce students to some of the historical, social and cultural influences and contexts they will engage with in their creative work.

Scriptwriting (screen):

If you’re a writer who wants to move into writing for the screen, this course provides an introduction to the craft of visual writing and the requirements of a screenplay. By the end of the course, you will have a short film script – an invaluable calling card for entering the film writing industry. The course is written by Suzi Pointon, a script consultant and teacher with many years’ experience in the industry both locally and overseas. 

Writing for Children:

Teaching material from internationally renowned children's author Joy Cowley forms the core of this module, which guides writers through the requirements of writing for different age groups. You produce original pieces in a variety of genres – short fiction, plays, non-fiction and chapter books. This course draws on the expertise of a number of writers for children. Adrienne Jansen compiled the course material.


Learn the skills to write a feature article for a magazine, a proposal for a non-fiction book, text for websites, and a personalised essay. This course is a collaboration between Adrienne Jansen and journalist and editor Pip Byrne, with a special section on writing by novelist and playwright Renee.


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

NCEA Level 3 or equivalent qualification/work experience or New Zealand Certificate in Creative Writing (Level 4), and evidence of ability based on portfolio and interview.

The programme is suitable for school leavers and recommended secondary school subjects and levels and/or vocational pathways are English, Creative Writing, Social Studies, History, Geography, Media Studies and the Sciences.

International students

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