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MPW
Master of Professional Writing

The only one of its kind in New Zealand, Waikato’s Master of Professional Writing offers a research-led, strongly practice-based qualification in professional and creative writing.

The Master of Professional Writing (MPW) involves taking a core paper, designed specifically to enhance your workplace readiness, as well as elective papers which range across a variety of fields from creative writing to writing for promotional purposes and advertising, for digital media and for scholarly and professional publication.

If creative writing is your passion, then you will have the opportunity to specialise in this. The Creative Writing Thesis gives selected students the option of producing a manuscript of publishable quality – whether poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction – in a stimulating and supportive workshop environment of fellow writers, and supervised by award-winning authors. The selection of students for the Creative Writing Thesis is by assessment of a portfolio of poetry and prose, and a manuscript proposal outlining the creative project.

When studying towards the MPW you will be able to include a professional writing internship and be offered an on-campus writing mentor, who will provide professional advice and direct you towards writing opportunities.

Industry Connections

The staff contributing to the Professional Writing programme have long-standing relationships with the broader writing community at a number of levels:

  • They have established senior profiles as publishers of creative and scholarly writing, as editors of literary and scholarly materials, and as peer reviewers for local and international journals.
  • The creative writing staff have won significant local and international prizes for short fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction.
  • They publish across a wide range of academic and popular media, including reviews, opinion columns, feature articles, works of scholarly reference, book chapters, scholarly articles, researched scholarly editions, and researched books.
  • They are called on to judge local and international literary prizes, and to assess applications for substantial public and private funding for literary grants, including the annual University of Waikato Writers’ Residency (co-funded by Creative New Zealand) and the Sargeson Grimshaw Writing Fellowship.
  • Contributing staff in Screen and Media maintain international networks in scriptwriting and script development.
  • Staff maintain professional links with local and international organisations who co-ordinate, sponsor and enhance the interests of professional writing in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Career Opportunities

MPW graduates will have excellent transferrable skills in devising, producing and editing text. If you include a formal internship in your programme of study, or take up the option of informal professional mentoring, you will make connections in the professional writing community, and enhance your CV with relevant workplace experience.

Potential careers include editing, long-form researched journalism, policy analysis and policy writing, report writing, script writing, speech writing, teaching, website content editing, writing for digital and broadcast media, writing for stage and screen, writing for travel and tourism and writing for public relations and marketing.

Potential employers include biotechnology industries; cultural sector/arts organisations; energy provision sector; higher education sector; libraries and archives; local and district councils; manufacturing and technology; national government, NGOs; non-profit and philanthropic sector; primary industries; print and digital news media; publishing industry; telecommunications; theatre, film and broadcast media production houses; transport, tourism and travel.

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Key information

Years: 1.5
Points: 180
Study Locations: Hamilton
Start Dates: Semester A (February) and Semester B (July)
Fees (Domestic): $11,388 - $12,128 per year
See if you're eligible for fees-free study in your first year
Fees (International): $28,660 (120 pts) or $42,990 (180 pts)
Entry Requirements: Postgraduate International
Faculty:
*Tuition fees shown are indicative only and may change. There are additional fees and charges related to enrolment please see the Table of Fees and Charges for more information. You will be sent an enrolment agreement which will confirm your fees.

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June Dams Originally from Belgium, soprano June Dams has lived in New Zealand for 16 years. Currently she is completing a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree under the tutelage of Dame Malvina Major, June holds an Master of Music in Voice Performance and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Theatre Studies and Composition from the University of Waikato.

Read stories from other students


To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the MPW, a student must have completed either:

  • a bachelors degree (or equivalent) with at least a B grade average across the 300 level papers, or
  • a bachelors degree with Honours (or equivalent) with at least second class honours (second division).

Candidates for the Creative Writing thesis are selected on the basis of assessment of a portfolio of work.

MPW Degree Regulations


Scholarships and prizes

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Find your scholarship


The MPW is a higher degree with both taught and independent research components. As such, it provides critical support for preparing you for doctoral research in applied and professional writing, and in creative writing at doctoral level. As a professional qualification, the MPW is a standalone degree that will confer significant value in employment situations where excellent writing is a requirement.


Documents


Contacts

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

Graduate Support Administrator
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 837 9234
Email: fass-grad@waikato.ac.nz