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Writing Studies

Do you love expressing yourself in words? Enjoy a learning environment in which you could explore your creativity as a poet or fiction writer. Acquire the skills in written communication that you can apply in business environments, or learn to write for digital media or for the screen.

Writing Studies at Waikato offers a writing-intensive learning experience that will enable you to grow as a writer no matter where your interest lies. It will give you the research skills needed to write convincingly about the past, or create a vivid sense of the contemporary world. It will develop the reading and analytical skills essential for effective writing.

You can structure your Writing Studies programme to suit your interests and needs. There are papers offered in:

  • Historical fiction
  • Short fiction
  • Poetry
  • Creative writing
  • Literary non-fiction, including food writing
  • Life writing
  • Travel writing
  • Digital story-telling
  • Business communication
  • Professional speaking and speech writing
  • Public relations writing
  • The philosophy of language and communication
  • Understanding the requirements of specific audiences and readers
  • Theories of reading
  • Academic writing and research.

Writing Studies graduates seek employment opportunities working for newspapers and magazines, central and local government, schools, the media, theatres and publishing houses. Writing Studies also lends itself to a freelance career.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Locations: Hamilton; Tauranga; Online

Career opportunities

  • Copy Writer
  • Digital and Broadcast Media Writer
  • Journalist
  • Literary Non-Fiction Writer
  • Public Relations Practitioner
  • Report Writer
  • Speech Writer
  • Teacher

100 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ARTSC110Old Worlds - New Worlds18A (Hamilton)
This multi-disciplinary paper offers students a rich context in which to develop arts-based reading, writing and research skills. It is structured around stories of cultural encounter and journeys through place and time, and focuses on a variety of printed and electronic texts, moving and still images, and sound. The paper is deliv...
ARTSC111Social Science Theory and Action18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
This paper introduces University of Waikato social scientists as researchers. Each presenter’s research will be discussed to demonstrate how it illustrates key themes of the social sciences and their specific disciplines.
ENGLI100Telling the Story18B (Hamilton)
This paper examines the deep stories which are at the core of the English literary tradition and the wider Western canon, with examples from the poems of Keats to Star Wars IV: A New Hope.
ENGLI113English.Confidence18B (Hamilton)
This paper examines the structure of the English language and, by linking structure to practical application, offers support for student writing. This can be a useful preparatory paper for language, linguistics and creative writing papers.
LLTED100Writing for University Purposes18A (Hamilton), 18A (Online), 18A (Tauranga), 18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Online)
This paper supports students to develop an understanding of the expectations of writing at university, and to develop an awareness of what constitutes quality writing in the context of university disciplines. Students engage in analysing how effective texts are written and they analyse their own. Students are introduced to writing ...

200 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENGLI201Genre Studies: Tropes and Techniques18A (Hamilton)
This paper is an introductory study of specific literary forms, in particular the tropes and techniques of either comedy or tragedy. The focus will vary from year to year.
LINGS202Exploring English: From Grammar to Discourse18B (Hamilton)
This paper presents a hands-on introduction to the grammar of English, paying special attention to the syntactic components involved, as well as their strong connection to discourse.
PUBRL204Contemporary Public Relations Writing18A (Hamilton)
Modern communications professionals write to represent organisations across many different audiences, purposes and contexts. PUBRL204 teaches students to select and use a range of genres from established media to emerging digital platforms.
WRITE201Applied Writing: Food Writing18B (Hamilton)
This paper uses writing about food, including recipes, memoirs, restaurant reviews and researched food writing, as the primary materials in a learning experience with an intensive applied writing focus.
WRITE202Creative Writing: Voice and Image18B (Hamilton)
This course explores the basic elements of imaginative writing - image and voice - concentrating the student’s attention on the central writing practices of ‘seeing’ and ‘saying.’
WRITE203Special Topic: Inspiring Work18T (Hamilton)
This paper examines the concept of inspiration as it applies to creative writing, and enables students to develop their writing skills through a range of creative exercises and workshop activities.
WRITE204Writing Historical Fiction18T (Hamilton)
This paper examines how historical research relates to and can work profitably with the creative imagination, exploring genres from social realist historical novels to historical fantasy.
WRITE205Writing for the Screen18A (Hamilton)
This paper explores key concepts in writing for the screen and develops practical skills in the application of these concepts. The paper is organised around four main topic areas: concepts, characters, structures, and scenes/sequences.

300 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ALED325The Teacher as Writer18S (Block)
This paper encourages teachers to think of themselves as writers, while offering them a range of perspectives to think about. They engage in writing as an aspect of their professional practice.
ENGL314Creative Writing: Creative Non-Fiction18B (Hamilton)
An intensive writing workshop focused on creative non-fiction. Students will develop skills in a variety of genres through discussion of course readings, workshop exercises and critique of work in progress.
ENGL316Literary TheoryThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
ESLA300Academic Research Writing: An Introduction18A (Hamilton)
This paper provides an introduction to academic research methodologies and writing for students for whom English is an additional language.
LING304Sociolinguistics18B (Hamilton)
The major methods and principles of sociolinguistic investigation. The study of accents and dialects; language variation; the relationship between language and education, language and sex; social codes; language attitudes.
MCOM332Professional and Public Relations Writing18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Tauranga)
This paper focuses on the theory and practice of written communication in public relations and other professional contexts. Students learn to design, write and edit a portfolio of documents, including a brochure, an annual report narrative, and a newsletter.
SCIE300Science Communication18T (Hamilton)
Students will investigate contemporary scientific topics; learning to source relevant information, assess its validity, draw conclusions and communicate their findings to a non-scientific audience.
SMST309Propaganda and Advertising18B (Hamilton)
In this paper, students will develop a framework for analysing instances of propaganda, advertising and public information in order to gain a critical understanding of their usage in commercial and political contexts, as well as focusing on contemporary social media.
THST390Directed Study18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
Students may nominate a field of study and proceed to cover it by their own reading and research under the personal direction of an appropriate staff member. Note: Admission is subject to the availability of supervision and is at the discretion of the programme convenor.
WRIT391Writing Project18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
This paper involves an independent but guided writing project.
WRIT396Work Placement18C (Hamilton)
This paper allows students to refine their writing skills in a professional workplace environment.

Prescriptions for the GradCert(WritSt) and GradDip(WritSt)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Writing Studies at an advanced level in their first degree.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Office.

Level 9

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
CWRT900Creative Writing PhD Thesis18C (Hamilton)
No description available.

Matthias Balzat Matthias has been playing the cello since he was three years old. The former Wentworth College student is only 16 and is in his third year of his Bachelor of Music. In 2013, he won a number of prestigious competitions, such as the National Chamber Music Competition with two other members, and also the American Protege Competition.

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Scholarships and prizes

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Subject links

English Programme

Writing Studies is available as a major for the BA. Writing Studies may also be taken as a second major or as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled.

To complete a major in Writing Studies, students must gain 120 points above 100 level in Writing Studies, including ENGL215, WRIT391, 20 points at 300 level from ENGL papers listed for the Writing Studies major, and at least 20 further points in Writing Studies above 200 level.

To complete a supporting subject in Writing Studies, students must gain 70 points in Writing Studies, including ENGL215 and at least 20 further points above 100 level.



Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4922
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