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Master of Arts (Writing and Literature)

Postgraduate coursework

Hone your creative writing skills and gain practical tools in critical analysis, editing and research by producing a published piece of work.

Domestic International

Domestic student information

Key facts

Duration

The time and cost could be reduced based on your previous qualifications and professional experience. This means you can fast track the masters degree from 2 years down to 1.5 years, or even 1 year duration. See entry requirements below for more information.

Key dates

Direct applications to Deakin for Trimester 1 2024 have closed

Current Deakin Students

To access your official course details for the year you started your degree, please visit the handbook

Course overview

Hone your expertise in writing and literature and gain practical tools in critical analysis, editing and research. Whether you want to develop the skills to analyse literary works, build your creative writing practice, or craft publishable pieces of professional writing, the Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) will help fulfil your career aspirations.

Want to see where a mastery of the written word can take your career?

If you want to turn your lifelong passion for writing and literature into a professional career, this course gives you the practical experience to make your goals a reality. Equally, if you’re already working in the industry and looking to take the next step – whether that be in a new role or finally breaking through as a published author – we provide a high performing environment that allows your creativity to reach its full potential. Ultimately, the Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) aims to inspire you, so you can inspire audiences of your own.

Choose from four study specialisations to create a unique degree that matches your interests:

Our specialisations cater for many writing and literature professionals – from marketing professionals looking to boost sales through carefully crafted copy, to aspiring authors hoping to turn their book idea into a reality, and teachers wanting to add a new level of depth and rigour to their classroom. Alternatively, you may wish to study cross-disciplinary units that provide a broader spread of learning topics. With this option, you will gain a deep understanding of the conventions of professional non-fiction writing, as well as the theory and craft stemming from traditional literature, all in the one degree.

Importantly, the course provides more than just writing expertise. The projects and assessment tasks you work on train you in transferable skills, including critical analysis, communication, problem solving and research – incredibly valuable in every field of work. You’ll also debate literature, creativity and modern writing challenges with like-minded people from different corners of business and life. This exposure to new ways of thinking helps you grow as a writer and shows you how literature can be used to make sense of different aspects of culture, place and history.

For many students, a desired outcome of the course is to produce a published piece of work. Our academic staff are published authors and leading international scholars, so they know the process inside out, from first draft all the way to hitting the shelves.

Draw upon their experience and utilise their extensive network of writers, editors and publishers to get a foot in the door. Your thesis project, a highlight of the course, pairs you with one of our brilliant teachers. Your thesis might provide commentary on a classic piece of literature, or it could be an original piece of work. We’ll find you the ideal mentor based on your goals, interests and the writing you’re working on.

The course provides lots of exposure to industry work, trends and opportunities, better preparing you for the current and future needs of the field. Many students take advantage of our industry partnerships to secure internships at well-known publications. Verandah Journal, an annual student-run publication, showcases the best work of emerging writers and artists while giving students the chance to develop expertise in selecting, editing and proofreading submissions for publication. Better still, our academics are actively involved with a number of prominent writing festivals, ensuring we’ve got our finger on the pulse of emerging writing trends and industry needs.

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Course information

Award granted
Master of Arts (Writing and Literature)
Year

2024 course information

Deakin code
A764
CRICOS code?
083999E Burwood (Melbourne)
Level
Higher Degree Coursework (Masters and Doctorates)
Approval status

This course is approved by the University under the Higher Education Standards Framework.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) recognition

The award conferred upon completion is recognised in the Australian Qualifications Framework at Level 9.

Course structure

To qualify for the Master of Arts (Writing and Literature), a student must successfully complete 16 credit points of study comprising:

6 credit points of study in either of the following configurations:

Option 1

  • 6 credit points from one of the specialisation options (Children's Literature, Creative Writing, Literary Studies, Professional Writing);

Plus

  • 4 credit points of capstone units (Capstone A)
  • 6 credit points of electives

or

  • 6 credit points of capstone units (Capstone B)
  • 4 credit points of elective units

Option 2

  • 6 credit points of cross-disciplinary study comprising ALW740, ALL743,
    2 credit points of Literature units (Children's Literature and/or Literary Studies), and 2 credit points of units of Writing units (Creative Writing and/or Professional Writing), including ALL728

Plus

  • 4 credit points of capstone units (Capstone A)
  • 6 credit points of electives

or

  • 6 credit points of capstone units (Capstone B)
  • 4 credit points of elective units

All students must also complete: DAI001 Academic Integrity Module (0-credit-point compulsory unit)

Capstone Units

Capstone A

  • Fundamentals of Research
  • Minor Research Project (2 credit points)
  • Masters Research Literary Theory
  • Plus 6 credit points of elective units

    Or

    Capstone B (Minimum 70% WAM and subject to course director approval)

  • Fundamentals of Research
  • Masters Research Project A
  • Masters Research Project B
  • Masters Research Project C
  • Masters Research Project D
  • Masters Research Literary Theory
  • Plus 4 credit points of elective units

    Electives

    Electives are to be chosen from units within the specialisations of the Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) or the Master of Communication or the core or electives of the Master of Creative Arts.

    Note: The internship unit

  • Communication and Creative Arts Internship
  • is also available.

    Specialisation Units

    Either;

    6 credit points from one of the specialisation options (Children's Literature, Creative Writing, Literary Studies, Professional Writing)

    Or

    6 credit points of cross-disciplinary study comprising of -

  • Foundations in Writing
  • Foundations in Narrative Theory
  • Plus 2 credit points of Literature units (Children's Literature and/or Literary Studies)

    Plus 2 credit points of Writing units (Creative Writing and/or Professional Writing)

    including -

  • Studies in the Discipline
  • Specialisations

    Children's Literature

    Literary Studies

    Professional Writing 

    Creative Writing

    Intakes by location

    The availability of a course varies across locations and intakes. This means that a course offered in Trimester 1 may not be offered in the same location for Trimester 2 or 3. Check each intake for up-to-date information on when and where you can commence your studies.

    Trimester 1 - March

    • Start date: March
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Online

    Trimester 2 - July

    • Start date: July
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Online

    Trimester 3 - November

    • Start date: November
    • Available at:
      • Burwood (Melbourne)
      • Online

    Additional course information

    Course duration

    Course duration may be affected by delays in completing course requirements, such as accessing or completing work placements.

    Mandatory student checks

    Any unit which contains work integrated learning, a community placement or interaction with the community may require a police check, Working with Children Check or other check.

    Participation requirements

    Reasonable adjustments to participation and other course requirements will be made for students with a disability. More information available at Disability support services.

    Work experience

    Elective units may provide the opportunity for Work Integrated Learning experiences.

    Three pages of the postgraduate writing and literature PDF.

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    Entry requirements

    Admission criteria

    Selection is based on a holistic consideration of your academic merit, work experience, likelihood of success, availability of places, participation requirements, regulatory requirements, and individual circumstances. You will need to meet the minimum course entry requirements to be considered for selection, but this does not guarantee admission.

    Depending on your professional experience and previous qualifications, you may commence this course with admission credit and complete your course in 1 year full-time (or part-time equivalent).

    Academic requirements

    1 year full-time (or part-time equivalent) - 8 credit points

    To be considered for admission to this degree (with 8 credit points of admission credit applied^*) you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree in a related discipline and at least two years of relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)
    • completion of a bachelor honours degree in a related discipline
    • completion of a graduate certificate or graduate diploma in the related discipline

    1.5 years full-time (or part-time equivalent) - 12 credit points 

    To be considered for admission to this degree (with 4 credit points of admission credit applied^*) you will need to meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in any discipline and at least two years of relevant work experience (or part-time equivalent)
    • completion of a bachelor degree in a related discipline

    2 years full-time (or part-time equivalent) - 16 credit points 

    To be considered for admission to this degree (without admission credit applied*) you will need to meet the following criteria:

    • completion of a bachelor degree or higher in any discipline 

    ^Recognition of prior learning into the Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) may be granted to students who have successfully completed appropriate postgraduate level studies. Related disciplines which may be considered include: Editing, English Literature, Literary Studies, Children's Literature, Professional Writing, Publishing, Creative Writing, Writing.

    Relevant work experience which may be considered include: Editor, Publisher, Author.

    *Recognition of prior learning will also be considered on a case-by-case basis. Learn more below.

    English language proficiency requirements

    To meet the English language proficiency requirements of this course, you will need to demonstrate at least one of the following:

    Admissions information

    Learn more about Deakin courses and how we compare to other universities when it comes to the quality of our teaching and learning.  
      
    Not sure if you can get into Deakin postgraduate study? Postgraduate study doesn’t have to be a balancing act; we provide flexible course entry and exit options based on your desired career outcomes and the time you’re able to commit to your study.  

    Recognition of prior learning

    The University aims to provide students with as much credit as possible for approved prior study or informal learning. 

    You can refer to the Recognition of prior learning system which outlines the credit that may be granted towards a Deakin University degree and how to apply for credit.

    Fees and scholarships

    Fee information

    Estimated tuition fee - full-fee paying place
    $25,000 for 1 yr full-time - Full-fee paying place
    Learn more about fees and your options for paying.
    Estimated tuition fee - (CSP)?
    $8,404 for 1 yr full-time - Commonwealth Supported Place (HECS)

    Learn more about fees.

    The available fee places for this course are detailed above. Not all courses at Deakin have Commonwealth supported places available.  The 'Estimated tuition fee' is provided as a guide only based on a typical enrolment of students completing the first year of this course. The cost will vary depending on the units you choose, your study load, the length of your course and any approved Recognition of prior learning. 

    One year full-time study load is typically represented by eight credit points of study. Each unit you enrol in has a credit point value. The 'Estimated tuition fee' is calculated by adding together eight credit points of a typical combination of units for your course. 

    You can find the credit point value of each unit under the Unit Description by searching for the unit in the Handbook.  

    Learn more about fees and available payment options.

    FEE-HELP calculator

    What is FEE-HELP?

    FEE-HELP loans cover up to 100% of tuition fees for eligible students. By taking out a FEE-HELP loan, the government pays your tuition fees directly to Deakin, and the balance is repaid from your employment income - but only once you're earning over $51,550.

    Please note: fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and based on 2024 rates. Actual fees may vary. We advise confirming fees with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

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    • $* is the estimated full cost for a Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) (16 credit points), based on the 2024 fees.
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    *Disclaimer

    Deakin University (Deakin):

    • gives no warranty and accepts no responsibility for the currency, accuracy or the completeness of the information provided;
    • advises users that no reliance should be placed upon on the information provided, and;
    • instructs users that they should confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    This tool provides indicative information about the fees that will be payable in respect of courses and subjects offered to prospective students domiciled in Australia during the periods indicated.

    Please note that the fees shown by the calculator are indicative only and actual fees may vary. Users are advised to confirm the actual course fee with Prospective Student Enquiries prior to enrolment.

    The estimated course fee is based on the tuition fee costs applicable to a domestic full time student commencing the course in Trimester 1 and studying full time for the duration of the course but:

    • does not include non-tuition costs that may apply, such as Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF);
    • does not take into account any scholarships or bursaries awarded to the student (including the 10% Deakin alumni discount);
    • assumes the maximum number of units that need to be successfully completed actual number completed may be reduced if recognition of prior learning is granted;
    • assumes that no exceptional, or non-typical, circumstances apply to the proposed course of study;
    • assumes that the options that the user selects are appropriate for the course of study that they intend to undertake;
    • where fees are estimated for future years those fee will be subject to annual increases in accordance with increases in the cost of course delivery.

    Scholarship options

    A Deakin scholarship might change your life. If you've got something special to offer Deakin – or you just need the financial help to get you here – we may have a scholarship opportunity for you.

    Search or browse through our scholarships

    Postgraduate bursary

    If you’re a Deakin alumnus commencing a postgraduate award course, you may be eligible to receive a 10% reduction per unit on your enrolment fees.

    Learn more about the 10% Deakin alumni discount

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    Research Information

    Students will undertake at least 5 credit points of research units consisting of research methods, theory and research-based project units where they will be required to complete either a creative thesis with a critical component or a critical thesis.

    Contact information

    Our friendly advisers are available to speak to you one-on-one about your study options, support services and how we can help you further your career.

    Careers

    Career outcomes

    You’ll graduate from this course with more than just advanced writing skills. You’ll also have expertise in communication, problem solving, critical thinking and research – the kind of skills employers across all industries value.

    This puts you in a strong position to explore a range of career pathways including:

    • author
    • editor
    • literary critic
    • publisher
    • advertising executive
    • communications specialist
    • copywriter
    • journalist
    • public relations practitioner
    • English teacher (combined with an initial teaching qualification).

    For more information go to 'DeakinTALENT

    Course learning outcomes

    Deakin's graduate learning outcomes describe the knowledge and capabilities graduates can demonstrate at the completion of their course. These outcomes mean that regardless of the Deakin course you undertake, you can rest assured your degree will teach you the skills and professional attributes that employers value. They'll set you up to learn and work effectively in the future.

    Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

    Course Learning Outcomes

    Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

    Articulate specialist knowledge of a range of literary and creative writing theories, concepts, and approaches, and apply them to the study of literature and the production of written work

    Communication

    Communicate through writing that employs advanced command of the critical and theoretical vocabularies and language required to interpret, argue and fluently and persuasively transmit ideas about writing and literature.

    Digital literacy

    Employ a range of technologies and make evaluative judgments in the use of research databases, bibliographic and digital communication technologies to research, produce and present scholarly work in writing and literature.

    Critical thinking

    Utilise theory and research to critically analyse and apply appropriate forms and conventions in writing and to evaluate the influence of narrative strategies, genre conventions and cultural assumptions on works of literature.

    Problem solving

    Apply a range of theoretical, historical and contemporary critical and analytical approaches to the design and execution of solutions to a range of scholarly, aesthetic and ideological problems that emerge from the analysis and writing of literature

    Self-management

    Act with autonomy and initiative while being accountable for working effectively, efficiently and to a high standard in order to achieve goals in writing and literature.

    Teamwork

    Actively contribute to peer feedback activities and make constructive, respectful, and informed contributions to creative and critical collaboration in writing and literature

    Global citizenship

    Identify, select, critically analyse, and apply culturally relevant literary theories, concepts, and approaches to writing and interpreting works of literature.

    Approved by Faculty Board September 2021