New Zealand Diploma in Creative Writing (Level 6)

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Fees-free is available for eligible first-time tertiary learners. Find out if you’re eligible at

Unleash your potential 

The diploma will consolidate your understanding of genres and guide you to write for different audiences as you work on novels, scripts, collections or non-fiction texts. You will also learn about writing for online outlets, how to hone your editing skills and how to self-publish.

NorthTec offers qualifications up to level 7 in applied writing:

This diploma has a team of specialist tutors who cover a range of genres. The team includes Dr Susan Pointon who has over 40 years’ experience in the film industry both here and in the USA, internationally-published author Zana Bell, well-known journalist and author Rae Roadley and leading freelance editor Lesley Marshall.

What you will learn

Through studying this programme, you will learn a range of specialist writing skills and strategies that will enable you to apply professional principles and practices to produce original writing outputs that meet the specific requirements of creative industries. 

In this programme you will learn to:

  • Apply theoretical and specialist knowledge of creative writing skills, strategies, and processes to develop and produce original outputs for a selected audience, platform or purpose.

  • Analyse problems and generate solutions, as applicable to the creation of targeted outputs for the creative industries.

  • Work independently or as part of a team to critically evaluate their own work and that of others.

  • Leadership and professional business practice to manage projects/briefs and maintain currency of industry knowledge in order to work within the creative writing industry.

Courses in this programme

Compulsory Courses Level Credits
6001 - Long Texts 6 15
6002 - Short Fiction 6 15
6003 - Short Non-fiction 6 15
6005 - Online Writing 6 15
6006 - Publishing 6 15
6007 - Editing 6 15
6008 - Becoming Professional 6 15
Electives – Choose ONE Level Credits
6009 - Poetry 6 15
6010 - Short Scripts for the Screen 6 15

Entry Requirements

Applicants under the age of 20

  • Successful completion of New Zealand Certificate in Writing for Creative Industries (Level 5) or equivalent.

Applicants 20 years of age and over 

  • A portfolio of work that indicates the applicant is capable of meeting the qualification outcomes.

English language requirements 

All applicants must have a level of English sufficient to be able to study at this level. Those students whose first language is not English should have: 

  • An international English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall academic score of at least 6.0 (with at least 5.5 in each band), or accepted international equivalence.

Special Entry 

In exceptional circumstances, an applicant who does not meet the full entry requirements, may be granted admission to the Programme on the approval of the Head of Department or delegate if he/she is confident of the applicant’s ability to undertake the Diploma with a reasonable likelihood of success. 

Qualification gained

New Zealand Diploma in Creative Writing (Level 6) 

Courses and programmes may be cancelled, postponed or have their content or configuration changed from time to time (including during the academic year) at the discretion of NorthTec. Fees are an indication, include GST and apply to domestic students only. View terms and conditions

From 1 January 2023, all NorthTec learners will be part of Te Pūkenga. Please note that these programmes of study are currently under review as part of the reform of vocational education training and may be subject to change.

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Applied Writing Tutors
Photo of Zana Bell
Dr Zana Bell

Zana Bell is an international award-winning author of fiction and tutors both Short Story and Novels.




Full time/Part time


1 year full time

Start Dates

Online: February

Cost Incl. GST (Approx):

2022 Fees: $6,272.86

International: Programme not open to international students

Programme Code


Phone 0800 162 100
Enquire about this programme
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