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

Programme Banner

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

Live the dream

Do you dream of writing a book or perhaps poetry or a script? Do you require enhanced communicative skills for employment? Our fully online writing diploma programme gives flexibility around busy lives as it lays the foundations for skills and techniques essential for professional writing.

Our highly-qualified tutors are all published writers and by the end of the course you will have an excellent grounding in a variety of genres as well as an overview of the writing scene in Āotearoa, New Zealand.

NorthTec offers qualifications up to level 7 in applied writing:

Our programmes are ideal for people who wish to work independently as writers, for those already working in the creative industries who wish to enhance/upgrade their skills, and for those working in other industries who wish to improve their writing skills to allow higher-level employment.

What you will learn

With this programme, you will learn broad theoretical and technical knowledge and skills relevant to creative and applied writing that will enable you to work in the writing sector, in relation to publishing, broadcasting, performance and digital platforms, and other businesses and organisations.

In this programme you will learn to:

  • Select and apply writing principles and processes (planning, analysis, research, drafting, editing and rewriting) to produce original outputs for specific audiences (print, broadcasting, performance and digital platforms) in the creative industries, and other businesses and organisations.

  • Apply professional, legal and ethical principles in a socially responsible manner to writing practice.

  • Work independently or as part of a team to fulfil customer requirements, meet deadlines, work to a brief and solve problems in order to develop and complete writing projects.

Courses in this programme

Compulsory Courses Level Credits
5001 - Writing in New Zealand 5 15
5002 - Storytelling 5 15
5003 - Short Fiction 5 15
5004 - Short Non-Fiction 5 15
5005 - Long Texts 5 15
5006 - Poetry 5 15
5007 - Short Scripts 5 15
5008 - Project Management 5 15

Employment pathway

Graduates of this qualification are likely to work as freelance writers, or be employed as technical writers, scriptwriters, writers of website content, educational writers, speech writers, museum writers, newsletter writers and writers of other professional content, and/or as book reviewers.

Admission information

Applicants under the age of 20

  • An example of the applicant’s original creative writing.

  • A minimum of 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 including at least 14 credits in an English-rich subject (e.g. English, history, art history, classics, geography) or equivalent; or

  • Successful completion of a recognised writing foundation programme or equivalent, for example the New Zealand Certificate in Creative Writing (Level 4).

Applicants aged 20 years and over

Evidence that the applicant can successfully achieve the qualification graduate 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 an 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 successfully undertake the Diploma with a reasonable likelihood of success.

Qualification gained

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

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.

Do you like what you see?
Enquire Apply Now
Applied Writing Tutors
Briar Wood
Briar Wood

Briar Wood is an internationally published poet and is an experienced creative writing teacher. She tutors Poetry and Cultural Studies.




Full time/Part time


1 year full time

Start Dates

Online: February

Cost Incl. GST (Approx):

Domestic: $6,272.86

International: Programme not open to international students

Programme Code


Phone 0800 162 100
Enquire about this programme
Related News
Exploring History Through Fiction

Recent NorthTec graduate David Farrell will celebrate the long-awaited publishing of his historical fiction novel ‘The Chameleon’ on the 24th of June 2022, coinciding with Matariki Day. The book focuses on the fictional coming of age of Rhodesian born, Rorke Wilde in 1970’s South Africa. However, the trials, tribulations, and turmoil experienced by the character mirror real experiences of people throughout history.

Exhibition By NorthTec Tutors Celebrates Women

Visible - an exhibition that makes visible women working across the arts in Whangarei