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Associate Degree of Creative Writing

Southern Cross University

About the Course

Immerse yourself in the world of words and become a confident and skilled creative writer. The Associate Degree of Creative Writing provides students with a broad range of skills spanning several writing genres. It enables students to focus on the practice and theory of writing, along with developing the attributes and skills needed for a professional career in writing.

If you have a way with words, a passion for writing, or a story to tell, this degree will help build your confidence and provide professional feedback to assist in becoming published. 

The course offers a rich mix of creative writing and literary studies across a range of writing modes in fiction and non-fiction, including experimental writing, journalism, life writing, poetry, writing for stage and screen, and writing for young adults.

After completion of the Associate degree, students may choose to apply to study a further eight units to gain a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The University is the education partner of the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival and Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA), and supports the Bellingen Writers’ Festival.

Career opportunities

As a writer of novels and scripts; food, nature, art or travel writer; feature journalist; critic and reviewer; essayist; poet; editor and publisher; or writer for marketing and public relations, the public service and arts-related industries.

Professional placement

Opportunities exist for writing students to undertake work placements with Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA), the Byron Bay Writers Festival, and the Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival. Students can choose a professional placement unit during which they can spend 70 - 100 hours in an appropriate organisation using their knowledge and skills. 

Major areas of studyWhile this course has no majors, studies in fiction and non-fiction writing include:

  • experimental writing
  • journalism
  • life writing
  • poetry
  • writing for stage and screen
  • writing for young adults

Assessment methods

Assessment tasks may include creative writing assignments, theoretical essays, tutorial presentations and participation, and creative-research projects.

Teaching methods

On-campus students experience a variety of teaching approaches including face-to-face lectures and tutorials. Some units offer online activities, classes, pre-recorded and/or live lectures. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

The distance education study option is highly interactive and strives to promote collaboration and a sense of community. Students may receive online pre-recorded and/or live lectures, electronic study materials, workshops, online discussion forums and virtual classes. The method of teaching may vary from unit to unit.

Advanced standing

Your previous learning experiences relevant to one or more units in this course may help you reduce the duration of your degree.

  • Recognition of formal and non-formal learning
    Credit may be awarded to a student for formal learning (gained through full or partial achievement of an accredited qualification or course) or non-formal learning (that takes place through a non-accredited course or program of learning) completed at Southern Cross University or in other learning settings in Australia and/or overseas.
  • Recognition of informal learning
    Credit may be awarded on the basis of current informal learning (that takes place through work, social, family or leisure activities).

To help you identify how much credit you may receive for your related prior learning visit SCU Pathways.

An application for advanced standing must be submitted so we can assess your prior learning. Please apply for advanced standing at the same time as you apply for admission into this course, because the amount of credit awarded will determine the sequence of units you will study.

Learning resources

MySCU is a student's point of entry to a range of online services and resources that support study and student life. The portal includes unit learning sites and information sites where students can access resources, communication tools and useful links that are integral to their studies.

The web-based study environment Blackboard Learn delivers an advanced online learning environment for students and lecturers to communicate and collaborate through virtual meeting spaces, classrooms, and discussion boards. They can share files, presentations and applications. If a tutorial or lecture is recorded, students can view it afterwards.

Learning materials include the provision of unit information guides, study guides and readings. Students may need to purchase or access prescribed text books.

The SCU Library provides a wide range of services that include face-to-face and online help, and access to print and electronic resources. To find out more, see the Library Toolbox.

The Academic Skills team supports student learning by offering online and on-campus academic skills workshops, email, phone, and one-on-one support.

Equipment and facilities

Southern Cross University provides students with modern well equipped teaching spaces such as lecture theatres, classrooms, and studios or laboratories tailored to meet the needs of specific study disciplines. Contemporary audiovisual equipment is standard in most teaching venues, and students have access to computer labs for individual study purposes.

Course requirements

  • To be eligible for the award of Associate Degree of Creative Writing a candidate shall successfully complete not less than sixteen (16) units (192 credit points) comprising:
  • all units listed in Part A; and
  • eight (8) units from Part B; and
  • three (3) units from Part C
  • A candidate who while enrolled in the Associate Degree of Creative Writing has completed 8 units from either Part A or Part B may elect to be awarded a Diploma of Creative Writing following withdrawal from candidature for the Associate Degree.
  • A candidate who while enrolled in the Associate Degree of Creative Writing has completed 4 units from either Part A or Part B may elect to be awarded a Certificate of Creative Writing following withdrawal from candidature for the Associate Degree.


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