Master of Creative Writing

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The Master of Creative Writing is the centrepiece of AUT's Centre for Creative Writing. Sitting with the New Zealand Society of Authors on AUT's City Campus, the Centre offers one of the most open and exciting learning environments around for participants to pursue their ideas and turn them into reality. As with similar programmes worldwide, we recognise that almost any category of writing can be creative writing. Biography, travel writing, children's stories, narrative journalism, even academic writing all have creative components.

The focus of the programme is not only on the canonical genres of fiction, poetry and drama — students will also study the full range of contemporary popular genres. Master of Creative Writing students participate in 24 masterclasses with some of the most accomplished tertiary-based creative writing teachers in the country.

As a one-year "research masters", our programme also includes components of peer review, guidance from experienced members of Faculty to help in your exegesis, and input from industry bodies, including publishers.

Career opportunities

  • Communications professional
  • Creative industries
  • Media and new media
  • Professional writing
  • Publishing.

Programme information

Programme code: AK1303
Level: 9
Points: 120
Duration: 1 year full-time
Venue: Centre for Creative Writing, City Campus
Start date: 26 February 2018

AUT encourages early application. This programme will close when full.

Enquiries to:
Cynthia D'Souza, Student Administrator, School of Language and Culture —

Entry requirements

  • Portfolio of creative work
  • Interview may be required

To be considered for entry, you must have a three year bachelor's degree, plus one year of additional study (or equivalent*). As an applicant, you are also required to submit an entry portfolio and produce a proposal for the creative work you will be developing throughout the year.

The guideline is 20 pages of original work for the page, screen or multimedia, to be sent to: Dr Paul Mountfort, Chair, Centre for Creative Writing

This portfolio will be reviewed by the chair and the centre's creative writing tutors. Successful candidates will have a mentor appointed through discussion with the chair to supervise the development of their creative work.

*The "or equivalent" clause can be satisfied by creative-industry based experience or on a case by case basis a sufficient body of previous creative work.

Applicants who do not meet the academic entry requirements are encouraged to contact Cynthia D'Souza to discuss alternative entry to the programme of study where professional creative writing experience may be considered as an entry pathway.

Structure and content

This postgraduate degree is a one year full time research degree providing candidates with the opportunity to work on a project of your own choice under mentorship by an established creative writing practitioner. 

The aim of the degree is to provide a supportive, dynamic environment where candidates can develop creative works in a variety of genres and media.

Emphasis is on narrative, although by negotiation with the Chair and mentor(s), candidates may perform in a variety of written genres as well as multimedia works, such as:

  • Screenplays
  • Storyboards
  • Graphic novels
  • Web-based creative.

Class size is limited to around 14 students.

If you want to specialise in writing for screen, the Master of Creative Writing for Scriptwriters will take you from idea to second draft screenplay, until it's ready to present to film companies.


These two-hour workshop/seminars are held weekly during the teaching semester, onsite at the Centre for Creative Writing (12th Floor, WT Building, AUT City Campus).

Our leading creative writing tutors take candidates through key stages of a creative production — developing a concept, hooking an audience in, and submitting a manuscript or similar project for publication.


Successful applicants to the programme will be assigned a mentor – in rare cases, two – to provide expert feedback and support on their project as it develops. In many cases these mentors are the centre's key tutors, but where appropriate the chair will liaise with outside parties to secure for candidates their preferred mentor(s).


An innovative part of the AUT MCW is that blogging is used as a medium for the crucial "peer review" feedback component of the course. This allows candidates to compose their responses to their peers' work and post useful links and other resources. The blog is moderated by the centre chair, and tutors provide follow-through from this during the masterclasses with group discussion.


Your submitted work for the MCW will consist of a (approximately) 40,000-60,000 word portfolio of creative work and a (approximately) 5000 word exegesis explain and critically reflecting upon it.

The primary emphasis of the programme is on narrative, but, by negotiation with the chair and mentor/s, candidates may perform in a variety of written genres as well as multimedia works, such as screenplays, storyboards, graphic novels and web-based creative productions.

Note: In the cases of some genres, such as poetry or graphic novels, the word limit requirements are reduced because of the compressed nature of the medium concerned.


Assessment is by at least two examiners, one internal and another external to the University.

Last updated: 13-Dec-2017 3.41pm

The information on this page was correct at time of publication. For a comprehensive overview of AUT qualifications, please refer to the Academic Calendar.