Graduate Diploma in Professional Communication - 2016

Please note: This course has recently undergone a major change. Please refer to Transition Arrangements for more information.

This page is for past year, View 2017 course details.

Course summary

Course summary - 2016

Level: Postgraduate
Qualification: Graduate Diploma
Number of units: 8 units to complete

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Operating Hours

Standard hours

Mon - Fri: 8am - late

Sat & Sun: 9am - 5pm

All times in Australian Eastern
Standard Time (AEST) or Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)

Please Note: This course will not be taking further applications. Students working towards this course should complete all the required 8 units by the end of Study Period 3, 2016.

The Curtin postgraduate course in Professional Communication is aimed at the next generation of professional communicators: people working in (or freelancing for) state, federal and local government, business and industry, the not-for-profit sector, arts organisations and the magazine and book industries. Uniquely, the Curtin Professional Communication course integrates creative practice and academic inquiry with training and experience in real-world technical and professional skills and competencies. It aims to foster its students’ creative non-fiction-writing talents, developing their skills in storytelling while training them in the specialised genres and conventions of professional communication and delivering advanced instruction in research, writing, editing and publishing. This equips students to contribute to and influence public discourse which is increasingly being driven by narrative: stories that capture an organisation’s identity, aspirations and endeavours.

Curtin Professional Communication students learn to convey information, issues and debate to colleagues, clients, constituents and stake-holders by creating narratives that are rhetorically effective, ethically aware, well-researched and cogently argued, in a range of genres and forms including features and profiles, speeches, reports, discussion papers, creative non-fiction and blogs.

On completion of the course students will be able to:

  1. identify, explain and apply the key disciplinary concepts and principles in professional writing and publishing
  2. integrate theory and creative practice in the production and analysis of professional writing texts
  3. conceive, develop and evaluate innovative modes of professional communication
  4. access and evaluate the sources, authority and relevance on information, and synthesise key facts, themes and ideas in professional writing and publishing
  5. effectively communicate ideas to a range of audiences, across a variety of media, genres and purposes
  6. use and evaluate a range of appropriate technologies to access resources, communicate effectively, and develop writing and research skills
  7. use and reflect on disciplinary skills and knowledges to develop autonomous learning, and apply these insights to writing in a range of different professional contexts
  8. acknowledge the interrelationship between local, national and global perspectives and the impact of this on professional writing and publishing
  9. recognise and value the diversity of cultural knowledges and practices, taking care to represent these, where appropriate, in an ethical and professional manner
  10. work independently and/or collaboratively to produce innovative, creative and ethical professional writing that is appropriate to a variety of professional and cultural contexts.


Applicants must have completed a Bachelor degree in another discipline.

English Language Proficiency Requirements

Applicants need to meet Curtin’s English Language requirement as all courses are taught in English. If your education qualifications were not solely in English, as per the International Handbook of Universities or the World Higher Education database, please attach a scanned original copy of English Proficiency Test results. Admission requires an overall International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic) (or equivalent test) score of at least 6.5 and competence in all test components (IELTS score of 6.0).

Please refer to the 'Minimum English Entry Requirements' document at

GPWP531 Professional Writing Placement is available to some students. It is an optional unit. This unit is not suitable for students in full time paid work or who are unavailable during office hours for other reasons. In order to enrol in this unit, students need to meet these eligibility requirements:

  • Complete the GPWP533 pre-requisite unit
  • Be enrolled in the Graduate Diploma of Professional Communication
  • Be resident in Australia
  • Find a suitable work placement, which is approved by email by the unit coordinator.

We recommend that only students with a course weighted average of 65% or more do the Placement unit.

Students are required to find their own (unpaid) work placement and cannot do the placement at a workplace in which they have done volunteer or paid work already. Placements run for 14 days or 105 hours over the SP3 period. The placement must involve the student in completing research, writing or editing tasks in a workplace where there is supervision and direction from a nominated staff member with expertise in writing, editing or a related field. The workplace can be public sector, community sector or private sector but sole trader businesses are not recommended. Once a work placement is found, the student, workplace supervisor and unit coordinator will all sign a contract specifying the work to be undertaken. Students will also participate in online discussions, write a final report on the placement and a research report (assessed items). Further information and support for this unit is provided during the GPWP533 unit in SP1. RPL is not available for this unit.

To qualify for the award of Graduate Diploma in Professional Communication students must complete eight units.

Total number of units to complete: 6 units Required Elective Optional
Unit name Code Provider Availability
Writing the Zeitgeist
GPWP510 Curtin SP1 - SP3 -
Writing, Editing and Publishing
GPWP511 Curtin SP1 - SP3 -
Tricks of Truth and Authenticity
GPWP520 Curtin - SP2 - -
Writing Magazine Features
GPWP521 Curtin - SP2 SP3 -
Writing Creative Non-Fiction
GPWP530 Curtin SP1 - - -
Writing and Research for Professional Contexts
GPWP533 Curtin SP1 - - -
Complete 1 unit from the following 2 units Required Elective Optional
Unit name Code Provider Availability
Advanced Editing and Publishing
GPWP522 Curtin - - SP3 -
Writing Humour
GPWP534 Curtin - SP2 - -
Complete 1 unit from the following 2 units Required Elective Optional
Unit name Code Provider Availability
Professional Writing Placement
GPWP5311 Curtin - - SP3 -
Writing History: People, Places and Times
PWR700042 Swinburne - SP2 - -

1 This unit has a placement requirement.
2 This unit contains a mandatory pre-requisite. Students studying the Graduate Diploma of Professional Communication will automatically have this pre-requisite waived.

Applications for Credit for Recognised Learning (CRL) are assessed on a case by case basis according to Curtin University policies which is available at

Students must be admitted in an award course of study before lodging their completed CRL application, along with all necessary documentation for a formal assessment.

To officially apply for CRL, students need to submit the CRL application form available from to along with supporting documents. Accepted documentation includes scans of the original Transcripts and/or Award Certificate; front and back; in colour; and original size. For detailed scanned documents requirements and guidelines, please visit

For further information, please contact

You can pay fees in one of two main ways:

Eligible OUA students can access the government loan scheme known as FEE-HELP. You pay back the loan through your taxes once your income reaches a minimum threshold.

Who can access it?

  • Australian citizens who will undertake, in Australia, at least one unit of study contributing to their course
  • Permanent humanitarian visa holders who will be resident in Australia for the duration of their unit
  • Permanent visa holders who are undertaking bridging study for overseas-trained professionals, and will be resident in Australia for the duration of their study

Find out more about FEE-HELP

You can pay your fees upfront - in full at the beginning of a unit - using:
  • Credit card (Visa and MasterCard)
  • Cheque
  • Money order

You should make cheques and money orders payable to 'Open Universities Australia' and send them to:
Open Universities Australia
GPO Box 5387
Melbourne 3001

This course has undergone a Major Change to match the campus course structure.

Students are required to complete 6 core units and 2 optional units. There is no change in the list of units and award requirements.

All units completed by the students will be counted towards their degree.