Warning! This degree has changed. Read the transition arrangements.

Degree structure

Degree details

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

Graduates will have opportunities in research, writing, editing and publishing in government and industry as well as the not-for-profit sector, arts organisations and the magazine and book industries.

Higher education via OUA

  • Successful study through OUA – either:
    • Successful completion of Humanities Pathway OR
    • Successful completion of four OUA degree level subjects at pass level (this satisfies English language proficiency requirement) OR
    • Successful completion of two OUA degree level subjects with separate evidence of English proficiency is required.

Higher education

  • Successful completion of one full time semester (four standard subjects) towards an Undergraduate or higher level of study at an Australian University (separate evidence of English proficiency is not required).

Secondary education

  • Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) 70 or equivalent. Students must have English ATAR, Literature ATAR or English as an Additional Language/Dialect ATAR.  To determine your eligibility for entry please refer to Interstate Year 12 and IB Students, TISC Tertiary Institutions Service Centre link http://www.tisc.edu.au/static/guide/prerequisites-comparison.tisc

VET studies

  • Completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Diploma or Advanced Diploma or Associate Diploma. You may also be eligible for credit toward your university study.
  • Completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Certificate IV and evidence of English proficiency.

Work and Life

  • Successful completion of the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT). (Please note this test is valid for two years.)
  • Finished secondary education more than two years ago
  • Bridging and enabling degree entry
  • Enabling degrees completed through other Australian Universities which meet minimum entry requirements for that institution will be accepted as minimum entry requirements for this degree.

Additional information

English Proficiency Requirements

Applicants need to meet Curtin's English Language requirements. You normally need ONE of the following:

  • Must have a 50% minimum in English ATAR (or equivalent).
  • Completion of at least one full time semester (or equivalent) of Undergraduate level studies at an Australian University
  • Completion of an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Diploma or Advanced Diploma or Associate Diploma
  • Successful completion of two degree level subjects via Open Universities Australia (OUA) and English proficiency
  • Successful completion of two degree level subjects at an Australian university and English proficiency
  • Successful completion of the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT). (Please note this test is valid for two years.)

Please refer to the 'Minimum English Language Proficiency Requirements' document at http://students.curtin.edu.au/local/docs/English_List.pdf.

*** Please Note: If any academic or legal document is not in English, you must provide a colour scan of the non-English documents, including a colour scan of the official English translations of these documents. This is for comparison purposes. ***

Practicum placement

PWP323 Professional Writing Placement is available to some students. It is an optional core subject (ie. you can complete this or PWP324). This subject 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 subject, students need to meet these eligibility requirements:

  • Complete the PWP311 prerequisite subject
  • Be enrolled in the BA Humanities (PWP)
  • Be resident in Australia
  • Find a suitable work placement, which is approved by email by the subject coordinator.

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

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 subject coordinator will all sign a contract specifying the work to be undertaken. Students will also participate in online discussions and write a final report on the placement (assessed items).

Further information and support for this subject is provided during the PWP311 subject in SP1. CRL is not available for this subject.

Credit for Recognised Learning (CRL) is assessed on individual merit and is awarded for different types of learning, for example, studies you have previously completed or for relevant work experience.

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

To apply for CRL, please visit the Curtin University website: https://study.curtin.edu.au/credit/

It is important to note accepted documentation includes scans of the original Transcripts and/or Award Certificate; front and back; in colour; and original size. For further information see the scanned documents and certification requirements and guidelines.

More information about the policies and procedures related to CRL assessment and appealing a CRL assessment outcome can be found in the Credit for Recognised Learning manual (PDF).

If you have any questions, please contact opencurtin@curtin.edu.au

The Curtin University Professional Writing and Publishing degree prepares students for writing careers in the private, public and creative sectors through the study and practice of a range of different writing forms, including feature articles, speeches, reports, discussion papers, travel writing, history, humour, writing for the internet, promotional writing, creative non-fiction and media releases.

Students may choose to study the following combinations of two single majors to obtain the double major award:

  • Professional Writing and Publishing and Visual Culture
  • Digital Design and Professional Writing and Publishing
  • Fine Art and Professional Writing & Publishing
  • Internet Communication and Professional Writing and Publishing

Please refer to the respective degree pages for more details.

Recommended Study Pattern

If you haven't studied at university level before, we recommend you start with OUA Pathways (please see Option 1 below). OUA Pathways is ideal for students who want a structured start to their studies. Learn more about OUA Pathways

If you have studied at university level before, please follow Option 2.

If you're already enrolled in this degree, please continue with your Level 1 subjects, followed by the Level 2 and Level 3 Major subjects.

Option 1 - Pathways

  • Step 1 - Complete 4 subjects from the Humanities Pathway table below.
  • Step 2 - If you did not complete COM155 Culture to Cultures as part of the Humanities Pathways subject, you will need to complete this subject now. If you have completed COM155 Culture to Cultures as part of the Humanities Pathways subjects, please proceed to Step 3.
  • Step 3 - Complete 2 more core Humanities subjects (1 subject of MED104 OR MCA110; 1 subject of MCA120 OR MCA100) in the 'Media Culture & Creative Arts First Year Stream' table
  • Step 4 - Complete Level 1 Major subjects i.e. PWP110 and PWP121
  • Step 5 - Complete the Level 2 Major subjects
  • Step 6 - Complete the PWP310, PWP311 and PWP322 in Level 3 Major subjects
  • Step 7 - Complete either PWP323 OR PWP324 in Level 3 Major subjects
  • Step 8 - Complete the remaining electives

Option 2

  • Step 1 – Complete APC100 and COM155 in the 'Media Culture & Creative Arts First Year Stream' table
  • Step 2 - Complete 2 more core Humanities subjects (1 subject of MED104 OR MCA110; 1 subject of MCA120 OR MCA100) in the 'Media Culture & Creative Arts First Year Stream' table
  • Step 3 - Complete Level 1 Major subjects i.e. PWP110 and PWP121
  • Step 4 - Complete the Level 2 Major subjects
  • Step 5 - Complete the PWP310, PWP311 & PWP322 in Level 3 Major subjects and also select either PWP323 OR PWP324
  • Step 6 - Complete 10 electives

NOTE: No more than 10 subjects can be completed from Level 1 subjects.

Award Requirements

To qualify for the award of BA (Professional Writing and Publishing) students must complete a total of 24 subjects:

  • 4 Core Humanities subjects (these can be the core Humanities noted or can be the Humanities Pathway subjects)
  • 10 Professional Writing major subjects
  • 10 Electives

Choose your subjects


Students complete 10 Professional Writing and Publishing major subjects.


Please Note: For whichever category of Electives subjects, only a maximum of 2 Level 1 subjects are allowed for enrolment.

Students must complete 10 electives from one or more of these streams. Note that these subjects are recommended, not required, & students can study any combination of subjects within OUA to meet their needs. You must do at least 4 Level 2 or 3 electives unless given permission to vary this requirement. You do not have to study all your electives in one stream.

We recommend that all students, as soon as they are eligible, should apply for and take a Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP). However, if you choose not to be a CSP student, please contact OpenCurtin via email to OpenCurtin@curtin.edu.au.

Bachelor of Arts (Professional Writing and Publishing) has undergone a major change in 2017.

The revised structure is designed to provide students with a breadth of knowledge and experience at the first year level, which will complement and enhance the disciplinary majors which will be taken in the remainder of the BA program.

The new degree structure is for new students commencing in 2017 and current students may follow the old structure.
For further information regarding this change, you may contact Curtin University at HUM-MCCAOUAEnquiries@curtin.edu.au