Writing courses

Wield your words to communicate with clarity and purpose

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Introduction to Writing

There’s writing for artistic purposes, used to express your emotions, imagination and ideas–then there’s writing for the purpose of clear communication of specific information. The latter refers to professional writing and editing.

While both styles of writing may impact the way a reader thinks or feels, professional writing looks to achieve a specific goal. Examples include opinion-based blogs, research articles, sales taglines, product or service descriptions, and website copy. Professional writing may even be emotive and creative, but it will often follow a brief outlining messaging and objectives, and adopt a specific brand tone of voice.

After studying in this space, you could work as a copywriter copywriting in the advertising industry, a content writer, journalist, or public relations specialist. There are also many freelancing opportunities in professional writing.

Set yourself up for success by gaining professional writing and editing skills. Choose from online writing courses, delivered by leading Australian universities, through Open Universities Australia.

Explore writing courses
writing-andrew
Andrew studied professional writing and publishing with Curtin University through Open Universities Australia

Discover writing courses

Online writing subjects and short courses

Macquarie University

UndergraduateMAQ-ENGX1055

Techniques in Academic Reading and Writing

100% online

No ATAR required. Start with a subject.

Starts 22 Jul 2024

Next enrolment closes 14 Jul

Curtin University

100% online

No ATAR required. Start with a subject.

Starts 26 Aug 2024, 25 Nov 2024

University of New England

UndergraduateUNE-WRIT101

The Craft of Academic Writing

100% online

No ATAR required. Start with a subject.

Starts 21 Oct 2024

La Trobe University

UndergraduateLTU-MAC1WFM

Writing for Media

100% online

No ATAR required. Start with a subject.

View all subjects

Online writing degrees

University of Southern Queensland

PostgraduateUSQ-EDP-MAS

Master of Editing and Publishing

100% online

Approx. 1.5 years full time or part time equivalent

University of New England

UndergraduateUNE-MCM-DEG

Bachelor of Media and Communications

Creative communications for the digital era

100% online

3 years full time or part time equivalent

Curtin University

The first draft of your writing and publishing career

100% online

6 months full time or part time equivalent

No ATAR required. Start with a subject.

La Trobe University

UndergraduateLAT-ART-DEG

Bachelor of Arts

Pursue your passion and your profession

100% online

3 years full time or part time equivalent

No ATAR required. Start with a subject.

Available majors

  • Archaeological and Heritage Studies
  • Creative and Professional Writing
  • Crime, Justice and Legal Studies
  • Digital Media
  • English
  • Hindi Studies Beginners
  • History
  • Human Geography
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Psychological Science
  • Sociology
  • Sustainability and Development
  • Visual Cultures
View all bachelor degrees

Discover 131 ways to study writing with leading Australian universities.

Explore writing courses

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Writing study FAQs

What’s the difference between a creative writing course versus a professional writing course?

In a creative writing course, students typically focus on exploring and sharpening their personal ideas and writing style. The goal is to express yourself in the most original way possible. On the other end of the spectrum, professional writing courses (also known as business writing courses) teach you to prioritise your reader while staying aligned to a client brief or communication objective. One is concerned with finding your voice, the other is typically about serving a business goal.

That doesn’t mean that professional writing is rigid or boring. In fact, as a professional writer, you’ll need to be innovative in order to solve business or communication problems through written content. You’ll also often be asked to transform dry or complex information into easy-to-understand or compelling material, which demands a high level of skill.

A professional writing course may cover sub-fields of professional writing, such as:

  • Technical writing - creating manuals and fact sheets for software companies, the finance industry or product manufacturers.
  • Content and copywriting - writing for advertising or marketing material, including blogs and social media.
  • Grant writing - writing proposals on behalf of organisations seeking grant funding, in which you’ll outline a project idea and build a case for why the idea and organisation deserves the funds.
What do you learn in a professional writing course?

Professional writing courses teach you to use both right-brain (creative/innovative) and left-brain (analytical/logical) skills. The topics your course might cover include:

  • Writing persuasively for public relations, advertising and marketing.
  • Understanding your readers or audience, and adjusting your tone of voice to suit.
  • Writing for different channels and platforms—the web, media releases, print and broadcast.
  • How to simplify and communicate complex information.
  • Copyediting and proofreading.
  • Conducting research and evaluating sources of information for accuracy.
  • Developing your writing portfolio.

At a bachelor degree level, professional writing is typically offered as a major within a Bachelor of Arts. And while most professional writers hold this undergraduate-level qualification, there’s no reason why you couldn’t start your learning journey with a single subject, short course, undergraduate certificate or associate degree in professional writing.

Equally, many professional writers who already hold a bachelor degree choose to refresh or further their skills with a postgraduate course.

Why should I study writing?

If you already have a love for words and language, have been told that you write well, and want to turn it into the focus of your career, you should study writing. If your role requires you to write extensively and you’d like to get better at it, that’s another great reason too.

With the advent of AI and ChatGPT, you might wonder whether professional writers are bound for obsolescence. We can assure you that the answer is no. See what Elna Cain, herself a freelance writer, has to say on AI.

Why should I study writing online?

Studying writing online lets you maintain control of your time—most professional writing online courses involve a mix of self-directed study, writing exercises and occasionally, live classes or discussion sessions.

While stakeholder consultation is a part of professional writing, you’ll generally be working solo when you’re putting words to paper (or rather, keyboard). That’s why it’s perfectly suited to online study.

And, instead of picking a university based on proximity, you are free to choose the course best suited to you, even if it’s interstate.

Why should I study online through Open Universities Australia?

There are a lot of reasons to study your course online through us.

  • You can enrol without entry requirements 
    We have a unique open-door policy that makes it possible for everyone to enrol in university study, no matter their academic history. If you don’t meet the entry requirements for a degree, we’ll help you get in through single undergraduate subjects and transition into a qualification from there.
  • You have total control over how you study
    Upskill without committing to a whole degree upfront. Or enrol in a full degree, but take it a subject at a time. We’ll introduce you to flexible study options you didn’t even know about, so you can fit uni around what matters to you.
  • You’ll graduate with the same qualification as an on-campus student
    Once you enrol through us, you’ll study online with the university that provides your degree. This means that when you complete your qualification, you’ll graduate with the same degree as on-campus students.
  • We’ll help you navigate the university world
    Our friendly student advisors will be your guide every step of the enrolment journey. They'll help you compare universities, choose a course, provide documentation and understand your finance options.
What jobs can you get with a professional writing degree?

Professional writers can work in-house or freelance for a wide range of clients, including (but not limited to):

  • The marketing departments and website teams of organisations and brands, in sectors like education, banking, and superannuation funds to consumer goods, telecommunications and arts organisations—the list is endless.
  • Public relations, advertising and social media agencies.
  • Software development companies.
  • Not-for-profits.
How do I know if I’m eligible to apply for a course?

Before starting an enrolment, it’s important to read the entry requirements for your chosen course to ensure that you’re eligible to apply. If you don’t quite meet the requirements, we may be able to help you find a pathway into your course through open-entry subjects, which anyone can study.

Chat with us to find out more.

How do I enrol?

Here at Open Universities Australia, we make enrolling online as straightforward as possible. To get started, find the course for you by browsing the options on this page. You can also compare different qualifications using our handy comparison tool, or request help from one of our student advisors.

When you’ve made your choice, click ‘Apply now’ on the relevant course page and follow the prompts to begin your enrolment. We’ll ask you to supply some supporting documentation, including proof of your identity, your tax file number, and a unique student identifier (USI) during this process.

Your university will get in touch with you via email to confirm whether or not your application has been successful.

Please note that enquiries and applications for some courses are handled directly by the university. If this is the case, it will be indicated on the course listing page.  

For more information about enrolment, read our online self-service enrolling instructions. If you get stuck at any time, reach out to us and we’ll talk you through it.

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