Academic and professional writing

Join our classes to boost your success at university. Learn to write effectively and convincingly for academic and professional audiences.

Talofa and kia ora

Make your transition to university or work easier and enhance your writing skills. Improve your performance by learning clear and appropriate communication for a variety of university and workplace applications, by taking a course in writing that can be credited to any degree.

Writing (Academic and Professional) is not available as a major, but courses may be counted towards any undergraduate degree. There are two 100-level courses offered, two 200-level courses, and one each at 300 and 400 level.

Explore Writing (Academic and Professional) courses

This subject is taught by the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies.

Transition to university writing

The School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies offers a range of undergraduate writing courses that teach clear and appropriate communication for a variety of university applications, and for writing in English as a second language.

Writing at university (WRIT 101)

Moving from secondary school to university is a challenge for nearly every student. Writing essays at university is one of the main challenges that this transition demands. There are significant differences from the writing required for NCEA. Not only are writing tasks more extensive, but many require sophisticated research on library databases.

WRIT 101: Writing at University is specifically designed to help you meet the extended writing requirements of most university courses. This includes teaching you the skills of advanced academic research and how to report and evaluate your research findings using clear academic English and clear, logical text organisation. You are encouraged to develop your own area of research interest for the writing you do in this course.

“I have improved my writing skills, reviewing ability and learnt many useful referencing and researching tips… I really enjoyed this course and would highly recommend it to other students.” Hannah Pym | Bachelor of Education

Writing in English as a second language (WRIT 151)

Some first-year students are dealing not only with the challenging transition from school to university. They are also dealing with the transition from their first language to English for living and studying in New Zealand. This is the case for many students, even if they have done their secondary schooling in this country.

If you have another first language and feel that your writing in English does not yet have the fluency you would like for comfortable communication with your teachers and peers, WRIT 151 is highly recommended. WRIT 151 is specifically designed to help you overcome the particular difficulties faced by second-language writers of English. The course will teach you how to produce clear academic prose and to organise your texts for effective communication.

“I realised there was so much more that I needed to improve for my writings after enrolling in this course... and I knew specifically what I needed to do to improve.” Noor Liyana Johari, Bachelor of Commerce student

Transition to workplace writing

Writing at work (WRIT 202)

Moving from university to the workplace involves an even bigger transition than from school to university. Producing the many types of writing required for effective communication in almost any workplace environment is well known to be a particularly significant challenge that all new workers face.

Get a head start by learning how to write effectively for a future professional career. You’ll enhance your writing skills and learn how to effectively communicate through professional proposals, reports, and emails.

Writing for media (WRIT 203)

In today’s publicity-driven online environment, the type of writing once practiced only by journalists is a useful skill for anyone. From profiles, investigative articles, and features to reviews, blogs, and personal essays, you will develop sharp concise writing which is valuable in any publishing context.

Transition to postgraduate writing

Postgraduate research writing (WRIT 301)

Moving from undergraduate studies to studying at the postgraduate level also involves a transition.  At the postgraduate level, students need to write longer texts, they need to be more critical in their reading and often move from text-based research to primary research.  This course helps to prepare students for postgraduate research writing by collecting and analysing written texts from their own discipline.

Postgraduate research writing (WRIT 401)

This course is for new students at honours, masters, or doctoral level who would like to further improve their academic writing ability.  It may be of interest to those who have completed their undergraduate studies in a different country, to those who lack confidence in postgraduate level writing, or who would like to further improve their already strong writing skills.

Find out more

Register now to find out more about your study options and keep updated on application and enrolment information, open days, and events.

If you need help deciding what degree might be right for you or what courses to take, talk with a liaison officer or book a course planning session with us. Call 0800 04 04 04 or email

If you’re a returning or transferring student, contact the Faculty office for help with degree planning and for information on admission requirements and transferring credit from other institutions.

Related subjects and careers

Related subjects


  • Advertising
  • Communications
  • Copywriter
  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Marketing
  • Policy analyst
  • Public relations
  • Publishing

Writing courses are taught within the School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Levels 2 and 3, von Zedlitz Building.