Master of Arts in Creative Writing - Te Kohinga Auaha

Join the Creative Writing programme with a national and international reputation for developing many of New Zealand's best writers.

In the Master of Arts programme you complete a book-length manuscript or a full-length script, that is assessed by two examiners and your supervisor. Workshops and close supervision provide an intimate, practical and supportive environment in which you will become a better reader and a better writer.

Writing for the page

Poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction—develop your literary skills and imagination through a programme of workshops, portfolio supervision and complementary reading.

Be one of 30 writers in three workshop groups that also meet for special events like guest writer visits. Each workshop work will normally include students writing in a variety of genres. For example, poets may be in a workshop with memoirists and essayists, or fiction writers may be giving feedback on non-fiction projects.

At the end of the year you'll submit your final portfolio—a book-length work of publishable standard.


Develop craft skills and stretch your imagination through a programme of workshops, industry placements and collaborations, portfolio supervision and complementary reading and viewing.

Choose any performance medium—whether it's film and television, stage or radio—and work towards completing a full-length script to submit as your final portfolio. You can read Ken Duncum's MA Scriptwriting advice for applicants to get an overview of the course and what will be required of you.

You'll also do around 40 hours of industry placement at a relevant organisation.

How you'll learn

The Master of Arts in Creative Writing focuses on creative work. It does not include coursework or require a critical component.


You'll attend a three-hour workshop each week where a range of exercise work is presented and discussed. Your own portfolio work-in-progress will also be presented and discussed.

Reading programme and guest writers

You will read and/or view extensively in an area related to your main writing project, and report on this through a detailed, regular reading journal.

You'll also attend a weekly meeting to discuss craft, literary and industry issues, as well as a number of texts from individual reading lists.

Reading Programme meetings also provide a forum for guest visits by writers and industry professionals, and each member of the Page stream will lead a seminar relating to an aspect of their reading list.

Please note: the workshop model is at the heart of our programme and we expect students to attend. However, we recognise this may present significant barriers for some students. If there are issues that would make it difficult or impossible for you to attend workshops and reading programme sessions in person, please contact us as early as you can to discuss this.

Portfolio supervision

You'll be assigned a supervisor who will respond to your work as you write it and act as one of your final readers when the folio is submitted. Your supervisor provides the continuity of a single reader, as opposed to the diversity of views you'll receive from your peers.

Industry placements

If you choose the Scriptwriting stream of the MA you'll also complete about 40 hours of industry placement. Arrangements will be negotiated at the beginning of the academic year, but placements will normally be organised for the June/July mid-year break.


You'll be assessed entirely on your final portfolio. Two examiners and your supervisor will provide written reports on your work. Before you graduate, a hardbound copy of your portfolio must be deposited in the Victoria University of Wellington Library, to become part of the University's record of its research archives. As well as the hardbound copy you'll need to provide an identical electronic version. You can choose to make this version publicly available, or temporarily or permanently restricted.

Find out more

Visit our Common questions page for answers to frequently asked questions about the MA application process, course workload and more.