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 one-year 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.

The Master of Arts in Creative Writing focuses on creative work. It does not require taking other courses, or a formal critical component.

Please note: the workshop model is at the heart of our programme and we expect students to attend in person, unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you have concerns about this requirement, please read ‘About in-person versus remote attendance’ on our Common Questions page and then contact us if you’d like to discuss it further.

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 and public readings. We’ll place you in the workshop which best suits the needs of your project. Sometimes this means you'll be in a mixed-genre workshop; poets might be alongside memoirists and essayists, or fiction writers might be giving feedback on non-fiction projects. This approach also allows us, where possible, to meet your cultural needs as writers, with your fellow workshop members working on aligned projects.

We do not teach a set of prescribed skills, but tailor advice and feedback to individual projects.

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


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'll also attend a two-hour reading programme meeting each week that provides a forum for visits by writers and industry professionals, and the discussion of craft, literary and industry issues.

As part of this programme, each student will lead a seminar exploring a craft or other literary topic of relevance to the project you are working on.

You'll also develop your craft by reading and /or viewing extensively in an area related to your main writing project, and reporting on this through a detailed, regular reading journal, which may form the basis of your seminar.

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.


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.


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 or stage—and work towards completing three drafts of a full-length script to submit as your final portfolio.

You'll also complete around 40 hours of industry placement at a relevant organisation. Arrangements will be negotiated individually, but placements are normally organised for the June/July mid-year break.

For a detailed overview of the course and what will be required of you, read Michael Hirschfeld Director of Scriptwriting Ken Duncum's MA Scriptwriting advice for applicants.

Find out more

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

You can also hear from a range of our graduates, from both Page and Scriptwriting streams, about their experiences of the MA in Creative Writing