How to apply

Information on this page relates to the 2017 academic year unless otherwise specified.

The information below is specific to our creative writing courses and programmes. For general information and advice about undergraduate study within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (FHSS), please see the FHSS undergraduate page. For general enrolment advice, contact Victoria University Admissions and enrolment

International students should apply through Victoria International.

Application and notification deadlines

Undergraduate deadlines

10 December for workshops taught in the first trimester (Mar-Jun) of the following year. You will be notified of the outcome before the Christmas break.

21 June for workshops taught in the second trimester (Jul-Oct). You will be notified of the outcome by the end of June.

1 November for workshops taught in the summer trimester (Nov-Feb). You will be notified of the outcome by early-mid November, depending on the workshop start date.

MA deadline

1 November each year for the programme taught between March and November the following year. You will be notified of the outcome by early December.

PhD deadline

1 July each year for the PhD programme beginning in late Feb/early March the following year. You will be notified of the outcome by mid-August.

Although there are three deadlines each year for general PhD applications submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Research, the IIML considers PhD applications only once each year.

Undergraduate applicants

All applications for our limited entry CREW courses go through a selection process, with applicants notified of the outcome by the dates listed under Application and notification deadlines. We recommend that prospective applicants first visit our Undergraduate courses page for more information.

Submission requirements

  • A five-to-ten page writing sample (1½ or double spaced). This may be one piece, a range of pieces, or an extract from a longer work but it must be in the genre of the course you are applying for. All writing submitted must be your own original work. Any inclusions from other sources (eg: collage or found work) need to be attributed. Include your name on each page.
  • a cover letter or statement in support of your application. Please keep this brief and relevant. It should outline any previous writing experience, why you are interested in this course, and what you hope to do with your writing in the future. If necessary, it could also provide context for the writing sample you have submitted.

Not yet enrolled at Victoria?

If you are enrolling or re-enrolling for full-time or part-time study at Victoria and would like to apply for one or more CREW courses:

If you have difficulty enrolling online, contact the IIML and we can send you a step-by-step guide for CREW applicants. If you continue to have difficulties, please contact Rosemary Hanna at Victoria Enrolments.

Enrolled at Victoria?

If you are already enrolled in an undergraduate degree at Victoria and would like to apply for a CREW course:

  • Submit your writing sample and support statement directly to the IIML by the relevant application deadline. You can do this by email or post, or in person. Please specify which CREW course you are applying for, and include your student ID number and a contact email address.
  • If we advise that your application is successful, you will also need to contact the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, or your Home Faculty to add the relevant CREW course to your programme of study. You can do this by email or by visiting your Faculty Office. If you are emailing, please include your name, student ID number and the code and title of the course you wish to add (eg: CREW 254 Short fiction).
You cannot add limited entry courses via the online Add/Drop function in My Victoria.

If you have any other questions about the application process, please contact the IIML.

MA applicants

The MA in Creative Writing (CREW) is a limited entry programme and selection is competitive.

Prospective applicants should first visit our Master of Arts and Common questions pages for a detailed overview of the programme, entry requirements, answers to frequently asked questions and more. Additional information about the Scriptwriting stream is also available on our Advice to Scriptwriting applicants page.

Domestic MA CREW applicants need to enrol and upload their application material via Victoria's online enrolment system (OES) by the application deadline. International applicants should apply through Victoria International.

If you wish to apply for both the Writing for the Page and Scriptwriting streams, you will need to submit two separate applications. However, only one application may be uploaded via the OES. The submission material accompanying the second application can be submitted directly to the IIML.

Required application material:

You will need to submit the following application material as part of your enrolment:

  1. A CV that outlines both your work history (this may include unpaid / voluntary roles), and any writing history eg: publications, productions, prizes and scholarships, relevant industry experience.
  2. A one-page description of the project you hope to work on for your portfolio.
  3. An indication of what you think will be most appropriate for your reading programme. This could take the form of a list of authors. (Remember that this commits you to nothing; details of individual reading programmes will be settled only after admissions to the MA are decided.)
  4. A 10-to-20-page writing sample. This will be central to the selection process. The writing sample must be your own original work. Any inclusions from other sources, such as collage or found work, must be attributed appropriately.

Scriptwriting applicants: you may submit audio-visual material with your application, but not as a replacement for your writing sample. Any such material must be clearly marked 'MA CREW support material' and delivered or posted to:
Attn: Rosemary Hanna
Enrolments Office
(Level 1, Hunter Building, Victoria’s Kelburn campus)
Victoria University
PO Box 600
Wellington 6140

All application material must be received by the deadline: 1 November each year.

All applications for this limited entry course will go through a selection process. Applicants will be advised of the outcome before the Christmas break.

Please note that acceptance into a Masters programme does not guarantee the offer of a Victoria scholarship. More about scholarships and prizes.

You are welcome to contact us if you have questions about the application process or difficulty enrolling online.

PhD applicants

All applications for PhD admission to Victoria and for Victoria Doctoral Scholarships should be lodged online through Victoria's Faculty of Graduate Research (FGR). Visit the FGR's How to Apply page for a step-by-step guide to the process, downloadable admission documents, scholarship regulations, and a link to the online application form. If you cannot apply online, contact the FGR to request a paper application form.

Details of the additional submission requirements for a PhD Creative Writing (CREW)  application are below. Prospective applicants should also make sure they have read the IIML's Postgraduate – PhD page, which gives more information about our programme, including prerequisites for applicants, and offers answers to common questions.

Acceptance to a PhD programme does not guarantee the offer of a Victoria Doctoral Scholarship.

Programme-specific application requirements

In addition to Victoria's general PhD admission requirements, CREW applicants should note the following:

  1. The IIML has a single application deadline of 1 July each year. Enquiries about the PhD Creative Writing programme can be made at any time but applications are considered once each year, as part of the July round.
  2. Creative Writing applicants need to submit a 10-to-20 page creative writing sample. This does not have to relate to your PhD proposal, but it should demonstrate your ability in the genre you wish to work in. You can submit this sample via the Document Upload page of your online application. (Select 'Creative Writing sample' in the Document Type dropdown box.)
  3. The academic writing sample normally required of Victoria PhD applicants is optional for applicants to the Creative Writing programme.
  4. All applicants must complete an Expression of Research Interests form, which is downloadable from the FGR's How to Apply page. Although the four questions on the form are worded in general terms, Creative Writing applicants need to provide some specific information in order for our selection panel to properly consider your application. When answering Question 2. (What specific issue or question are you interested in studying..?) and Question 3. (How might you go about researching this issue..?) on the Expression of Research Interests form, make sure you include:
  • a full description of the creative project you propose to work on for your PhD.
  • a full description of the research you propose to carry out for the critical component of your dissertation. This should include an account of the methods you will use and a list of key texts and authors that your research will deal with.
  • a separate discussion of the ways in which these two components will relate to one another. You should also indicate what will be original about your dissertation. In what ways will it be a contribution to knowledge? Clearly your creative component will be original, but what will be the original elements in the critical component of your PhD research?
  • a consideration of any ethical issues likely to arise in your research eg: if interviews with living subjects are involved.

You can use up to four pages overall to address these points. You may find it helpful to paste them as sub-headings under Questions 2. and 3. If the pdf version of the Expression of Research Interests form does not allow enough space, you can use the Word version, downloadable from the same page.

Applicants will be advised of the outcome by mid-August, with a provisional enrolment start date of 1 March in the following year for those accepted to the programme. (This enrolment start date is flexible and may be discussed with the Programme Director.)

Checklist for PhD Creative Writing programme applicants: