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The English and Creative Writing major provides students the opportunity to pursue practical training in writing while studying critically the literature of various periods and world literature in translation. Students are exposed to the wide range of media available to the contemporary writer (print, theatre, film, television and online), and develop their creative and critical thinking ability and written communication skills.
Graduates of this major are sought for their aforementioned skills in various creative industries such as publishing, advertising, and the media, as well as in different levels of government where communication and critical thinking skills are highly valued. Further study in the form of Honours can enhance career opportunities in teaching, higher education and law, also providing skills that render graduates eligible for government graduate programs.
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees (RHD), Postgraduate Coursework programs and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following the English and Creative Writing major include:
As the global job sector can be competitive, it is of great advantage to complete a post-graduate qualification, particularly by independent research (such as Masters by Research, or PhD). See examples of research areas within this discipline here.
After completing a degree there are a broad range of post graduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Post Graduate Handbook.
The following list provides some example jobs available to graduates majoring in English and Creative Writing. Some of these jobs will depend on the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, the combination of other majors and electives studied, while some may require further study.
- Arts Manager
- Broadcast Journalist
- Campaign Manager
- Commissioning Editor
- Editorial Assistant
- English as a Second Language Teacher (ESL Teacher)
- Festival/Events Co-ordinator
- Foreign Correspondent
- Graduate Programs - Public and Private Sectors
- Greeting Card Writer
Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for graduates with a major in English and Creative Writing.
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
English and Creative Writing graduates find employment opportunities in small, medium or large organisations of varying industries. Below are some examples of organisations that may recruit those holding this major. Check employers’ websites for sections titled Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs, or for similar sections. Some employers may also offer vacation work opportunities.
- ACP Magazines (Australia)
- Allen & Unwin (International)
- Allianz (Australia)
- Arclight Films (International)
- Ausfilm International (International)
- Austereo (Australia)
- Australia Council for the Arts (International)
- Australian Academic Press (Australia)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australia)
- Australian National Library (Australia)
- Australian Taxation Office (Australia)
- Belvoir Street Theatre (Australia)
- Beyond International Films (International)
- Centrelink (Australia)
- Clemenger BBDO (International)
- Dendy Cinemas (Australia)
- Department Foreign Affairs and Trade (International)
- Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Australia)
- Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (Australia)
- Fairfax Media (Australia)
- Federal Department of Broadband, Communication and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) (Australia)
- Fox World Australia (International)
- Granada Productions (International)
- Hallmark International (International)
- Hopscotch Films (International)
- John Wiley & Sons Australia (Australia)
- Local Government - NSW directory (Australia)
- Masterfoods (Australia)
- National Archives of Australia (Australia)
- National Museum of Australia (Australia)
- News Corporation (Australia)
- NSW Department of Education (Australia)
- Ogilvy (Australia)
- Pan Macmillan Australia (Australia)
- PricewaterhouseCoopers (Australia)
- Random House (Australia)
- Red Rock Global Media (International)
- RHI Entertainment Australia (Australia)
- Saatchi & Saatchi (International)
- SBS Television (Australia)
- Scholastic (Australia)
- Splash Entertainment (Australia)
- State Arts Ministries (Australia)
- State Government - NSW directory (Australia)
- State Theatre Company (SA) (Australia)
- The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)
- Sydney Theatre Company (Australia)
- TPA - The Publicity (Australia)
- Unilever (International)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Advertising Federation of Australia (Australia)
- Asia and Pacific Writers Network (Australia)
- Association for the Study of Australian Literature (Australia)
- Australian Editors Societies (Australia)
- Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (Australia)
- Australian Librarian and Information Association (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Sample Job Ads and Tips for Applying
Aboriginal Professional Practice
Bachelor of Aboriginal Professional Practice graduates majoring in English and Creative Writing will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to:
- Hold a deep understanding of Aboriginal culture, history and political life in Australia.
- Have capacity and skills to identify, challenge and develop policy, work and social practice which are culturally and ethically inclusive of diverse cultures.
- Developed a competitive ability to gain employment and work effectively, autonomously, responsively in a collaborative work environment in and across a broad area of vocational professional careers.
- Developed a genuine understanding and advocacy of social justice in the workforce and community.
- Clear demonstration of the capacity to work productively and in a culturally appropriate professional manner, in partnership with Indigenous communities at all levels.
- Hold and practice the academic theory and skills to effectively expand and communicate their understanding of themselves as rational beings and their relationship with the broader community in the area of Aboriginal Studies and social justice.
- Capacity and skills to contribute to the emerging contemporary scholarly discourse and practice in Aboriginal affairs.
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts graduates majoring in English and Creative Writing will have the skills, abilities and knowledge sought after by a broad range of employers. On completion of the degree, graduates can expect to have developed:
- An in-depth understanding of at least one specialist area in the Bachelor of Arts
- The capacity for analytical thinking and for creative problem solving
- Information literacy: skills in locating, evaluating and using relevant information
- Effective and appropriate communication skills, written and oral, across a range of forms
- Ethical sensitivity, including an awareness of ethical issues and standards within disciplines
- Intercultural awareness: a respect for and understanding of cultures other than one's own
Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.
Please note, the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.