Use your creative wisdom to craft copy for a wide range of genres; from fiction, to journalism, and public relations. The Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing teaches you to write in a range of creative and professional contexts and to editing your own and others’ work. Seek employment as an editor, journalist, creative, or non-fiction writer. 

This is a nationally approved vocational course that is recognised throughout Australia.

  • Nationally recognised training
    Nationally recognised training
Meet me @ Open Day

Discover the people and tech changing the world – and hear the stories behind it all. Meet them at Open Day on Sunday 28 July and see what’s possible at Swinburne.

Skills you’ll learn

  • Plan
  • Coordinate
  • Evaluate writing
  • Editing

Your career opportunities

  • Editor
  • Sub-editor
  • Corporate writer
  • Non-fiction writer
  • Education writer
  • Creative writer

Key codes

Hawthorn VTAC code
International student visa

International students in Australia who hold student visas are required to study full-time and on campus. Courses that are taught entirely online are only available to international students studying outside Australia or those in Australia who are not on a student visa. Online courses are not available to international students in Australia who hold a student visa.

Location options

  • Head shot of Spiri Tsintziras smiling at the camera

    Staff spotlight

    Spiri Tsintziras

    Spiri Tsintziras is an award winning-author, creative writing teacher and business writing trainer. 

    She has had articles and stories published in newspapers, magazines and anthologies, and is the author of several non-fiction books published in Australia and abroad. 

    She’s written content for community, business and government organisations for over 25 years. 

    In the spirit of lifelong learning, she is trying her hand at writing a crime novel as part of a Master of Arts at Swinburne University.


This course requires a high level of language and literacy.

For entrance to the Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing at Swinburne, students must have completed Year 12.

Applicants who have not completed year 12, but have relevant or significant work experience will also be considered for the course.

Admission requirements

Meeting the minimum entry requirements for the course does not guarantee an offer of a place. See admission requirements for general information about the admission process.

Successful completion of Australian Year 12, or equivalent overseas qualification.

English language requirements

Satisfactory completion of one of the following:

Need to undertake an English assessment for entry?

A prerequisite for many courses, the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic) can now be done at our Hawthorn campus.

Credit transfer

Credit transfer is the recognition of academic credits gained through formal study (i.e. units of competency) completed either at another institute or in another qualification. The total amount of credit will vary from individual to individual, based on the unit/s that have been successfully completed. 

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is the process of transferring the skills and knowledge that you have acquired over your lifetime (irrespective of how they were obtained) against the requirements of the unit.  

RPL is an assessment process that requires you to provide evidence that demonstrates how you meet the requirements of the unit/s. The amount and types of evidence you will need to provide will depend on the unit requirements.

Finding your fit

At Swinburne, we recognise that not one size fits all. If this course doesn’t meet all your study criteria, check out these alternatives.

Course structure

To gain the award of a Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing, participants must complete the 12 units of competency listed below.

This course is delivered face-to-face and through workshops and practical classroom work in writing.

Core units
Elective units
Certificate IV
Course hours are estimated and may change based on study mode, unit choice, credits, or enrolment adjustments, total indicative nominal hours: 735

Your units

Units of study Unit code
Core units
Design and produce text documents
Core unit, 90.0 credit points
Implement copyright arrangements
Core unit, 20.0 credit points
Work effectively in the creative arts industry
Core unit, 50.0 credit points
Perform writing and editing tasks
Core unit, 120.0 credit points
Write fiction material
Core unit, 70.0 credit points
Write nonfiction material
Core unit, 70.0 credit points
Elective units
Produce creative work
Elective unit, 45.0 credit points
Write content for a range of media
Elective unit, 40.0 credit points
Write simple stories
Elective unit, 30.0 credit points
Write narration and material for current affairs, features and documentaries
Elective unit, 40.0 credit points
Develop content for publication
Elective unit, 70.0 credit points
Write scripts
Elective unit, 50.0 credit points

2024 fees

Full fee* ($AUD)


Skills first government-subsidised place* ($AUD)


Yearly fee* ($AUD)


2024 fees

Yearly fee* ($AUD)


Fees are estimates only

Fees published on this page are estimates only and are subject to change depending on individual circumstances at the time of enrolment. The above fees apply for units studied in 2024 only and may change for units studied in future years. There may be additional costs related to learning material and equipment.

Fees are estimates only

The indicative course fees shown apply to international students for the relevant year only. They are based on a standard study load per year. However, please note that fees are assessed according to a student's study load in each semester, and variation to study load will result in an adjustment to tuition fees. International tuition fees are generally inclusive of Student Services and Amenities Fee (SSAF). All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.

Skills first government-subsidised place

This training is delivered with Victorian and Commonwealth Government funding. To qualify for a government-subsidised place, you must meet various eligibility criteria. The course you’ve applied for must also be offering government-subsidised places. Swinburne will determine your eligibility by conducting a full assessment of your eligibility during the course application process.

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your Swinburne fees in person, via credit card, BPAY, or at Australia Post. Check to see if loans and employer sponsored training are also available.

International students need to pay tuition fees up-front by the relevant due date. You can find the due dates on your Statement of Account.

To pay your fees:

  • log in to My Financials
  • check your Australian bank account details are correct 
  • check your Statement of Account to see how much you owe 
  • pay using your preferred payment method.

Concessions rates for vocational students

If you’re enrolling in a Certificate IV-level program or below, are eligible for a government-subsidised training place and hold a valid concession card, you may be eligible for a concession of 80 per cent off the published fee of your unit(s) tuition – which means you’ll only be charged 20 per cent of the published fee.


Scholarship applications for 2024 are open. Scholarships at Swinburne are about providing opportunity, promoting equity and recognising excellence and achievement. We want you to reach your potential and achieve your life and career goals. 

Our handy guide will assist you to gather documents for your application.

When you apply for a Swinburne course, we automatically consider you for an international scholarship of up to 30 per cent off your course fees – no separate application required! Just apply for your Swinburne course of choice and when we review your course application, we will also assess you for an international scholarship.

Apply through an agent

Most international students use an education agent to help them through the application process. Swinburne has agents all over the world that can help you with your application to study. Search for a Swinburne representative in your country. If your country is not listed, please contact us.

Representatives and agents
Search for agents

Apply directly

Ready to take on a new challenge and reach your academic goals? If you already know which course you want to study and understand the entry requirements, what are you waiting for? Apply online! Remember, you cannot apply direct if you have an active VTAC application.

Apply through VTAC

International students currently studying Year 12 in Australia must apply through VTAC. VTAC is the central office that administers the application processes for places in tertiary courses, scholarships and the Special Entry Access Scheme at universities, TAFEs and independent tertiary colleges in Victoria. 

VTAC is the central office that administers the application processes for places in tertiary courses, scholarships and the Special Entry Access Scheme at universities, TAFEs and independent tertiary colleges in Victoria.

Hawthorn VTAC code
Apply through VTAC
Start dates
Last date to apply
Start dates
Start dates
Start dates
Upcoming events
Open Day 2024
  • "What I like most is the supportive environment. Our tutors are always available and very generous with feedback. Weekly exercises have taught me about writing for different audiences and purposes. I've even had a few pieces published. This course can also be a stepping stone to a diploma or degree."

    Margareta , Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing