Use your creativity to craft copy and edit manuscripts for a range of professional publications and businesses. The Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing teaches you to write in a range of contexts; to plan, coordinate and evaluate writing, and to edit your own and others’ work. Graduate ready to seek work across a broad scope of professional industries.

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

  • Nationally recognised training
    Nationally recognised training

Skills you’ll learn

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Ethical thinking
  • Legal thinking

Your career opportunities

  • Professional writer
  • Journalism
  • Marketing
  • Copywriter

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

  • McKinley Valentine

    McKinley Valentine

    From hospitality to acclaimed writer

    With a day-job as a copywriter, a newsletter that boasts over 4000 subscribers, and guest appearances on Australian and American podcasts, McKinley Valentine has firmly cemented her career as a writer.

    After graduating in 2012, McKinley transitioned from hospitality to freelance writing, now working at design studio, Paper Giant. Her newsletter, The Whippet, was featured on Inside Hook’s list of the 80 Best Single-Operator Newsletters on the Internet.

    ‘I couldn’t have done it without the skills I learned in the PWE course. While I always had a knack for spelling and grammar, there’s so much more to writing professionally.’


To enter this qualification, individuals must provide evidence (by submitting a folio) of their technical skills in writing and editing and ability to:

  • Write short works (approximately 1,000 words) suitable for publication in any media.
  • Edit other people’s written work for grammar, punctuation and appropriate use of language.
  • Provide an objective critique of other people’s written work in a positive manner to assist re-writing.
  • or attainment in CUA40118 Certificate IV in Professional Writing & Editing (or equivalent)

Skills may have been acquired through personal or work experience, or through formal study.

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.

Credit transfer

Credit is granted in recognition of previous study and allows students to gain advanced standing towards their course. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about credit

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) allows students to gain credit (advanced standing) towards their course in recognition of skills and knowledge gained through work experience, life experience and/or formal training. Applicants are assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about RPL

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

Completion of the Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing requires face to face tutorials and workshops, practical writing tasks. The successful completion of all seven core units and six elective units.

Core units
Elective units
Indicative nominal course hours: 800

Your units

Units of study Unit code
Core units
Undertake project work
Core unit
Provide freelance services
Core unit
Maintain and apply creative arts industry knowledge
Core unit
Perform advanced editing tasks
Core unit
Perform advanced writing tasks
Core unit
Develop nonfiction works for publication
Core unit
Elective units
Collaborate in a creative process
Elective unit
Explore the history and social impact of creativity
Elective unit
Develop a social media engagement plan
Elective unit
Write persuasive copy
Elective unit
Research history and theory to inform own arts practice
Elective unit
Write Extended Stories
Elective unit
Edit scripts
Elective unit

2023 fees

Full fee* ($AUD)


Skills first government-subsidised place* ($AUD)


2024 fees

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 2023 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. All fees are subject to annual review and may be adjusted.

Skills first government-subsidised place

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.

Learn more about Skills first government subsidies

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.

Find out more about fees

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.
Learn more about paying your fees

Eligibility for VET student loans (VSL)

If you apply for a VET Student Loan, Swinburne must first verify your identity. If you are eligible, we will provide your enrolment information to the government so you can complete the application within their eCAF system.

The VET Student Loan amount for this course is capped. You must start repaying this loan once you earn above the compulsory repayment threshold.

Learn more about VET student loans

Concessions rates for vocational students

Concession rates for Diploma and Advanced Diploma programs are also available if you self-identify as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and qualify for a government-subsidised training place under the Indigenous Completions Initiative.

The eligibility criteria are set by the Victorian Government and assessed by Swinburne in accordance with government directives, which are subject to change at any time.

Learn more about concession rates

Student services and amenities fee

This funding serves to improve the student experience at Swinburne. You may use many or just some of the services and amenities that the fee provides.

From 1 January 2024, all Diploma level and above courses will contribute to the Student Services and Amenities fee. Below is the capped amount for 2023 as a guide ahead of fees for 2024 being announced.

Please refer to the Student Services Amenities Fee page for more information.

This funding serves to improve the student experience at Swinburne. You may use many or just some of the services and amenities that the fee provides.

This amenities fee is included within your annual tuition fee listed above. The fee shown in the capped amount for 2024.

Please refer to the Student Services Amenities Fee page for more information.

SSAF fee* ($AUD)


SSAF fee* ($AUD)


Learn more about SSAF


Scholarship applications for 2023 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.

Learn more about scholarships

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.

Learn more about scholarships

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.

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Upcoming events
  • 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.