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Why study writing

Why study writing at university?

Study tips
Published 4 Oct, 2022  ·  3-minute read

Any university student can write, right?

Well, sure. Any uni program will make you put pen to paper plenty of times, until it eventually becomes second nature to you.

But a Bachelor of Arts with a Writing major can turn this mundane task into a standout skill – or even an artform.

We spoke with Dr Tom Doig, Creative Writing Lecturer in UQ’s School of Communication and Arts, to find out why you may want to study writing at uni.

Is Writing a good major?

Writing is the obvious major for someone who thinks they could be the next big name in literature. Take note if your icons include Sally Rooney, Rupi Kaur, Patrick Ness, or any celebrated author.

But a degree in writing isn’t just useful for aspiring novelists. Tom believes what you learn in this major can be applied across a wide range of places and professions.

“Learning how to write creatively is also about learning how to see the world around you more clearly – how to think about interpersonal ethics, social dynamics, inequality,” he says.

“Learning how to become a better writer is also learning how to become a better citizen and how to contribute to a fairer society.”

Skills you get when you study writing

The skills you get from the Writing major range from writing your own content, across a wide variety of formats, to reviewing and understanding existing works. You'll explore different types of writing and ways of creating content.

“You’ll get expert guidance from prolific, award-winning authors on how to improve your creative writing skills in poetry, genre fiction, creative non-fiction, screenplays and forms you haven’t even heard of yet,” says Tom.

“At the same time, you’ll develop your critical reflection skills, learning how to analyse texts and take them apart – all so that you can put them back together in even better shape.”

Dr Tom Doig quote

If you want to become a better thinker, writer and storyteller, a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Writing is the degree for you.

Dr Tom Doig
Creative Writing Lecturer

Writing careers

While writing books might seem like the most likely career path for Writing majors, the reality is much more diverse.

“Some dedicated and talented (and lucky!) graduates will become published authors and make a living off their writing,” says Tom.

“Others will go on to work in the publishing industry, as journalists, and as communications specialists for NGOs or government departments.”

Plenty of graduates go into jobs where writing is part of the daily routine. But many others find positions that seem unrelated, where being skilled at writing and storytelling becomes their secret superpower.

This major helps you develop an intuition for making words work for you, from single sentences to long-form documents, from effective emails to blog posts and press releases. And this is a skill that proves useful in almost every profession. 

“A Bachelor of Arts in any discipline helps you become a better thinker, while a BA in Writing also helps you become a much better writer and storyteller,” says Tom.

“So many professional industries are hungry for great writers and storytellers.”

Jobs for writing majors

Some of the common professions our Writing graduates pursue include:

  • author
  • journalist
  • playwright
  • ghost writer
  • copywriter
  • digital content writer
  • proposal writer
  • technical writer
  • editor
  • content marketing specialist
  • engagement manager
  • social media manager
  • publishing executive
  • advertising strategist
  • media and communications officer
  • corporate communications officer.

Alumni spotlight: LinLi Wan

  • Project Editor at Pantera Press
  • Bachelor of Arts (Writing, English Literature) / Bachelor of Laws / Master of Writing, Editing and Publishing
LinLi Wan

I was committed to seeking out a career that would allow me to amplify marginalised voices in literary spaces.

LinLi Wan
Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Laws / Master of Writing, Editing and Publishing


LinLi has loved books and reading since a very young age, which is why she's so thrilled to get to work in the publishing industry now. She has a particular passion for ensuring all readers get to see themselves reflected in the novels they read – as well as having equal opportunity to become authors. 

"I wanted to see more people like me on the pages of the books I loved," says LinLi.

"I love that my job is reading and getting to talk to and discover authors."

"I've worked pretty hard to get here, but I still can't help but feel so lucky."

Read LinLi's story

Study writing at UQ

When you choose the Writing major as part of your Bachelor of Arts, you’ll get to choose from courses such as:

Learn more about UQ’s Writing major Explore other options in the UQ Bachelor of Arts

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