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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 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.”

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

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.”

While many graduates go into jobs where writing is part of the daily routine, many also find positions seemingly 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, 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.

“And in 2023, 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
  • editor
  • engagement manager
  • social media manager
  • publishing executive
  • advertising strategist
  • media and communications officer
  • corporate communications officer.

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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