Real Life Writing

Qualification: Postgraduate unit
Study mode: Online
Payment options: FEE-HELP may be available
Duration: 13 weeks
Start date: Enquire now for upcoming start dates
Awarded by: Swinburne University of Technology
Course Unit A course unit is a single subject offered as part of a program of study, but can be completed individually. You may receive Recognition of Prior Learning for studying this unit.

Want more course info?

FREE CALL 1800 063 523

Monday to Friday: 8am - late
Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 5pm

About this unit

Real Life Writing is an online unit provided by Open Universities Australia in association with Swinburne University. Its key aim is to provide you with a detailed understanding of different varieties of professional writing, and the contexts where they apply. Through access to professionals talking about their own work, you will gain an intuitive understanding of tone of voice and target audience.

To begin with, you will gain an insight into the myriad different types of professional writing, considering tone, style, and register. Following this, you will begin to explore writing in specific contexts, from film and business to academia, in order to get a 360-degree understanding of writing conventions in specific fields. Finally, you will consider the links between writing and visual representation with regards to television and the digital age.

Ultimately, Real Life Writing prepares you for the tasks you will face as a professional writer, and the knowledge to complete them effectively. Your overall understanding of the industry will be greatly enhanced, and you will also have the opportunity to develop your own unique writing style.


In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses at Swinburne University:

  • Graduate Certificate of Arts (Writing)
  • Graduate Diploma of Arts (Writing)
  • Master of Arts (Writing)

You should also ensure that you have not already completed a previous or academically equivalent version of this unit.

Areas of study

In this Real Life Writing unit, the topics you will study include:

  • Writing styles
  • The structure of writing across a range of genres will be considered in this unit, encompassing: style, tone, register
  • Film e.g. reviews, outlines, scripts
  • Art e.g. reviews, stories, histories, styles
  • Sculpture e.g. reviews, personal responses, styles, histories
  • Architecture e.g. styles, cultural influences, reading the street as text
  • Creative writing e.g. genres, inspirations, styles, audiences, ideal readers
  • Business writing e.g. reports, letters, applications
  • Music e.g. styles, responses
  • Academic journals e.g. purpose, academic discourse, referencing for scholarly conversations
  • Advertisements e.g. purpose, critical evaluation, pithy writing
  • Television, websites, CD-ROM: e.g. visual responses, utilising multimedia opportunities

Course pathways

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

  • Graduate Certificate of Arts (Writing), Swinburne University
  • Graduate Diploma of Arts (Writing), Swinburne University
  • Master of Arts (Writing), Swinburne University

Content may also be relevant to other courses, and could qualify you for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for a course offered by another institution.

Get more information

Want more information about this unit? Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

Want to know more about life as an OUA student? Listen to Suzanne's story.

How will this unit advance my career?

Many people aspire to become professional writers, but they are often unsure what genre is right for them. Real Life Writing not only provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the different kinds of roles available, but also teaches you about the different types of convention and form. This way, on completing the unit you can select the area of writing you most enjoy, and have the skills and confidence to pursue it as a career.

How else will I benefit from this unit?

  • Upon successful completion of this unit you will receive credit for competencies in Real Life Writing from Swinburne University.
  • Studying online means you can study where you want, at your own pace.
  • Gain industry-relevant skills and transferrable knowledge.
  • Government financial support through FEE-HELP may be available.
  • Studying single units allows you the flexibility to work towards a qualification at your own pace.
  • Receive Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for this unit across a number of OUA's full degree programs.

Get more information

Want more information about the career benefits of this unit? Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

Financial assistance

If you are an Australian citizen, you may be eligible to receive a government FEE-HELP loan, meaning you can defer payment of your fees.

Get more information

Want more information about financial and student support? Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

You may be eligible to receive FEE-HELP for this course!

This course can be paid for through the FEE-HELP government loan scheme. If you are an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa, this means you don’t need to pay upfront.

Instead, the Australian government will pay your course fees on your behalf. You’ll begin repaying your loan through the tax system once you start earning more than the minimum threshold of $54,869 (2016-17 income year).

Find out more about government study loans here.
For two decades, Open Universities Australia (OUA) has partnered with leading Australian educators to make tertiary-level courses easier to access for people, no matter their background, their work status or their other life commitments. OUA has built up their reputation by making education more flexible, easier to tailor and available almost entirely online.

OUA's devotion to online education remains to this day, but where they once focused on higher education, today they offer the broadest set of post-secondary education and training programs in Australia.
Open Universities Australia offers a range of administrative and student support options. As a student of OUA you will have access to four hours of free expert tutoring support for each unit undertaken through the tutoring service SMARTHINKING. This on-demand service allows you to get fast, detailed feedback on your assignment drafts and gives you access to your tutor in real time.

The My OUA portal is an online student medium that allows you access to all your course and enrolment information as well as access to student forums and assessment tips.

Writing the Past

This online Writing the Past unit from OUA and Curtin University explores different forms of history and memory writing, and topics including memoir and life writing, history, biography, and historical fiction.
read more

Writing for Children and Young Adults

This online unit in Writing for Children and Young Adults gives writers an overview of the current industry trends, issues and literary concerns impacting the young fiction market.
read more

Get more information

Want more information about the career benefits of this course?
Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

FREE CALL 1800 063 523

Monday to Friday: 8am - late
Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 5pm

Over 1,000 accredited online courses from leading Australian universities, TAFEs and colleges