Skip to Content

Major: Journalism and Non-Fiction Writing

Major Details

Journalism and Non-Fiction Writing


Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

200 level

News and Current Affairs (3)
Narrative Journalism (3)
Music and Arts Journalism (3)
Photo Media (3)
Visual Countercultures: Graffiti, Kitsch and Conceptual Art (3)

300 level

3cp from
Media Futures (3)
Media Internship (3)
Media Ethics (3)
Telling True Stories 1 (3)
Telling True Stories 2 (3)
3cp from
Writing for International Business and Finance (3)
Forensic Media (3)
Social Media (3)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Additional Information
Overview and Aims of the Program This major develops practical skills in journalism and non-fiction writing as well as critical and analytical skills with regard to the role of the media and how news is generated, reported and transformed in the online environment. Journalistic skills are developed in some of the most up-to-date and cutting edge media facilities and equipment in Australia.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. Identify and critique key issues raised in the production of narrative journalism and non-fiction writing, while gaining an overview of the history of the genre.
2. Identify the complexity of ethical issues in the fields of journalism and non-fiction writing.
3. Research, write and edit stories of a high standard that fall into the broad category of journalism and non-fiction writing.
4. Demonstrate research and evaluative skills that will enable an understanding of the historical, political and technological forces that have been constitutive in the emergence of forensic and digital media and journalism.
5. Apply critical argumentation skills in order to articulate and evidence different viewpoints.
6. Apply unique methods of presenting research in writing in a range of formats for a general readership.
7. Construct and write stories that fall into the broad category of music and arts journalism, and literary non-fiction writing.
Learning and Teaching Methods The major in Journalism and Non-Fiction Writing includes a range of traditional and innovative learning methods in both practical and analytic, evaluative and theoretical skills. These include:

- Journalism, non-fiction writing workshops
- Journalism and news broadcasting workshops (using state-of-the-art news production facilities)
- Industry workshops and lectures
- Face-to-face and online interactive lectures
- Problem-solving journalism exercises and discussions
- Contemporary online resources as well as scholarly readings

All learning methods provide students with disciplinary knowledge, and critical skills that are needed to practice and succeed in the media and journalism industries.
Assessment The major in Journalism and Non-Fiction Writing utilises a variety of traditional and innovative assessments to assess both academic and practical skills. These include:

- assignments which assess core academic skills, such as critical analysis, content and disciplinary knowledge, research rigour, communication skills and scholarly conventions.
- Written journalistic and non-fiction writing assessments
- Audiovisual assignments (such as online media podcasts, news broadcasting and journalism), which allow students to develop public speaking and presentation skills.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit. 

Domestic Students
For undergraduate RPL information visit
For domestic postgraduate RPL information visit

International Students
For RPL information visit

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Graduates may find employment across a range of government and media agencies and professional bodies, including newspapers, media policy, online media, magazines, government press writing, marketing and PR industries.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

2017 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148