Advanced Certificate in Professional Writing & Editing

Become a professional writer or editor. This advanced level course develops your learning, experience and awareness of writing skills. Students receive feedback on written assignments to help their writing technique to evolve.

Course Code: VWR024
Fee Code: AC
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate
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Learn the Skills to Write and Edit

Steadily improve your capacity to write and edit through this learning experience. Undertake writing and editing projects and receive valuable feedback from experienced professional writers.

Grow your awareness of the writing industry. Develop opportunities through networking, and nurture the sort of attitude that often makes a huge difference between successful and unsuccessful writers and editors.


Some writers flounder whereas others are extremely successful

Knowing why some writers fail and making the right career decisions can make all the difference to your future. Success in the publishing industry is not just a matter of being able to do the job. It is also very much dependent upon the attitude you have and the decisions you make.

This course is different to many others, because it goes well beyond just teaching you to write and edit. It is an "experiential based" learning program; designed to get you involved with writers, editors and the publishing industry as you study and build those skills to work better with the written word. The industry is changing faster than ever; and will continue to change; and for ongoing success you need to become "connected" and remain "connected", so that you see and adapt to recent changes, and ongoing changes as your career moves forward.


Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Professional Writing & Editing.
 Creative Writing BWR103
 Editing I (Editing and Proofreading) BWR106
 Freelance Writing BWR102
 Editing Practice BWR305
 Technical Writing (Advanced) BWR301
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Industry Project I BIP000
 Research Project I BGN102
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 24 modules.
 Business Operations VBS006
 Children's Writing BWR104
 Course Writing And Development BGN107
 Dramatic Writing BWR110
 HTML -Writing a Web Site VIT102
 Legal Terminology BWR108
 Office Practices VBS102
 Poetry BWR109
 Publishing I (Self Publishing Children's Books) BWR107
 Workshop I BGN103
 Writing Fiction BWR105
 Advanced Freelance Writing BWR201
 Ethics BPS217
 Graphic Design BIT205
 Information Security BIT203
 Internet Marketing BIT204
 Journalism Practice I BWR203
 Publishing II BWR202
 Research Project II BGN201
 Research Project III BGN202
 Script Writing BWR204
 Workshop II BGN203
 Editing II BWR302
 Publishing III BWR303

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Professional Writing & Editing is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


Editors work over written words, usually with one main purpose - "to improve the way in which those words communicate between the writer and the reader"

Words are complicated things though. They can have different meanings according to both the ways in which they are combined, and the context in which they are placed.

When you start this course, you may well be aware of the difference between a noun and a verb; or pronoun and adverb; but as you study words and their use in greater depth, you will begin to see not all nouns are the same; and neither are verbs, adverbs or pronouns.

Consider Nouns

Nouns can be split mainly into common and proper nouns.

A common noun describes people, things and places, such as hat, dog, cat, writer, biscuit, city, document.
Whereas a proper noun has two distinct features –
It will usually name a specific item – usually a one of a kind.
It will begin with a capital letter – no matter where it occurs in the sentence.
Examples of proper nouns then would include –

  • Mrs Smith

  • University of Birmingham

  • Declaration of Independence

  • Mary

  • Joseph

  • Queensland

  • Ontario

  • Coca Cola

  • France

  • Paris

  • London

  • Mr Jones

  • Archibald

  • James Jones

However, there are other types of nouns –

Agent Nouns are usually common nouns (but can also be proper nouns), where the noun takes the form of a subject performing an action (verb). For example – maker (from the verb to make), teacher (from the verb to teach), actor (from the verb to act).

Countable nouns are nouns that take a singular or plural form, and combine with numerals or quantifiers (such as one, two, most, several, every), for example “dog”, “friend”, “nose”, “chair”.
Example of the use of countable nouns:

  • A dog, two dogs, three dogs…

  • A friend, two friends, three friends…

  • There were four chairs in the room

  • I can see lots of noses

Uncountable Nouns Uncountable nouns differ from countable nouns in that they only have a singular form, so you cannot add –s to the word to turn it into a plural. You can also not use a/an or a quantifier in front of them. Some examples of uncountable nouns are laughter, furniture, rice and cutlery. To quantify an uncountable noun, you can add a counting word such as a unit of measurement, or a word like “piece”. This generally takes the form “a…… of…….”
Example of the use of uncountable nouns:

  • “I eat rice every day”, rather than “I eat a rice every day”

  • “put out four sets of cutlery”, rather than “put out four cutleries”

  • “I would like to buy some pieces of furniture”, rather than “I would like to buy some furnitures”.

  • “there is a lot of laughter” rather than “there is a lot of laughters”

Collective nouns are used to refer to groups, such as

  • flight of pigeons

  • school of fish

  • litter of puppies

  • culture of bacteria

  • herd of sheep

Concrete nouns are nouns used to refer to physical entities that are tangible and can be perceived by our senses. Such as

  • Jane

  • apple

  • Janet

  • fish

  • chair

Abstract Nouns refer to ideas and concepts such as – love, hatred, jealousy, justice, peace.
Occasionally they can be both – I stuck my daughter’s art on the fridge. Art is an abstract now, but the production of that “art” can be a concrete noun.

Traditional Editing Work may be Decreasing (eg. in print media); but ...

NEW OPPORTUNITIES are emerging (in electronic media, marketing and digital broadcasting).


There is in fact more work for good writers and editors than ever before; but not in a traditional position with a big company as it may have been in the past. The nature of this industry has changed. The way in which the work is done has changed too; and will most likely continue changing.  Writers and editors need to have a new mindset, recognising that this is now an industry for self employment, as freelancers, sub contractors or self publishers.

We Have the Experience to Help You with this

The team at ACS have decades of experience with writing and editing. Our principal has written or contributed to over 150 published books or ebooks. He has been editor for five different magazines; and apart from his role with ACS continues as garden editor for a quarterly magazine called Home Grown (published both in print and electronically). Our staff include more than a two dozen professional writers of books and magazines, many who continue to work in the industry. 
We know the publishing industry from the inside and have seen the disruption that the digital revolution and globalisation has caused; and how many well established writers have floundered, while others have adapted and forged a new and successful path for their career.

Let us help you toward a successful future in writing or editing.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding of the subject. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (8-9 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- an Advanced Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email ( call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( ).

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Rachel Syers

Rachel has worked as a newspaper journalist for the past 15 years in a range of roles from sub-editor and social columnist to news reporter, covering rounds such as education, health, council, music, television, court, police, Aboriginal and Islander affairs, and agriculture.
Her current role is Fashion Editor, features writer and features sub-editor with The Gold Coast Bulletin. She has co-authored a successful biography "Roma: From Prison to Paradise" about former prisoner-of-war turned yoga guru, Roma Blair, as well as freelanced as a writer, reviewer and researcher for Australian music and celebrity magazines such as WHO Weekly, Rave, Australasian Post and New Idea.
Rachel has a B.Journalism.

Tracey Jones (Psychologist)

B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE.
Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc.
25 years industry experience in writing, editing, education, psychology, and business. Tracey has several books and hundreds of articles published; in both fiction and non fiction.

John Mason

Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner.
John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.


Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Nicola Stewart

Nicola worked in publishing before changing direction to teach Anatomy, Physiology and various complementary therapies in the UK’s post-compulsory sector for 16 years. She is the published author of 10 books, plus a range of magazine articles and has also ghost-written across a number of genres. When she is not working for ACS, she provides specialist literacy tuition for children with dyslexia.

Tracey Jones

Tracey has over 20 years experience within the psychology and social work field, particularly working with people with learning disabilities. She is also qualified as a teacher and now teaches psychology and social work related subjects.

She is a book reviewer for the British Journal of Social Work. Tracey has also written a text book on Psychology and has had several short stories published.

Jenny Bragg

Jenny has experience across many different business areas including marketing, operations management and human resources, her specialty fields are events, hospitality and tourism. She has worked in a number of different service sector organisations including hotels, restaurants, bars and specialist event providers. Jenny is a trained teacher and has worked with different educational bodies in the UK, as well as providing a consultancy service to the business and events sector.

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