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Department of Linguistics

Postgraduate Certificate of Editing

and Electronic Publishing



Co-Course convenor Adam Smith participates in an online chat session discussing the benefits of taking the course, and how it is structured here.


Postgraduate Certificate of Editing and Electronic Publishing

The Postgraduate Certificate of Editing and Electronic Publishing is offered by the Linguistics Department of Macquarie University.

The Postgraduate Certificate of Editing and Electronic Publishing program is designed for those with some background experience of editing (at least 1 year in editing, journalism, publicity or editorial management), and aims to widen and deepen students' professional skills across a range of styles and documents, scenarios and media for publishing.

The program addresses editorial issues in preparing texts for print publication and online delivery, and content management strategies for both.  The course is delivered wholly online, through the University's multimedia learning management system.  Online discussion groups are designed to create a forum for exchanging ideas about professional issues, and alternative ways of handling editorial problems.   The program's ultimate aim is to provide training in editorial project management.

The program consists of three units and is studied in external / online mode.
Eligibility: Undergraduate degree with at least 1 year of experience in editing or publishing. Consideration will be given to applicants who have a minimum of 7 years relevant experience but do not hold a degree.

The online program is taught through the Online Learning Management System, ILearn. Materials are made available here as well as guidance through the course, contact with lecturer(s) and discussion with tutors and fellow-students. It is an interactive program, designed to engage students with each other over professional issues, and over a variety of teaching materials. Assignments, both assessable and non-assessable, provide regular feedback on skills acquired.

  • EDIT 980 Tools for Editing (4cp)
  • EDIT 981 Language, Writing and Editing (4cp)
  • EDIT 982 Content Management for Print and Online Delivery (4cp)

Entry Requirements

  • A Bachelor's degree or equivalent in any field is required. This requirement may be waived for applicants who have had very substantial experience in editing and publishing.

  • The course is designed for professionals in editing and publishing. Students are expected to have had one or more years experience in editing, producing documents for publication, or in other areas of journalism, publishing and publicity.
  • For non-native speakers of English, competence in the English language should be reflected in a TOEFL score of at least 600 or an IELTS score of 7 (with a minimum of 7 in the reading and writing sections), or by having already graduated from an English-speaking university.


Frequently Asked Questions

What workload should I expect?

The certificate units are available in distance mode only. Each involves a weekly lecture and related readings (provided online). In addition, assessable work includes two written assignments and active participation in two online discussion forums. You should be able to achieve good results with about nine to twelve hours work per week in each unit.

Lists of recommended reference books are also provided; these form the foundation of your professional library, and should be purchased as soon as convenient.

How does the program relate to my career options?

Not all editors work for recognised publishers. Much publishing work, and therefore a great deal of editing, is done in government and business. Opportunities for editing work are therefore very diverse, and many people make successful careers as freelance editors.

Whether you work in publishing, government, or business, whether you are freelance or in-house, you will find that a significant professional community exists to support editors and others who work in the publishing field. Professional organisations for editors exist in many countries, notably including Australia, Canada, and the UK. In Australia in particular, in each state and in the ACT, there is a professional body called the Society of Editors; most of these societies offer a professional grade of membership. Joining your local Society of Editors will therefore open up further opportunities for making professional contacts as a launching pad for a career in editing, as well as keeping up to date with developments in the world of publishing. In 2008, all the Societies of Editors in Australia jointly formed a national body, the Institute of Professional Editors Ltd (IPEd), which conducts an assessment-based program of accreditation for individual editors. Editors who can write AE (as well as PGCertEd) after their name are in increasing demand.

What are the strengths of the new Macquarie course versus those offered by other universities?

The new Macquarie course has a much stronger focus on web-based and online editing, while still focusing on the key skills that an editor needs. Its strengths are:
(1) All its units are designed around the needs of practising editors.
(2) It gives students a strong linguistic background to work with.
(3) It teaches editing practice in the context of editorial project management.
(4) It draws on the expertise of its consultant Pam Peters DE.
(5) It is backed up by research and the practical experience associated with our consultancy work on the Australian Government Style Manual.

For further FAQs please click here.

For enquiries contact:

Kylie Coaldrake & Lorraine Whybrow
Postgraduate Administration Team
Linguistics Postgraduate Office
Building C5A, Room 560
Macquarie University  2109

Tel: 61-2-9850 7102
Fax: 61-2-9850 9352

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