Qualification - Certificate in Editing

Course CodeBWR005
Fee CodeCT
Duration (approx)600 hours



"I commenced the Creative Writing Course with the ACS having had no prior experience in this field whatsoever. Having always been in accounting or payroll jobs, I decided to give the course a go. The course demonstrated to me what I enjoyed writing about, the types of writing I was good at, and not so good at. It broadened my horizon to show me what was out there to write about. It gave me knowledge and confidence. I have continued to write, and in the future want to commence with the next course, but in the meantime, I have submitted various articles of mine to some magazines and have had nothing but positive feedback from all the editors and some of my work is to be published!! Which I personally feel is fantastic as I have only been doing this for a year or so. Thank you for opening up a whole new world of creativity to me which I can only enhance upon!!"
- Jo

  • Become a skilled editor and proofreader
  • Advance your career opportunities
  • Gain a highly transportable and widely valued skill

Copy editing and proofing (proofreading) are two different processes.

  1. Proofreading involves reading over and correcting a manuscript AFTER the pages have been laid out. It also involves reading images taken from the artwork to ensure that they appear as intended.
  2. Copy editing is one stage before this. It involves reading over a manuscript that is in its final form (or close to final form), correcting textual errors, and ensuring the writing is logical and lucid. The copy editor also marks up typographical instructions for the production staff who have the task of creating the images that will be seen on each page.



Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Qualification - Certificate in Editing.
 Editing I BWR106
 Photoshop VIT202
 Editing II (Diversifying Editing Skills) BWR302
 Editing Practice BWR305
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 6 modules.
 Childrens Writing BWR104
 Creative Writing BWR103
 Dramatic Writing BWR110
 Poetry BWR109
 Workshop I BGN103
 Technical Writing (Advanced) BWR301

Note that each module in the Qualification - Certificate in Editing is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.

Being a successful journalist is as much dependent upon you “working to specification” as it is, being a competent writer. Either one without the other can lead to career failure at worst, and an inability to reach your full potential at worst.
When editing your work, you should look at both the appropriateness of the content, the clarity of the language, and the style. When editing for online publication, you must also consider some factors that have been traditionally more important in advertising copy than in other writing, such as immediate visual impact, grabbing the reader’s attention, and otherwise making your work stand out and catch the attention of readers who may not be looking for what you write, or who are selecting from an enormous range of reading options.
Some factors that you might need to consider when writing for online publication are:
  • Creating an immediate impact
  • Interest in the topic – currency and amount of interest  
  • Holding the reader’s attention
  • Page layout
  • Creating visual variety and interest
  • Ease of navigation
  • Images 
  • Colour and style
  • Creating links
  • Interactive elements.
Some manuscripts require structural editing (also called preliminary or substantive editing) before the document is copy edited. Editing at this stage focuses on the manuscript’s structure, and possibly also on its content.

An editor will need to “mark up” the manuscript, indicating changes to the text and giving instructions to the designer, artist and/or typesetter how the publication should appear when published. Traditionally this process involves writing notes on a hard copy of the manuscript, often using symbols or abbreviations. A table of these symbols and their meanings are listed below.

Copy editing is traditionally done in blue or black ink. Pencil is used for changes that the copy editor must first discuss with the writer. After the discussion, the pencil can be erased, and a pen used to insert any determined changes.

These days many copy editors work with electronic copies and make their changes directly on screen. Typographical instructions may be marked using electronic codes or by applying styles and formatting embedded in the word processing program.



Meet some Of our academics

John Mason

John Mason is one of Australia's most prolific writers. He saw his first work published when at secondary school, where he worked on the school magazine. In 1973 he was writing a weekly column for his local newspaper and by 1975 he was a regular contributor to Australia's national magazine "Your Garden". John was engaged by Victoria's Dept of Youth, Sport and Recreation to write a book on Fun and Fitness Trails in 1978. In 1981 he saw two more books published (one in America, another in Australia), and commenced writing regularly for the Self Sufficiency Magazine, Grass Roots. John is a long term member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Garden Media Guild (UK) and the Horticultural Media Association (Australia). He has written or contributed to over 100 books, many published by international publishers and published more than 2,000 articles across a range of genres (Gardening, Education, Business, Farming, Fitness). In addition, John has contributed to and overseen the development of more than 600 distance education courses which encompass around 20 million words. He has been an avid photographer for 40 years, building a collection of over 100,000 images, which are used to illustrate his work. His marine animal photos are even used by Legoland in England, on their Atlantis ride! 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.

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