Supporting doctoral writing at an Australian university


  • Sue Starfield University of New South Wales



doctoral writing, writing centres, academic writing, doctoral assessed writing


In Australian universities, doctoral research results in the production of a thesis of between 80,000–100,000 words produced by the student under the guidance of a supervisor. There is no compulsory coursework component. Recent years have seen an increase in the range of activities provided at research-intensive universities to support doctoral writing. These activities are often aimed at both native and non-native speakers of English and range from compulsory or optional courses to workshops, writing groups and boot-camps. This article discusses the approach taken to supporting doctoral writing via an analysis of the support provided through the Learning Centre at UNSW Australia. The article discusses the rationale for the approach taken, describes the programmes on offer and considers the challenges facing a small centrally-located unit that provides writing support at a large Australian university.

Author Biography

Sue Starfield, University of New South Wales

Sue Starfield is Professor in the School of Education, and the Director of the Learning Centre at the University of New South Wales, Australia.


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How to Cite

Starfield, S. (2016). Supporting doctoral writing at an Australian university. Writing and Pedagogy, 8(1), 177–198.



Reflections on Practice