"I wanted to pursue law, but I've always loved books and am an avid writer. When I saw Southern Cross's law and creative writing degree, I thought 'this is it'."

Alyssa Burness

Bachelor of Law and Creative Writing

Law and Creative Writing program details


Our unique Southern Cross University Law and Creative Writing program aims to produce professionals who can write, and writers with a profession.

The structure of the course, including full lists of core units and electives, is available on the Bachelor of Laws and Creative Writing course page.

Four-day online creative writing units – applications now open

Do you love language? Explore the intersections between law, literature and culture. Apply now to join our intensive online workshop, 7 - 10 December 2020.

Crossing the Line: Law and Morality in Fiction – Learn more about this unit

Borders and Boundaries: Writing about family in the 21st century – Learn more about this unit

Innovative and industry-leading program

Comprises all the core units and electives which make up the 4-year, fully-accredited law degree - Bachelor of Laws and Creative Writing

A unique partnership between two schools

Units in the program are run by both the School of Law and Justice and the School of Arts and Social Sciences

Opportunity for accelerated learning

The program includes an eclectic range of electives, some of which are run as intensives during our popular Winter and Summer Law Schools

Jonathan Harlen

Jonathan Harlen, Director, Law and Creative Writing Program

According to Course Director, novelist and lawyer Jonathan Harlen, the new combined degree is designed “to enrich students’ understanding of the narratives of law and fiction by developing their skills in cultural and legal criticism, and their ability as writers. Students who love language, and who would like to explore the intersections between law, literature, and culture -- whilst at the same time expanding their own writing talents -- will find the courses in this program an extremely rewarding experience.”

Core units include The Rhetoric of Law, a close study of the discursive tools used to such powerful effect by all good lawyers, and Legal Fictions: Writing the Law, an invigorating investigation of ways in which images of law in popular culture depict, distort, and critique the legal process. Students will find themselves studying the classical rhetorical traditions of Quintillian and Socrates one moment, and Zombie Jurisprudence and the Lex Vampirica – the Law of the Living Dead – the next!

The program also includes an eclectic range of electives, some of which are run as intensives, over four days. These intensives currently include units on Law and Morality, presented by Walkley-Award winning journalist and novelist Sarah Armstrong, and Writing About Family, presented by prize-winning South African novelist Eben Venter. Two new intensive units, Writing Crime Fiction and Writing True Crime, will be added in 2021.

Patrons and featured writers

The Hon. Justice Nicholas Hasluck

The Hon. Justice Nicholas Hasluck


Formerly a Judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. Author of many distinguished novels including The Bellarmine Jug and The Country Without Music.

Professor Bernhard Schlink - photo: Alberto Venzago / © Diogenes Verlag

Professor Bernhard Schlink


Lawyer, academic and novelist. Author of the world-wide best-seller The Reader, formerly a Judge of the Constitutional Court of North Rhine-Westphalia, and a Professor of Public Law. Photo: Alberto Venzago / © Diogenes Verlag.

Sarah Armstrong

Sarah Armstrong

Unit presenter

Walkley Award-winning journalist and novelist. Author of Salt Rain (shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award), His Other House, and Promise.

Eben Venter

Eben Venter

Unit presenter

Award-winning South African journalist and novelist. Author of Wolf, Wolf, and Santa Gamka (winner of the M-Net Literary Award).

Contact the School of Law and Justice

Professor William MacNeil BA (Tor), MA (Tor), LLB (Dal), LLM (Lond), JSD (Col)

T: +61 2 6620 3375

E: lawhos@scu.edu.au

Future students

T: 1800 626 481


Current students

T: 1800 005 687

E: lawenquiry@scu.edu.au