Education and Arts

Contemporary Literacies

The Master of Contemporary Literacies is designed for teachers, educational leaders, researchers, school leaders, professional development/commercial service providers, policy makers, and other community stakeholders who want to develop professional knowledge and understanding of contemporary, evidence-informed literacy practices, policies and research.

The aim of this course is to equip educators with specialised knowledge with regard to the nature of 21st-century literacies, language informed approaches to literacy, and the nature of evidence in literacy curriculum and assessment. Students can include units from other Masters programs within the Faculty, such as the Master of Education, Master of Religious Education, Master of Educational Leadership or Master of Educational Assessment.

The Master of Contemporary Literacies can offer a flexible pathway into doctoral coursework or research.


Literacy is a national educational priority in Australia, as recognised in the new AITSL standards for the teaching profession, the Australian Curriculum for English, and in national and international testing regimes.

The Master of Contemporary Literacies has been co-designed by Professor Peter Freebody – a key adviser in the development of the Australian Curriculum for English – and academics at ACU with excellent international reputations in the areas of Literacy, Pedagogy and Research.

Based on this expertise, students will build an authoritative body of knowledge of recent trends in reading and writing, as well as a deep understanding of evidence-informed approaches to literacy across the years of schooling.

Graduates of this course will be equipped with the expertise required by the new Curriculum in English, and will be able to develop a systematic understanding of the factors informing policy interventions, including those involving external standardised testing regimes.


Graduates from the Master of Contemporary Literacies will be able to:

  • Build a personal educational linguistic knowledge base equal to the implementation of new and traditional literacy demands;
  • Apply cumulative evidence-informed reflections to their own literacy practices in their professional contexts, collaborating across sites on a shared research project;
  • Research the effects of current literacy practices, as well as interventions, in improving student outcomes;
  • Show mastery of research principles to investigate, analyse and synthesise relevant discipline research and explore how it can be applied to professional practice; and
  • Show adaptability using asynchronous online technologies to communicate and build further evidence and support in situated literacy practices, with diverse learners, both nationally and internationally.


To be eligible for admission to this course, an applicant must have completed the following prerequisites:

  • Bachelor degree in Education, or equivalent; or
  • Bachelor degree in an area other than Education and a recognised teaching qualification; or
  • Bachelor degree in an area other than Education and a Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies or equivalent.

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