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Mystery Writing Diploma Course

Certified Course
Accredited Course

Course Information

10 Modules
Lifetime Access
Study Group Access


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US$13.28 + 6 monthly payments of US$25.91
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What Will You Learn?

All you need to know to start planning the perfect crime… fiction, that is!

From cosy mystery to hardboiled detective fiction, the mystery genre remains eternally popular. If you’ve been reading whodunnits and now feel like it’s your turn to lay the trail of breadcrumbs, the Mystery Writing Diploma Course will guide you through the process of writing a mystery novel.

Through a mixture of theory and practical exercises, this course explores the genre inside and out and, using a number of writing techniques, you will be able to build your own mystery novel – creating a story, taking your drafts to the next level, editing your work and polishing it; ready for submission or self-publication.

You’ll start by learning about the genres, subgenres and tropes that make a mystery story what it is – and what it is not – helping you to find your own area of focus and preparing you to write your own novel – laying a trail of clues, red herrings and plot twists.

With suspense being at the heart of any mystery, you’ll discover how to build tension and intrigue, how to pace your novel and how to keep your readers guessing all the way to the end. You’ll learn how to create believable characters; from a sleuth your readers will get behind to a villain they’ll be rooting for them to catch.

Planning the perfect crime is a skill, so you’ll learn how to create a crime scene, layer clues and build a trail. Research is key – mystery readers know their stuff – so we’ll look at how to ground your work in reality, using targeted research to ensure your work is believable.

You’ll be taken, step-by-step, through writing the first draft in a 4-act format, before preparing your novel for potential publication.

By studying this course, you will:

  • Become familiar with the genres, subgenres, and tropes of mystery writing
  • Learn how to lay a trail of clues, red herrings, and plot twists
  • Know how to create believable characters and crime scenes
  • Follow step-by-step guidance in the four-act structure of mystery novels
  • Understand how to ground your stories in reality
  • Be able to create and edit a novel – ready for potential publication
Detective board with evidence, crime scene photos and a map

Course Syllabus

What will I learn on the course?

Certified Course
Accredited Course
  • Introduction
  • Part 1: What is Mystery Writing?
  • Part 2: Mystery Mania
  • Part 3: Reading Like a Writer
  • Module 1 Assessment
  • Part 1: Genres of Mystery
  • Part 2: Subgenres of Mystery
  • Module 2 Assessment
  • Part 1: The Who, the When and the Where
  • Part 2: The Sleuth
  • Part 3: The Culprit
  • Part 4: The Victim
  • Part 5: Secondary Characters
  • Part 6: The Crime in Context
  • Module 3 Assessment
  • Part 1: Planning the Perfect Crime
  • Part 2: Four-Act Structure Acts One and Two
  • Part 3: Acts Three and Four
  • Part 4: Moving on to the Manuscript
  • Module 4 Assessment
  • Part 1: The First Draft
  • Part 2: Chapters and Scenes
  • Part 3: How to Start
  • Part 4: Writing Further Chapters
  • Module 5 Assessment
  • Part 1: Investigation Underway
  • Part 2: Keeping the Momentum
  • Part 3: Revisiting the Subplot
  • Module 6 Assessment
  • Part 1: The Big Build-Up
  • Part 2: Getting to the Peak
  • Module 7 Assessment
  • Part 1: Wrapping It All Up
  • Part 2: Prologues and Epilogues
  • Part 3: Your First Draft is Complete!
  • Module 8 Assessment
  • Part 1: A Forensic Eye
  • Part 2: Line and Copy Editing
  • Part 3: Outside Opinions
  • Module 9 Assessment
  • Part 1: Out Into the World
  • Part 2: Traditional Publishing
  • Part 3: Self-Publishing
  • Conclusion
  • Module 10 Assessment
Who Would Benefit from This Course?

Designed to help you to develop your writing and editing skills, this course will guide you in mystery writing as a hobby or a potential career – taking you from introduction to preparing your novel for possible publication.

Packed with theory-based work and creative writing exercises, this is an introductory course for those who are new to writing mysteries but assumes you have read mystery fiction and have some familiarity with the genre. It’ll help you to build your writing and editing skills and work towards creating a piece of mystery writing that will keep your readers guessing all the way to the big reveal.

Fingerprint beneath a magnifying glass

The Mystery Writing Diploma Course will take you up to 150 hours to complete, working from home. There is no time limit for completing this course, it can be studied in your own time at your own pace.

This is a Level 3 course and will give you 150 CPD (Continued Professional Development) points.

Upon completion of your course assessments, you receive 2 certificates. A certificate from the Centre of Excellence and a CPD certificate displaying the number of CPD points earned from the course.

This course is endorsed by the Quality Licence Scheme. Therefore, upon successful completion of this course, learners can also receive a certificate of achievement from Quality Licence Scheme and a Learner Unit Summary, which lists the details of all the units the learner has completed as part of the course. (This certificate is optional and costs an additional £15).

The Quality Licence Scheme is part of the Skills and Education Group, a charitable organisation that unites education and skills-orientated organisations that share similar values and objectives. With more than 100 years of collective experience, the Skills and Education Group’s strategic partnerships create opportunities to inform, influence and represent the wider education and skills sector.

The Skills and Education Group also includes two nationally recognised awarding organisations; Skills and Education Group Awards and Skills and Education Group Access. Through their awarding organisations they have developed a reputation for providing high-quality qualifications and assessments for the education and skills sector. They are committed to helping employers, organisations and learners cultivate the relevant skills for learning, skills for employment, and skills for life.

Their knowledge and experience of working within the awarding sector enables them to work with training providers, through the Quality Licence Scheme, to help them develop high-quality courses and/or training programmes for the non-regulated market.

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Richard Neftin
You are on top of it in terms of getting my courses to me and communicating. I appreciate the structure of your website and how accessible and easy to maneuver around in it. Cheers. 5 stars!
Kim Milich
Kim Milich
Centre of Excellence have been fantastic! I am really enjoying my course and finding the materials and videos really helpful. I would highly recommend Centre of Excellence.
Marianna D
Marianna D
The Spiritual Life Coach course was informative and easy to follow. I feel like it's a unique course and I'm proud to have this certificate in my profile now!
Spiritual courses are a great resource and provide an excellent foundation for moving forward on your spiritual journey.
Paul Routledge
Paul Routledge
Brilliant set of courses. I recently completed an Egyptology course with them and was so impressed I enrolled into Greek mythology diploma. (I'm doing a masters in classical studies so the Greek mythology course will help). I'd recommend them to anyone who wants to learn new things at their own pace
Bellinda Dunn
Bellinda Dunn
A great range of programs. Likeable and informative presenters. Found the course really reassuring and helpful.
Ed Hove
Ed Hove
Great information. I can take more courses if I get time and money to continue.
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There is no time limit for completing your course it can be studied in your own time at your own pace.

All of our courses vary in length but most of our courses will take you between 50 - 250 hours to complete. The length of this course can be found in the Accreditations section above.

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Mystery Writing Diploma Course
Mystery Writing Diploma Course
Mystery Writing Diploma Course
Certified Course
Accredited Course
440 Users Enrolled