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Scriptwriting MA (Stage, Screen and Audio)

Learn about the course below
January 2021
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
£9,700 (UK/EU) *
£14,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Deborah Klika

We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning as we start the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting in autumn 2020, there’s more detail on how we’ll deliver your course below, and in particular on the ‘Teaching’ tab under ‘Teaching and learning – changes for students in 2020’.

This course will now start in January 2021 as we've changed some of our teaching arrangements in response to the coronavirus outbreak. You'll get the same great learning experience with lots of support to do your best with this later start date.

This course is no longer accepting applications for 2020 entry. The next entry is January 2021

Behind every great film, series or show are great writers. This hands-on master's degree gives you the opportunity to make your voice heard in stage, screen and audio. You'll gain the tools and confidence to work in a diversity of sectors and with growing job prospects in theatre, screen and audio, there’s no better time to get into the industry.

Why study MA Scriptwriting at Middlesex University?

This course is aimed at potential and current practitioners who want to develop their writing skills, or equally those from a writing background looking to specialise.

You'll be supported in developing your writing voice and be guided on story structure and our placement opportunities working with writers will give you real life experience.

With London on your doorstep, you'll have support to work with numerous theatres, film and TV production companies, BBC4 and regional radio stations and speakers giving workshops.

Course highlights

  • Development and supervision of a major project
  • Experience of working as a writer (from contracts to final performance)
  • Working with specialists in theatre, radio, film and TV
  • Being supervised by genre specialists such as comedy, drama, arthouse cinema, experimental and podcast serials

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on MA Scriptwriting?

Across this master's five modules, you'll cover everything from storytelling for stage, screen and audio and the fundamentals of character and narrative, to tropes of genre in each of the forms. The course is designed to include innovative practices such as immersive theatre, multi-media writing and experiential writing.

What will you gain?

You will graduate with an array of practical skills that will equip you for a career as a writer and a solid grounding of how to sell your work, such as developing your pitching and negotiating skills. For your end of year major project, you'll write a major work that is negotiated with your tutor and may include a public reading with professional actors.

  • Modules

    • Dramatic Storytelling and Textual Dramaturgy (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module offers a critical analysis in a range of storytelling structures and principles at play in dramatic texts / works across all three mediums of stage, screen and audio. You'll explore aspects such as narrative style and voice, dramatic action, character development, linearity, dialogue, tension and conflict.

    • Writing for Stage, Screen and Audio (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will allow you to produce four pieces of work. You'll focus on form, structure and style, characterisation, dialogue and language in a stage, audio and screen context by examining three-dimensionality and liveness. The module also includes script formatting, developing, drafting and workshopping scenes.

    • Script Practice as Research (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will enable students to develop skills in the field of practice-based research as a means of investigating new conventions through innovative practice. Students will develop appropriate methodologies to instigate their research underpinned by a thorough awareness of historical, theoretical and cultural contexts. This module prepares students for contextualising their major project utilising practice-based research whilst also enabling experimentation of both form and content.

    • Working as a Scriptwriter (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module gives you a critical understanding in the production cultures and practices of the Screen, Stage and Audio industries. You'll also have opportunities for skill development and employment with support Industry placements and Enterprise Initiatives.

    • Major Project (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module presents an opportunity for you to reflexively develop and examine your creative practice, situating it in relation to, and in dialogue with, the wider context of professional scriptwriting. You'll be able to foster a professional identity as a thinking practitioner, capable of creative risk-taking in the expanded field of scriptwriting.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are not offered on every course. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

If you’re interested in January 2021 courses, we will provide more information on plans for teaching and learning in the coming months.

How is the MA Scriptwriting taught?

The course is predominantly taught via seminars and workshops, where you're encouraged to collaborate and learn from your peers.

Workshops will often emulate industry-standard writing rooms, so that you become familiar with the script writing process.

You will be assigned a supervisor for your major end-of-year project.


Assessment is on the basis of creative work, including a 15,000-word final submission, research documentation, critical analysis, reflective analysis, reports and short scripts/scene. There are no exams on this programme.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MA Scriptwriting support your career?

This MA prepares you to go on to a wide array of careers in radio, web, TV and film in a range of roles such as:

  • Reader for commissioning editors of drama/comedy
  • Dramaturgy for theatre
  • Literary agent

The course is particularly useful for aspiring writers, script editors, readers, agents and directors.

Deborah Klika
Programme leader

Deborah is a Senior Lecturer in Television and Film Production, specialising in screen narrative comedy.

James Charlton
Head of Media Department

James has written theatre plays, screen plays and directed for theatre and film. He has won the International Playwriting Festival at the Warehouse in Croydon and his play Fat Souls was nominated for Writers Guild Best Fringe Play. His co-written film Best Shot was also nominated for Best Short Film at the North London Short Film Festival.

Dr Charlotte Thompson
Senior Lecturer

Dr Thompson is a playwright and has worked as a writer, theatre practitioner and teacher in community contexts for several years. Her key areas of interest include playwriting, prison theatre, theatre in education, contemporary western dramaturgies, alternative dramaturgies, and empathy and embodied reception in theatre and performance.

Pedro de Senna
Senior lecturer

Pedro has worked as an actor, director, designer and translator. His play A Tregédia de Ismene, princesa de Tebas won the first Seleção Brasil em Cena (2006), a national award for new writing. He is also is the Programme Leader for BA Theatre Arts (Directing).

David Cottis

David is a lecturer in scriptwriting, dramaturgist and is a literary advisor.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Novel Writing (Online Distance Learning) MA

Start: October 2020

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGW803

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