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Scriptwriting MA (Stage, Screen and Audio)

Learn about the course below
Code
PGW803
Start
January 2022
Duration
1 year full-time
2 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£10,000 (UK) *
£14,500 (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Deborah Klika

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.

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

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.

Changes for students in 2021

We are back on campus for the majority of teaching in Autumn 2021, as long as restrictions allow. Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.

In case of any changes to government guidance, we‘ll be ready to move to teaching with more restrictions in place and continue to give you an excellent learning experience. In this scenario, on campus teaching should continue although more of your course will take place online.

The table below gives you an idea of what your learning will look like across a typical week. Some weeks might be different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.

This information may change slightly as we receive further guidance from the government. You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Scenario A: Without social distancing

Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per week, per level:

7 hours

Live online learning

Average hours per week, per level:

N/A

Scenario B: With social distancing and/or with restrictions on travel to campus

Live in-person on campus learning

Contact hours per week, per level:

N/A

Live online learning

Average hours per week, per level:

7 hours

Outside of these hours, you’ll be expected to do independent study where you read, listen and reflect on other learning activities. This can include preparation for future classes. In a year, you’ll typically be expected to commit 1800 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.

Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our plans for in-person on campus teaching following government advice to keep you safe. If more restrictions are put in place in the future, or there is another lockdown, we’ll deliver your learning and support fully online for a temporary period. We’ll make alternative arrangements for any required placements if they can’t go ahead as planned. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations We’ll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online

  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual laboratory or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll be expected to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time.

Support

You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2021/22

Read our guide to what you can look forward to when you study your subject with us including more information about your teaching experience this autumn.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU fees from October 2021
  3. EU/International
  4. Additional costs
  5. 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 Klika's research interest is in film and TV screen comedy, having written Situation Comedy, Character, and Psychoanalysis, published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2019.

Her PhD examines elements of character and narrative needed when adapting a film to TV and vice versa. She has written four TV sitcom pilots and was awarded 3rd place Cannes Screenplay Contest for TV Comedy Pilot (2018)

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
Lecturer

David Cottis: Playwright and screenwriter has recently edited two volumes of Twentieth Century Welsh Plays in English for Parthian Press (https://www.parthianbooks.com/collections/pre-order) and has a chapter in The Oxford Handbook of the Global Stage Musical.


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 2021

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

Code: PGW803

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