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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We are regularly reviewing and updating our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we've learnt in recent years by enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning.
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.
We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2021/22 academic year.
We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2022 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our in-person teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.
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.
The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.
This information is likely to change slightly for 2022 entry as our plans evolve. You'll receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.
Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2021/22
Live in-person on campus learning
Contact hours per week, per level:
Live online learning
Average hours per week, per level:
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 1200 hours to your course across all styles of learning. If you are taking a placement, you might have some additional hours.
Definitions of terms
You 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 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 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.
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:
The course is particularly useful for aspiring writers, script editors, readers, agents and directors.
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 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 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 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: 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.