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Central School of Speech and Drama

MA/MFA Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media

Both the MA and MFA (Master of Fine Arts) are vocational courses in writing drama across a range of media: TV, film, theatre and radio. They provide the opportunity for you to develop your writing abilities and learn the key techniques used by professional writers.
Duration MA: one year, full-time; two years, part-time / MFA: two years full-time
Level MA, Postgraduate Diploma
Cost MFA £7,300 - year 1; £4,295 - year 2. MA £7,300.
Practice-based enquiry into techniques and processes for writing for stage and screen. Series of writing projects to engage with different styles and formats of production. Associated study of writing techniques and issues of performance in relation to theatre, cinema, television and other relevant contexts. Both courses offer a masters award. The MA runs over one year, the MFA over two. The MFA offers a further embedding of skills and concepts learnt during its second year. In some countries, the MFA is more recognisable, particularly if you are interested in teaching or research in a higher education environment.
You should normally have an undergraduate degree in the broad field of literary and/or performance and drama studies; or a first degree and sufficient experience of either writing or drama practice; or have appropriate professional experience; or can otherwise demonstrate your potential to undertake this form of postgraduate study successfully. An offer will normally only be made after interview. Applicants for whom English is not their first language are required to prove their English language proficiency by gaining an overall score of 7.0 in an IELTS test. We do accept equivalent English language qualifications.
Students on the MA and the MFA engage with the same core subject matter. The MA is a one year course (or equivalent part time). The MFA is a two year course with the bulk of the Central-based teaching in the first year where MFA students share certain MA units. The MA and MFA are taught in group sessions and through individual tutorials. During these sessions you will consider the fundamentals of dramatic writing. Indicatively these will include structure, narrative, dramatic action, genre, character, dialogue and rhetorical effect. You will study different approaches to writing including individual authorship, group writing and writing to specific briefs. You will attend masterclasses, seminars and workshops that focus on particular modes of writing for different production contexts. You will be part of a writers’ group, providing peer support in developing your writing. This vocational work is complemented by individual research and appropriate theoretical discussion and enquiry. You will address historical, theoretical and critical contexts within which traditions of dramatic writing have evolved. You will engage in a range of projects that test and develop your skills as a writer of drama. Indicatively, these will include: forming a team of writers to evolve a television series, writing a short play script for a staged reading, writing a short film script, writing a radio play and developing and writing a complete dramatic script for production in a particular medium of your choice (stage, radio, TV or film). In undertaking these projects you will acquire an understanding of working in different formats, as well as the role of the writer in current production processes. Through an options unit you will have the opportunity, should you wish, to explore alternative modes of writing, such as writing in the community. You will also gain some knowledge of commissioning and production protocols in different media. We host an informal series of talks, bringing in guest speakers.
Contact Information
Institution Central School of Speech and Drama
University of London
Eton Avenue

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7722 8183
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7722 4132
Contact Name: Dr Tony Fisher, Course Convenor
Contact Email: