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City University London

Playwriting and Screenwriting

Most professional writers of drama in the UK move between media so that's what we do on our course. You learn about writing for theatre, film and television - then complete a full length piece of work in one of those areas. You get to understand writing choices in the work of leading playwrights and screenwriters and then, very often, you get to meet those writers. You work with actors and directors from London's new writing theatres and professional film and television directors from leading drama schools. You also meet some of the decision-makers from the drama industries - agents, producers and artistic directors. This course is run in the evening and is suitable for those in full-time employment.
Duration Two years full-time. Classes are run in the evening to enable you to combine work and study, so this MA is particularly suitable for those in full time employment.
Level MA
Cost Full-time EU: £8,000 (total fee for two-year course) Full-time Non EU: £14,000 (total fee for two-year course).
By the end of the course, you will have taken a full-length play, feature film screenplay or television pilot script through a number of drafts, working as professional writers do. This play or screenplay will be your calling card, representing you and your work to agents and producers. You'll receive a performed reading of an extract of your work and a professional script report. Graduates of the course have had plays performed, scripts commissioned, films produced. Some work in script development and in the film, TV or theatre industries. They win competitions and form production companies. They make plays and screenplays happen. Teaching is based around a mix of practical workshops, seminars and lectures. All this is supported by one-to-one tutorials and by independent study: notably reading and preparing presentations on set texts and performing set writing exercises. As the course progresses, the emphasis shifts to independent study and is supported by workshops and one-to-one tutorials. Central to the Creative Writing MA course is the requirement to finish a full-length novel, memoir, play or screenplay. The course culminates in a showcase of your work to an audience of industry professionals and other interested parties.
You will usually have a first degree, in any subject. But successful completion of a certificate course in creative writing, or professional qualifications, or relevant experience such as acting or directing may also be acceptable. The prime criteria are proven ability and commitment to completing a play or screenplay. You will be required to submit a portfolio of their writing and to attend or (if overseas) to participate by telephone in an interview. Mature students are encouraged to apply.
You write a new piece of work every week in the first year. By commenting on each others' scripts you develop as a writer and sharpen your understanding of what's working and what isn't. Modules: Dramatic writing, Writing workshop, The production business, Own play or screenplay. In the first year you acquire a critical understanding of classic and contemporary plays and films from the writer's point of view, and an in-depth practical knowledge of playwriting and screenwriting. There are also specialist sessions on writing for radio and television drama. No single style or genre is prescribed; the ethos of the programme is excellence and diversity. The course is suitable for writers with some experience who want to develop their practice and ideas and work in the industry. In the second year you choose to write either a full length play, or screenplay, or a pilot for an original television series (along with the series "bible" and synopses for several episodes). In addition to completing a full length play or script, you participate in workshops taught by practising screenwriters and playwrights, and have the opportunity to work with actors and to experience a professional script development process. There will be a showcase of work at the end of the programme to which industry professionals and advisory board members are invited.
Contact Information
Institution City University London
School of Arts
Northampton Square

Tel: +44 (0)20 7040 3400
Department: Department of Creative Writing
Contact Name: Maria Prus, Programme Administrator
Contact Email: