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De Montfort University

Television Scriptwriting

This long-established course concentrates on the craft of television scriptwriting and prepares you for the competitive world of professional writing. It offers direct links and networking opportunities within the industry by introducing you to professional writers, script editors, agents and producers through a regular programme of guest lectures, workshops, location visits and one-to-one mentoring.
Duration 2 years part-time
Level MA
Cost Home (UK) and EU students tuition fees for 2012/13 entry: Part-time: £3100.
Lectures, workshops and tutorials are led by the course tutors and visiting professionals. A visit to a BBC drama studio offers you a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective of television drama production. Industry-based script editors deliver a full and professional script report on your first year scripts. A visiting group of actors undertake a workshop reading from scripts so you can hear your dialogue spoken and interact with the actors to define and improve your writing skills. You are required to write script reports and a 5,000 word essay. However, you will be mainly assessed on the quality of your scripts, one or more of which you will be required to write for each module, and you are encouraged to circulate your work within the industry and the contacts forged by the course.
Although we favour students with a good academic record (2:1 honours degree is ideal), the main criteria for admission to the course is writing talent. You are required to submit examples of your scriptwriting with your application form and to show evidence of an informed interest in television drama and/or comedy. The example should be one complete script or a 30 page extract of a script. This can be in any genre and can be written either for film or television. The script should be accompanied by a half page synopsis and will be judged on: Originality of ideas and approach, Understanding of dramatic construction, Plausibility of characters and dialogue, You will also need to submit: A 200 word proposal for a new soap or drama series or sitcom accompanied by the first five pages of a sample script, A 200 word critical review comparing two soap operas or a review of a long-running drama series or a recent sitcom episode demonstrating your knowledge and critical awareness of popular television drama, A CV giving details of your career history to date.
This is a part-time course divided into four 12-week semesters over two years. It is taught one day a week (usually on a Thursday), in a seminar group of around 15 students. In the first year you develop and script your own original television series and write ‘shadow’ episodes of existing television drama. Workshops are led by the course tutor and guest writers who encourage you to produce concept documents, synopses, outlines, scene-by-scenes and second draft scripts. In the second year you are divided into groups to undertake team writing, having chosen a subject from the many TV genres. There are workshops on commercial series analysis, screenplay structure, genre television, pitching and submission strategies. All students do the following modules: Learning Scriptwriting Techniques, Writing for Existing TV Series and Serials, Team-Writing an Original TV Series/Serial, Writing Situation Comedy and Comedy Drama, Writing for Other Television Genres and Markets, and a Final Script Project.
Contact Information
Institution De Montfort University
Faculty of Art, Design and Humanities
The Gateway

Tel: +44 (0) 116 257 7555
Fax: (0116) 257 7533
Department: Faculty of Art, Design and Humanities
Contact Email: adh@dmu.ac.uk