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  1. Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting)
    1. 2016
    2. 2017
Courses

Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting)

MA |
Most drama writers move between media so that's what we do; join us to learn about writing for theatre, film and television.

Key Information

Start date

September 2016

Duration

Full time; 2 years

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.

UK/EU

Full-time: £6,000 per year

Non-EU

Full-time: £7,750 per year

Who is it for?

Creatively stimulating, challenging, and above all practical, this innovative two-year course provides a supportive and thought-provoking environment for playwrights and screenwriters to explore their ideas, develop their craft, and finish a full-length work to a high standard.

  • Skillset accredited
  • Taught and run by professional working writers
  • Multi-form: you will write drama for film, television & theatre increasing your employability on graduation
  • Intensively taught: six hours a week of classes in year one
  • You are mentored by a professional working playwright or screenwriter for the whole of Year Two
  • You will have an extract of your work directed by an experienced working director and performed by professional actors
  • Top guest speakers: the biggest names in the worlds of film, television and theatre visit the course
  • Your calling card: you graduate having written a full-length play or screenplay

skillset tickThe Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting) MA is accredited by Skillset, the Creative Industries' Sector Skills Council.

Objectives

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.

Accreditation

The Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting) MA is accredited by Skillset, the Creative Industries’ Sector Skills Council which means that students are eligible for the BAFTA Scholarship programme – successful applicants receive a bursary of up to £10,000, a BAFTA mentor, access to BAFTA events, plus a paid work placement at Warner Bros UK.

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

You will usually have an Honours degree in any subject. Successful completion of a certificate course in creative writing, professional qualifications or relevant experience, such as acting or directing or writing professionally may also be acceptable. The prime criteria are proven ability and commitment to completing a play or screenplay. Mature students are encouraged to apply. If in doubt about your qualifications please contact us before applying.

English requirements

For students whose first language is not English an IELTS score of at least 7.0 is required (with 7.0 in the writing component).

Please note that due to changes in the UKVI's list of SELTs we are no longer able to accept TOEFL as evidence of English language for students who require a CAS as of April 2014.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK, you cannot undertake any City courses on a part-time basis.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

MA Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting)

Please note, you can apply either in hard copy by post or online. Please follow the instructions below carefully.

How to apply

To apply for a place on the MA in Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting), you must submit the following:

  1. One application form. You can download a pdf version of the application form or apply online by following the links below.
  2. An explanation in no more than 200 words of why you think you would benefit from the course. Please write this in the "Statement in Support of Application" section of the application form.)
  3. A sample of your creative writing: please submit a 20-page play or screenplay extract. Applications won't be considered without a writing sample.

Please ensure that your name is on every page and that the work is a copy as it cannot be returned. Either submit your writing sample with your postal application, attach a Word document to your online application, or email your writing sample

Application process


Your application will be processed as soon as it is received, and you may be invited to attend an interview if you are shortlisted. (International students may be interviewed on the phone.)

Please note: Academic references are not required when you submit your application. However, the admissions tutor may request them at a later date to help make a decision on your application.

Application forms

Return address

Please return your application form and/or supporting documents, marked "Postgraduate Applications 2016", to:

Admissions
Centre for Creative Writing
City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
UK

Mentored
by a professional working playwright or screenwriter in year two
Performance
an extract of your work directed by an experienced director and performed by actors
Intensive
six hours of classes a week in year one

Funding

Explore up-to-date information about funding options, available financial support and typical living costs.

More about funding

For up-to-date information about tuition fees, living costs and financial support, visit Postgraduate Fees and Finance.

Future Finance Loans

Future Finance offers students loans of between £2,500 and £40,000 to help cover tuition fees and living expenses. All students and courses are considered. All loans are subject to credit checks and approval for further details please visit the City Finance website.

Scholarships

  • Students on this course are eligible to apply for the BAFTA Scholarship Programme. Successful applicants receive £10,000, a BAFTA industry mentor and free access to UK BAFTA events for a year, plus a paid work placement at Warner Bros.
  • Scholarship opportunities will be available for UK/EU and international students looking to study postgraduate courses in the School of Arts & Social Sciences starting in September 2016.

Student views

Kerry Barlow

Kerry Barlow talks about studying Playwriting and Screenwriting MA

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Teaching and learning

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 this Creative Writing MA course is the requirement to finish a full-length play or screenplay. The course culminates in a showcase of your work to an audience of industry professionals and other interested parties.

Visiting Lecturers include:

  • Dr Terry Bailey (TV Writer, director and producer. He has worked internationally and with the BBC. His play, Grave Men, Near Death, was staged last year.)
  • Penny Gold (writer, dramaturg, director and producer. She has worked in theatre, television, film and radio).
  • Jim Hill (writer and director of popular television drama and is perhaps best known as the co-creator of the successful series Boon).
  • David Lane (professional playwright and dramaturg, and  has been a Literary Associate to established London and regional new writing companies such as Soho Theatre & Writers' Centre and Theatre and Beyond in Brighton).

Assessment includes participation in lectures, seminars and workshops; of work on presentations; set exercises and own script proposal.

Modules

You will take three modules (Writing Workshop, Dramatic Writing and Storytelling) and be taught for six hours a week. There will be tutorials alongside this in all 3 terms. You will create a 10 minute film as well as a 10 minute play.

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 this you will participate in workshops.

Year 1

  • Dramatic Writing
  • Writing Workshop
  • Storytelling
  • Own Play or Script

Year 2

  • Own Play or Script
  • The Production Business.
  • Academic expert
    Programme Director, MA Creative Writing (Playwriting & Screenwriting) working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Academic expert
    Senior Lecturer working in the School of Arts and Social Sciences.
  • Drama Development at CBBC
    The course gave me the confidence, skills and vocabulary I needed to work with scripts and writers on a daily basis.
  • Story Producer on Holby City
    I love the work that I do - and I'm very grateful to City.

Career prospects

MA Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting) graduates' achievements and work performed

2016

  • Graduate Pauline Radley has a ten minute play performed at Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire, as part of the Capability Brown celebrations.
  • Graduate Aisha Zia received a grant from Brookleaze and her new play Besieged is on at the Arcola Theatre.
  • Graduate Dianna Hunt’s graduation play has been programmed in the Talawa Arts Festival.
  • First year student Natalie Ekberg’s play Diversifications was showcased by Page to Stage.
  • First year student Elaine Clayton’s short script Pop Goes the Question was optioned by a film-maker based in New Jersey. Elaine also came second in a Player-Playwright’s play competition on dystopia. And a short film she wrote The Christmas Spirit won two US student awards.
  • First year student Natalie Beech’s short play Collegiate was part of a short play evening at the Arcola Theatre.
  • Three Graduates Mark Hibbert, Emma Morgan and Nikki Racklim showcased 6 new short plays in the University Performance Space in March.
  • Graduate Lars T Moen had his graduation screenplay Ant Farm optioned by US Company Cranium Entertainment.
  • Graduate Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor produced the short film House Girl.
  • Graduate Tracy Mathewson crowd-funded the budget for her short film Appellation.
  • Graduate Nagwa Malik has had a new book The Mist Stage Two: The Culmination published on Smashwords.
  • Graduate Cheryl White’s films include Before Babel (2013) which won Best Short at the Kent and Rye Film Festival International film festival 2015; Winner of Best Film and Most Innovative Film at WOW Festival 2014.
  • Graduate Vickie Donoghue has a short play Weaklings coming up in a programme of new plays at the Sheffield Crucible in June.
  • Graduate Natalie Stan’s play After the Blue was on at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London in January. It was produced by MA graduate Matilda Velevitch.
  • Graduate Annalisa D’Innella’s play for Radio 4, THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, was selected as The Radio Times Critic’s Choice and is currently long listed for The Imison Award 2016. Her original screenplay Paper Flowers has been awarded a Media Development Grant.

Visit the Centre for English website for full details of the tutorial staff, the latest student success stories, our industry links, and much more.


MA Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting)

Please note, you can apply either in hard copy by post or online. Please follow the instructions below carefully.

How to apply

To apply for a place on the MA in Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting), you must submit the following:

  1. One application form. You can download a pdf version of the application form or apply online by following the links below.
  2. An explanation in no more than 200 words of why you think you would benefit from the course. Please write this in the "Statement in Support of Application" section of the application form.)
  3. A sample of your creative writing: please submit a 20-page play or screenplay extract. Applications won't be considered without a writing sample.

Please ensure that your name is on every page and that the work is a copy as it cannot be returned. Either submit your writing sample with your postal application, attach a Word document to your online application, or email your writing sample

Application process


Your application will be processed as soon as it is received, and you may be invited to attend an interview if you are shortlisted. (International students may be interviewed on the phone.)

Please note: Academic references are not required when you submit your application. However, the admissions tutor may request them at a later date to help make a decision on your application.

Application forms

Return address

Please return your application form and/or supporting documents, marked "Postgraduate Applications 2016", to:

Admissions
Centre for Creative Writing
City, University of London
Northampton Square
London
EC1V 0HB
UK

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