The MA in Scriptwriting is a dynamic, creative and practical course that offers students the chance to hone their writing for performance skills while also acquiring the necessary professional knowledge needed to negotiate the industry. Alongside completing a minimum of three polished scripts for theatre, radio and TV/Film, students also meet scriptwriting agents and industry specialists and learn how best to pitch their work in a highly competitive field. The MA also has a practical element in recognition of the importance of equipping Scriptwriters with the knowledge of how to produce their own work. Students have the opportunity to record their own radio plays, stage their theatre pieces and shoot and edit their TV/Film projects within the supportive environment of the University.
Most students accepted onto the course will have either a first degree or a thorough professional training in acting, theatre, television, or film. Some students, however, will be accepted on the basis of equivalent life experience. Applicants are asked to submit a twenty page script sample with their application form written for any medium.
Dramatic Structure. This module aims to give you a comprehensive understanding of how dramatic structure works within scriptwriting. You are introduced to dialogue, character, genre, and to the different mediums of theatre, radio, TV/Film. The emphasis here is to learn the basic tools necessary to tell a story in dramatic form. Students will be asked to read and view widely alongside the workshops for this module to help them to understand dramatic structure in principe and practise. Students are assessed for this module on a 5,000 word essay.
Theatre & Radio. This module is devoted to developing and workshoping students own work for the theatre and radio. Students are expected to read and comment on each others work and to voice their thougths and suggestions throughout the workshops. Students are assessed for this module on a 45 to 60 minute play or radio script.
Professional Skills.This module will show writers how to develop a career across a range of creative industries such as film, theatre, radio, television and gaming. They will learn how to pitch their ideas, to discuss their work engagingly and how to respond to notes and feedback constructively. They will be working with professional practitioners during the course to gain a real insight into what it means to be a professional writer in a variety of competitive Students will also choose a particular market, research it and use that material to write a 2,500 word essay which reflects their knowledge and insight into that market. This essay is marked as part of the course assessment alongside a Pitch exam.
Writing for the Screen. This module is devoted to developing and workshoping students own work for TV and Film. We pay particular attention to genre and the importance of visual storytelling. As before, students are expected to read and comment on each others work and to voice their thougths and suggestions throughout the workshops. Students are assessed for this module on a 30 to 60 minutes of a screenplay for TV or Film.
Final script. In this module each student writes a full length play, a full length film script, or the equivalent in television or radio. This script can be a development and reworking of earlier pieces, but will often be completely new work.
The final script can be for any medium.
The students work together to organise a showcase for September where they each produce a short exceprt of their work which can be for either radio, theatre, or TV/Film.
The pitch is done in a simulated industry conditions and is usually for the student´s Final Script.
There are several career options open to our graduates. While many of our students want to forge a career for themselves as professional Scriptwriters, others wish to work within the area of Script Editing / Development, theatre and film criticism or within education. Our past students have found work in a variety of these areas from seeing their own theatre work produced in local and international theatres and festivals to writing comedy sketches for prominent LA comedy shows and writing, directing and producing their own web series. Over the past five years several of our students have gone on to have their work produced and some have even managed to do this while still completing their MA. Others have found work within the script departments of TV/Film and Theatre Companies while others work as script readers, theatre/film reviewers and as creative writing tutors.
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