Search
Search type

School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Student with headphones on working at a laptop
MA Screenwriting
Specialist training designed to present a genuine gateway into the film and television industries.

MA Screenwriting

Year of entry: 2017

Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Arts
Duration
12 months full-time.
Entry requirements
Applicants should hold a good, Upper Second Class Honours degree, or its overseas equivalent.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Please refer to the following School page regarding subject-specific requirements. These are in addition to the basic prerequisites as shown under entry requirements:     

http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/study/masters/applying/

For references, please email the following link to your referees:

References for master's applications

They will submit your references directly to us and we will add them to your application.

Please use the  Online Application Form   to apply. Once you register, you can search for the course to which you wish to apply and upload the required supporting documents towards the end of this process.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MA Y N N N

Course overview

  • You want a specialist master's that provides a gateway into the film and television industries
  • You're interested in developing the tools to be able to analyse and critique screenwriting craft
  • You're looking to work with leading industry practitioners to develop your screenwriting, pitching and story-breaking skills

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2017, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MA (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £9,750
    International students (per annum): £17,000

Scholarships/sponsorships

Each year, the School offers a number of bursaries set at Home/EU fees level, open to both Home/EU and international students. Details of the funding process can be found on the   School's funding page  where you can also check details of subject specific bursaries.

The Manchester Alumni Scholarship offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a 1st within the last three years and are progressing to a postgraduate taught masters course for September 2017 entry.

See also   the University's postgraduate funding database   for more funding opportunities, including the latest information on the new Government Postgraduate Loan Scheme.

Contact details

Academic department
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Contact name
PG Taught Admissions
Telephone
0161 275 0322
Email
Website
http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/centrefornewwriting/
Academic department overview

See: About us

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

Applicants should hold a good, Upper Second Class Honours degree, or its overseas equivalent.

English language

An overall grade of 7.0 (with a minimum writing score of 7) in IELTS is required or 100+ in the TOEFL iBT with a minimum writing score of 25.

If you have obtained a different qualification, please check our  English language requirements  to ensure that it is accepted and equivalent to the above requirements.

English language test validity

Some English language test results are only valid for two years. Your English language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

Application and selection

How to apply

Please refer to the following School page regarding subject-specific requirements. These are in addition to the basic prerequisites as shown under entry requirements:     

http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/study/masters/applying/

For references, please email the following link to your referees:

References for master's applications

They will submit your references directly to us and we will add them to your application.

Please use the  Online Application Form   to apply. Once you register, you can search for the course to which you wish to apply and upload the required supporting documents towards the end of this process.

Advice to applicants

Please note that this course teaches during business hours and does not offer distance learning.

The part-time mode of attendance aims to concentrate contact time onto two days.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries that equate to a UK 2.1. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

If English is not your first language, please provide us with evidence of:

  • an overall grade 7.0 (with a minimum writing score of 7) in IELTS; or
  • 100+ in the IBT Internet-based TOEFL).

The other language tests we accept can be found here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/new-approved-english-tests.pdf

Exceptions to needing a language test (if English is NOT your first language) are:

  • if you have successfully completed an academic qualification deemed by UK NARIC as equivalent to at least a UK Bachelors Degree or higher from one of the following countries:

Antigua & Barbuda; Australia; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; UK; USA.

Portfolio requirements

Applicants should submit:

1. Three original ideas for film(s) or TV Drama Series (each 1 or 2 pages long).

Applicants should include the title of film and a logline describing it for the poster; where the film is set; when the film is set (e.g. contemporary/period); what genre the film is. (eg Drama/Comedy/Sci-Fi) and what it is about thematically.

2. One A4 page on why you want to do the MA including references to films and TV series that have influenced and interested you. 

3. A separate writing sample (no less than 10 pages of screenplay format) to demonstrate that you can write dramatic scenes and dialogue. This writing sample could be a screenplay draft of one of the ideas you are applying with, or of another screenplay, theatre play, TV/radio drama, short film. It should demonstrate your potential and your ability to create characters, lively dialogue and tell a story dramatically. 

4. CV / biography.

If you have any questions about portfolio requirements please contact us .

Course details

Course description

Application closing date: August 11, 2017.  

The only course of its kind offered by a Russell Group University, our MA in Screenwriting is an intensive one-year training programme designed to professionalise writers and present a genuine gateway into the film and television industries. Over the course of the year, students will work with leading industry practitioners to develop their screenwriting, pitching and story-breaking skills. By the end of the programme, each student will have developed a full length feature film screenplay, a pilot TV episode and two short films. Like all courses at the Centre for New Writing, this programme is taught by practitioners and as such it is vocationally-oriented and industry-focused. Students will have access to individual career guidance and training in how to navigate entry-level work in both the television and film industries.

The course includes regular speakers from the industry which last year included Beth Pattinson BBC Films ( Brooklyn, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Philomena ), Chris Chibnall (writer and creator of Broadchurch) and Pete Czernin, producer of In Bruges and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (1 and 2).  

The course runs across two twelve week long semesters, during which students will attend weekly writing workshops in which they will study the very best of contemporary screenwriting, including shows such as Breaking Bad, True Detective, The Killing, Broadchurch, This is England, Rev, Transparency and The Sopranos. They will also cover British and American examples of charismatic film screenwriting from Goodfellas to The King's Speech via Alien .

In the second semester there will be a London industry day based at BAFTA with talks from agents, producers, and writers as well as a meeting with the BFI.

Students will study story design, visual story-telling and character arcs in both long-running television series and feature films. They will develop the tools to be able to analyse and critique screenwriting craft, and learn how to disseminate their own work. There will be weekly film screenings, and students will have access to an excellent lending library of films to watch at home. Through the duration of the course students will develop a broad and eclectic knowledge of cinema and television.

We intend to keep learning as specific to individual study as possible and study groups will be intentionally small in scale. The course capacity is limited to twelve students each year and you will be taught through a mixture of screenings, lectures and group discussion. Our `writers' room' ethos ensures an environment that encourages collaboration, sharing and creative risk-taking.

Importantly, each summer, we offer students a two week `hands-on' industry placement at a renowned film or TV production company either in London or the North West. Current partners include Film4 ( Room. Ex_Machina, The Lobster) , Wildgaze (Brooklyn) , Number 9 Films (Carol) , Left Bank (The Crown), Warp (This is England) , Red Productions ( Happy Valley, Scott and Bailey ), and  Hammer Films ( The Woman in Black , Let Me In ). These placements are an excellent opportunity for students to make useful contacts, and to develop a practical and direct understanding of the professional context within which screenwriters ply their trade.

Coursework and assessment

To complete the MA, students are required to take 180 credits in total. They will take two semesters of courses consisting of workshops/tutorials and seminars. There are 60 credits in the first semester and 30 in the second with 90 for the dissertation.

  • All writing workshops meet for three hours per week.
  • Workshops will help students add to their portfolio by including adaptations, scenes, draft scripts, script reports, and genre presentations. 
  • Each workshop is assessed by a portfolio which will include pitches, treatments, scenes, draft scripts, script reports and notes on how to progress a draft.
  • Seminars also meet for three hours per week.
  • Students will also be offered two individual half- to one-hour tutorials per semester in order to discuss the progress of their writing.

Over the summer students complete a 'dissertation' which consists of a final revised version of a full-length screenplay. This is worth 60 credits.

Course unit details

In both semesters all students take a weekly writing workshop and a parallel seminar on craft. Both are 3 hours long. All teaching takes place on Monday or Tuesday.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation (Screen Writing) ENGL70000 90 Mandatory
Story and the Journey of Change ENGL70701 30 Mandatory
The Calling Card Script and Television ENGL70712 30 Mandatory
Genre and Theme ENGL70801 30 Mandatory

Additional fee information

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2017, the tuition fees are as follows:
  • MA (full-time) UK/EU students (per annum): £9,750 International students (per annum): £17,000

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

This programme is designed to train its graduates to work in the UK film and television industries. Some will work as professional screenwriters, others may take up other, related, positions.