• CollegeCSM
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length2 years (60 weeks)

MA Dramatic Writing

MA Dramatic Writing offers training and support for creative adventure and personal development. Since the course started, it has regularly engaged with industry professionals and visiting experts who work across a range of forms and contexts for dramatic writing. The course is focused on the craft and technical aspects of dramatic writing and seeks to develop the unique vision and voice of each individual student.

MA Dramatic Writing explores script writing and dramatic form with relevance across theatre, radio, film, television and digital media. Our aim is to help the next generation of writing talent and equip students with the confidence and self-awareness they will need to survive and thrive in industry. 

This course was revalidated in 2016/17.

This course is part of the Drama and Performance Programme.

Great reasons to apply

  • Training in diverse forms of Dramatic Writing – theatre, film, television, radio and digital media - involving tutors and professionals who are active in the industry and in practice
  • Links to theatres, television, radio and digital media organisations based in London, regionally and internationally
  • A dedicated, world-leading art and design educational institution that is rich in creative and cultural opportunity
  • A focus on your own portfolio of projects allowing you to build a personal profile
  • Students emerge fully equipped to pursue successful and sustainable careers as writers, and in related careers.

Course detail

All applicants considered for September 2017 entry will be applying for the newly revalidated version of the course. 

MA Dramatic Writing aspires to be at the forefront of dramatic writing training in the UK.

We achieve this by:

  • The best possible training in craft
  • Offering projects and partnerships  with industry professionals
  • Collaborations with other Drama Centre courses, in acting, directing, design and animation.

The course brings together industry professonials and tutors who have led on the training of Dramatic Writing in the UK and offers collaborations and partnerships, offering students a chance to build up connections and experience and to explore and be a part of new ideas developing in the dramatic writing industry.

The course aims to cover all of the skills you will need to pursue a successful and sustainable career as a writer.

In Unit One, students learn craft in diverse forms of dramatic writing (theatre, television, film, radio and digital media) and take part in industry projects.

In Unit Two, you will have the opportunity to pursue your own portfolio of work, exploring and developing your voice and vision as a writer and working in a way which replicates working practices in the industry.

Via this structure, our aim is to provide students with the skills, experience, connections, credits and portfolio of work they need to go on to pursue successful and sustainable careers as writers.

The course is also dedicated to exploring the best possible training of dramatic writers in the UK and staff and changing commissions and projects offer an exciting opportunity to work with the professionals and on the projects who are currently leading the way in the industry.

Our aim is for our graduates to go on to work in and become leaders and/or a part of the dramatic writing industry both in London, regionally and internationally.

Course structure

  • The course is of 60 weeks in duration, arranged across two academic years that consist of 6 terms of 10 weeks
  • MA Dramatic Writing is credit rated at 180 credits and is comprised of three units each running for 20 weeks and each valued at 60 credits
  • All units must be passed in order to achieve the MA, but the classification of the award of MA derives from your mark for Unit Three only.

Unit One: Skills and practice

This Unit examines the techniques, craft, issues and debates surrounding the theory and practice of dramatic writing, and dramatic storytelling. It covers different forms of Dramatic Writing – theatre, TV, film, radio, and digital media to empower the writer to engage meaningfully with the central, symbiotic relationship between character, action and story

Unit Two: Voice and vision

This unit progresses the writer’s personal project and portfolio pathway and engages with essential questions surrounding voice and identity, vision and ambitions. The focus is developed and agreed in consultation with lecturers and wherever possible professional mentoring. Students will develop their personal portfolio alongside continuing team and group collaboration in which work can be tried, tested, explored and reworked. Alongside, and integral to both will remain the ongoing exploration and conversation surrounding the principles of story, voice and craft. Unit two spans years one and two, and is the start of the flexible, tailored part of the course.

Unit Three: Final portfolio

This Unit constitutes an intensive period of study in which students will be able to finish developing, nurturing, exploring and realising not simply their craft, skills and practice, but their voice as a writer. Unit three finishes exploring what it means to forge and have a career as a dramatic writer.

Programme specification: MA Dramatic Writing 2018/19 (PDF 103kb)

Industry collaborations and projects

MA Dramatic Writing is unique in the extent to which it works with industry partners and collaborators.

Recent projects include:

Students will pursue similar industry collaborations and projects each year, building up a portfolio of contacts and experience in the industry, in how the industry works and in new and leading ideas taking place in London, regionally and internationally

Facilities

Staff

Acting Course Leader: Tony Clarke

Industry professionals and tutors who have taught on the course include:

Philip Shelley – who runs the Channel Four screenwriting course
Ola Animashawun – who founded the Royal Court Theatre’s Young Writers Programme
John Yorke – creator of the BBC Writers Academy and the former Controller of BBC Drama Production and Head of Drama at Channel Four
David Edgar – who created the UK’s first MA in Playwriting
Anthony Clark - Director and writer and Course Leader, MA Directing at Drama Centre London
Stephen Jeffreys – Literary Associate at the Royal Court Theatre for eleven years and creator of Masterclasses which have led the way in Playwriting teaching in the UK 
Caroline Jester – former Dramaturg at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and creator of REPwrite, the theatre’s new online dramatic writing programme.
Fin Kennedy – winner of the first Fringe First ever awarded for a schools production and co-Artistic Director of Tamasha Theatre Company
Lucy Kerbel – Director of Tonic Theatre and the creator of Advance and Platform
Kate Rowland – founder of BBC Writersroom and the former Creative Director of New Writing at the BBC
Steve Winter – Executive Director of the Kevin Spacey Foundation and the former Director of the Old Vic New Voices programme and co-creator of the Old Vic New Voices 24 Hour Plays and TS Eliot US/UK Exchange

How to apply

2018/19 entry

You can apply to this course using our online application form – the link to this is below.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the Entry Requirements section further down this page to learn about the application process which includes detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level);

Current and/or previous education and qualification details;

Employment history.

Before you can submit the form, you will also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.

You will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Personal statement

You will be required to submit a personal statement (1,000-1500 words) explaining your aspirations as a writer in the context of your understanding of the course and the profession.

Dramatic scripts

You will be required to submit two dramatic scripts written for any medium (theatre, film, television, related, digital platform), one of which must be of at least 20 minutes in length.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education and qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience.

References

This course requires at least 2 references one of which should be an academic or professional reference.

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form. 

Apply to MA Dramatic Writing

What happens next

We read and consider all applications. Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your application, selection is based on your documentation of work and supporting information. You may also be invited to attend an interview either in person or by skype.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

When to apply

We strongly recommend you apply before 30 June 2017. After that point we cannot guarantee your application will be considered.

Deferred entry

Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you're considering applying for deferred entry.

2018/19 entry

You can apply to this course using our online application form – the link to this is below.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the Entry Requirements section further down this page to learn about the application process which includes detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level);

Current and/or previous education and qualification details;

Employment history.

Before you can submit the form, you will also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

For further advice on how to apply please visit the UAL International Application page.

Immigration History form (for international applications only)

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an Immigration History form.

We will email you an Immigration History form when we receive your application.

You will need to send this back to us, by email, with copies of the following documents:

  • Your passport photo page
  • Your current visa (if you have one) and any previous UK study visas
  • Your current English language certificate (if you have this)
  • Your academic qualifications (A2, IB, high school diploma, foundation etc. - if completed. Translated into English).

Please note: If you do not complete and return your Immigration History form we will not be able to proceed with your application.

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.

You will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Personal statement

You’ll be required to submit a personal statement (1,000-1500 words) explaining your aspirations as a writer in the context of your understanding of the course and the profession.

Dramatic scripts

You will be required to submit two dramatic scripts written for any medium (theatre, film, television, related, digital platform), one of which must be of at least 20 minutes in length.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education and qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience.

References

This course requires at least 2 references one of which should be an academic or professional reference.

Start your application now

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form. 

Apply to MA Dramatic Writing

What happens next

We read and consider all applications.  Subject to your meeting the entry requirements and consideration of your application, selection is based on your documentation of work and supporting information. You may also be invited to attend an interview either in person or by skype.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

When to apply

We strongly recommend you apply before 30 June 2017. After that point we cannot guarantee your application will be considered.

Deferred entry

Entry can only be deferred in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us before submitting your application if you're considering applying for deferred entry.

Entry requirements

We are looking for applicants with a background or demonstrable interest in scriptwriting, development or production across theatre, film, television, radio and digital media. It particularly suits individuals interested in narrative art forms, it may also attract those involved in broader performance-related practices.

Appropriate related backgrounds include script development and dramaturgy, producing, directing, acting, creative writing.

Although we treat all work with the greatest care and respect, the college cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage to the work or documents you submit. Please therefore do not send any original documents.

Minimum entry requirements

Entry to MA Dramatic Writing requires you to have:

  • An Honours degree; or
  • Evidence of experiential learning equivalent to an Honours degree; or
  • 3 years relevant professional experience.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability in order to apply for a visa, enrol, and start your course. The English language requirement for entry for this course is:

IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in any one paper, or equivalent.

p>For further information visit the English Language requirements page.

Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the Visa and Immigration page which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.

Selection criteria

Your application will be assessed on the basis of:

  • The quality of your supporting material and statement
  • Your critical abilities and awareness of the cultural and social context within which you practice
  • Your communication skills and preparedness to participate collaboratively in debate and practice
  • Evidence that you have the confidence and ability to benefit from and contribute to the learning environment at postgraduate level.

Fees and funding

Home/EU fee

Tuition fees for 2018/19: £5,000 per annum. Please note that fees for second year of study will be subject to inflationary increase.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.

ELQ 

Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the 'ELQ' fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. If you have a query regarding the ELQ fee, please use our course enquiry form.

International fee

Tuition Fees for 2018/19: £12,430 per annum.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please read the information on our additional costs page.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarships search

Careers and alumni

Graduates from MA Dramatic Writing will be equipped to work with creativity and focus in diverse environments, and to design and explore their own ways of working, confident in building and maintaining working relationships, yet also aware of their unique role in being the ‘champions’ of the story.

The aspiration for graduates is that they are prepared to embark on professional practice as dramatic writers and storytellers with:

  • a knowledge of dramatic media and forms, an understanding of the landscape and practice of dramatic writing, and an insight into what constitutes successful writing and writers
  • a range of technical facilities and capabilities, such as script formatting, project planning, dramatic structure and re-writing
  • a body of practice-based projects, experience, and finished scripted works
  • an appreciation of their developing voice as an artist, with the imagination and confidence that such self-reflection can afford
  • a body of connections and experience with leading industry practitioners, projects and ideas.