• CollegeLCC
  • Start dateSeptember 2018
  • Course length1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Screenwriting

MA Screenwriting is an industry-focused screenwriting course that develops writers and script editors for the film, television and radio industries.

About this course

This is one of the UK’s leading film and TV scripting courses with a strong reputation in the industry. Led by professionals with extensive experience, you will develop your writing skills and generate a unique portfolio of work.

Graduates of this course have gone on to win numerous awards both in the UK and internationally, have major film projects in active development and are writing for a number of programmes currently being screened on UK television. 

Student work

MA Screenwriting graduate Jez Freedman's comedy feature film 'Dough' is a Netflix new release, March 2017. The screenplay, written by Jez Freedman and Jonathan Benson, follows an ageing Jewish baker and his struggling business reach unexpected heights when he takes a chance on a young Muslim apprentice.

Story on LCC Blog: MA Screenwriting alumni go from LCC to the BBC and several are working on TV show Doctors.
Kitty Percy, an LCC MA Screenwriting alumna, won the Cordelia Award for her screenplay ‘Butter Side Up’
Image by Kitty Percy

Content

MA Screenwriting at London College of Communication is one of the UK’s leading film and TV scripting courses, with a strong reputation in the industry.

Graduates of MA Screenwriting have gone on to win numerous awards, both UK and international, work on major film projects in active development and are writing for a wide range of programmes currently being screened on UK television.

Leading the field, this industry-focused screenwriting course is aimed at developing writers for film, television and/or radio industries. The course will provide you with the opportunity to develop the abilities, knowledge and skills you will need for a career in scriptwriting.

What can you expect?

MA Screenwriting introduces you to the foundations of contemporary scriptwriting practice in theoretical context. 

You will develop research methodologies that will become the foundation for future practice and analysis. The course offers you the opportunity to study feature film, television and radio narrative, the development of a script from a short story and research, which lays the foundation for your major project. 

You will also complete a collaborative unit that reflects your specialist interests in scriptwriting and related topics, whilst engaging with the need to understand and communicate with the industry you wish to work in. 

In the last term of the course, you will undertake a Major Project that allows you to focus on a specialist area of interest that you identified during your previous study. You will write several drafts of an original screenplay for film or TV or a TV pilot episode(s) with format documents. In addition, you will engage in peer-to-peer review and the writing of reader reports.

Course units

Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credit and the maximum 60 credits. The MA course structure involves 7 units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, Term One

Unit summary:

  • Short Film: Process and Practice (20 credits)
  • Industry Knowledge, Skills and Methodologies (40 credits)

Spring, Term Two

Unit summary:

  • TV / Film / Radio: Adaptation - Existing Format - Process and Practice (20 credits)
  • TV / Film / Radio: Adaptation - Critical Analysis and Research Methodologies (20 credits)
  • Industry Knowledge, Skills and Methodologies (continued)
  • Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

Summer, Term Three

Unit summary:

  • TV / Film / Radio: Adaptation - Existing Format - Process and Practice (continued)
  • TV / Film / Radio: Adaptation - Critical Analysis and Research Methodologies (continued)
  • Industry Knowledge, Skills and Methodologies (continued)
  • Major Project - Applied Research (20 credits)
  • Major Project - Process and Practice (40 credits)

Autumn, Term Four

Unit summary:

  • Major Project - Applied Research (continued)
  • Major Project - Process and Practice (continued)

If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there are two possible exit awards. A Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded on successful completion of the first 120 credits.

Learning hours and tutorial support

You will typically spend 30% of the total study time on the course in lectures, workshops, tutorials and seminars.

The remainder of your time will be spent on research and independent study, background reading, practical writing and exercises. The workshop process will be used as a key source of feedback and critical analysis.

This will be supported by a programme of industrial context lectures and visiting speakers. You will be allocated a personal tutor at the start of each term and will have regular termly personal tutorials.

Attendance involves on average eight to ten hours each week, together with any specially scheduled evening and weekend and vacation study.

Staff

Course Leader

Kelly Marshall

Associate Lecturers

Mark Clompus, Peter Mills

Guest Lecturers

Many former students, now professional screenwriters, return to teach on the course which ensures it has a strong basis in the day-to-day practices of contemporary film and television production. In addition, we have visiting lecturers from the industry who regularly share their knowledge and experience.

 

How to apply

We ask all applicants to complete an online application and upload additional digital items, via the Apply now link, below.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process and the additional the items you would also need to supply.

All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  • Firstly they will look at your qualifications and transcript (or projected results) 
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and your written assignment

There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

REQUIRED INFORMATION FOR ALL POSTGRADUATE COURSE APPLICATIONS

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

  • 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 
  • CV 
  • Personal statement 

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

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

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will ask you for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas). 

EXTRA INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR APPLICATIONS TO THIS COURSE

You will need to add the following to your online application:

  • Written assignment

There is no requirement for either a portfolio or a study proposal

After you have submitted your application, the course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview or interview you via Skype, and will then make a decision on your application.

The admissions team will be in touch soon after that to let you know the outcome, and to guide you through the next steps.

START YOUR APPLICATION NOW

Applications are accepted and offers are made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Apply now

The online application can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t 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 press submit.

As you progress through the application process we will send you emails with important information, so do check your inbox regularly (and junk folder, just in case).

Entry requirements

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. MA Screenwriting attracts applicants who apply with an honours degree or with other equivalent qualifications. The course team also welcomes students with relevant experience who may have worked in industry, or those who have submitted high standard examples of their work.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate a clear and passionate commitment to the medium of screenwriting together with their intent to extend their knowledge in this subject matter. Detail of prior experience and/or study are required to indicate a clear desire to write for film, television and radio and to successfully complete this programme of study.

An applicant will be considered for admission if they have already achieved an educational level equivalent to an honours degree. It is preferable that you have a previous degree, but it is not essential. We also accept students based on their writing talent and the work they submit during their application.

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required. 

Language requirements (International/EU)

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score. 

  • IELTS 7.0, with 6.5 in each four skills is required.
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on the Language Requirements page.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

Selection Criteria

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • A clear and passionate commitment to the medium of screenwriting, together with your intent to extend your knowledge in this subject matter
  • Detailed prior experience and/or study required to indicate a clear desire to write for film, television and radio and to successfully complete this programme of study

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education, qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Screenwriting. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course. The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you have a strong interest in scriptwriting and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

Written Assignment

Part 1: Please submit ten pages of script – this can be from a short film or from a larger piece of work. If from a larger piece of work we ask that you also give a brief one-page (max) synopsis of the full project, together with the reason you chose this particular section for submission. For example, you may feel that these opening ten pages really set up the world and your characters.

Part 2: Please also submit a 2-4 page outline for a second additional project.

Interview advice

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone. 

Deferrals

Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2018/19 but wish to defer to 2019/20, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the deposit in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2019/20)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

What happens next?

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course. 

Fees and funding

Home / EU fee

£9,500 (2018/19)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

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 Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (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. For enquiries relating to ELQ fees, please complete the course enquiry form.

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you 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

A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Scholarships search

Career paths

A high percentage of MA Screenwriting graduates go on to work in the industry as writers, script editors, producers, development executives, directors and readers. Graduates are employed not only in the UK but also in Europe, around the world and even in Hollywood.

Our current and past students are also regularly nominated for national and international awards, in addition, won critically acclaimed awards such as the Emmy Award, Page Award and The Palme d’Or.

The course team and alumni of MA Screenwriting maintain strong links with industry and production companies including: Working Title, ITV, Tiger Aspect, Feelgood Fiction, BBC Film, BBC Drama, Trademark, Red Planet, Red Productions, World Productions and many more.

A high percentage of students who have obtained commissions also return as industry guest speakers or to teach on the course and to help ensure that there is a continual open channel between the ever-changing industry and our students.

UAL Jobs and Careers

UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:

Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.

Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.