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Masters Degrees (Playwriting)

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The Masters in Playwriting & Dramaturgy gives you a practical and theoretical engagement with the many forms of writing and production for theatre. Read more
The Masters in Playwriting & Dramaturgy gives you a practical and theoretical engagement with the many forms of writing and production for theatre. The programme is designed for those wishing to develop playwriting skills and knowledge of script development and support, opening the way to many theatre roles, including dramaturgy.

Why this programme

◾Theatre Studies at Glasgow is one of the longest-established theatre programmes in the UK. Our internationally renowned reputation for research, practice and teaching ensures an ideal environment for the pursuit of Masters study.
◾A significant part of the programme is delivered by professional writers and dramaturges, ensuring you engage with a wide variety of practices and that the programme content is relevant and up to date with the latest trends in theatre.
◾The programme includes the opportunity for playwrights to develop a major script, through workshops and staged readings with actors and directors.
◾In addition to masterclasses and workshops with external specialists, the work placement or internship builds on our long-term links and collaborations with an extensive number of theatre practitioners and arts organisations, including the National Theatre of Scotland, the Playwrights’ Studio, the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), The Tron and the Citizens’ Theatre.
◾The city of Glasgow provides an unbeatable location for the programme. Glasgow is home to a huge variety of theatres and nationally significant theatre organisations that produce and show a range from the experimental and risky to the traditional and repertory, from canonical and new writing to devised and physical performance.

Programme structure

Our programme is the only one in Scotland that combines playwriting with dramaturgy. You will undertake core practical playwriting courses and core dramaturgy courses before choosing to specialise in one pathway.

A significant part of the programme is delivered by professional writers and dramaturges. This programme also includes the opportunity for playwrights to develop a major script, through workshops and staged readings with actors and directors.

Core teaching is delivered in two semesters, followed by an independent desk- or practice-based project.

Our core courses introduce you to the foundations of both playwriting as a craft, and dramaturgy as a historical and contemporary practice.

In addition, core courses develop other skills useful to the role of the dramaturg and the practitioner, including critical reading, writing and reflection, independent research skills (such as archival and audience research), and presentation skills.

These courses will also prepare you to pursue doctoral study in the future.

Courses include
◾Playwriting
◾Dramaturgy: Histories and Practices
◾Reading and Interpreting Performance
◾Dramaturgical Work Placement
◾Research Methods
◾Independent Research Project.

Career prospects

The design of the Playwriting & Dramaturgy programme is intended to develop both the practical and critical skills of students. There is both subject-specific development (including knowledge of playwriting as a craft and dramaturgy as a role, working knowledge of the playwriting process, in-depth knowledge of plays and processes of textual and production analyses) alongside more generic skills development (including presentation skills – written and oral, a capacity for critical reflection, project management, team work, and independent research skills).

Theatre studentsThe role of the dramaturg is becoming increasingly recognised within the theatre industries, as is the capacity of playwrights to apply their skills and knowledge to other tasks (including, for example, providing script development support for emerging writers). This programme aims to equip playwrights and potential dramaturges with knowledge of other writing roles in theatre.

The critical components of this programme also provide a good foundation for students wishing to progress to doctoral study.

Graduates of this programme have gone on to become commissioned playwrights, production dramaturges, theatre critics, literary advisors, doctoral students, theatre makers and academics.

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In considering a masters in playwriting within the Drama Division there are several principals that apply. Read more
In considering a masters in playwriting within the Drama Division there are several principals that apply. The first is that writing - the writing of dramatic work - is an essential component of each year, with the understanding that in attempting to grasp the playwriting form, writing itself will be the most instructive element. This program also encourages a thorough knowledge of dramaturgy - the study of both plays as they exist as written text, as well as plays as they exist in production and performance. Therefore, each year there is a required element of analysis and dramaturgy. Students will be required to act as the dramaturge of one of the Division's Mainstage presentations, as well as observe and research dramaturgy in action at one of the professional new works studios in the area.

The first year would require students to take classes in Methods in Theatre Research, Advanced Script Analysis and Selected Problems in Playwriting. The culmination of the first year would result in a selected project of a one act play. As part of this project, playwriting students would be required to partner with the student directors, and consult with this director as the play was directed and produced. In year two work is expected to continue through the summer so that each graduate student will return in the fall with a detailed scenario of their full length project, which will become their Thesis project along with a submission of a written research paper.

Prospective Students

Drama’s 10 permanent faculty members have a diversity of research interests and practices, maintaining profiles in both the professional and scholarly theatre communities. MFA students can select to study in one of four specializations: Directing, Design/Technical, Theatre Studies and Playwriting. Each program offers a great deal of flexibility, exciting opportunities and contact with faculty members. Drama maintains a full production schedule through the skilled technical and teaching contributions of 5 full-time professional staff. Facilities include 3 theatre spaces, full costume, properties and scene shops and the Integrated Arts Media Lab. All MFA students have office space in the School and access to computer facilities.

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Led by some of the country's leading teachers and practitioners in the field, this course is designed for aspiring playwrights and dramaturgs as well as those who want to gain an intensive, hands-on training in playwriting. Read more
Led by some of the country's leading teachers and practitioners in the field, this course is designed for aspiring playwrights and dramaturgs as well as those who want to gain an intensive, hands-on training in playwriting.

Studying at the UK's largest drama department, you will enhance your skills in writing for performance by developing your own plays in a variety of different forms and styles, from stage to radio, the traditional single-authored play to writing for devised theatre and live art. Students will be taught by experienced, professionally-produced and published playwrights. Recent visitors to the college have included Simon Stephens, April de Angelis, Roy Williams, Dennis Kelly, Martin Crimp, David Eldridge, Linda McLean, David Greig, Howard Barker, Michael Frayn and Duncan Macmillan.

All students complete an independently-researched dissertation, which offers a further opportunity to develop your own area of specialist interest.

The class is normally taught in the College’s London base in Bedford Square.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/dramaandtheatre/coursefinder/maplaywriting.aspx

Why choose this course?

- The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise ranked the majority of the Department's research activities as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*).

- Royal Holloway has the largest Drama Department in the UK with 25 academic members of staff working at the cutting edges of the discipline.

- We foster an excellent research environment and support a vibrant community of postgraduate and doctoral students.

- The topics taught reflect the research excellence of the course faculty and our distinctive commitment to nurturing critically-informed practice.

- You will benefit from a range of unique performance spaces which include a traditional Japanese Noh theatre, a fully equipped black box studio and the substantial Victorian Boilerhouse.

Department research and industry highlights

- The department has strong links with a range of theatre companies, organisations and practitioners and regularly invites visiting speakers and practitioners to work with students.

- There are a number of active research groups in the department that organise a range of activities each year addressing specific subject areas and research questions.

- Members of the academic staff are leading researchers in the field of theatre and performance practice.

Course content and structure

You will study three core course units and complete a dissertation.

Core course units:
- Playwriting (25%)
This unit is taught over the two teaching terms and assessed through a portfolio of theatrical and performance texts, accompanied by written analysis of this work.

- Making Performance Texts (25%)
You will explore alternative means of generating performance text – for devising, live art, physical theatre, for example. Support will be offered through intensive practical workshops by visiting practitioners.

- Theatre Contexts, Histories, Practices (25%)
This unit examines the relationship between theatre theory and practice and is assessed through practice and written work.

- Dissertation (25%)
Students on the MA Playwriting programme write a full-length play with an accompanying substantial essay (6-7000 words). This work is supported by a non-weighted methodologies course.

On completion of the course graduates will have:
- enhanced and applied their skills as reflective playwrights
- worked in a range of different theatrical/dramaturgical contexts
- developed their understanding of contemporary playwriting and its contexts
- explored the scope of theatre studies and its critical and research methodologies
- developed their ability to undertake independent research and analysis.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including essays and performance analyses, practical projects as well as a final dissertation. Practical projects are sometimes carried out in a group and may include an element of assessment for an individual’s contribution to group working and direction. You will undertake a summer term practical project.

Employability & career opportunities

Our graduates are highly employable and, in recent years, have entered many different drama and theatre-related areas, including careers in professional theatre, training and education. This course also equips you with a solid foundation for continued PhD studies and many of our students go on to advanced research.

How to apply

Applications for entry to all our full-time postgraduate degrees can be made online https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/studyhere/postgraduate/applying/howtoapply.aspx .

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Delve into the world of the London playwright on a postgraduate degree that gives you the opportunity to write and perform a staged reading of a full-length play. Read more

Delve into the world of the London playwright on a postgraduate degree that gives you the opportunity to write and perform a staged reading of a full-length play.

Why study Playwriting?

Playwriting gives you the space, time and support needed to write your first full-length play. The Degree delves into the world of the playwright – reading and watching live theatre in London, investigating the fringe and new writing ‘scene’.

This Master's programme also offers a range of practical exercises to challenge and inspire you before writing your own final piece.

Why St Mary's?

Drama St Mary’s offers a range Drama training programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Our courses aim to offer the very best academic and practical instruction, underpinned by a supportive university environment. The programmes are taught by an experienced team of academics and a collection of professional visiting practitioners.

London is the theatre capital of the world, allowing you to benefit from a diverse variety of theatre and art. The degree expands on our established links with London theatre venues and organisations, giving you the most relevant and up-to-date training.

Drama St Mary's also offers Master's degrees in Theatre Directing (in collaboration with the Orange Tree Theatre) and London Theatre.

Requirements, fees and funding

Please check our website for more information about entry requirements, tuition fees and student funding.

Career opportunities

Drama St Mary’s graduates have gone on to work in a range of related arts industries. Our courses prepare students to find consistent, professional work in their chosen field.

The module The Business of Playwriting aims to introduce students to a range of new writing networks as well as look closely at funding for projects, commissions, publishing and being a writer every day.



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The MLitt in Playwriting and Screenwriting is a one-year taught programme run by the School of English. The course consists of two semesters with taught components followed by an individual creative writing project taking place over the whole year, but with particular focus during the last three months. Read more

The MLitt in Playwriting and Screenwriting is a one-year taught programme run by the School of English. The course consists of two semesters with taught components followed by an individual creative writing project taking place over the whole year, but with particular focus during the last three months.

The MLitt will provide you with technically-oriented tuition by leading contemporary playwrights and world-class academics, with an emphasis on best practice in recent and contemporary writing.

Those interested in writing prose or poetry may instead wish to consider taking the Creative Writing MLitt.

Highlights

  • Individual mentors help you to hone your creative practice and to further develop your expressive voice.
  • The course emphasises best practice in recent and contemporary writing, and modules are taught by award-winning professional playwrights.
  • Small class sizes of three to ten students allows for extremely high levels of individual attention.
  • The MLitt year makes full use of being in a theatre building, with the majority of the course being delivered in the Byre Theatre Studio.
  • Students have the opportunity to meet and work with professional theatre directors, actors and writers while studying in St Andrews.

Teaching format

Teaching methods include seminars, workshops and individual tutorials. Class sizes typically range from three to ten students, ensuring high levels of individual attention. Modules are assessed through sample scenes, play scripts, screenplays and essays. 

Students will participate in a number of theatre visits and will be required to meet additional costs of approximately £200.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2017–2018 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2018 entry.



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This course is designed to equip students of exceptional talent with the skills necessary to pursue a career in theatre and related industries through the development of skills, professional practices and creative approaches to writing for performance. Read more
This course is designed to equip students of exceptional talent with the skills necessary to pursue a career in theatre and related industries through the development of skills, professional practices and creative approaches to writing for performance.

It encourages a self-reflexive approach to learning with a view to developing independent thinking practitioners of theatre. Through a series of skills-based writing workshops and tutorials with professional playwrights, directors and a dramaturge the individual voice of the student writer will be nurtured and developed. Classes in dramaturgy and contemporary theatre practice will supplement the training. The course will culminate in the writing of a performance for the student’s chosen medium that will benefit from staged readings, rehearsals, staging or recording.

Students on the course will work in a dedicated space for writers in The Lir building. In addition to the core classes and workshops, individual tuition from The Lir’s dramaturge will be a key feature of the training. In addition, master classes by visiting practitioners will supplement the student experience. Students can opt to take this course either part-time (24 months) or full-time (12 months).

Master in Fine Art Playwriting

Full-time and part-time students will take three concurrent modules in the first two semesters. The fourth module will be taught in the third semester and subsequent summer months (for full-time students) or in the second year of the course (for part-time students). The fourth module will be supplemented by an ongoing series of masterclasses from professional writers and script editors.

Contemporary Theatre Practice

This module will introduce students to a range of contemporary theatre practices as evidenced in the theatres of Dublin. The principal aim of the course is to enable students to become conversant in the styles, forms, theories and practices that constitute contemporary theatre making in Ireland. In addition, students will be introduced to a range of dramatic production in related media (radio, television and film) whose styles and forms will be analysed in this module. The Contemporary Theatre Practice module is shared by all Master in Fine Art students (directors, designers and playwrights).

Dramaturgy

This module will be taught by a professional dramaturge. Its aim is to introduce students to a range of dramatic texts for the theatre or related media with an emphasis on the dramaturgical composition of those texts. An understanding of the contexts within which those dramaturgical strategies were produced will also be fostered. This seminar-based module requires students to examine key problems related to the creation and structure of scripts for performance. Students will consider a variety of theories regarding dramatic structure, consider the research requirements of script creation, explore different approaches to script development and learn to apply a dramaturgical vocabulary to a number of case studies.

Writing Workshop

The overall aim of the module is to prepare students for the writing of a play for performance in Module 4. Students will share their creative writing in a workshop format, and will receive both group feedback and individual tuition in the development of their craft. The module includes: creative workshops; developing an awareness of the professional writing context; developing an explicit, personal aesthetic; and offers the possibilities for writing in numerous professional contexts (theatre, education, community), and for various media (theatre and recorded media). This module also outlines career development and group or self critique; it introduces research skills, rehearsal etiquette and re-drafting.

Play

This module will be taught through individual supervision of the writing of a student’s full-length play (of between 45 and 90 minutes performing time). The play will be submitted for examination along with a reflective journal of the student’s practice. The development of the script will be aided by the involvement of professional actors and directors in the redrafting process. The module will culminate in a rehearsed reading of a selection of students’ work in a semi-staged showcase to an invited audience of theatre professionals. This showcase, which does not form part of the assessment, is designed to bridge the gap between training and the theatre and related industries.

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Develop as a playwright by learning with professional and award-winning dramatists. On our MA Playwriting you produce a varied portfolio of dramatic works, culminating in a full-length original play, which will enable you to hone and develop your own unique voice. Read more
Develop as a playwright by learning with professional and award-winning dramatists. On our MA Playwriting you produce a varied portfolio of dramatic works, culminating in a full-length original play, which will enable you to hone and develop your own unique voice.

At Essex, we believe that the joint engagement of practice and theory produces a deep understanding of how drama works. We combine critical study of dramatic texts with practical workshops, so that you nurture your understanding of the playwright’s craft in order to produce your own new work.

Our course focuses on the range of possibilities that exist for contemporary drama, with an emphasis on British and Irish drama, and you also explore topics including:
-The principles of dramatic structure and scene construction (dialogue, the construction of plot, the development of character, development of themes, and the structure of scenes)
-Techniques for working as a playwright with youth and community groups
-The origins and possibilities of poetic theatre and verse drama
-Options for poetic practice or novel-writing
-Radio drama

At the end of the course your work will be rehearsed and given a public performance in the Lakeside Theatre at our Colchester Campus. Your dissertation gives you the chance to write a full-length play with one-to-one supervision from an award-winning playwright tutor.

We are ranked Top 10 in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2015), and three-quarters of our research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).

Our expert staff

Our academic tutors tutors include:
-Professor Jonathan Lichtenstein is a playwright who has written for Radio 4 and the National Theatre. His awards include a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival and his plays have been performed internationally.
-Elizabeth Kuti is also a playwright. She has won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Stewart Parker Radio Award; and has been commissioned by the National Theatre; the Abbey Theatre, Dublin; and BBC radio. She also writes and researches in the field of eighteenth-century theatre.
-Liam Jarvis is Artistic Director of Analogue Theatre and a playwright and theatre practitioner. He also writes and publishes widely on contemporary theatre theory and practice.
-Annie Eddington and Barbara Peirson have professional specialisms in Theatre-in-Education, directing, theatre and human rights. Other staff members bring expertise in acting, producing and technical theatre.

We also invite professional playwrights and other theatre practitioners to provide you with specialist master classes. Recent class leaders have included Max Stafford-Clark, David Eldridge, Paul Sirett, Lisa Goldman, David Thacker, Mike Attenborough, Annie Castledine, Bobby Baker, Robert Holman, Tony Casement, and Gari Jones.

Specialist facilities

-Our on-campus Lakeside Theatre is a major venue for drama, staging productions by professional touring companies and new work written, produced and directed by our own staff and students
-Our Student Company runs weekly practical workshops, enabling drama enthusiasts to get involved in both front-of-house and behind the scenes
-Our Research Laboratory allows you to collaborate with professionals, improvising and experimenting with new work as it develops
Access the University’s Media Centre, equipped with state-of-the-art studios, cameras, audio and lighting equipment, and an industry-standard editing suite
-Write for our student newspaper The Rabbit or host a Red Radio show
-View classic films at weekly film screenings in our dedicated 120-seat film theatre
-Hear writers talk about their craft and learn from leading specialists at weekly research seminars

Your future

This course will be of interest to those who wish to pursue a career in many areas of the arts, creative writing and media.

A number of our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies graduates have gone on to undertake successful careers as scholars, university lecturers, teachers, publishers, publishers’ editors, journalists, arts administrators, theatre artistic directors, drama advisers, and translators.

We also offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MA by dissertation in different literatures and various approaches to literature, covering most aspects of early modern and modern writing in English, plus a number of other languages.

Our University is one of only 11 AHRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK. This means that we offer funded PhD studentships which also provide a range of research and training opportunities.

We work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

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Our two-year MFA gives you the opportunity to launch your career as a playwright with a full run in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Read more
Our two-year MFA gives you the opportunity to launch your career as a playwright with a full run in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

This course has been launched to extend a great opportunity for trainee playwrights. Working in the heart of the festival city, there will be time to work with actors on all years of the BA Acting & English and the BA Acting for Stage & Screen courses. You will be working in a variety of ways, and working alongside trainee directors to workshop and stage new work. You'll have dedicated, industry-recognised mentors providing support throughout your training time and you’ll be studying in one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the world.

What you'll learn

The course is structured over five trimesters and along with many opportunities to write in various styles on a number of projects, you will study:
• Dramatic Story and Structure
• Script Analysis
• Applied Playwriting
• Professional Preparation
• Festival Production

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Careers

While we can’t predict the future, we can be certain that an ever-expanding range of entertainment platforms will require an ever-expanding range of content. We believe that writers trained in the core skills of good story-telling, creating compelling and engaging characters and dialogue, finding a variety of ways to adapt their work to different contexts and media, and understanding a variety of marketing possibilities will mean that the writers will be able to adapt their work to a variety of platforms. This course aims to train such graduates, who can see unlimited potential and a variety of opportunities for themselves in many areas of the entertainment and writing/publishing industries.

How to apply

http://www.napier.ac.uk/study-with-us/postgraduate/how-to-apply

SAAS Funding

Nothing should get in the way of furthering your education. Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) awards funding for postgraduate courses, and could provide the help you need to continue your studies. Find out more: http://www.napier.ac.uk/study-with-us/postgraduate/fees-and-funding/saas-funded-courses

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Led by a professional playwright, this unique programme focuses on the practical exploration of the theory and craft of writing for performance. Read more

Led by a professional playwright, this unique programme focuses on the practical exploration of the theory and craft of writing for performance. It explores how a script is written to be interpreted by the key creative artists in theatre and how that script plays out in space and time in front of an audience.

Through seminars, tutorials, workshops and professional master classes (led by some of Europe’s leading playwrights and theatre artists), you will develop an understanding of live performance theory, self-motivation and the focus necessary to work as an independent artist within the theatre industry.

Edinburgh has a buzzing theatre scene and the programme draws on this to culminate in a public, professional reading of your work in progress at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Programme structure

The programme will be taught through a combination of seminars, workshops, independent study, one-to-one supervision and professional master classes. There will also be regular theatre visits.

A central component of the programme will be development workshops with professional actors and established directors, focusing on your own work. You will also work with the performing artists-in-residence, who will offer workshops in each semester. Over two semesters you will take three compulsory courses and one option course.

On completion of these courses, you will produce a major piece of performance writing, supported by one-to-one supervision and development workshops, to be given a professional reading at the end of the programme.

Compulsory courses:

  • The Craft of the Playwright I
  • The Craft of the Playwright II
  • Time and Space of Performance

Option courses may include:

  • Theatre, Performance, Performativity
  • Cinema Auteurs 2
  • Shakespearean Sexualities
  • Theatre, Performance and Performativity
  • Shakespeare Adapted

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this programme will:

  • be introduced to and become skilled in a range of applied methods for the development and structuring of dramatic script for live performance
  • develop a knowledge and understanding of writing for different kinds of performance contexts from the single-authored play to devised work
  • develop a knowledge and understanding of the theory, methodology and practice of writing different genres from tragedy and comedy to political theatre
  • develop self-motivation and the focus necessary to work as an independent artist within the theatre industry
  • develop their critical skills as readers of their own and others’ work and as creators and consumers of live performance
  • develop a familiarity with the professional development and production processes of live performance and how these impact on the making of script

Career opportunities

This highly practical programme allows you to forge valuable links within Edinburgh’s performing arts community. You may choose to use the research skills you have developed to pursue advanced study, or seek a role within the theatrical field.

The transferable skills you gain from your studies, such as communication, research and project management will be valuable to your career development whatever path you choose.



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

Who is it for?

This programme is suitable for writers who want to develop their practice and complete a full length piece of work, or for experienced playwrights who wish to gain a familiarity with writing for the screen, or experienced screenwriters who wish to gain a grounding in theatre writing. It is also suitable for writers who while continuing with their own practice, will work in development roles in the film, TV, theatre and related industries such as literary agencies.

The programme has been designed, with input from a range of playwrights and screenwriters, to provide the optimum environment for students to complete a full length play or feature film script to a high standard.

Objectives

Creatively stimulating, challenging and above all practical, this innovative two-year programme 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.

You will develop as a writer and sharpen your understanding of what's working and what isn't. No single style or genre is prescribed; the ethos of the programme is excellence and diversity. You will get to understand writing choices in the work of leading playwrights and screenwriters. You will work with actors and directors from London's new writing theatres, and receive guest talks from agents, producers and artistic directors.

By the end of the course, you will have taken a full-length play, screenplay or television pilot through a number of drafts, working as professional writers do. This play or screenplay will be your calling card. You will receive a performed reading of an extract of your work and a professional script report.

Teaching and learning

This course is taught and run by professional working writers. 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.

You will be mentored by a professional working playwright or screenwriter for the whole of Year Two.

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.

The biggest names in the worlds of film, television and theatre visit the course and 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
-Writing Workshop
-Dramatic Writing
-Storytelling

Year 2
-Own Play or Script
-The Production Business

Career prospects

Many of our graduates go on to have their work performed professionally and have won many awards and nominations. Some examples from 2016 include:
-Aisha Zia, who received a grant from Brookleaze and her play ‘Besieged’ is on at the Arcola Theatre.
-Dianna Hunt, Her play ‘One Woman's Slide: A Blues’ has been programmed in the Talawa Arts Festival.
-Cheryl White, whose 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.
-Louisa Hayford, who did a ten week paid internship at the Coronation Street story department as part of the ITV Coronation Street Original Voices scheme.

Some of our first year students have also had their work picked up professionally.

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A unique programme for dramaturgs and playwrights - http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-dramaturgy-writing-performance/. This highly successful programme offers specialist pathways in Playwriting and Dramaturgy. Read more
A unique programme for dramaturgs and playwrights - http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-dramaturgy-writing-performance/

This highly successful programme offers specialist pathways in Playwriting and Dramaturgy. We concentrate on the process of writing for live performance, together with an ongoing evaluation of the work in process. Through practice and reflection, we enable you to establish a distinctive, individual approach as both a writer and dramaturge. Projects include site-specific work, writing for a specific audience, verbatim theatre and interdisciplinary collaboration.

We support the development of texts for performance, alongside intellectual understanding of the diverse forms and contexts in which live performance can be made and the writer/dramaturge’s role in this. We examine texts from a wide range of periods and cultures. We engage with work that is innovative, or which challenges established notions of practice.

Opportunities to collaborate

Dramaturgs and playwrights study side by side, and examine creative and dramaturgical issues from various perspectives as writers, spectators and creative collaborators. There are opportunities to collaborate on an Interdisciplinary Project with MA Performance Makers and composers from the Department of Music. Final project texts, performed and directed by industry professionals, are presented at the Soho Theatre in London, attended by key industry representatives. Graduates are highly successful in obtaining commissions, dramaturgy posts and artistic directorships. Recent successes include:

Tena Štivičić (Three Winters National Theatre 2015)
Finn Kennedy (Artistic Director, Tamasha Theatre Company 2015)
Melissa Bubnic (Beached at Soho Theatre 2015)
All students receive Professional Orientation and support towards career development.

Why study in London?

London continues to be a major world centre for a staggering range of arts activity. It is world-leading in new writing and contemporary performance. We have strong links with a large number of London-based practitioners, international networks and organisations, individuals and venues in the field of new performance writing.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Fiona Graham.

Modules & Structure

Autumn term

All students take the Writing Projects module: you will work on three diverse, short playwriting projects. Each addresses particular generic issues that relate to writing for live performance, and you will engage with the specific challenges and demands of differing circumstances of text development and production. These will vary from year to year, but they are likely to be selected from the following:

-Theatre as Event – site-specific performance
-Authenticity and Live Performance – verbatim theatre
-Writing for Specific Audiences – children’s/young person’s theatre project
-Creative Collaboration – multimedia collaboration with MA Performance Making and Studio Composition students from the Department of Music

You will also take the Dramaturgy module, which has two main elements: analysis of dramatic text (these will include classics and modern classics, as well as new plays); and analysis of live performance seen by the group (including some visual, environmental or non-text-based work). During the module you will assemble a portfolio of critical analyses and creative writing projects for assessment.

You will also take one contextual module alongside students from other Masters programmes, to be selected from a list of options that will vary from session to session.

Spring term

You will develop your work on Dramaturgy with the term-long practical workshop module Creative Intervention in Text. This will examine: translation; adaptation of work from other media for live performance; and the re-writing and/or adaptation of extant plays; planning and curating seasons of performance work. You will assemble a portfolio of creative projects for assessment.

You also start work on your Final Project the personal Dissertation-equivalent project that will be the core of your work for the next six months). You also take another option from the list of contextual modules shared with students from other Masters programmes.

Summer term

You will present the second draft of your project for another phase of tutorials and group workshops.

Playwriting projects will then be prepared for some form of public rehearsed reading or scratch performance, in extract form – with the writers involved in all aspects of the work.

Dramaturgy projects will be given practical support of an appropriate, equivalent kind. You will further develop your work, with tutorials and workshops and public presentation of work as appropriate, before writing and submitting the finished project.

Assessment

We deploy a range of assessment approaches, each appropriate to the module taken. Students taking Writing Projects will submit three short playtexts for assessment. Dramaturgy is assessed by a portfolio of analytic reviews, and Creative Intervention in Text by a series of short creative writing projects and writing exercises. Each of the contextual option modules is assessed by essay. Final Project leads to the production of a playtext (Playwriting), or a Dissertation or equivalent practical project (Dramaturgy).

Skills

Playwriting specialists will become skilled in:

the use of a range of techniques for the development and structuring of original material for live performance
working to a brief in diverse professional circumstances
evolving an individual creative vision

Dramaturgy specialists will become:

familiar with a diverse range of techniques for generating and developing new work
skilled in analysis of dramatic text and live performance
skilled in formulating a distinctive contribution to policy and practice in one or more fields of new writing

Careers

Numerous playwrights completing this programme receive high-level professional development opportunities, commissions, awards and full-scale productions of their work at major new writing centres in the UK, USA and in continental Europe.

Recent playwriting alumni include:

-Ben Musgrave, whose Pretend You Have Big Buildings won the Bruntwood Prize (2006) and received a main house production at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
-Allia V Oswald, whose Dirty Water won the Alfred Fagon Award (2007) and was given a rehearsed reading at the Royal Court Theatre
-Adam Brace, whose play Stovepipe was a High Tide Festival winner (2008), and was staged recently by the National Theatre and published by Faber.

Dramaturgy alumni include:

-David Lane, who now has an extremely busy career as a freelance dramaturg, teacher and playwright
-Francesca Malfrin, who is currently developing translation projects of Italian plays with a range of agencies, including the National Theatre Studio.

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Do you want to develop your own work, your own voice and your own ideas?. Are looking for an insight into the industry by professional editors and publishers? Define and refine your discipline at Birmingham. Read more
Do you want to develop your own work, your own voice and your own ideas?

Are looking for an insight into the industry by professional editors and publishers? Define and refine your discipline at Birmingham: short fiction, the novel, poetry, scripts.

If you have completed an undergraduate degree containing some creative writing or are an English graduate with considerable experience in writing creatively and wish to proceed to a career of further study in this area then our innovative MA in Creative Writing is for you.

Learn among a community of writers and scholars with structured modules across the discipline and engage collaboratively before specialising in screenwriting, playwriting, fiction or poetry for your dissertation.

The programme brings together students who are working in different genres so that you can engage collaboratively across genres before specialising in screenwriting, playwriting, fiction or poetry for your dissertation.

You will take five core modules

Creative Writing Research Skills I: Theories and Practice
Creative Writing Research Skills II: Theories, Models, Self
Poem as Story - Story as Poem
Intertextuality: Story, Genre, Craft
Editing as Collaborative Practice

You will also take one optional module from within English, Film Studies or from another discipline.

You will complete the programme with a dissertation which will be 75% creative portfolio and 25% critical essay. You will write a 12,000-word portfolio of creative work as a screenplay, novella, excerpt of a novel, a collection of short fiction or a collection of poetry (600 lines). This will be accompanied by a 3,000-word essay placing your work in a critical and creative context, with reference to your development as a writer over the course of the MA. You will receive feedback on work in progress during one-to-one tutorials and in work-sharing seminars with peers (groups divided along the lines of genre/form).

The programme is also assessed by creative portfolios and assignments throughout the taught modules.

About the School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies

"Welcome to the School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, in the College of Arts and Law. This is one of the largest Schools in the College, and variety is our watchword. We offer one of the most extensive ranges of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the country. Our research expertise is equally diverse, and we welcome students and researchers from all over the world." - Professor Andrzej Gasiorek, Head of School

We particularly encourage creative thinking, with a range of pioneering programmes including Masters opportunities in Creative Writing, Film and Television and Shakespeare and Creativity. Our creative offerings are also strengthened by the development of our Department of Film and Creative Writing – established in 2015 – which has opened up exciting new opportunities for postgraduates to benefit from synergies between the two fields.

Our well-established Departments also provide an excellent environment for postgraduate study. The Department of Drama and Theatre Arts has a highly respected national and international reputation for excellence in teaching and research. We are also one of the leading centres for the postgraduate study of English in the UK, spanning language and literature. The Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics is a world-leading centre of excellence for both teaching and research in this field.

We are also proud to be home to the world-renowned Shakespeare Institute, based in Stratford-upon-Avon. Situated within walking distance of Shakespeare’s birthplace, school and grave, and the theatres of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), the Shakespeare Institute offers postgraduate students and scholars an academic experience unrivalled by any other university.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/visit

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

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The School of Fine and Performing Arts offers a portfolio of taught postgraduate Drama options based on the School's five specialist research groups. Read more
The School of Fine and Performing Arts offers a portfolio of taught postgraduate Drama options based on the School's five specialist research groups. Students can choose from five pathways:


MA Drama (Contemporary British Theatre)

Contemporary Playwriting
Contemporary Theatre Companies
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Contemporary Performance Practice)

Performance Lab
Located Practices
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Playwriting)

Writing for Performance
Script Development
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Popular Performance)

Popular Performance
Making the Modern Musical
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

MA Drama (Theatre and Consciousness)

Theatre and Consciousness
Indian Theatre
Current Issues in Drama, Theatre and Performance
Research Methods
Final Project

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This Master's degree in London Theatre explores London; the world’s stage. Learn from a range of relevant industry professionals and dedicated research-active academics. . Read more

This Master's degree in London Theatre explores London; the world’s stage. Learn from a range of relevant industry professionals and dedicated research-active academics. 

Why study London Theatre?

The London Theatre postgraduate programme is designed for students who have a thirst to understand the unique contribution that London theatre makes to the development of theatre practices in the UK and why London is recognised as an international centre for theatre development.

This degree gives you opportunities to explore the diverse and ever-changing nature of the theatre scene and critically comment on it through academic study and professional theatre criticism. 

Why St Mary's?

Drama St Mary’s is a thriving unit of undergraduate and postgraduate Drama training. Our courses aim to offer the very best academic and practical training within a supportive, university environment. Our programmes are delivered by a strong core team of academics and a wide range of professional visiting practitioners. 

Studying in London means that you can take full advantage of the staggering array of diverse theatre and art available in the theatre capital of the world. This postgraduate programme expands on established links with London theatre venues and organisations to give you the most relevant and up to date training.

Drama St Mary's also offers Master's degrees in Theatre Directing (in collaboration with the Orange Tree Theatre) and Playwriting.

Requirements, fees and funding

Please check our website for more information about entry requirements, tuition fees and student funding.

Career opportunities

Drama St Mary’s graduates have gone on to work in a range of related arts industries. Our courses prepare students to find consistent, professional work in their chosen field. 

The module London Fringe introduces you to the area of London theatre where you are most likely to find work in your initial career as a theatre writer, critic or researcher



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Have you been writing creatively for a while and feel the need for some professional support? Do you wish to be read by like-minded people? Do you sense that you can write but struggle with the mechanics of form and structure? Do you harbour a desire to see how far your writing can get you? Do you dream of being a published author?. Read more
Have you been writing creatively for a while and feel the need for some professional support? Do you wish to be read by like-minded people? Do you sense that you can write but struggle with the mechanics of form and structure? Do you harbour a desire to see how far your writing can get you? Do you dream of being a published author?

For 13 years, our MA Creative Writing has been enabling students to achieve some, if not all, of these goals. In 2016 alone, 11 of our graduates published novels with major publishing houses (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/english/news/creative-writing-alumni-success).

The course is taught through small, dynamic seminars and one-to-one tuition. We offer modules in fiction writing and options in playwriting, poetry, screenwriting and creative non-fiction.

All teaching is done by regularly published and produced award-winning writers, who will help you strengthen and professionalise your identity as a writer. Students have opportunities to interact with publishers and agents to broaden their understanding of the market and will be eligible to submit work for publication in the annual Birkbeck Creative Writing journal, The Mechanics' Institute Review and MIROnline.

To find out more, read our programme handbook (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/english/current-students/postgraduate/).

You will taught by successful, published authors and practitioners, including:

- Julia Bell
- David Eldridge
- Richard Hamblyn
- Russell Celyn Jones
- Toby Litt
- Luke Williams
- Benjamin Wood
- Jonathan Kemp.

Visit the website http://www.bbk.ac.uk/study/2016/postgraduate/programmes/TMACWRIT_C/

Our research

Birkbeck is one of the world’s leading research-intensive institutions. Our cutting-edge scholarship informs public policy, achieves scientific advances, supports the economy, promotes culture and the arts, and makes a positive difference to society.

Birkbeck’s research excellence was confirmed in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/news/ref-results/), which placed Birkbeck 30th in the UK for research, with 73% of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Read about Birkbeck research that enriches our experience and understanding of our shared history, culture and art (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/arts/research).

Why study this course at Birkbeck?

- Arts and humanities courses at Birkbeck are ranked third best in London and 11th in the UK in the Times Higher Education 2015-16 World University Subject Rankings.

- Aims to develop the craft of fiction at a professional level and includes practical courses on publishing, producing and editing creative work.

- In addition to working with the established writers who teach the degree, you will have contact with industry professionals, such as publishers and literary agents, who offer a series of platform discussions in the summer term.

- In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), English Language and Literature at Birkbeck achieved 100% for a research environment conducive to producing research of the highest quality, while 91% of eligible staff submitted research, of which 75% was recognised as world-leading or internationally excellent.

- Our Department of English and Humanities (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/english) is a lively centre of world-class research and teaching.

- We offer a range of world-class research resources (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/english/study-here/world-class-research-resources).

- Our annual creative writing magazine, The Mechanics' Institute Review, is edited by Birkbeck MA Creative Writing students and features writing from the course as a showcase for the degree, with wide distribution beyond Birkbeck to literary agents, publishers, etc.

- Read an account of how our students created the most recent issue of The Mechanics' Institute Review (http://blogs.bbk.ac.uk/george/2014/10/07/editing-the-mechanics-institute-review-11/).

- MIROnline is an interactive website, edited by PhD students and volunteers, with all the latest news and writing from this programme and beyond.

- Find out more about our range of world-class research resources (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/english/our-research).

- Watch videos of our postgraduate students discussing their experience of studying at Birkbeck (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck/get-ahead-stay-ahead/student-experience-videos).

Teaching and assessment

- Teaching
Teaching is seminar-based. Each session is generally 2 hours, and there are further regular one-to-one tutorials throughout the year.

- Assessment
4 short creative pieces with critical essays (50%). A dissertation (15,000 words) in one of the following genres: a novella, novel or collection of short stories, with a preface of 3000 words (50%).

Careers and employability

Birkbeck Creative Writing graduates include:

Sally Hinchcliffe
Niki Aguirre
Heidi James
Matthew Loukes
Iphgenia Baal
Nii Parkes
Emma Henderson
Liz Fremantle
Anna Hope
Karin Salvalaggio
Olya Knezevic
Phoebe Blatton
Melissa De Villiers
Nik Korpon
Louise Lee
Tray Butler
Helen Pike
David Savill
Laura Allsop
Sarah Alexander
Nadim Safdar
A. J. Grainger
Julia Gray
Nicole Burstein
Jules Grant
Amy Bird
Stefanie Seddon
Fiona Melrose.

Graduates go in to careers in editing, teaching, and writing professionally. Possible professions include creative writer, magazine or newspaper journalist, or editorial assistant. This degree can also be useful in becoming an academic librarian, English as a second language (ESOL) teacher, or information officer.

Find out more about these professions (http://www.prospects.ac.uk/options_with_your_subject.htm).

Find out more about the destinations of graduates in this subject (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/prospective/careers-and-employability/department-of-english-and-humanities).

We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

Find out how to apply here - http://www.bbk.ac.uk/prospective/postgraduate/apply

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