The Master of Professional Writing (MPW) involves taking a core paper, designed specifically to enhance your workplace readiness, as well as elective papers which range across a variety of fields from creative writing to writing for promotional purposes and advertising, for digital media and for scholarly and professional publication.
If creative writing is your passion, then you will have the opportunity to specialise in this. The Creative Writing Thesis gives selected students the option of producing a manuscript of publishable quality – whether poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction – in a stimulating and supportive workshop environment of fellow writers, and supervised by award-winning authors. The selection of students for the Creative Writing Thesis is by assessment of a portfolio of poetry and prose, and a manuscript proposal outlining the creative project.
When studying towards the MPW you will be able to include a professional writing internship and be offered an on-campus writing mentor, who will provide professional advice and direct you towards writing opportunities.
The staff contributing to the Professional Writing programme have long-standing relationships with the broader writing community at a number of levels:
MPW graduates will have excellent transferrable skills in devising, producing and editing text. If you include a formal internship in your programme of study, or take up the option of informal professional mentoring, you will make connections in the professional writing community, and enhance your CV with relevant workplace experience.
Potential careers include editing, long-form researched journalism, policy analysis and policy writing, report writing, script writing, speech writing, teaching, website content editing, writing for digital and broadcast media, writing for stage and screen, writing for travel and tourism and writing for public relations and marketing.
Potential employers include biotechnology industries; cultural sector/arts organisations; energy provision sector; higher education sector; libraries and archives; local and district councils; manufacturing and technology; national government, NGOs; non-profit and philanthropic sector; primary industries; print and digital news media; publishing industry; telecommunications; theatre, film and broadcast media production houses; transport, tourism and travel.
The skills of storytelling are timeless. Tackle the creative, analytical and professional sides of script writing for film, television and radio on this industry-accredited MA.
With myriad new media platforms there are more opportunities to create content than ever before. And all these require a script and a story. But how do you get your work to industry-standard and in front of the right people?
The main question you have to ask yourself for this MA programme is: do I really need to be a writer more than anything else? That’s quite brutal, but script writing is a tough profession. You’re totally exposed as a creative person, it’s you and the page and the tradition in which you’re working, and that can be a liberating but also uncomfortable place to be.
The programme is not about learning how to be a writer; it’s about developing and pushing forward your own writing projects as far and as fast as you can within 12 months. You’ll be developing your own voice, learning how to critique the work of others, and getting to grips with marketing your projects. You’ll also be making industry contacts so you can pitch for employment in an extremely competitive industry.
You’ll cover every aspect of the writing process from getting ideas, maintaining productive writing practices and developing characters and story lines, to presenting your work to an industry standard and pitching your ideas. Writing is a lonely business – that’s why the community of writers that the programme gives you is such a creative advantage.
This is an MA that really focuses on you as the student. There are lectures, but most of the time you’ll be working one-to-one with a writing tutor or within small group workshops (with a maximum of 13 people).
We keep the course small deliberately. In this way we know your individual work and you know other students’ work through the weekly feedback process. We also believe you don’t know who you are until you’re relating to another person, and ultimately this is what script writing is about: making that connection.
A core course is designed to give you the skills and understanding required to develop your Treatment for a feature film or equivalent television or radio script. The course is taught mostly with workshops, in which you present and discuss your own work with other students in a supportive environment. There are also class exercises, lectures, screenings, master classes, seminars and individual tutorials.
Starting in the Spring Term, the course then develops your Treatment into a second draft feature script (or its equivalent).
You'll then be able to pick from a selection of option modules.
The MA is composed of:
You also produce a Reflection Essay (15 credits), and choose option modules to the value of 75 credits from the following list:
You are assessed on your portfolio, which consists of your long form treatment and second draft feature script or equivalent, your 4,000-word Reflection essay on this script, linked to issues in Media and Culture and a radio script adapted from a source text. In addition, depending on your options, your portfolio could also include a 10-12 page short script or script-editing proposal and coverage. Other modules are assessed by 5-6,000-word essays.
MA Script Writing is all about the product. So when you complete this masters, you leave with a whole portfolio of writing, a set of professional skills, a list of industry contacts, and a set of professional friendships through the Goldsmiths Screen School.
The programme gives you a safe, supportive and stimulating environment to unpack your ideas, get constructive feedback, make mistakes, and find the story you want to tell. In the end though, it’s down to you as an individual to become the writer you want to be.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths
If you want to become a produced or published writer, or to develop your writing skills, this programme will give you the chance to be tutored by leading and established writers in a supportive and creative environment.
The emphasis is on different forms of scriptwriting - playwriting, screenwriting, dramatic writing, writing for film and television, and writing for radio – but you can also develop imaginative writing in other forms, especially prose fiction. Specialist pathways in screenwriting or writing for theatre are open to you.
Whether you’re an aspiring writer, a teacher or simply want to learn more about the writer’s craft, you’ll be working in an environment dedicated to developing new and emerging talent. Our students come from all over the world, and we have a powerful record for developing successful writers and creative leaders. Through our partnership with the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the course is linked to the Playhouse’s own new writing schemes.
Our tutors are professional dramatists and leading researchers with a wide range of expertise. The Programme Director for the MA is the award-winning playwright, screenwriter and producer Garry Lyons, who established the degree in 2006.
Find out more about Garry Lyons
You’ll be based in our landmark building [email protected], with two professional-standard and publicly licensed theatres that regularly host works by students and visiting theatre companies. You’ll be encouraged to use these facilities to try your work out in workshops, rehearsed readings or full productions, and gain experience of practical drama-making.
The programme also benefits from our close links with external organisations. As well as our partnership with West Yorkshire Playhouse, we work with the BBC’s new talent unit, Writers’ Room. Other partners include Opera North, ITV, Screen Yorkshire, the National Media Museum, Creative England, Red Ladder Theatre Company, True North Productions, Chapel FM Radio, Valley Press and many more.
A core module will introduce you to creative writing research, including the potential of practice-led research. This will help to equip you for the rest of the programme, giving you the tools to reflect analytically on your writing and compare it with existing writing of a similar genre or style.
In Semester 1 you’ll spend time in intensive workshops refining your own short pieces of narrative writing, exploring the principles of storytelling and more experimental approaches. You'll work in a range of forms - from theatre and radio to screenplays and prose - preparing you to specialise as you progress through the degree.
Options in Semester 2 allow you to focus on film and television writing or work on an original project of your own – individually, in collaboration with students from across the School, or based on a two-week placement with an external organisation.
All of this work will culminate with your major project, which you’ll submit by the end of the programme – this could be an extended piece of creative writing, a conventional dissertation, or performance-led research.
Working with West Yorkshire Playhouse
The MA is partnered with West Yorkshire Playhouse, one of the UK’s leading theatres outside London. This links us to the the Playhouse’s new writing schemes. Directors and associate artists from the Playhouse regularly run workshops and masterclasses for us, and we collaborate with the theatre on joint projects such as new writing events and festivals. The Playhouse occasionally offers work experience opportunities for our students to apply for.
Our tutors are professional dramatists and academic specialists in a range of genres, with experience of dealing with theatres, agents, production companies, editors and publishers. We also invite guest speakers from the worlds of theatre, broadcasting, film and publishing to share their insights into the creative industries.
You’ll be taught using a range of methods including lectures, seminars and tutorials as well as practical sessions and workshops. Independent study is also a vital component of this degree, allowing you to conduct your own research and develop your own ideas.
You’ll be assessed mostly on the basis of your creative writing, including theatre, screen and radio scripts and short prose stories you’ll develop in your modules. To encourage you to reflect on your practice, you’ll also write commentaries on your own work. Core modules may also use assessment methods such as essays and presentations to allow you to demonstrate your knowledge.
Many students will want to pursue a career as a professional writer. Although this is a fiercely competitive field, this degree is designed to try to help you realise your ambitions. Alternatively, you could use your additional experience and qualification to progress in your current career or pursue a related path within the creative arts.
You’ll also be well equipped for a future in education, arts administration, script editing, literary management, broadcasting, journalism, advertising, the media, publishing, literary agencies, marketing, PT and many other areas.
The programme has established a powerful record for developing successful writers and creative leaders, from playwrights and television writers to novelists, directors and lecturers.
This is an exciting, supportive and non-residency online course that offers you the opportunity to develop your writing practice at the times that work for you, wherever you are in the world.
We understand how difficult it can be to find the space and structure to develop your writing - this course makes it easy for you to adapt your weekly studies to your personal circumstances. This course is taught throughout by tutors who are both practicing creative writers and experienced teachers of creative writing at postgraduate level. The emphasis is on developing practical writing skills and techniques whilst gaining an understanding of your own work within a critical context and framework. The course consists of four 30-credit taught modules plus the Creative Writing Project (60 credit), which is the final portfolio of your creative writing. Each module offers you opportunities to experiment and develop your interests, whether these are in prose fiction, poetry, creative life writing, dramatic writing and screen writing or in using writing to work with people in personal and professional development and healthcare settings. For more information, take a look at our module descriptions. This course is available to all international applicants. Individual modules can be taken on a stand-alone basis.If you apply for this course, you must submit a portfolio of your creative writing of up to and no more than 2,000 words in any one or two forms or genres, for example poetry, prose fiction, life writing, screen writing. Please include this portfolio in your online application.
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
The course is taught by distance learning. There is no requirement to attend classes at a set time. You can access the course space and complete the coursework at times that work best for you.
Each taught module will consist of eight weekly units. Each unit will usually consist of:
You will also receive help, support and feedback on your work directly from the tutor, both through the online course space and by email.
You don't need to be a technology expert to take this course. All you need is a PC, laptop or tablet to access the course materials and forum and share your writing with the tutors and your peers.
How you are assessed
Each taught 30-credit module is assessed against clear learning outcomes through written assignments, usually consisting of both creative work and some critical or reflective work. In addition to the taught modules, you produce a final project (60 credits) in your chosen form and genre.
MA Creative Writing graduates go on to a wide choice of professions and careers. Apart from the more obvious routes of publishing, editing and freelance writing, many work in the wider creative industries (television, journalism, new media) or in workplaces that require advanced writing skills in the workplace.
The practical and flexible design of the course means that it is also highly suited to teachers wishing to up-skill their portfolios in relation to the new Creative Writing A level; writers developing their teaching and workshopping skills to work in the community; and those using writing in therapy, healthcare and other professional settings.
If your job has a requirement to work on live briefs and projects with an imaginative or research element, you will also find the transferable skills offered by this MA a natural fit.
Although the course will help you if you want to develop a career using writing, many students take our MA to extend their skills for their own personal development and fulfilment.
Creative writers express thoughts, feelings and emotions through words and have the ability to inform, provoke, captivate, inspire and move. You approach creative writing from a variety of perspectives – including fiction, poetry, screenwriting and drama – to explore how writers operate and how you can become an independent writer.
Drawing on our pool of talented, published writers and academics, you accumulate credit towards your chosen award at your own pace. This highly successful course also offers the chance to learn how to teach creative writing in schools or in the community.You may also be interested in our MA Creative Writing (Distance Learning)
One core module lays the foundation for skills and techniques in creative writing, while another addresses writing for career development. Option modules make use of imaginative writing, creative visualisation and commentary elements to cover such topics as writing novels and short stories, working with poetry and lyrics, producing copy for drama and performance, scriptwriting for film and screen, and teaching creative writing. Some modules involve traditional seminars and workshops, but many incorporate a negotiated learning element.
and three optional modules from a range including
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
You typically write in a workshop-based environment, with access to the Writer’s Lounge and the resources housed within the Creative Writing Centre. Learning is largely portfolio driven, with twice-weekly timetabled groups and tutorials to support the learning process. As an enterprising, self-motivated student you work both independently and collaboratively with your peers using the extensive resources and facilities available to you. You are encouraged to reflect upon your own learning in the context of career development and the opportunities open to you.
How you are assessed
Your achievement is assessed mainly through project and portfolio work, including evidence of the research and development process as well as the production and presentation of draft work and peer assessment. Other assessment methods include written reports, presentations, oral performances and reflective commentaries.
Typically graduates go on to roles in freelance writing, teaching, publishing, arts and humanities, media, performance and/or the creative industries.
This new and unique Masters importantly addresses black writing as a continuum. Its heritage in British culture is considered along a trajectory marked by historical presences as connecting with migratory, indigenous and global perspectives.
Introducing the MA Black British Writing - “It’s a story that hasn’t really been told”
The MA draws upon the expertise of literary, drama and theatre specialists from the Departments of Theatre and Performance and the Centre for Caribbean Studies.
The degree is made up of:
Full-time students study both compulsory modules and two options and write their dissertation across one year of study.
Part-time students select one compulsory module and one option per year across two years and write their dissertation in their second year of study.
You choose two options from those available in the Department of Theatre and Performance and the Department of English and Comparative Literature.
This could include:
Intermediate exit points
It's possible to exit the programme early with a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate if specific learning outcomes have been achieved. These options can be discussed with the course convenor.
You will develop transferable writing and oral skills at a high academic level, demonstrating the ability to think and work in an interdisciplinary manner using a range of methodologies. Your ability to work collaboratively and to facilitate and participate in group discussions will be enhanced. You will also develop skills in identifying the socio-cultural, historical, political and literary issues that shape and impact upon contemporary literary and performance texts.
We are oriented towards serving your individual goals and aspirations for self-development; it will generate an articulable body of transferable knowledge and skills.
Besides developing your knowledge of best current research methods and of facts and concepts specific to the featured field of study, the proposed programme will offer training in:
The MA’s design allows for a diverse range of applications of its contents to careers including education, counselling, community arts, arts practice, social services, cultural organisations, or towards research degrees (MPhil; PhD).
Our courses consolidate the influential presence of contemporary Black British writing. It is recognised as both intrinsic to conceptions of British cultural heritage but also distinctive within the body of British writing.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.