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
With a uniquely collaborative emphasis, this course offers opportunities for some of the scripts you develop over the course to be produced, through close collaboration with students from MA Producing for Film and TV, MA Directing for Film and TV and MA Radio Production. This equips you with the skills and attitudes required for successful script development processes in the industry. The course is busy, intensive and involves much teamwork alongside individual writing practice.
Throughout the course, you will develop your ideas from concept to industry standard final draft, with a development process that includes research, pitching, presentations, script reading and networking events, workshop groups, tutorials, script editing, and rewriting for production.
You will be encouraged to nurture and reflect on your creative process and originality of voice, and to explore the contexts – critical, creative and industrial that inform scriptwriting today.
The course is taught by scriptwriting professionals and theorists, alongside an exciting programme of industry guest speakers. The course is suitable for students who have previously developed their own creative writing projects within humanities or media production courses or with relevant professional experience. You may have an undergraduate qualification in a related subject or may be able to show your suitability for this programme of study through associated work-experience or evidence of and outputs from other related activities.
Successful participation in MA Scriptwriting will enable you to emerge from the course as a writer with a distinctive authorial voice, an industry standard portfolio of scripts, experience of writing in formats and genres, and a robust attitude to collaboration and development.
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.
If you want to be a filmmaker this is the place to learn, gain experience and make films you will be proud to have on your show reel.
As a student on one of the six pathways you'll develop your specialist skill. In addition, you'll also have a range of short optional modules in other production areas of your choosing to give you the kind of flexibility that the industry now expects. The options include script and project development, web drama, online content, and social activist filmmaking, alongside more traditional media such as camera and editing skills.
Our filmmaking facilities and scheduling are geared around fiction production, as this is a major opportunity that the learning on the programme provides. The ethos of the course is “form follows function.” Your study and practice throughout the year will equip you with the most appropriate means of telling your story in order to connect with an audience.
Filmmaking is a team activity. Every student is required to work closely with others as part of a creative team to produce their final project. All the programmes also have good contacts and connections with students in the other specialist areas your productions might require, such as music composition, hair and makeup, set design, scriptwriting and of course acting talent.
Filmmaking is very demanding; it requires a lot of commitment, imagination and teamwork. You will be fully stretched on these programmes.
This MA has six pathways you can follow:
The programmes also retain close links with MA Scriptwriting.
The filmmaking programmes are located within a large and very lively Media and Communications Department that is also home for a range of practice MA programmes in radio, journalism and scriptwriting for example.
There is also a range of theory MAs and strong research tradition, with the Department coming top in the entire country on research intensity. This makes for a very stimulating and creative environment.
Where is cinema going? Where is TV heading? How and where are people going to watch moving images? What do new audiences want these to look and sound like? What new platforms are on the horizon? How are the traditional craft skills relevant to the digital age?
These are the kinds of questions we’re interested in. And we don’t explore them alone. Our annual Olive Till Memorial debate features world-renowned industry speakers including directors Danny Boyle, Gurinder Chadha and Paul Greengrass, and producers Tessa Ross and Tim Bevan, so you get the best kind of insight while you’re here.
We offer advanced skills training to film school standards. You will work within a building with studio and rehearsal spaces, screening rooms and up-to-date camera, lighting and sound equipment, plus sound and edit suites. And we now have the Curzon Goldsmiths as our on-site cinema so you can showcase your work to the public.
We encourage you to meet filmmakers, work with others, and exchange ideas. The programme includes regular Master classes where students from all the programmes and others come together to learn about current industry trends, new opportunities and ideas with leading figures of the UK film and television industries. But filmmaking is not only about these industries, it also offers a wealth of transferable skills for students interested in all media platforms, including web drama, video games, art gallery installations of all types, interactive mixed media and live performance and music videos.
All programmes include:
You will also have a variety of research projects to undertake, as well as other module options. The third term will be taken up with your final substantive project, and in writing up a process paper on your work and research over the year.
There is also a choice of short modules, such as:
In addition students are encouraged to “audit,” (that is, attend but not be assessed on) any other lecture course in the Department – in so far as their timetable allows.
For full module information, refer to the individual pathways.
From Steve McQueen to Sam Taylor-Wood, Goldsmiths graduates go on to shift the public perception of what makes film matter. And our MA filmmaking graduates are creating award-winning work including Best Cinematography at the NAHEMI Encounters International Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Exposures Film Festival.
The best advice we can give you is to make the most of your time with us. For a whole year you have access to the best in the field: highly qualified, industry-active and award-winning staff and guest speakers.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.
The Creative Writing programme at Glasgow has gained an excellent reputation amongst writers, agents and publishers. It is perfect for talented and aspiring writers who want to develop their craft, take risks in their work, and gain creative and critical skills; all as part of a supportive community of fellow writers. Skills gained in the study of Creative Writing may lead to career opportunities in literary and cultural fields such as editing, publishing and arts development.
The MLitt in Creative Writing is directed at those who are already engaged in writing. The programme’s clear three-part structure, focused on creative, critical and practical issues, distinguishes it from others offered in the UK.
The programme structure covers:
These courses have been developed to:
Your portfolio, consisting of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, or script-writing, is at the heart of the summative assessment.
Glasgow is a city known for its culture and our students are involved in festivals, events, radio and literary magazines.
Graduates have gone into writing, journalism, publishing, and many other professions.
Many of our students have gone on to become published authors. You can find a list of alumni on our Creative Writing subject pages. Others have been published in magazines and journals, or have had their work produced and broadcast on radio and television. A number of our graduates have won or been shortlisted for major prizes for poetry, short fiction and fiction including the Dundee Book Prize, Booker Prize, Bailey’s Women’s Prize, Orange Prize, Fish Short Story Award, Bridport Prize, McCash Scots Poetry Competition, Macallan and Canongate short story awards, Saltire Awards, Scottish Book of the Year Awards.
Positions held by recent graduates include Managing Director, Freelance Writer, Editor, Programme Manager, Author, Copywriter, Author and Community Arts Worker.
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.