To stay competitive in today’s market, film and television writers need to be able to work across platforms and genres. Designed with this in mind, our low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Film and Television emphasizes the art and business of film and television writing, as well as innovative writing for other emergent forms of media, from long- and short-form films to series television and webisodes. By graduation, students will have a complete portfolio of professional-caliber work.
Each semester begins with a six-day residency, alternating between our Boston and LA locations, where students engage in:
At the end of each residency, you will return home ready to begin writing, submitting your work in installments online, participating in online peer/advisor workshops, attending virtual meetings with your advisor, and enrolling in two online topics classes per semester.
Emerson’s MFA in Writing for Film and Television is a progressive two-year low residency program that brings together a community of students for focused, rigorous instruction. Building on Emerson’s long-standing Department of Visual and Media Arts, the low residency MFA program emphasizes practice in film and television writing as well as innovative writing for other emergent forms of media.
Each semester includes:
Emerson’s campuses offer diverse environments where MFA students will have the opportunity to be closely connected to long-established communities of scriptwriters and filmmakers, as well as the feature film and television and cable industries.
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.
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
Get the training, connections and experiences you need to make your mark in television. Recognised with the Creative Skillset Tick of approval, GCU's MA Television Fiction Writing is the only full-time master's programme focusing solely on scripting for the UK.
Created in close collaboration with industry to maximise your employment opportunities, our programme offers you the full range of industry experiences - and supports you in developing your own original drama or comedy.
We'll teach you to story conference, storyline and edit scripts - all with direct input from the BBC, STV and other independent producers and writers. And you'll benefit from GCU's global reputation for academic excellence - combining academic theory with practical skills in a thriving and diverse community that shares a belief in the common good.
There are four main strands to this Masters:
Story and Script Techniques (2 modules)
You will study storytelling and narrative, genre, character and voice, developing your critical and evaluative skills as well as your creative writing talents.
Writing for Existing Long Running TV Drama (2 modules)
You will gain a thorough understanding of how creative and writing processes work on long running dramas such as soap operas or medical dramas and then write your own mock storylines and scripts.
Creating Original TV Drama (2 modules)
You will tackle the challenge of creating your own original drama in the context of current commissioning trends.
Researching TV Drama Markets
You will explore the terrain of the TV fiction market, the main channels (home and abroad) and commissioning policies and audiences in order to enhance their market readiness.
The Creative Skillset Tick is a kitemark of quality, showing the courses that best prepare students and apprentices for a career in the creative industries.
To be awarded the Tick a course has to undergo a rigorous assessment process by experts working in the creative industries and it is only given to courses that have the strongest links with industry.
With the hands-on experience offered in our MA Television Fiction Writing, you'll graduate uniquely prepared to launch an exciting new career in the field. GCU has built a reputation amongst employers including Warner Bros. Entertainment UK and Shed Productions for training creative and accomplished professionals who leave the programme ready to make meaningful contributions to television. You may also choose to pursue further academic work.
Our innovative MA in Film and Television builds on its prestigious heritage as the longest running degree programme of its kind in the UK. We aim to equip you with wide-ranging skills, knowledge and critical awareness to meet your career aspirations in sectors in which moving images play a central role. Our curriculum incorporates an exciting variety of learning and teaching activities designed to foster your capacity for researching and rigorously analysing different aspects of film, television and moving images. You will have the opportunity to develop key skills for communicating about and with moving images across a range of contexts and platforms. You can choose to have a broad-based learning experience in film, television and moving image, or you can specialise in moving image curation and screenwriting via our suggested pathways.
The core teaching team consists of members of the Westminster School of Media, Arts and Design. The course has close links with the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM), the leading research centre in the UK for arts and design, whose members include internationally renowned filmmakers, film and television theorists and historians, and moving image artists and curators. We combine research-enhanced teaching with classes delivered by film and television industry and moving image art professionals, in order to make sure that you develop the skill sets and the full range of critical awareness that is in demand and to deliver an exciting learning experience for you.
The course combines core and optional taught modules. The design and delivery of our taught modules draw on CREAM’s research excellence in documentary, Asian and European cinema, moving image curation, and television history. The coursework requirements for some modules are research essays or a combination of research essays and research-informed blog posts and presentations. Other modules require a broad range of research-informed professional modes of writing such as a screenplay treatment, a curatorial proposal or an exhibition review. You will also undertake a substantial piece of independent research as a major part of your MA studies. In order to provide you with the flexibility to undertake a piece of independent research suited to your career aspiration, the final project module offers you the choice between writing a traditional dissertation or completing a theoretically-informed professional project such as a curating a film programme, writing and producing a series of themed blog posts, or writing a long-form screenplay.
The course is taught in two modes: full-time and part-time.
Full-time Postgraduate students study 180 credits per year. For the award of MA in Film, Television and Moving Image, you must complete two core taught modules, four optional modules and a 60-credit final project module, for a total of 180 credits.
The course structure includes two suggested pathways for those wishing to specialise in film programming and moving image curation, or in screenwriting.
The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course
Core modules provide you with a set of key skills for the theoretical, critical and reflective understanding of moving images.
Optional modules give you the freedom to choose areas of specialisation. The course leaders can advise on which modules best fit your interests. You have the choice to pursue specialised interests through your choice of optional modules and coursework assignments. If you are not sure which optional modules to choose or fit your interests best, or which types of final project work to produce to best develop your area of specialisation, you should discuss this question individually with the course leaders and you should aim to do so early on in the academic year.
The course structure includes two suggested pathways for those wishing to specialise in film programming and moving image curation, or in screenwriting.
We have strongly developed links with key London exhibition and research venues such as the BFI Southbank, ICA, Lux and Close-Up, as well as key critics, theorists, curators and festivals. We offer field visits to these sites as well as festivals like the Rotterdam Film Festival.
Our graduates have found employment in small- and large-scale film and television companies as filmmakers, producers, distributors, and exhibitors. Others have gone on to organise film festivals, or to work in film-related magazines and journals as well as in international arts and culture sectors. Some of our recent graduates have gone on to pursue academic careers as researchers or doctoral students at the University of Westminster and elsewhere. As the UK’s longest-running postgraduate programme in film and television several of our alumni are pioneers of the discipline of film and television studies.
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.
The programme will allow you to develop your own work, your own voice and your own ideas with dedicated workshop time and opportunities to give and receive feedback to and from your peers. You will also benefit from professional skills training to prepare you for entering the writing industry, with insights from industry professional such as editors and publishers.
You will learn among a community of writers and scholars, taking a series of structured modules across the discipline.
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 four core modules [full descriptions available below]:
The programme is assessed by creative portfolios and assignments in all the taught modules.
You will also complete a dissertation which will be 75% creative portfolio and 25% critical essay. You will write a 12,000-word portfolio of creative work in the form of a screenplay, 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 dissertation work in progress during one-to-one tutorials and/or in small group work-sharing seminars with peers (groups divided along the lines of genre/form and led by a specialist in this field).
Modules are delivered by either weekly (Intertextuality; Poem as Story) or twice-weekly (Writer's Workshop, Masterclass) two-hour seminars, for a total of six hours of seminar a week for full-time students.
Most modules include a substantial workshop element, directly focussing on student work. Dissertations are supervised via one-to-one tutorials and/or small group seminar.
Support with academic writing
As a postgraduate student in the College of Arts and Law, you have access to the Academic Writing Advisory Service (AWAS) which aims to help your transition from undergraduate to taught Masters level, or back into academia after time away. The service offers guidance on writing assignments and dissertations for your MA/MSc programme with individual support from an academic writing advisor via tutorials, email and the provision of online materials.
International students can access support for English Language development and skills through the Birmingham International Academy (BIA).
Your degree will provide excellent preparation for employment and this will be further enhanced by a range of employability support services offered by the University.
The University's Careers Network provides advice and information specifically for postgraduates that will help you to develop an effective career and skills development strategy, and to make the most of your time with us at the University. The College of Arts and Law also has a dedicated careers and employability team to deliver tailored programmes of careers events and local support.
You will have opportunities to: meet employers face-to-face at on-campus recruitment fairs; attend employer presentations and skills workshops; receive individual guidance on your job applications, writing your CV and improving your interview technique; and access to comprehensive listings of hundreds of graduate jobs and work experience opportunities.
You will also be able to access our full range of careers support for up to two years after graduation.
Over the past three years, over 96% of Creative Writing postgraduates were in work and/or further study six months after graduation. Postgraduates in the Department of Film and Creative Writing develop a range of skills including: the ability to lead and participate in discussions; critical thinking, and an appreciation of different theoretical contexts; the ability to develop opinions and new ideas; and an aptitude for thinking and working creatively with others. While some graduates go on to careers in related industries - such as writing, media and television - others have used their transferable skills to pursue roles such as advertising, teaching, and in the heritage and cultural sectors.
Our Creative Writing 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.
Our 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.
As the programme is taught in the evening, we welcome applications from mature students with work and family commitments who are committed to writing a full length play or screenplay over two years.
Creatively stimulating, challenging and above all practical, this innovative two-year Creative Writing programme taught during the evening, 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.
The Creative Writing (Playwriting and Screenwriting) MA is accredited by Skillset, the Creative Industries’ Sector Skills Council which means that students are eligible for the BAFTA Scholarship programme – successful applicants receive a bursary of up to £10,000, a BAFTA mentor, access to BAFTA events, plus a paid work placement at Warner Bros UK.
The course has strong ties with leading playwrights and screenwriters. Recent visiting speakers include:
Richard Bean, Alan Bennett, Ronan Bennett, J Blakeson, Adam Brace, Laurence Coriat, Rib Davies, David Edgar, Martha Fiennes, Andrea Gibb, Tony Grisoni, Stuart Hazeldine, Dennis Kelly, Mike Leigh, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Patrick Marber, Paul Mayeda Berges, Nicholas McInerny, Anthony Neilson, Diane Samuels, Paul Sirett, Ali Taylor, Sue Teddern, Colin Teevan, Timberlake Wertenbaker, and Roy Williams.
You will have the opportunity to meet agents, producers, directors, and authors on screenwriting. Recent guests have included:
Linda Aronson, Katie Battcock, Matthew Bates, Paul Basset Davies, Camilla Bray, Ruth Caleb, Julian Friedmann, Tony Garnett, Lisa Goldman, Fin Kennedy, Kate Leys, Nick Marston, Margaret Matheson, Jeremy Mortimer, George Perrin, Simon Shaps, David Thompson, Neil Quinn, Mervyn Watson and Katie Williams.
Our Creative Writing masters course is taught and run by professional working writers and you will be mentored by a professional working playwright or screenwriter for the whole of year two.
You will be taught intensively for six hours per week in year one and in the second year you choose to write either a full length play, or screenplay, or a pilot for an original television series.
This playwriting and screenwriting course 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.
Central to this Creative Writing masters 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.
Assessment includes participation in lectures, seminars and workshops; of work on presentations; set exercises and own play or screen script proposal.
Many of our Creative Writing graduates from play and screenwriting go on to have their work performed professionally and have won many awards and nominations. Since the beginning of 2015 over 40 students and alumni have had plays performed.
Some recent examples include
Our graduates have had plays performed in London at the Old Vic, Arcola, Old Red Lion, Southwark Playhouse, Globe and White Bear theatres; as well as in Australia, New York, the Netherlands and Afghanistan.