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About the course

This programme is now full and no longer accepting new applications for the 2019 intake. Applications for the 2020 intake will open in mid-October this year.

The MA/MFA Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media offers a vocational training in writing drama across a range of different media contexts. 

Both the MA and MFA courses provide the opportunity for you to develop the core competencies and skills of the dramatist, to explore your ‘voice’, to develop your confidence in your own writing and to understand the different media contexts within which you might work as a professional scriptwriter. 

  • Train to write drama for different media including theatre, film, television and radio 
  • Study the history of dramatic writing and explore its future 
  • Work with actors and be taught by industry professionals

In the past, students have also had the opportunity to study optional units on writing within other contexts, for example, writing with, and for, communities (in collaboration with the MA Applied Theatre). 

Key features of the course

  • practice-based enquiry into techniques and processes for writing for stage and screen; 
  • a series of writing projects engaging with different styles and media formats; 
  • research into dramatic writing techniques and issues of performance in relation to theatre, cinema, television, radio and other relevant contexts. 

For more information on structure of the course please see ‘Course Detail’, below.

Course Detail

You will be taught in group sessions and through individual tutorials. During these sessions, you will consider the fundamentals of dramatic writing. In the past, these have included structure, narrative, dramatic action, genre, character, dialogue and rhetorical effect.

You will attend masterclasses, seminars and workshops focusing on the particular modes of writing required for different production contexts. 

You will also have the opportunity to be part of a writers’ group, providing peer support in developing each other’s writing. Your vocational work in these areas is complemented by individual research and appropriate theoretical discussion and enquiry. You will explore the historical, theoretical and critical contexts within which traditions of dramatic writing have evolved. 

You will engage in projects that test and develop your skills as a writer of drama. These have included forming a team of writers to evolve a television series, writing a short play, having your script work-shopped with actors, writing a short film script, developing a radio play and developing and writing a complete dramatic script for production in a particular medium (theatre, film, television or radio). 

In undertaking these projects you will acquire an understanding of working in different formats, as well as the role of the writer in different production processes. 

Through a rolling programme of guest speakers from the industry, you will gain some insight into commissioning and production protocols in different media and the role of the literary agent. You will also have the opportunity to hear from professional writers working across various dramatic mediums. 

The MA ends with a Sustained Independent Project where you are able to focus on developing a full-length ‘calling card’ script for a specific dramatic medium (theatre, film, television or radio) under the guidance of a professional writer or other industry professional. 

MFA study

If you choose to study for an MFA, you will join the MA students for two-thirds of their course. The MFA then extends into a second year that engages you with further specialist subject skills. You will be expected to produce two ‘calling card’ scripts and to develop a plan for your professional development. 

MFA students are offered extended and sustained script development support from professional writers and other industry professionals. You will be expected to develop professional ties and to begin to establish yourself as a professional practitioner. 

The MFA second year widens your opportunities to practise knowledge within a context and framework where pertinent questions can be asked, protocols tested and new structures suggested. During the MFA, you will be supported with one-to-one tutorials and occasional seminars. 

The MFA offers a further embedding of skills and concepts learnt during the first year. In some countries, the MFA is more recognised, particularly if you are interested in teaching or research in a higher education environment. 

An MFA top-up year for those with an existing MA in this subject is also available.

ASSESSMENT

You will be assessed through peer assessment, script writing assignments, essays, presentations, critical reflection on your own writing and, for the MFA, the submission of a professional development portfolio.

Download MA MFA WSBM Programme Specification 2018-2019

How to Apply for Postgraduate Courses

All applications to postgraduate courses at Central must be made directly to the School. We have an online application system through which you should submit your application.

Visit the website for further details. 


Visit the MA/MFA Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media page on the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama website for more details!

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