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Course content

Aspiring playwright? Teacher, director, actor or theatre enthusiast who wants to gain experience of writing for dramatic performance? This course is for those who want hands-on opportunities to develop their playwriting skills, knowledge and awareness. You'll develop your own plays across different forms and styles, from monologues and single-authored plays to the writing of experimental dramaturgies for live art and collaborative or devised projects.

Since we think writers learn best from writers, you'll be taught by experienced playwrights and academics. Recently the course has been taught by award-winning playwright Tanika Gupta and we've had visits from Simon Stephens, April de Angelis, Roy Williams, Dennis Kelly, Linda McLean and Duncan Macmillan amongst others. As you let established voices push you to be more ambitious and creative in your writing, you'll also explore your own voices and style. You'll explore how dramatists past and present have used conventions – and broken them – in the creation of structure, metaphor, character, scene, dialogue, image and action. 

As you go through the course, you'll also work on an independently-researched project - a chance to get your teeth into an area of specialist interest. Part of the course is taught at our creative hub in the centre of London, 11 Bedford Square, plugging you into the heart of theatre production and a busy creative scene in the city.

Course structure

  • Playwriting
  • Making Performance
  • Dissertation

Teaching & assessment

We use a range of assessment methods including essays and performance analyses, practical projects and a final dissertation. You'll sometimes complete practical projects in groups and you may be assessed for your contribution to group work. 

Your future career

Our graduates have started careers in professional theatre, film and television as well as training and education. If you come to the end of the course and find yourself curious about an area of study – or want to take your dissertation topic further – the MA is a perfect grounding for a PhD, which may be fully written or include a practice-based component.

The department gives you access to other creative areas of study like dance, media and art. Part of our reputation as a creative campus comes from this cross-pollination of studies and disciplines, so you'll have a good chance to push into those fields and gain knowledge of theatres and the performance scene in London and beyond. You'll leave the MA able to navigate an intense and growing field with credibility and creativity.


Visit the Playwriting - MA page on the Royal Holloway, University of London website for more details!

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Recipient: Royal Holloway, University of London

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