• Leeds Beckett University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Glasgow Featured Masters Courses
  • Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • University of York Featured Masters Courses
  • Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
  • Regent’s University London Featured Masters Courses
De Montfort University Featured Masters Courses
University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
Southampton Solent University Featured Masters Courses
Imperial College London Featured Masters Courses
University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses

Playwriting - MA


Course Description

Develop as a playwright by learning with professional and award-winning dramatists. On our MA Playwriting you produce a varied portfolio of dramatic works, culminating in a full-length original play, which will enable you to hone and develop your own unique voice.

At Essex, we believe that the joint engagement of practice and theory produces a deep understanding of how drama works. We combine critical study of dramatic texts with practical workshops, so that you nurture your understanding of the playwright’s craft in order to produce your own new work.

Our course focuses on the range of possibilities that exist for contemporary drama, with an emphasis on British and Irish drama, and you also explore topics including:
-The principles of dramatic structure and scene construction (dialogue, the construction of plot, the development of character, development of themes, and the structure of scenes)
-Techniques for working as a playwright with youth and community groups
-The origins and possibilities of poetic theatre and verse drama
-Options for poetic practice or novel-writing
-Radio drama

At the end of the course your work will be rehearsed and given a public performance in the Lakeside Theatre at our Colchester Campus. Your dissertation gives you the chance to write a full-length play with one-to-one supervision from an award-winning playwright tutor.

We are ranked Top 10 in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2015), and three-quarters of our research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).

Our expert staff

Our academic tutors tutors include:
-Professor Jonathan Lichtenstein is a playwright who has written for Radio 4 and the National Theatre. His awards include a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival and his plays have been performed internationally.
-Elizabeth Kuti is also a playwright. She has won the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and the Stewart Parker Radio Award; and has been commissioned by the National Theatre; the Abbey Theatre, Dublin; and BBC radio. She also writes and researches in the field of eighteenth-century theatre.
-Liam Jarvis is Artistic Director of Analogue Theatre and a playwright and theatre practitioner. He also writes and publishes widely on contemporary theatre theory and practice.
-Annie Eddington and Barbara Peirson have professional specialisms in Theatre-in-Education, directing, theatre and human rights. Other staff members bring expertise in acting, producing and technical theatre.

We also invite professional playwrights and other theatre practitioners to provide you with specialist master classes. Recent class leaders have included Max Stafford-Clark, David Eldridge, Paul Sirett, Lisa Goldman, David Thacker, Mike Attenborough, Annie Castledine, Bobby Baker, Robert Holman, Tony Casement, and Gari Jones.

Specialist facilities

-Our on-campus Lakeside Theatre is a major venue for drama, staging productions by professional touring companies and new work written, produced and directed by our own staff and students
-Our Student Company runs weekly practical workshops, enabling drama enthusiasts to get involved in both front-of-house and behind the scenes
-Our Research Laboratory allows you to collaborate with professionals, improvising and experimenting with new work as it develops
Access the University’s Media Centre, equipped with state-of-the-art studios, cameras, audio and lighting equipment, and an industry-standard editing suite
-Write for our student newspaper The Rabbit or host a Red Radio show
-View classic films at weekly film screenings in our dedicated 120-seat film theatre
-Hear writers talk about their craft and learn from leading specialists at weekly research seminars

Your future

This course will be of interest to those who wish to pursue a career in many areas of the arts, creative writing and media.

A number of our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies graduates have gone on to undertake successful careers as scholars, university lecturers, teachers, publishers, publishers’ editors, journalists, arts administrators, theatre artistic directors, drama advisers, and translators.

We also offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MA by dissertation in different literatures and various approaches to literature, covering most aspects of early modern and modern writing in English, plus a number of other languages.

Our University is one of only 11 AHRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK. This means that we offer funded PhD studentships which also provide a range of research and training opportunities.

We work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Visit the Playwriting - MA page on the University of Essex website for more details!

Entry Requirements

We will consider applications with an overall grade of 2:2 and above. We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University of Essex

Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.

Your enquiry has been emailed successfully



Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X