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Overview

Discover how to write for theatre, radio, film, television, and prose fiction, in collaboration with creatives and researchers who are actively engaged in the cultural industries.

This course allows you to engage with a wide variety of genres from both creative and critical perspectives. You’ll develop your imaginative writing skills and analyse the writing process, with opportunities to produce practical work in our state-of-the-art facilities.

Our diverse but close-knit community of professional writers, creative practitioners, and innovative researchers are dedicated to developing emerging talent. You’ll be encouraged to test the limits of style and genre, and to explore how your work connects with our increasingly complex world.

You’ll have opportunities to pursue areas of interest, including tailored pathways in screenwriting or writing for theatre. You can also gain industry experience by delivering a project in collaboration with an external partner.

Leeds has a thriving cultural scene, and our industry connections allow you to work closely with local theatres, museums, radio stations, television studios, publishers, and more. Our partnership with Leeds Playhouse offers a programme of specially created joint writing projects, work experience placements, and workshops with leading creatives.

Our School is based in [email protected], a purpose-built landmark building that sits at the heart of campus. As our student, you’ll have access to its two professional standard, publicly licensed theatres: the main space seats 180 and is equipped with the latest technologies, and the theatre studio provides a technically advanced performance research facility.

Leeds University Library is one of the UK’s major academic research libraries, and has extensive holdings to support your studies including Special Collections offering a huge range of rare books, manuscripts and art.

Highlights include materials relating to Leeds Playhouse, the English Stage Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, as well as the archives of dramatists, directors and choreographers like Wole Soyinka, Rudolph Laban, John Moody, and William Gaskill.

Course content

You’ll study compulsory modules designed to advance your practical and creative skills, as well as giving you a solid base of theoretical knowledge and high level research skills.

Depending on your optional module choices, you’ll also have the chance to collaborate with your fellow students or work with local cultural organisations by completing a research placement.

As you progress through your studies, you’ll apply what you’ve learned in an independent research project on a topic of your choice. This can be a written dissertation or major creative writing project with critical commentary.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Writing for Performance and Publication MA Full Time in the course catalogue

Modules

Compulsory modules

  • Research Project
  • Story Workshop
  • Research Perspectives (Writing for Performance and Publication)

Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)

  • Engaging the Modern City: The Civic Researcher
  • Individual Project
  • Performance and Collaborative Enterprise
  • Writing for Theatre and Radio
  • Writing for Film and Television

Learning and teaching

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.

Applying, fees and funding

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

How to apply

APPLY (FULL TIME) 

APPLY (PART TIME) 

Documents and information you’ll need

  • A portfolio of 2,000-3,000 words of creative writing. Samples of dramatic scriptwriting (stage, screen or radio) are preferred, but other narrative forms such as prose fiction or journalism are acceptable.
  • A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts, or partial transcripts if you're still studying (please submit an official English translation if necessary)
  • Evidence of your English language qualifications, if English is not your first language
  • A personal statement outlining your interest in and suitability for the course
  • A full up-to-date CV

Next steps

We’ll contact you when we receive your application. Wherever possible, we call candidates for interview.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Fees

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

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.

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.


Visit the Writing for Performance and Publication MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

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