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.
The degree is also available to study part-time over 24 months. The part-time MA may be of special interest to those who are working in related fields as part of their career development.
Facilities and Resources
On and off-campus, you’ll benefit from opportunities to get involved in various cultural activities. The School of Performance and Cultural Industries organises the annual Little Leeds Fringe Festival, a series of cultural events on campus giving you the chance to volunteer in the management and programming team. What’s more, you can join any of the student societies that run events, campaigns and productions throughout the year.
You’ll study in a city with a rich cultural life that’s also a hub for business and entrepreneurship – home to the Leeds International Film Festival and Leeds International Piano Competition, as well as a variety of galleries, museums, theatres and other cultural facilities.
Our purpose-built landmark building [email protected]
houses two professional-standard and publicly licensed theatres that regularly host work by both students and visiting theatre companies – one of which is a technically advanced research facility.
Our links with external organisations are among our biggest strengths, giving you the chance to take performance to different environments outside of the university context. We’re always developing new relationships with partners in different contexts to offer you more opportunities to participate.
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.
Opera North, the National Media Museum, Leeds City Council, Red Ladder Theatre Company, Limehouse Productions, Phoenix Dance Theatre, the National Coal Mining Museum for England, HMP New Hall, Blah Blah Blah Theatre Company, the BBC and HMP Wetherby are all among our partners.
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 also choose from optional modules, allowing you to specialise in writing for the screen or for theatre and radio.
You’ll have the chance to build on this foundation in the following semester, when you’ll choose from further optional modules. These will allow you to continue working on film and television writing or choose to 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.