With a uniquely collaborative emphasis, this course offers opportunities for some of the scripts you develop over the course to be produced, through close collaboration with students from MA Producing for Film and TV, MA Directing for Film and TV and MA Radio Production. This equips you with the skills and attitudes required for successful script development processes in the industry. The course is busy, intensive and involves much teamwork alongside individual writing practice.
Throughout the course, you will develop your ideas from concept to industry standard final draft, with a development process that includes research, pitching, presentations, script reading and networking events, workshop groups, tutorials, script editing, and rewriting for production.
You will be encouraged to nurture and reflect on your creative process and originality of voice, and to explore the contexts – critical, creative and industrial that inform scriptwriting today.
The course is taught by scriptwriting professionals and theorists, alongside an exciting programme of industry guest speakers. The course is suitable for students who have previously developed their own creative writing projects within humanities or media production courses or with relevant professional experience. You may have an undergraduate qualification in a related subject or may be able to show your suitability for this programme of study through associated work-experience or evidence of and outputs from other related activities.
Successful participation in MA Scriptwriting will enable you to emerge from the course as a writer with a distinctive authorial voice, an industry standard portfolio of scripts, experience of writing in formats and genres, and a robust attitude to collaboration and development.
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.
Find out more about Garry Lyons
You’ll be based in our landmark building [email protected], with two professional-standard and publicly licensed theatres that regularly host works by students and visiting theatre companies. You’ll be encouraged to use these facilities to try your work out in workshops, rehearsed readings or full productions, and gain experience of practical drama-making.
The programme also benefits from our close links with external organisations. As well as our partnership with West Yorkshire Playhouse, we work with the BBC’s new talent unit, Writers’ Room. Other partners include Opera North, ITV, Screen Yorkshire, the National Media Museum, Creative England, Red Ladder Theatre Company, True North Productions, Chapel FM Radio, Valley Press and many more.
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 work in a range of forms - from theatre and radio to screenplays and prose - preparing you to specialise as you progress through the degree.
Options in Semester 2 allow you to focus on film and television writing or 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.
Working with West Yorkshire Playhouse
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.
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.
You’ll be assessed mostly on the basis of your creative writing, including theatre, screen and radio scripts and short prose stories you’ll develop in your modules. To encourage you to reflect on your practice, you’ll also write commentaries on your own work. Core modules may also use assessment methods such as essays and presentations to allow you to demonstrate your knowledge.
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. Alternatively, you could use your additional experience and qualification to progress in your current career or pursue a related path within the creative arts.
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.
The programme has established a powerful record for developing successful writers and creative leaders, from playwrights and television writers to novelists, directors and lecturers.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Creative Writing at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The MA in Creative Writing is a unique programme that offers integrated training in the writing of literary and media text. The MA in Creative Writing is taught by prize-winning writers of fiction, poetry and drama who provide core training and individual pathways in the major genres of contemporary literary and media writing. Modules on the Creative Writing programme are taught through workshop sessions, group work and one-to-one mentoring between students and a tutor. Courses include the writing of prose fiction, poetry, drama, screenwriting and creative nonfiction. Writers and representatives from the arts world and the publishing industry are invited to address the MA Creative Writing group about creative work and publishing. We have strong links with Swansea’s Dylan Thomas Centre, which offers a lively programme of events throughout the year.
- The MA in Creative Writing is taught by experienced writers and offers a wide range of writing genres including fiction, short story, poetry, drama, screenwriting and creative non-fiction.
- Drama writing is a particular strength, including the relatively new and unexplored field of Dramaturgy.
- Regular play readings and students' dramatic writing is often performed by professional actors in the Rough Diamonds mini-festival in the summer.
- Creative Writers have a close relationship with National Theatre Wales and also open-mic poetry events at local venues such as the Dylan Thomas Centre and Howl.
- There is scope for work experience with local publishers.
- The writing programme has an online journal, The Swansea Review, and students write for The Siren, a student-run online journal, and The Waterfront student newspaper.
- Creative Writing students have free membership of Literature Wales, the national literature promotion agency.
- Students are involved in the annual Writers’ Day at the Dylan Thomas Centre, where they meet editors, agents, publishers and writers to discuss the ins and outs of publication and the craft of writing.
- Students are part of a vibrant community of writers and artists – Swansea, the birthplace of Dylan Thomas, having a fair claim to being Wales’s city of culture.
- The programme has connection with and experience of the unique literary culture of Wales, home to possibly the oldest (but still vibrant) bardic tradition in Europe.
Modules on the MA in Creative Writing typically include:
• Writing Fiction
• Writing Poetry
• Genre: Writing for Stage
• Creative Non-Fiction and Travel Writing
• Nature Writing
• Writing Radio Drama
• The Art of Short Story
• Writing the Self
• International Dramaturgy
Students or Professionals interested in Creative and Professional Writing. Students interested in preparation for postgraduate research, MPhil or PhD.
- To offer students the chance to belong to a warmly supportive community of writers, passionate about their art.
- To give students the opportunity to discuss literary matters with agents, editors and publishers.
- To provide active participation in Swansea’s burgeoning literary scene and have students’ dramatic writing performed by professional actors at the Dylan Thomas Literature Centre.
- To offer research seminars presented by eminent creative writers and academics.
- To develop study and research skills in Creative Writing research and practice methodologies.
Career expectations are excellent for Creative Writing graduates. MA degree holders enter careers in professional and creative writing, publishing, education, global marketing and advertising, media, business, heritage and tourism, and performing arts. Some graduates go on to pursue further postgraduate study leading to a PhD and a career in Academia.
"Since graduating with an MA with Distinction in Creative Writing from Swansea University, I have published three collections of poetry, founded Grievous Jones Press, and begun lecturing in Creative Writing. In the near future I will finish my PhD in Creative Writing and have books forthcoming with Blackheath Books and Seren Books. The training, experience, and rigour of the Swansea MA in Creative Writing was invaluable for launching my career as a writer and publisher. Without the inspiration, guidance, and critique of the excellent faculty and peers, my own writing would not have grown and my flame for creation might have faltered."
David Oprava, Creative Writing, MA