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Scriptwriting (MA)


Course Description

The aim of this degree is to give students the opportunity to develop an advanced understanding of Scriptwriting as a craft. The expertise of our team allows our students to choose whether to write for film, theatre, TV, trans-media or radio.

During your time with us you will be following a programme of study that is designed to connect practice with theory, with the eventual aim of providing you with an extensive portfolio of work that could serve as a calling card for the industry. Here you can write short scripts, adaptations and feature length scripts in the medium of your choice.

Our Scriptwriting degree is a valuable opportunity to achieve a high level academic qualification that combines vocational training with analytical skills. We can help you forge working relationships with professional writers and academics, and to explore potential vocational pathways in writing and/or academia.

If you choose to study on a creative postgraduate course at the University of South Wales, you will also benefit from being part of a vibrant international student community.

See the website http://courses.southwales.ac.uk/courses/136-ma-scriptwriting

What you will study

The MA Scriptwriting course will include the following elements, though you can choose to specialise in writing for film, theatre, TV or radio:

Script Analysis – The module will identify various methods of script analysis from classical structure to more post-structural models equipping you to differentiate between approaches then apply the approach more suited your personal needs.

Short Script – In this module you are required to write a short drama script – either for theatre, radio or for the screen. As part of the module you will visit a specific location as a creative stimulus; this will form the basis for developing the initial idea and writing the final piece.

Adaptation – The module focuses initially on analysis of case studies of adaptations that will include readings of both the original texts and sources as well as the final adapted forms, before offering approaches to allow students to generate their own adaptations.

Major Project Treatment – This module is designed to teach students how to conceive, structure and write a treatment or outline for their final project. It includes analysis of story structure as well as comprehensive guidance on the techniques of writing and presenting an industry-ready package including a pitch, synopsis and treatment.

Major Project – Students will work with their supervisor through the process of evolving their treatment into a final draft, full-length script. Because the story has already been developed, with structure and character arcs already in place, the emphasis at this stage will be more on writing scenes and crafting dialogue

You will be tutored through these modules, which culminate in a full-length script that showcases the skills you have gained during the course and can potentially act as an industry calling card.

Common Modules:
The Faculty understands the importance of a strong grounding in research knowledge and skills, enterprise and innovation as part of a balanced postgraduate education.

We also recognise that each student has different requirements of their postgraduate experience.

You can choose to study one of the following three, 20 credit common modules. Each of these has a different focus, enabling you to select the module that will be most beneficial to you.

- Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship
This module aims to develop your knowledge of the methods to identify, develop and manage enterprise and innovation in the creative sector. It will then help you apply this to your own entrepreneurial project.

- Research and Practice in the Creative and Cultural Industries
The focus of this module is on the development of research knowledge and skills, while also encouraging critical engagement with approaches to creative practice. You will also explore ideas, debates and issues in the creative and cultural industries.

- Research Paradigms
This module focuses on research paradigms and their theoretical underpinnings. It also looks at key conceptual tools drawn from a wide range of subject areas relevant to postgraduate research in the creative industries.

Learning and teaching methods

The Full Time course is taught through lectures and seminars held at the Atrium Building coupled and one to one tutorials. We also combine with the Part Time students during a series of intensive residential sessions and master-classes with industry professionals.

Following up from the weekend master-classes the Part Time course employs distance-learning practises, things like Skype tutorials or tutorials via phone or written feedback via e-mail.

The MA Scriptwriting may also be studied through the medium of Welsh.

Work Experience and Employment Prospects

USW’s MA Scriptwriting will introduce students to industry professionals and generate a range of networking opportunities. The skills acquired on this scriptwriting course lead either to a career as a writer in film, theatre, TV or radio, or to further academic study at PhD level.

Assessment methods

Learning Through Employment:
Learning Through Employment is a University of South Wales framework that offers students who are already in employment the opportunity to gain credits towards a postgraduate qualification.

The programme is structured so that the majority of learning takes place through active and reflective engagement with your work activities, underpinned by the appropriate academic knowledge and skills.

All postgraduate courses at the University of South Wales’ Cardiff Campus offer students the opportunity to undertake a 60 credit Learning Through Employment Research Project as an alternative to a traditional final dissertation, major project or production.

The focus of the project is an individual, organisational problem solving, knowledge-based approach.

As such, it has been is designed for practising professionals to provide them with the tools to succeed in the workplace.

This truly flexible approach means that projects can be based on an agreed area of work, benefitting students and employers, and because the majority of the project is carried out in the workplace, it can potentially be undertaken anywhere in the world.

Visit the Scriptwriting (MA) page on the University of South Wales website for more details!

Videos
(Student Profile)

Ashley Pharoah (Co-creator of Life on Mars and co-founder of Monastic Productions)

"I recently visited the MA Scriptwriting course as a visiting lecturer to discuss screen adaptation, drawing upon my recent BBC TV series 'Case Histories' as an example. The students then pitched their own adaptation ideas and I was extremely impressed by the variety and standard of the work. The designs of the assignments undertaken on this course seem very industry-centred and relevant to the students' future careers as professional scriptwriters. I wish them well."


Scholarships

Entry Requirements

A minimum 2:2 Honours degree, but anyone with proven potential in scriptwriting will be considered. Evidence of scriptwriting potential is required, either a completed script or script in development, and an essay or piece of critical writing. You may also be invited for an interview.

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