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Key details

Award title
MA Writing for Script & Screen (also available as PGDip)
Awarding body
Falmouth University
Level
7
Duration
MA 2 years; PGDip 14 months
Mode of study
Online, part-time
Total MA course fee
£11,300
3 start dates per year
January, May and September
Next welcome week
13 September 2021
Next start date
20 September 2021
Application deadline
31 August 2021 (apply early to secure your place)

Online Masters in Writing for Script & Screen

Introduction

Gain the writing skills, industry know-how, professional skills and experience of collaborative working that the ever-changing screen-writing industry demands.  

Learn how to function within a professional environment across different screen industries, and create work that stands out from the crowd

Develop your portfolio across different platforms or focus on the mediums and genres that interest you through live briefs, collaborative projects and independent research. 

You will: 

  • Learn the fundamentals of storytelling and how these can be applied to your chosen script medium 
  • Gain the professional skills needed to compete in the script writing industries, including how to write treatments, develop characters and setting, present your work in the correct format, and pitch your ideas 
  • Collaborate and network with other script professionals around the world  
  • Gain the research skills, critical and theoretical approaches needed to underpin your practice  
  • Gain an understanding of current trends and developments in the screen industries.  

Check out our guide to becoming a professional screenwriter, where Course Leader John Finnegan shares his advice for bringing your ideas to life. 

Why study with us?

This MA is built to help students establish successful careers as writers in the script writing industries, irrespective of where they are in their professional journey.

You may be a recent graduate looking to develop specialist knowledge, or a writer who wants the skills to adapt existing work for screen. You might be a current practitioner in the screen industries who’s keen to further your growth. As a student of the course, you’ll receive the support you need to reach your career goals.

This is because our modules are designed to help you in the real world – from honing your creative capabilities to developing the networking and presentation skills that are essential to creating professional relationships and securing work.

Upon graduating from the course, you’ll be well-equipped to work professionally across a variety of mediums – including video games, cinema, television or digital media.

Watch our virtual Q&A with Course Leader John Finnegan to find out about the help and guidance you will receive on the course:

 

 

Careers and employability service

In addition to the guidance offered by our tutors, you can also access our RealWORKS, our careers and employability service throughout your studies, and for up to 5 years following graduation.

Our expert team will help you identify potential opportunities in the UK or internationally, prepare for job interviews, advise you on starting up your own business, and more.

Entry requirements

You should have:

An honours degree or Level 6 equivalent qualification.

If your first language is not English, you'll need to take one of the following tests to verify your proficiency:

  • IELTS - minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening
  • TOEFL iBT (online test) - minimum of 88 overall and at least 21 in all 4 components
  • LanguageCert (online test) - a High Pass from the ESOL B2 Communicator test in reading, writing, speaking and listening (2 parts)

We also accept a range of equivalent recognised English language qualifications. Candidates without a degree or formal qualification are still encouraged to apply.

For more information regarding equivalent international qualifications and Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) please call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 or view our handy guide: 

APL guide

Course details

What you’ll learn

Explore fundamental questions of storytelling and scriptwriting, develop scriptwriting portfolios and professional briefs, and learn how to promote yourself as a freelance scriptwriter.  

Course structure

MA 

You will need to complete four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project (180 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award. 

PGDip 

You will need to complete four 30-credit modules (120 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award. A dissertation (major project) is not required. 

Please note the module orders are subject to change.

Module one

Storytelling for Script & Screen (30 credits) 

In this module, you will examine, explore and practice the fundamental questions of storytelling and script writing: ‘Why do we tell stories and how do we tell stories?’

You will learn specific script writing skills: script layout, visual storytelling, genre, setting, character, dialogue and the construction of scenes and sequences.  

 

Module two

Individual Script Development Workshop (30 credits) 

In this module, you will develop an individually negotiated scriptwriting portfolio.

More complex elements of scriptwriting will be rigorously explored, including: deep structure (scenes and sequences), in-depth character development, and sustaining narrative and theme in a feature film, television series, or a digital game.  

 

Module three

Writer’s Room: Collaborative Script Development (30 credits) 

In this module, you will work collaboratively on a professional brief. 

In the first 10 weeks, working in Script Development Teams, you will develop industry practice project proposal documents.

In the final two weeks, you will work in the roles of client/commissioner for each brief, assessing the project proposal of another team, and deciding whether to ‘green-light’ the project.  

Module four

Screen Industries: Professional Development (30 credits) 

In this module, you will learn strategies for promoting yourself as a freelance scriptwriter.

You will identify an area of special interest, and you will research contemporary practice in order to produce a case study that evaluates current markets and opportunities.

You will then generate a series of ideas in response to your findings, which you will communicate through a pitch document.  

Final major project (MA only)
Final Major Project (MA only) (60 credits)

 

In the final module, you will work on a major script development project for a platform/medium of your choice.

You can either further develop work that you have produced on other modules, or you can develop a new concept. 

At the end, you’ll have a finished piece of work of professional quality. 

Want to learn more about any of the modules?

Get in touch with our expert Course Adviser team. They’ll be able to answer all your questions about the programme, our application process, funding options, and more.

Storytelling for Script & Screen (30 credits) 

In this module, you will examine, explore and practice the fundamental questions of storytelling and script writing: ‘Why do we tell stories and how do we tell stories?’

You will learn specific script writing skills: script layout, visual storytelling, genre, setting, character, dialogue and the construction of scenes and sequences.  

 

Individual Script Development Workshop (30 credits) 

In this module, you will develop an individually negotiated scriptwriting portfolio.

More complex elements of scriptwriting will be rigorously explored, including: deep structure (scenes and sequences), in-depth character development, and sustaining narrative and theme in a feature film, television series, or a digital game.  

 

Writer’s Room: Collaborative Script Development (30 credits) 

In this module, you will work collaboratively on a professional brief. 

In the first 10 weeks, working in Script Development Teams, you will develop industry practice project proposal documents.

In the final two weeks, you will work in the roles of client/commissioner for each brief, assessing the project proposal of another team, and deciding whether to ‘green-light’ the project.  

Screen Industries: Professional Development (30 credits) 

In this module, you will learn strategies for promoting yourself as a freelance scriptwriter.

You will identify an area of special interest, and you will research contemporary practice in order to produce a case study that evaluates current markets and opportunities.

You will then generate a series of ideas in response to your findings, which you will communicate through a pitch document.  

Final Major Project (MA only) (60 credits)

 

In the final module, you will work on a major script development project for a platform/medium of your choice.

You can either further develop work that you have produced on other modules, or you can develop a new concept. 

At the end, you’ll have a finished piece of work of professional quality. 

Want to learn more about any of the modules?

Get in touch with our expert Course Adviser team. They’ll be able to answer all your questions about the programme, our application process, funding options, and more.

How you'll learn

With Falmouth Flexible, you access your course content, interactions with other students and tutors, and learning resources, through Canvas, an easy-to-use online platform.  

You can access the course wherever you are in the world, and you can stop, pause and rewind lectures whenever you want. 

 

Learning activities 

Engaging learning activities will help you apply theory to practice. They could include: 

  • Concise online presentations to introduce key concepts 
  • Small group and class discussions and crits to facilitate interaction and dialogue 
  • Online critiques to test assumptions, ideas and to receive feedback from peers and tutors 
  • Individual and group tutorials throughout the course 
  • Independent study 
  • Self-evaluation and peer feedback. 

 

Assessments

All assessments are taken and submitted online.  

Assessment methods for the masters degree in Writing for Script & Screen can typically include: 

  • Coursework assessment with no formal examination 
  • Portfolios, projects, online presentations and pitches. 

 

Student support

Throughout your studies, you’ll be supported by a student advisor. Their job is to answer any non-academic queries you may have, and they can be contacted via email, phone, text or WhatsApp.  

They can show you around the online learning platform, guide you through enrolment, and give advice on managing your work/life balance.  

As a Falmouth student, you enjoy an equal status to students studying on campus: 

  • Your own student ID card 
  • Access to online software tutorials at lynda.com 
  • 24/7 online access to library resources 
  • Students’ Union community. 

Teaching team

Designed with employer-focused learning at the core, the MA Writing for Script & Screen team work with global organisations, staff and alumni to provide you with the breadth of experience and networks needed to accelerate your career.

Guest lecturers have included:

  • David Hayter, who wrote the screenplays to X-Men (2000), X-Men 2 (2003) and Watchmen (2009)
  • ​Brandon Boyce, whose writing includes Apt Pupil, and Bad Samaritan with David Tennant
  • Award winning short filmmaker and tv director, Oisin Mac Coille

“This master’s is very different to other screenwriting courses that I’ve come across, in that it focuses on business practices within screenwriting that will help you as a professional screenwriter. It’s taking that step on from just writing the script.” 

Daniel Tuck, MA Writing for Script & Screen

“The course is helping me to structure and question what I’m writing and its use on the page. It’s helping me become a screenwriter, but it’s also helping with my prose.”

Mandi Allen, MA Writing for Script & Screen

The Script Department

The Script Department logoMA Writing for Script and Screen is also affiliated with The Script Department, a production company run by screenwriters, for screenwriters. Created by Course Coordinator John Finnegan and Module Leader Michela Cortese, The Script Department has a scripted podcast of the same name that regularly features student work and has served as an opportunity to partner with alumni after they have finished the course.

MA Writing for Script & Screen graduates Marcus Armstrong and Laura Owen now serve as producers in the company and have worked with many existing students to produce their writing into scripted audio dramas for the podcast.

In early 2021, the Script Department released A Ball in the Brain: General Gordon's Last Stand, a 4-part script reading, written by BAFTA-winner Stuart Urban and read by Pip Torrens (The Crown, Preacher, Poldark). The project was co-produced by MA graduate Laura Owen.

An online magazine, In-Dept, is also produced quarterly and features articles from students and graduates. It recently included an interview by Laura Owen with Jed Mercurio, writer of Bodyguard, Line of Duty and other successful UK TV dramas.

The Script Department has also just released the first trailer for their upcoming feature-length script-reading, The Clearing, which is written and read by graduate Belinda Lees. In addition, The Dead Cry Out, written by John Finnegan and Michela Cortese and read by Allen Leech (Downton Abbey, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Imitation Game) was recently featured as a weekly series on BBC Radio Cornwall.

More information about the projects our students contribute to can be found on The Script Department website and Facebook page.

Face-to-face events

Up to twice a year, you’ll have the optional opportunity to meet your classmates and tutors in person. Dates and location of the events will vary. Events usually incorporate a weekend to accommodate busy schedules.  

During the pandemic, events have continued to take place virtually. Students recently enjoyed a day of industry insights, table reads and collaboration with tutors and industry experts, including TV screenwriter Graham Mitchell:

Discover more >

Previous events have included a visit to the Screenwriting Research Network Conference in Milan, where our students had the opportunity to participate in sessions on adapting a movie into a TV series, writing female characters, writing comedy and screenwriting history.  

Find out more about face-to-face events on our student experience page.

How to apply

 

Before you apply 

Before you submit your application, please contact one of our course advisors so they can guide you through the process and ensure you submit the best application possible for entry into the course. 

Call us on  +44 (0)1223 447713.

 

Application steps 

  • Submit an online application form
  • Submit a copy of your first degree certificate or Level 6 equivalent qualification and your IELTS certificate if English is not your first language 
  • Submit a piece of sample writing in the form of a screenplay, formatted to an industry standard. The screenplay can be as long as you wish but should be at least 5 pages. It can be an excerpt of a larger piece of writing. You can also submit other pieces of sample writing such as short stories, plays or radio dramas along with your screenplay, to support your application.

Late applications may be considered if places are available. 

For free advice, please contact our friendly and knowledgeable course advisors on +44 (0)1223 447713.

Fees, costs & funding

Fees

Total course fee

£11,300 (including £250 acceptance fee)

Payment options  

  • One-off payment 
  • Six equal instalments spread over a two-year period 

 

Payment methods  

Payments can be made online or by phone, using a credit or debit card, or by bank transfer. 

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

Typical course costs

Additional costs

In order to participate fully in the course, you will need to purchase screenwriting software.

There are a variety of options available - please call our course advisor team on +44 (0)1223 447713 for advice on what to buy.

You can also take a look at our guide to the different screenwriting options:

What's the best scriptwriting software?

Funding options

Application offers

We offer a range of bursaries, early application offers, and alumni discounts.

Loans

You may be eligible for funding from the UK Government.

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

Total course fee

£11,300 (including £250 acceptance fee)

Payment options  

  • One-off payment 
  • Six equal instalments spread over a two-year period 

 

Payment methods  

Payments can be made online or by phone, using a credit or debit card, or by bank transfer. 

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

Additional costs

In order to participate fully in the course, you will need to purchase screenwriting software.

There are a variety of options available - please call our course advisor team on +44 (0)1223 447713 for advice on what to buy.

You can also take a look at our guide to the different screenwriting options:

What's the best scriptwriting software?

Application offers

We offer a range of bursaries, early application offers, and alumni discounts.

Loans

You may be eligible for funding from the UK Government.

 

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

 

Hear from a graduate

What's it like to study on the course? 

Daniel Tuck talks about his experience on the MA Writing for Script & Screen in our video.

 

 

Falmouth sign
Contact us

If you have any questions about the programme, our experienced course advisors are here to help.

You can call our friendly and knowledgeable team on +44 (0)1223 447713. 

Get In Touch

Writing for Script & Screen resources

How to become a screenwriter - part 2
How to become a screenwriter - part 2

See more top tips for adapting your work for the screen and starting your journey to becoming a professional ...

How to become a screenwriter - part 1
How to become a screenwriter - part 1

How do you bring your ideas to life and take the first steps to becoming a screenwriter?

Screenwriter Graham Mitchell joins Writing for Script & Screen event
Screenwriter Graham Mitchell joins Writing for Script & Screen event

Falmouth Flexible MA Writing for Script & Screen students will come together virtually on Saturday 20th March ...