What qualifications do you need to become a screenwriter?

Thu 9 Jun 2022

Screenwriters have tons of fun. They’re an important creative element of film, TV and even the video game industry. Writing for the screen is an art and comes with its own rule book. It’s a demanding but rewarding career in the entertainment and creative industry, and goes above and beyond ideating and writing. 

Contrary to popular belief, screenwriters do not only write. They are resourceful in a lot of different fields and have a very hands-on job from the start of a project until the very end. This makes it a multi-skilled occupation where you work with many parties to make sure the end result turns out how you envisioned it to be. 

To learn more about what a screenwriter does, head over to our previous blog post where we explain the role of a screenwriter and various interesting mediums where you can find work:

What does a screenwriter do? ❯

What are the key qualifications you need?

As a screenwriter, your job will start with coming up with an idea for a story or adapting an existing idea into a story, writing a script, and pitching it to industry experts and companies. Then, once your script has been chosen, you work with the necessary parties to develop your script further and see it come to life. 

So to start with, you’ll need to be an expert in the English language - with excellent written and verbal communication skills in order to make your script stand out. You’ll need to know how media productions work and how you fit within the cogs of the wheel. Sources such as the  National Careers Service suggest that screenwriters are also expected to be competent in necessary industry-standard software skills which will be widely used on the job. 

Apart from all this, as a screenwriter you’ll liaise with various people such as directors, producers, and even actors, therefore good interpersonal communication skills are a must, along with perseverance and determination to succeed in a challenging environment. 

There are no compulsory academic requirements needed to become a screenwriter. However, having a postgraduate degree in writing for script and screen will ensure you learn and develop the above skills and gain valuable experience in the field, which will give you the boost of confidence to present yourself in a professional environment.

How can an MA in Writing for Script and Screen help?

While having a Master's degree will provide you with a higher level of expertise, it can also equip you with essential skills to help you navigate working as a screenwriter better. Falmouth University offers an online and part-time MA in Writing for Script and Screen which is accessible from anywhere in the world. In this course, you will learn the fundamentals of storytelling for various script mediums, how to write a script in the correct format, and how to present it in the best way. Additionally, you’ll also learn all about building characters, creating the perfect setting for your scenes, and making sure your script has a solid structure. Writing treatments and development documents will also be covered in this course as these will be a vital part of your job, just as writing a script would be. 

This course will also teach you how to build a portfolio and provide you with networking and collaborative opportunities to work and expand your learning globally. These will be of immense importance because you will graduate with a finished product of professional quality to make a good start in the industry, along with connections who you may be able to find work with in the future.

If you’re looking for an all-round postgraduate programme that will help you become a screenwriter in today’s ever-changing industry, read more about Falmouth University’s online and part-time MA in Writing for Script and Screen:

Explore the course ❯

Writing for Script & Screen

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