Candidates should normally have: -A good quality first degree in a creative or media area. -And/or a relevant professional qualification. -And/or a substantial body of personal work in screenwriting, drama, creative writing, script-editing or production. Strong candidates will normally be interviewed, after submitting a portfolio of relevant work. Collaborative applications will be encouraged where a prospective screenwriter and producer, for example, wish to apply and work together on joint projects through the degree programme. In this instance, jointly produced material may also be considered as part of the portfolio, although all candidates will be individually assessed at interview. The nature of this course requires that candidates must be able to speak, understand and write fluent English. For those whose first language is not English, they must comply with the following: English Language Testing Service (ELTS) score of at least 7.0.
The course runs on a calendar-year basis, commencing in January, allowing the summer-vacation period to be used for development of personal project work.
There are two teaching Semesters each lasting 12 weeks; Semester 1 runs January to April, Semester 2 from late September through to the middle of December.
The 1 Year Full-Time course requires attendance 1 full day and 2 half days per week.
The 2 Year Part-Time Course requires attendance for 1 full day and 1 half day per week.
The course moves from the creation of short screenplays and treatments to the writing of a feature-length script or feature production package. Students will also have the option of writing a dissertation on screenwriting or script-development issues as their final assessed work.
The course is split into MODULES. Each module starting with Short Scripts and Project Packaging and working up to Feature Film Scripts.
The Art of Screenwriting: the writing process, along with craft skills associated with mainstream scripting. (Course Work: Short Film Scripting and rewriting.)
Specialist Skills in Screenwriting: writing serials, series and sit-coms for TV; adaptations; docu-dramas; writing for family/children audiences. (Course work: a Treatment for a TV programme in any of the forms mentioned above.)
Contemporary Production Practice: the nuts and bolts of producing; script-development; raising finance; budgeting; scheduling; sales and marketing etc. (Course work: a Production Package, including top-page budget, marketing strategy etc.)
Narrative forms: single protagonist "classical" storytelling; multi-protagonist structure; episodic structure; tragic-comic structure etc. (Course Work: a 3000 word case study of a film, with particular analysis to genre principles, story structure, manipulation of film "grammar" etc.)
Script Editing: the development of scripts through all their drafting stages from first outline to final shooting script. (Course Work: rewriting and script-editing of Short Films from earlier module.)
Major project research: research, pitching, planning, step-outlines for feature film screenplays and production packages. (Course Work: a prose step-outline for feature film project.)
Major project development: first drafts of feature scripts with tutor and industry mentor support. (Course Work: Writers: As described above. Producers: work-placement or project development plus self-analytical report.)
Major project completion: re-writing and editing of material towards the production of a final draft. (Course Work: Writers: As described above. Producers: a report/production package on further development of feature film project.)
The emphasis of the course, however, is holistic not "academic".
We believe that there are four main areas to be mastered in order to make the most of your abilities as a writer/producer:
-Maximising your raw talent
-Learning to identify what is and is not good material for a particular medium
-Business "nous" (presentational skills, contacts, career strategy, pitching)
The course aims to develop all these areas in close conjunction with our industry contacts.
Whether you do the MA in 1 or 2 years, the course develops in 3 natural stages:
-Preparation for the major project.
-First Draft of the major project.
-Re-writing/re-packaging the major project to a high standard.