MA Dramatic Writing - Drama Centre London

MA Dramatic Writing is a new course, exploring new models of training for dramatic writers in the UK. The course brings together twelve Masters who have led on dramatic writing training in the UK: Ola Animashawun, David Edgar, Stephen Jeffreys, Caroline Jester, Fin Kennedy, Lucy Kerbel, Kate Rowland, Philip Shelley, Nina Steiger, Jennifer Tuckett, Steve Winter, and John Yorke. The course offers the best training in craft in the UK, industry commissions, partnerships and mentorship, collaboration with actors, directors, designers and animators, and the opportunity to work on your own major projects. Our aim is to help nurture the next generation of leading writers.

This course is subject to revalidation in 2016/17. Whilst the focus of the course remains the same, some of the detailed content may be subject to change.

This course is part of the: Drama & Performance Programme

Scholarships, Awards and Funding available:

Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships:
Home/EU | International
Jane Rapley Scholarships

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are now available for eligible UK and EU students. A full list of eligibility criteria and information on applying can be found on the postgraduate loans webpage.

Reasons to Apply

  • Be part of a course which is exploring how best to train dramatic writers in the UK, ensuring you get the best possible training on offer in the UK
  • Training in all five forms of Dramatic Writing – theatre, film, television, radio and digital media - from Masters who have led the way in dramatic writing training in the UK
  • Industry commissions and partnerships from leading theatres, film, television, radio and digital media organisations based in London, regionally and internationally
  • Close collaboration with a range of performance courses at Drama Centre London
  • Pursue your own portfolio of projects
  • See your work performed or produced across a range of media and forms.
  • Engage closely with the industry in London, the regions and internationally and with new and leading ideas
  • Be based at Drama Centre London and Central Saint Martins, one of London’s leading drama schools and the world’s leading schools of art and design
  • Students emerge fully equipped to pursue successful and sustainable careers as writers and having had what we believe is the best possible training in dramatic writing in the UK today


Course Leader

Jennifer Tuckett

Course Location

King’s Cross, London. 

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course LengthFull time: 2 years (60 weeks)
Home/EU Fee

Tuition fees for 2017/18: £4,500 per annum. Please note that fees for second year of study will be subject to inflationary increase.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. 

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

International Fee

Tuition Fees for 2017/18: £11,510 per annum.

£500 per annum discount for all students who have completed a PG Dip/Cert or an undergraduate course including Grad Dip/Cert, at UAL.

You can pay course tuition fees in instalments for this course. 

Use our Fees and Funding Calculator to estimate how much your studies may cost you in your first year, and what funding may be available to you.

Start DateSeptember 2017
Autumn Term DatesMonday 25 September 2017 – Friday 8 December 2017
Spring Term DatesMonday 8 January 2018 – Friday 16 March 2018
Summer Term DatesMonday 16 April 2018 – Friday 22 June 2018
Application Route

Direct application

Content and structure

All applicants considered for September 2017 entry will be applying for the newly revalidated version of the course.  Further detailed information will be published as it becomes available however the focus of the course remains the same.

MA Dramatic Writing aspires to be at the forefront of dramatic writing training in the UK.

We attempt to achieve this via exploring how best to train dramatic writers in the UK, by providing:

  • The best possible training in craft
  • Industry collaborations, projects and partnerships which supply our students with connections, industry training and experience and access to new and leading ideas
  • Via collaboration with other Drama Centre courses which give our students with connections to actors, directors, designers and animators in their peer group which we hope they will continue to develop throughout their careers.

The course brings together 10 Masters who have led on the training of Dramatic Writing in the UK and offers regular industry commissions, collaborations and partnerships, offering students a chance to build up connections and experience and to explore and be a part of new ideas developing in the dramatic writing industry.

The course aims to cover all of the skills you will need to pursue a successful and sustainable career as a writer.

In Unit One, students learn craft in all five forms of dramatic writing (theatre, television, film, radio and digital media) and take part in industry commissions and projects.

In Unit Two, you will have the opportunity to pursue your own portfolio of work, exploring and developing your voice and vision as a writer and working in a way which replicates working practices in the industry.

Via this structure, our aim is to provide students with the skills, experience, connections, credits and portfolio of work they need to go on to pursue successful and sustainable careers as writers.

The course is also dedicated to exploring the best possible training of dramatic writers in the UK and staff and changing commissions and projects offer an exciting opportunity to work with the professionals and on the projects who are currently leading the way in the industry.

Our aim is for our graduates to go on to work in and become leaders and/or a part of the dramatic writing industry both in London, regionally and internationally.

About the course

  • The Course is of 60 weeks in duration, arranged across two academic years that consist of 6 terms of 10 weeks.
  • MADW is credit rated at 180 credits and is comprised of two Units: Unit 1 (60 credits) for the first 20 weeks of the Course followed by Unit 2 (120 credits) that runs for the remaining 40 weeks.
  • Both units must be passed in order to achieve the MA, but the classification of the award of MA derives from your mark for Unit 2 only.

Unit 1: Writing Skills

During Unit One, you will have the opportunity to learn craft from some of the leading professionals in the industry, developing a skillset which you will be able to use and refer to throughout your career as a writer.

You will also be offered the opportunity to work on an industry commission or project as part of the apprenticeship of Unit One.

In term two, you will continue either with an industry commission or project or propose your own project to complete your apprenticeship of Unit One.

The key features of Unit One are:

  • The opportunity to learn craft in all five forms of dramatic writing – theatre, film, television, radio and digital media
  • The opportunity to work on industry commissions and projects, building up experience, connections and a track record of work – see the industry collaborations and projects section for information on past projects
  • The opportunity to propose your own project to complete your unit one apprenticeship -  this could be a placement or your project you wish to pursue with an industry partner

Unit 2: The Writer’s Voice and Vision

This unit establishes and progresses your personal project and portfolio pathway through the main part of the MA. You will work on one major project each term – this could be writing a theatre play, a screenplay, a radio script, a digital media project or it could be something which involves other skills such as founding a theatre company or developing a project or festival. Your focus will be developed and agreed in consultation with lecturers and professional mentoring and you will develop your personal portfolio alongside continuing team and group collaboration in which work can be tried, tested, explored and reworked. Alongside, and integral to both will remain the on-going exploration and conversation surrounding the principles of story, voice and craft, engendering an appreciation of creativity, practicality and resilience, towards the goal of fostering dramatic writers who are unique in their approach, successful in their practice, and confident of their aims and intentions.

In Unit Two, you will also have the opportunity to continue to work closely with the industry via regular Masterclasses on areas such as voice, vision, how to be a leader and how the industry works, continuing the courses close engagement with the industry, developing new connections,  and allowing you to continue to engage with the ideas which are leading the way in the industry.

Each MA cohort will contribute to a Dramatic Writer’s ‘handbook’, which will evolve over time and be available to previous and future students as an organic record and ‘toolkit’ of the individual and collected thoughts, ideas, inspirations, concerns and difficulties experienced by dramatic writers at a crucial and formative stage in their development as an artist.

Units One and Two will feature on-going opportunities to workshop, perform and produce work as writers progress on their journey through the MA, culminating in a season of showcased new work which contributes to the wider Central Saint Martins graduation show and experience.


Course Leader: Jennifer Tuckett

MA Dramatic Writing is unique in having appointed eleven Masters who are leaders in the training of Dramatic Writers in the UK:

  • Ola Animashawun - who founded the Royal Court Theatre’s Young Writers Programme.
  • David Edgar – who created the UK’s first MA in Playwriting
  • Stephen Jeffreys - Literary Associate at the Royal Court Theatre for eleven years and creator of Masterclasses which have led the way in Playwriting teaching in the UK 
  • Caroline Jester - former Dramaturg at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre and creator of REPwrite, the theatre’s new online dramatic writing programme.
  • Fin Kennedy - winner of the first Fringe First ever awarded for a schools production and co-Artistic Director of Tamasha Theatre Company
  • Lucy Kerbel – Director of Tonic Theatre and the creator of Advance and Platform
  • Kate Rowland - founder of BBC Writersroom and the former Creative Director of New Writing at the BBC
  • Philip Shelley - who runs the Channel Four screenwriting course 
  • Nina Steiger – Associate Director of the Soho Theatre
  • Steve Winter Executive Director of the Kevin Spacey Foundation and the former Director of the Old Vic New Voices programme and co-creator of the Old Vic New Voices 24 Hour Plays and TS Eliot US/UK Exchange
  • John Yorke - creator of the BBC Writers Academy and the former Controller of BBC Drama Production and Head of Drama at Channel Four


Graduates from MA Dramatic Writing will be equipped to work with creativity and focus in diverse environments, and to design and explore their own ways of working, confident in building and maintaining working relationships, yet also aware of their unique role in being the ‘champions’ of the story.

The aspiration for graduates is that they are prepared to embark on professional practice as dramatic writers and storytellers with:

  • a knowledge of dramatic media and forms, an understanding of the landscape and practice of dramatic writing, and an insight into what constitutes successful writing and writers
  • a range of technical facilities and capabilities, such as script formatting, project planning, dramatic structure and re-writing
  • a body of practice-based projects, experience, and finished scripted works
  • an appreciation of their developing voice as an artist, with the imagination and confidence that such self-reflection can afford
  • a body of connections and experience with leading industry practitioners, projects and ideas

For details of the wide range of careers support provided for students, please visit the Student Jobs And Careers section.

Entry requirements

Entry to MA Dramatic Writing requires you to have:

  • an Honours degree; or
  • evidence of experiential learning equivalent to an Honours degree;or
  • 3 years relevant professional experience.

English language requirement

All classes are conducted in English. The standard English language requirement for entry is IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 6.0 in any one paper, or equivalent. If English is not your first language, you must send us your English language test score together with your application to prove your level of proficiency. We cannot consider your application unless or until you fulfil the English language requirement.

If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please indicate this clearly on your application form. When you have received your test score, please send it to us immediately. For further information visit the Language Centre website.
Applicants who will need a Tier 4 General Student Visa should check the External English Tests page, which provides important information about UK Border Agency (UKBA) requirements.

What we look for

MA Dramatic Writing welcomes discussion with potential applicants regarding the appropriateness of initial proposals, and encourages applicants to take every opportunity to make contact in advance of application. Do please contact us to come and look round and meet a member of the Centre for Performance Academic Administration (

We are looking for applicants with a background or demonstrable interest in scriptwriting, development or production across theatre, film, television, radio and digital media. Although it particularly suits individuals interested in narrative art forms, it may also attract those involved in broader performance-related practices.

Appropriate related backgrounds include script development and dramaturgy, producing, directing, acting, creative writing.

Although we treat all work with the greatest care and respect, the college cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage to the work or documents you submit. Please therefore do not send any original documents.

Selection criteria

Your application will be assessed on the basis of:

  • The quality of your supporting material and statement
  • Your critical abilities and awareness of the cultural and social context within which you practice
  • Your communication skills and preparedness to participate collaboratively in debate and practice
  • Evidence that you have the confidence and ability to benefit from and contribute to the learning environment at postgraduate level.

References help determine whether the personal and professional aspirations of the applicant are compatible with the aims and outcomes of the course. Selection is by two members of staff (normally the Course Leader and one other). Offers are normally made based on the assessment of the application against the selection criteria and consideration of the references. In a minority of instances to help clarify an application, the admissions team may invite the applicant to interview.

Interviews give the opportunity for the applicant to demonstrate an objective, critical and reflective relationship to their work. If possible, it is a good idea to bring examples of work produced since you made your application.

How to apply

You can apply for this course using our online application form.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the following details about the application process, including guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

You will need to enter the following information in the online application form:

  • Personal details (including full name; date of birth; nationality; permanent address and English language level)
  • Current and/or previous education and qualification details
  • Employment history
  • Referee details (this course requires two, one of which should be an academic or professional reference).

Before you can submit the form, you’ll also need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the form.

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the form, you will receive a confirmation email that includes links to where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

Personal statement

You’ll be required to submit a personal statement (1,000-1500 words) explaining your aspirations as a writer in the context of your understanding of the course and the profession.

Dramatic scripts

You’ll be required to submit two dramatic scripts written for any medium (theatre, film, television, related, digital platform), one of which must be of at least 20 minutes in length.

Please note, you can submit text and as many website links as you need to, but the portfolio form does not allow you to upload files.

Start your application now

Please be aware that as places are limited it is advisable to submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you don’t need to complete it all at once. You will also have the chance to review all the information and make any necessary amendments before you submit the application form.

We will send you emails as you progress through the application process, so do check your inbox (and junk folder, just in case). These emails will contain important information about your application, and links to the online forms you should use to submit the extra information required.

What happens next?

We read and consider all application forms and personal references. Please note that particular attention is given to the statement, the supporting material and your references.

Subject to you meeting the entry requirements, preliminary selection is based on consideration of your application form, your Personal Statement, and supporting material (please see above).

You may be invited to attend an interview. If this is the case, you will be asked to bring a portfolio of your latest work.  For candidates applying for external funding, interviews will be scheduled prior to funding body deadlines.

Can't attend the interview

If you are unable to attend for interview, the MA Dramatic Writing Course Leader would hope to discuss your application by telephone or Skype.

In the case of applicants unable to attend for interview and unable to discuss their application by telephone, a decision regarding the offer of a place on the course will be made on the basis of a second review of the application materials. We keep notes about decisions made following the initial application review and any interview process.

Open days

Open days are a great opportunity to meet staff and students and to find out at first hand about courses, teaching and student life. Visit the open day section for dates to book your session. Bookings can only be made online, not by phone or email.

Industry collaborations and projects

MA Dramatic Writing is unique in the extent to which it works with industry partners and collaborators.

Recent projects include:

The Year of Experimentation

The British Library

Steve Winter and Housed

Fin Kennedy and In Battalions

BBC Writersroom Masterclasses 

BBC TV Drama Writers Festival

The Last Hours of Laura K 

Tonic Theatre 

Tamasha Theatre Company


Students will pursue similar industry collaborations and projects each year, building up a portfolio of contacts and experience in the industry, in how the industry works and in new and leading ideas taking place in London, regionally and internationally. MA Dramatic Writing at Drama Centre London and Central Saint Martins is the only course in the UK to be dedicated to exploring new models of training for dramatic writing, ensuring our students get the most up to date and useful experience during their time on the course.


The Year of Experimentation

MA Dramatic Writing was developed via The Year of Experimentation: part one and part two, two year-long investigations into what dramatic writing training can be.

For further information on year one, please see:

For further information on year two, please see:

MA Dramatic Writing Lab

The MA Dramatic Writing Lab is a space for the industry and MA Dramatic Writing students to develop new dramatic writing ideas and projects.

For further information please see

The New Writing Platform

The New Writing Platform is an occasional series of talk and events run in partnership with the dramatic writing industry.

The series is dedicated to exploring and showcasing new ideas going on in dramatic writing.

Past New Writing Platform events include:

For full details and to find out about forthcoming events please visit the New Writing Platform website.

Enquire about this course

If you haven’t found the information you’re looking for or want to ask us a question about this course, please fill out our enquiry form.

Make an enquiry