MA Screenwriting

Please Note

Applications for 2016/17 entry are now closed and will re-open in Autumn 2016 for 2017/18 entry.

MA Screenwriting is one of the UK's leading film and TV scripting courses with a strong reputation in the industry. Its graduates have won numerous UK and international awards, led major film projects and are writing for a wide range of programmes currently being screened on UK television. Get ready for a career as a writer or script editor. Develop your writing skills, generate a unique portfolio of work and learn from the professionals inside today's industry.

We will update this webpage from time to time with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact a member of the course team.

Additional costs: In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. We strongly suggest you read the information on our Additional Costs page. 

Funding opportunities

Find out about the range of funding options available for postgraduate study.

Use UAL's 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.

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.


Course Leader

Kelly Marshall

Course Location

London College of Communication 
Elephant and Castle
Find Us

Study LevelPostgraduate
Study ModeFull time
Course Length1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)
Home/EU Fee

2017/18: £8,500 (Full-time)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount
Course fees may be paid in instalments

A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL. 

International Fee

2017/18: £17,920 (Full-time)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount
Course fees may be paid in instalments

A range of scholarships, bursaries and awards are available to postgraduate students at UAL.

Start Date25 September 2017
Application Route

Applications for 2016/17 entry are now closed. Applications for 2017/18 entry will open in Autumn 2016.

Content and Structure


MA Screenwriting London College of Communication is one of the UK’s leading film and TV scripting courses with a strong reputation in the industry.

Graduates of MA Screenwriting have gone on to win numerous UK and international awards, work on major film projects in active development, and are writing for a wide range of programmes currently being screened on UK television.

Leading the field, this industry-focused screenwriting course is aimed at developing writers for film, television and/or radio industries. The course will provide you with the opportunity to develop the abilities, knowledge and skills you will need for a career in scriptwriting.

What can you expect?

MA Screenwriting introduces you to the foundations of contemporary scriptwriting practice in a theoretical context. You will develop research methodologies that will become the basis for future practice and analysis.

The course offers you the opportunity to study feature film, television and radio narrative and the development of a script from a short story and research, which lays the foundation for your Major Project.

You will also complete a Collaborative Unit that reflects your specialist interests in scriptwriting and related topics, whilst engaging with the need to understand and communicate with the industry you wish to work in.

In the final term you will undertake a Major Project that allows you to focus on a specialist area of interest that you identified during your development on the course. You will write several drafts of an original screenplay for film or TV, or a TV pilot episode(s) with format documents. In addition, you will engage in peer-to-peer review and the writing of reader reports.


Each course is divided into units, which are credit-rated. The minimum unit size is 20 credit and the maximum 60 credits. The MA course structure involves 7 units, totalling 180 credits.

Autumn, Term One

Unit summary:

  • Short Film: Process and Practice (20 credits)
  • Industry Knowledge, Skills and Methodologies (40 credits)

Spring, Term Two

Unit summary:

  • TV / Film / Radio Adaptation - Existing Format - Process and Practice (20 credits)
  • TV / Film / Radio Adaptation - Critical Analysis and Research Methodologies (20 credits)
  • Industry Knowledge, Skills and Methodologies (continued)
  • Collaborative Unit (20 credits)

Summer, Term Three

Unit summary:

  • TV / Film / Radio Adaptation - Existing Format - Process and Practice (continued)
  • TV / Film / Radio Adaptation - Critical Analysis and Research Methodologies (continued)
  • Industry Knowledge, Skills and Methodologies (continued)
  • Major Project - Applied Research (20 credits)
  • Major Project - Process and Practice (40 credits)

Autumn, Term Four

Unit summary:

  • Major Project - Applied Research (continued)
  • Major Project - Process and Practice (continued)

If you are unable to continue or decide to exit the course, there are two possible exit awards. A Postgraduate Certificate will be awarded on successful completion of the first 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma will be awarded on successful completion of the first 120 credits.

Learning Hours and Tutorial Support

MA Screenwriting is a full-time course delivered over four terms with two days a week academic contact. The course requires a significant proportion of self-directed study and you will not be expected at the College campus on a full time basis. Academic study will be a combination of on campus contact and distant learning.

You can expect to spend around 30% of total study time on the course in lectures, workshops, tutorials and seminars. The remainder of your time will be spent on research and independent study, background reading, practical writing and exercises. 

The workshop process will be used as a key source of feedback and critical analysis and will be supported by a programme of industrial context lectures and visiting speakers.

You will be allocated a personal tutor at the start of each term and will have regular termly personal tutorials. Attendance involves, on average, 8-10 hours each week, together with any specially scheduled evening and weekend or vacation study.

Course Structure

The information outlined is an indicative structure of the course. Whilst we will aim to deliver the course as described on this page, there may be situations where it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, for example because of regulatory requirements or operational efficiencies, before or after enrolment. If this occurs, we will communicate all major changes to all applicants and students who have either applied or enrolled on the course.

Please note that due to staff research agreements or availability, not all of the optional modules listed may be available every year.

In addition, the provision of course options which depend upon the availability of specialist teaching, or on a placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed. Please check this element of the course with the course team before making a decision to apply.


Programme Director: Chris Petter

Course Leader: Kelly Marshall

Many former students, now professional screenwriters, return to teach on the course which ensures it has a strong basis in the day-to-day practices of contemporary film and television production. In addition, we have visiting lecturers from the industry who regularly share their knowledge and experience.


A high percentage of MA Screenwriting graduates go on to work in the industry as writers, script editors, producers, development executives, directors and readers. Graduates are employed not only in the UK but also in Europe, around the world and even in Hollywood.

Our current and past students are also regularly nominated for national and international awards, in addtion, won critically acclaimed awards such as the Emmy Award, Page Award and The Palme d’Or.

The course team and alumni of MA Screenwriting maintain strong links with industry and production companies including: Working Title, ITV, Tiger Aspect, Feelgood Fiction, BBC Film, BBC Drama, Trademark, Red Planet, Red Productions, World Productions and many more.

A high percentage of students who have obtained commissions also return as industry guest speakers or to teach on the course and to help ensure that there is a continual open channel between the ever-changing industry and our students.

Student Jobs and Careers at UAL

We know what it takes to be successful in your chosen field. Your tutors are professionals in their own right and understand what you need to help you establish your career. 

Careers and Employability is dedicated to helping students build up work-relevant skills, knowledge, experience and networks throughout your time here. 

Creative Opportunities is the UAL job and work placement website for students and graduates, advertising hundreds of creative opportunities each month. This includes ArtsTemps in-house recruitment agency, placing students and graduates in paid temping roles within the University.

UAL houses a number of organisations which promote aspects of career development in the arts and media, and which hold regular workshops and careers fairs. These include:

  • Own-It (intellectual property issues)
  • ArtQuest (career development resource for artists and designers)

Entry Requirements

Recruitment and admissions

The course attracts applicants who apply with an honours degree or with other equivalent qualifications. The course team also welcomes students with relevant experience who may have worked in industry, or those who have submitted high standard examples of work.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate a clear and passionate commitment to the medium of screenwriting together with their intent to extend their knowledge in this subject matter. Detail of prior experience and/or study are required to indicate a clear desire to write for film, television and radio and to successfully complete this programme of study.

Entry requirements (Home/EU/International)

An applicant will be considered for admission if they have already achieved an educational level equivalent to an honours degree. It is preferable that you have a previous degree, but it is not essential. We do accept students based on their writing talent and the work they submit during their application.

Other entry routes

If you do not have the required qualifications, but do have professional experience, you may be eligible to gain credit for previous learning and experience through the Accreditation of Prior and Experiential Learning (APeL); this could be professional experience or a combination of courses and work experience.

English language requirements

All classes are conducted in English. If English is not your first language you will be asked to provide evidence of your English language ability when you enrol.

  • IELTS 7.0 (or equivalent) is required, with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four skills
  • If your first language is not English, you can check you have achieved the correct IELTS level in English on our Language Requirements page

For further information about portfolio preparation, visas and application advice please view the Study at UAL International pages.

Selection criteria

All applications will be considered by the course team who will consider key elements when making a decision on your suitability to join the course:

  1. Firstly they will look at your qualifications (projected results), and/or a clear example of writing experience/prior subject related study/knowledge based research
  2. Then they will scrutinise your submitted written assignment and your personal statement

Academic or personal references, study proposal or portfolio are not required for this course. This course requires submission of a two part written assignment.

Offers will be made based on the following selection criteria, which applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • A clear and passionate commitment to the medium of screenwriting, together with their intent to extend their knowledge in this subject matter
  • Detailed prior experience and/or study required to indicate a clear desire to write for film, television and radio and to successfully complete this programme of study

Personal statement

The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the team that you are interested in scriptwriting and that you have thought very carefully about why you want to study on this course. You should take great care when writing your personal statement to ensure that it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your biggest chance to impress the team by demonstrating your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. It is also an opportunity for you to state what you feel you would bring to the course. Through their personal statement, applicants should show a strong interest in scriptwriting. This can be demonstrated through previous work or personal experience, study and the ambition for personal development as a student at the LCC.

Written assignment (2-parts)

We also ask applicants to submit a two-part written assignment.

Part 1: Please submit ten pages of script - this can be from a short film or from a larger piece of work. If from a larger piece of work we ask that you also give a brief one-page (max) synopsis of the full project, together with the reason you chose this particular section for submission. For example, you may feel that these opening ten pages really set up the world and your characters.

Part 2: Please also submit a 2-4 page outline for a second additional project.

Interview advice

The course leader will review your application, and then may invite you for interview. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.


Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Any questions? Please email or visit Postgraduate Funding page.

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