• CollegeLCC
  • Start dateSeptember 2017
  • Course length1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

MA Screenwriting

This industry focused screenwriting course develops writers and script editors for the film, television and radio industries.

About this course

This is one of the UK’s leading film and TV scripting courses with a strong reputation in the industry. Led by professionals with extensive experience, you will develop your writing skills and generate a unique portfolio of work.

Graduates of this course have won numerous UK and international awards, have major film projects in active development and are writing for a number of programmes currently being screened on UK television. 

Student work

MA Screenwriting graduate Jez Freedman's comedy feature film 'Dough' is a Netflix new release, March 2017. The screenplay, written by Jez Freedman and Jonathan Benson, follows an ageing Jewish baker and his struggling business reach unexpected heights when he takes a chance on a young Muslim apprentice.

Story on LCC Blog: MA Screenwriting alumni go from LCC to the BBC and several are working on TV show Doctors.
Kitty Percy, an LCC MA Screenwriting alumna, won the Cordelia Award for her screenplay ‘Butter Side Up’
Image by Kitty Percy

Content

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.

Course units

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.

Staff

Course Leader

Kelly Marshall

Associate Lecturers

Mark Clompus, Peter Mills

Guest Lecturers

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.

 

How to apply

You can begin your application for this course using our online application form – the link to this is below. Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process, including detailed guidance on the extra information we will ask you to provide later in the process. 

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

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.

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will need to contact you separately to ask for copies of certain documents (for example, English language qualification/certificate and copies of any previous UK study visas).

Extra information required for applications to this course

Once you have submitted the online application form, we will send you a confirmation email.

From January 2017 you will be emailed a link to our online application tool, where you should submit the extra information we require for the selection process:

  • Personal statement
  • CV
  • Written Assignment

The course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview, and will then make a decision on your application, from January 2017.

The admissions team will be in touch after that to let you know the outcome and to guide you through the next steps.

Start your application now

Applications are accepted, and offers made, throughout the year. Early application is advised.

Apply now

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.

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, we strongly recommend you let us know your English language test score in your application. If you have booked a test or are awaiting your results, please clearly indicate this in your application. When asked to upload a CV as part of your application, please include any information about your English test score.

  • 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:

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

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

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

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.

CV

Please provide a CV detailing your education and qualifications and any relevant work or voluntary experience. If English is not your first language it is important that you also include in your CV details of your most recent English language test score.

Written assignment

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 an interview. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.

Fees and funding

Home / EU fee

£8,500 (2017/18).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

International fee

£17,920 (2017/18).

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments

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.

Accommodation

Find out about the accommodation options available and how much they will cost.

Scholarships and awards

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

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.

Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Scholarships search

Career paths

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 addition, 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.

UAL Jobs and Careers

UAL has a number of services and networks that hold regular workshops and careers fairs developed to help you establish and promote your career in the arts, design, or media. These include:

Careers and Employability are the University's dedicated careers and professional practice service. We help UAL students and graduates embark on their professional futures in the creative industries, find jobs, set up a business, and sell their work. We run events throughout the year on all aspects of the career journey.

Creative Opportunities jobs board helps graduates and students find job and internship opportunities and connect with organisations and companies in the creative sector. We post jobs and paid internships, part-time work, freelance contracts and full-time opportunities.