MA Screenwriting

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.

Funding opportunities

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


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

£8,250 (2016/17 fees)

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

£17,230 (2016/17 fees)

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 DateSeptember 2016
Term DatesSeptember 2016 - December 2017
Application Route

Direct to the College. See the How to Apply tab for details.

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

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.


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.

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.

Selection criteria

Students must demonstrate a clear and passionate commitment to the medium of screenwriting and intend to extend their knowledge of screenwriting for an applied context.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate sufficient prior experience of and potential in screenwriting to be able to successfully complete the programme of study or have an academic or professional background in a relevant subject.

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. 


Home / EU and International students

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Any questions? Please email or visit Postgraduate Funding page.

How to Apply

You can apply 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 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 references).

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 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

Please say why you are applying for this course.

Written assignment

Please submit 10 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 1-page 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. We would also like you to submit a 2-4 page outline for a second project.

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.

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.

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