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London College of Communication

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MA Screenwriting

Start date
September 2019
Course length
1 year 3 months full time (45 weeks across a four-term model)

Course summary

Applications for 2019/20 will open shortly.

MA Screenwriting is an industry-focused screenwriting course that 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 gone on to win numerous awards both in the UK and internationally, have major film projects in active development and are writing for a number of programmes currently being screened on UK television.

BAFTA UK Scholarship Programme

This course is part of the BAFTA UK Scholarship Programme. UK applicants to MA Screenwriting can apply for the BAFTA scholarship. Each successful BAFTA scholar receives up to £12,000 towards their annual course fees, as well as mentoring support from a BAFTA member, and free access to BAFTA events around the UK. Find out more and apply via the BAFTA website. (Applications close on Monday 11 June 2018)

Open evenings

The next Open Evening for this course will be on Thursday 6 December.

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Course details

MA Screenwriting at 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 awards, both UK and international, 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 theoretical context.

You will develop research methodologies that will become the foundation for future practice and analysis. The course offers you the opportunity to study feature film, television and radio narrative, 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 last term of the course, you will undertake a Major Project that allows you to focus on a specialist area of interest that you identified during your previous study. 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

You will typically spend 30% of the 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.

This 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 eight to ten hours each week, together with any specially scheduled evening and weekend and vacation study.

Learning and teaching methods

  • Workshops – involving critical peer-to-peer review of students' work in progress
  • Practical exercises – to test and support an in-depth understanding of the discipline relevant to the area of study
  • Lectures – on the craft elements of scriptwriting and these are delivered by the course team and visiting speakers
  • Independent study – allowing students to engage in research, writing and other activities related to the course
  • Screenings
  • Seminars and Tutorials –group or one-to-one sessions

Assessment methods

The above programme outcomes are assessed using the following assessment methods:

  • Term 1: Assessment will include a 10-minute screenplay, analytical reader reports, a theoretical analysis, industry knowledge, skills and methodologies.
  • Term 2: Assessment will include a 30-minute screenplay or radio play, analytical reader reports, a theoretical analysis, a collaborative unit.
  • Term 3: Assessment will include your original Major Project (Film or TV), reader reports, an industry pitching ‘sales’ documents, a critical reflection, research report/ dossier and a Major Project proposal documents.

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.

Webpage updates

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.


Mark  Clompus

Mark Clompus

Associate Lecturer

Peter  Mills

Peter Mills

Associate Lecturer, MA Screenwriting

Course Leader

Kelly Marshall

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

We ask all applicants to complete an online application and upload additional digital items, via the Apply now link, below.

Before you apply, we recommend you take some time to read the course Entry Requirements section to learn about the application process and the additional the items you would also need to supply.

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 and transcript (or projected results)
  • Secondly, they will review your personal statement and your written assignment

There is no requirement for an academic or professional reference.

Required information for all postgraduate course applications

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

  • 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
  • CV
  • Personal statement

Before submitting your application, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions for how we process your data – these are explained in the application form.

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

Please note, if you’re an international applicant we will ask you 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

You will need to add the following to your online application:

  • Written assignment

There is no requirement for either a portfolio or a study proposal

After you have submitted your application, the course leader will then review your work, may invite you to interview or interview you via Skype, and will then make a decision on your application.

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

Starting your application

Applications for 2019/20 will open shortly.

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

The online application 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 press submit.

As you progress through the application process we will send you emails with important information, so do check your inbox regularly (and junk folder, just in case).

Entry requirements

The course team welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, from all over the world. MA Screenwriting 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 their 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.

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 also accept students based on their writing talent and the work they submit during their application.

Educational level may be demonstrated by:

  • Honours degree (named above);
  • Possession of equivalent qualifications;
  • Prior experiential learning, the outcome of which can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required;
  • Or a combination of formal qualifications and experiential learning which, taken together, can be demonstrated to be equivalent to formal qualifications otherwise required.

Language requirements (International/EU)

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 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 the Language Requirements page.

For further details regarding international admissions and advice please visit the International Applications page.

Selection criteria

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 your intent to extend your 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


Please provide a CV detailing your education, 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.

Personal statement advice

You will be asked to complete a personal statement describing why you want to study on MA Screenwriting. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate critical knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject, and a well-articulated rationale for joining the course. The personal statement is a very important part of your application and should demonstrate to the course team that you have a strong interest in scriptwriting and that you have thought very carefully about why you wish to study on the course.

Ensure that your personal statement it is well written, clear and free of any spelling mistakes. It is your chance to impress the course team by showing a strong interest in the subject, demonstrating what you feel you would bring to the course, your appreciation of what the course can offer you and how you feel it might help you in the future. This can be demonstrated through work experience, previous studies and your personal experience.

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) synopsisof 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

Applicants are usually interviewed by the course team before a place can be offered. Interviews will take place at LCC, or via Skype/telephone.


Deferring an offer

If you are offered a place for 2019/20 but wish to defer to 2020/21, information on how to do this and who to contact can be found in your offer letter. Additionally, International applicants should pay the deposit in order to defer. In all cases, deferred places will be held for one year.

Making a deferred application (during 2018/19 for entry in 2020/21)

Home/EU applicants are permitted to make a deferred application. International applicants are not permitted to make a deferred application.

What happens next

Successful applicants will be guided through the rest of our admissions stages and towards enrolment on the course.

Fees & Funding

Home / EU fee

£9,500 (2018/19)

UAL alumni receive a £1,000 discount

Course fees may be paid in instalments


Home/EU students whose chosen course is at a level equivalent to, or lower than, a qualification that they already hold, would will be charged the fees shown above, plus an additional £1,100 (called the Equivalent or Lower Qualifications (ELQ) fee). Students in receipt of Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs) are exempt from ELQ fees and will pay the original fee, regardless of the highest qualification held. For enquiries relating to ELQ fees, please complete this register your interest form.

International fee

£19,350 (2018/19)

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.


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

Scholarships and awards

BAFTA UK Scholarship Programme

This course is part of the BAFTA UK Scholarship Programme. Applicants to MA Screenwriting can apply for the BAFTA UK scholarship Programme, which is open to British citizens in need of financial assistance. Each successful BAFTA Scholar receives up to £12,000 towards their annual course fees, as well as mentoring support from a BAFTA member, and free access to BAFTA events around the UK.

To find out more about the scheme and apply visit the BAFTA scholarship website. (Applications close on Monday 11 June 2018)

Home / EU and International students

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

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,000 are 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.

Funding opportunities available for this course:

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.

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