skip to main content

Central Saint Martins

an image

MA Dramatic Writing

College
CSM
Start date
September 2020
Course length
Two years (60 weeks)
Extended full-time

We train the next generation of writing talent, giving them the confidence and skills required to thrive in the industry.

MA Dramatic Writing offers training and support for creative adventure and personal development. This course is part of the Performance programme.

Why choose this course at Central Saint Martins

  • Diverse training: Your studies will cover various forms of dramatic writing including theatre, film, television, radio and digital media.
  • Industry links: MA Dramatic Writing has connections with high-profile theatres, television, radio and digital media organisations – nationally and internationally.
  • Collaboration: The course offers potential for collaboration across courses in the Performance programme at Central Saint Martins and relevant courses throughout the University.
  • Showcase: There is a showcase at the end of the course, in which extracts of work are shown to industry professionals.

Scholarships, awards and funding

Jane Rapley Scholarships

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

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.

UAL International Postgraduate £25,000 plus International Student House (ISH) Scholarships

Course overview

MA Dramatic Writing focuses on the craft and technical aspects of dramatic writing. It offers training and support, allowing you to develop your own unique writing voice. The course is concerned with the production of text for performance and how writers can find an audience for their work in an ever-changing landscape. It explores the art of script writing through the prism of an intensely competitive UK and global industry.   

The course engages with tradition and innovation in dramatic writing across contemporary theatre, radio, television, film and digital media. The course contributes to debates relating to scriptwriting, script development and script production. You will explore what constitutes dramatic writing and critically analyse convention and form. Teaching on the course acknowledges the key similarities and divergences across different forms of storytelling – for stage, screen, audio and digital platforms. It focuses on character-driven writing which engages an audience in narrative storytelling.  

The course structure is student-centred, tailoring learning to your own interests wherever possible. It will also encourage you to embrace your own cultural identity and perspective in scripted form and value your independence as a critically alert creative author. Throughout MA Dramatic Writing, you will produce a portfolio of diverse writing to showcase your talents to the profession. The course will teach you to work with creativity and focus in a wide range of contexts after graduation.

Course units

MA Dramatic Writing explores the theory and practice of dramatic writing for performance and production across theatre, film, television, radio and digital media. The industry for dramatic writing is a demanding one, which requires confidence and intelligent insight to truly thrive. The MA Dramatic Writing curriculum reflects the complex relationship between writer and their work as a piece of performance. It recognises that in the contemporary scriptwriting industry, writers are increasingly required to be flexible and work across various media and platforms. 

The course will provide you with a challenging, supportive and inclusive postgraduate environment for the development of your writing. It aims to develop your creative abilities to produce original, innovative work which explores the central concerns and the boundaries of dramatic storytelling and scriptwriting. MA Dramatic Writing will enable you to create new work and test new ideas through practice, performance and collaboration, preparing you for on-going professional practice.

Unit 1: The Writer’s Skills and Practices 

Unit 1 examines the techniques, issues and debates surrounding the theory and practice of dramatic writing. It covers different forms including theatre, TV, film, radio and digital media. 

Unit 2: The Writer’s Voice and Vision  

In Unit 2, you will progress your personal projects and portfolio, through consultation with tutors, visiting professionals and your peers. It engages with questions surrounding voice and identity, vision and ambition. Unit 2 spans both years of the course and sees study become more tailored towards your own interests.

Unit 3: Final Portfolio 

Unit 3 is an intensive period of study, in which you will finish developing, exploring and realising your voice as a writer. It solidifies your studies in what it means to forge your career as a dramatic writer. 

Mode of study

MA Dramatic Writing is offered in extended full-time Mode which runs for 60 weeks over two academic years. You will be expected to commit 30 hours per week to study, which includes teaching time and independent study.  

The course has been designed in this way to enable you to pursue studies, while also undertaking part-time employment, internships or care responsibilities. 

Credit and award requirements 

The course is credit-rated at 180 credits. 

On successfully completing the course, you will gain a Master of Arts (MA degree). 

Under the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, an MA is Level 7. All units must be passed in order to achieve the MA but the classification of the award is derived from the mark for the final unit only. 

If you are unable to continue on the course, a Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert) will normally be offered following the successful completion of 60 credits, or a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) following the successful completion of 120 credits. 

Learning and teaching methods

  • Workshops, seminars and tutorials 
  • Peer learning 
  • Induction, exploration of course handbook and expectations 
  • Personal reflection and reflective journal 
  • Unit briefs 
  • Skills classes, lectures, masterclasses, Lab*, formative assessment-based feedback on scripts in development 
  • Collaboration on briefs with MA Directing, BA Acting and MA Character Animation 

Lab*: The Lab is a practical workshop space with internal and industry partners where projects are read, analysed, tested with actors, professional directors and producers. 

Assessment methods

  • Scripts for different media 
  • Reflective statements 
  • Proposals for future writing projects 
  • Personal and professional development plan 

Staff

Course Leader: Anthony Clark

Current skills teachers include:

  • Anthony Clark  (stage)
  • John Yorke (TV & Film)
  • Jan Page (TV Series)
  • Caroline Raphael (Radio)
  • Roger Hyams (Film)
  • Jake Brunger (Musical lyric and book writing)
  • Lisa Goldman  (Stage)
  • Shaun Clark (Animation)

Recent writing guests include:

  • Moira Buffini
  • Tanika Gupta
  • April de Angelis
  • Ryan Craig
  • Ray Grewal

How to apply

Opportunities for all

We are committed to making university education an achievable option for a wider range of people and to supporting all of our students in achieving their potential both during and after their courses.

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. If you have a disability (e.g. mobility difficulties, sensory impairments, medical or mental health conditions or Asperger’s syndrome) we strongly encourage you to contact us on disability@arts.ac.uk or +44 (0)20 7514 6156 so that we can plan the right support for you. All enquiries are treated confidentially. To find out more, visit our Disability & Dyslexia webpages.

Entry requirements

The standard entry requirements for this course are as follows:

  • An honours degree 
  • Or an equivalent EU/international qualification.

AP(E)L – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning

Exceptionally applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered. The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:

  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional reference

Or a combination of these factors.

Each application will be considered on its own merit but cannot guarantee an offer in each case.

English language requirements

IELTS level 7.0 or above, with at least 6.0 in reading, writing, listening and speaking (please check our main English language requirements webpage).

Selection criteria

We select applicants according to potential and current ability in the following areas:

  • 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.

What we are looking for

We are looking for applicants with a background or demonstrable interest in scriptwriting, development or production across theatre, film, television, radio and digital media. 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.

Making your application

You should apply by clicking on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Start your application now

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal Statement

You will 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.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 31 March 2020 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.

There are two ways international students can apply:

  • One of our official representatives in your country
  • A direct application.

If you are applying directly you click on the link to the direct form below. The application form can be saved as you fill it out, so you do not 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.

Deferred entry

Central Saint Martins does not accept applications for deferred entry. You should therefore apply in the year you wish to study.

Start your application now

Before you apply, please take time to read the guidance below. You will be asked to provide the following information when completing the online application form:

General information

Personal details (including legal full name, date of birth, nationality, addresses)

Current English language level

Current and/or previous education and qualification details

Employment history

Personal Statement

You will 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.

Immigration history check

Whether you are applying online or through a UAL representative you will need to complete an immigration history check to establish whether you are eligible to study at UAL.  If you do not complete the check we will not be able to proceed with your application.

We cannot consider your application if you do not provide all of the information above.

Application deadline

We recommend you apply by 31 March 2020 for equal consideration. However this course will consider applications after that date, subject to places being available.


After you apply

Communicating with you

After you have successfully submitted your application, you will receive an email confirming we have successfully received your application and providing you with your login details for the UAL Portal.  We will request any additional information from you, including inviting you to upload documents or book an audition, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  If you do, you will be invited to submit dramatic scripts through your UAL Portal.

Dramatic scripts

You will 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.

Following a review on your written work, you may be invited for an interview.

Interview

Applicants who are invited to interview may be interviewed either in person or by skype.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

You will receive the outcome of your application through the UAL Portal.

Fees & Funding

Home/EU fee

Tuition fees for 2020/21: £5,870 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.

International fee

Tuition Fees for 2020/21: £14,725 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.

Additional costs

In addition to tuition fees you are very likely to incur additional costs such as travel expenses and the cost of materials. Please 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

There are a number of scholarships and awards available to students on this course. Use our search tool to find out more information.

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

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.

View college guides

Contact

Address

Follow us