Performance: Writing explores the theory and practice of writing for a variety of different dramatic outlets, live performance, film, television, audio and digital media. It will provide you with a challenging, supportive and inclusive postgraduate learning environment in which to develop your writing. The course is embedded within the Performance programme at Central Saint Martins and, as such, you will encounter and work alongside students and staff with diverse interests, motives and experiences. This is critical to learning in an art school; you are encouraged to embrace opportunity and alternative perspectives whilst remaining centrally focused on your own individual development.
Unit 1: Skills and Practices 1
Unit 1 examines the techniques, issues and debates surrounding the theory and practice of dramatic writing and writing for performance. It covers different forms including theatre, TV, audio and digital media.
Unit 2: Skills and Practices 2
Building on the strategies developed in Unit 1 this unit explores the cinematic experience, film theory and writing for film, and how to structure and format a short film screen-play. It also introduces you to writing for animation with a collaboration with the MA Character Animation students. This allows you to develop your collaborative skills and explore the experience of writer as team member.
Unit 3: Professional Preparation
Unit 3 prepares you for professional practice and what it means to forge and have a career as writer. This it does, by encouraging you to identify your writer’s voice by reflecting on your ideas, vision and personality expressed in your work. You will research and choose ‘outlets’ for their work. You will be shown how to construct a personal and professional development plan. You will be taught pitching skills and approaches to self-production. You will explore complementary opportunities available to you as a professional writer, including script reading, editing, development and facilitation.
You will also take part in a symposium organised by the student cohort. You will be encouraged to explore key aspects of storytelling and their relevance to your work. You will be encouraged to reach beyond the course to create a community of practice of writers by inviting companies, artists, filmmakers and organisations to respond to shared themes.
Unit 4: Final Portfolio
Unit 4 constitutes an intensive writing period in which you will complete a major project for one medium, as well as two proposals for different media. Combined with the work you have created in Units 1 and 2 this will complete your portfolio of ‘writing for performance’.
Important note concerning academic progression through your course: If you are required to retake a unit you will need to cease further study on the course until you have passed the unit concerned. Once you have successfully passed this unit, you will be able to proceed onto the next unit. Retaking a unit might require you to take time out of study, which could affect other things such as student loans or the visa status for international students.
Mode of study
MA Performance: Writing is offered in extended full-time mode, delivered through a blend of online and in person over 60 weeks / two academic years. You will be expected to commit 30 hours per week to study: this includes synchronous learning (5-6 hours per week in-class), asynchronous learning (homework, assignments and visits to performances set by tutors) and self-directed learning in which you independently pursue projects, either theoretical or practical, with the resources available to you at an arts university that help you develop as a storyteller.
This mode of study extends the duration of the course allowing you time for personal reflection and the evolution of ideas and creative thinking.
One of the benefits of this mode of study is that it does allow for some space 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.