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Postgraduate

MA Performance: Writing

Two young women laughing and looking at their laptops
Two young women laughing and looking at their laptops
College
Central Saint Martins
Start date
October 2021
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.

Re-approval

Please note this course is undergoing re-approval. This is the process by which we ensure the course continues to provide a high quality academic experience. During re-approval there may be some changes to the course content displayed on this page. Please contact us if you have any questions about the course.

MA Performance: 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 Performance: 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.

Facilities

Course overview

MA Performance: 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 Performance: 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 Performance: 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 Performance: 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.

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.

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 Performance: 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

During your course you will engage with learning and teaching that includes both online and face-to-face modes. Typically, this will include:

  • Workshops, seminars and tutorials
  • Peer learning 
  • Induction, exploration of course handbook and expectations 
  • Personal reflection and reflective journal 
  • Unit briefs 
  • Skills classes, lectures, workshops and formative assessment-based feedback on scripts in development.

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.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

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.

Additional requirements

Two or more performance scripts, written for any medium (theatre, film, television, related digital platforms), these can be fragments, scene study, proposal outlines, films or other alternative pieces of work that demonstrate dramatic imagination, creativity and an understanding of writing for performance.

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 / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.ukeu@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL.  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.

There are two ways international students can apply:

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.

Transfers

If you are currently studying at another institution and if you have successfully completed 60 credits in the equivalent units and modules on your current postgraduate course and wish to continue your studies at Central Saint Martins, you can apply to transfer. The Admissions Tutor will consider applications on a case by case basis, subject to places being available. You must apply directly to the course via the course webpage as early as possible.

Please check our Student Transfer Policy for more important information and be ready to provide us with your current course handbook and unit transcripts.

You will need to provide an official document (translated into English) from your current university, explaining the learning outcomes of the units you have completed.

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.

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.

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 the information above.

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 / portfolio / book an interview, through the portal.  You should check your UAL Portal regularly for any important updates and requests.

Please add csm.international@arts.ac.uk to your contacts to ensure that you do not miss any important updates re: your application to UAL  Also consider altering your spam or junk mail filter to ensure that emails from @arts.ac.uk get through to you.

Application deadline

15 May 2021

We recommend you apply as soon as possible before this date, for equal consideration. We may still be able to accept applications after this date, depending on availability.

When you’ll hear from us

Once you’ve sent in your application, this will be sent through to our course teams for review. We’ll be in touch shortly after you apply with information about next steps. Find out more about what happens after you apply.


After you apply

What happens next

Initial application check

We check your application to see if you meet the standard entry requirements for the course.  Following a review on your written work, you may be invited for interview.

Interview

Applicants who are invited to interview may be interviewed either online or by telephone.

How we notify you of the outcome of your application

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

Fees and funding

Home fee

£5,870 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees may increase in future years for new and continuing students on courses lasting more than one year. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

Home fees are currently charged to UK resident nationals. However, the rules are complex and you can find out more on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

International fee

£14,725 per year

This fee is correct for 2021/22 entry and is subject to change for 2022/23 entry. Tuition fees for international students may increase by up to 5% in each future year of your course. For this course, you can pay tuition fees in instalments.

International fees are currently charged to students from countries outside of the UK. However, the rules are complex and more information can be found on our tuition fees pages.

From 2021/22 entry, most EU students will be charged the International tuition fee rate, although this may depend on your individual circumstances. If you started your course in October 2020 or earlier, you’ll continue to pay Home (UK) fees for the duration of your course. Read more advice for EU students on our Brexit information webpage

Scholarship search

Careers and alumni

Graduates from MA Performance: 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.

Alumni