MA Screenwriting

Year of entry: 2019

Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Arts
Duration
12 months full-time
Entry requirements
Applicants should hold a good, Upper Second Class Honours degree, or its overseas equivalent.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Please refer to the following School page regarding subject-specific requirements. These are in addition to the basic prerequisites as shown under entry requirements:     

http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/study/masters/applying/

For references, please email the following link to your referees:

References for master's applications

They will submit your references directly to us and we will add them to your application.

Please use the  Online Application Form   to apply. Once you register, you can search for the course to which you wish to apply and upload the required supporting documents towards the end of this process.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MA Y N N N

Course overview

  • Study on an intensive year-long course with a combination of workshops, seminars and one-to-one teaching.
  • Gain hands-on industry experience with an internship at a leading production company.
  • Work with industry experts to develop your portfolio and hone the practical skills you need to succeed in UK film and television.
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UoM MA Screenwriting: Lime Pictures & Hollyoaks

Open days

Find out what it's like to study at Manchester by visiting us on one of our taught master's open days .

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2019, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MA (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £9,750
    International students (per annum): £18,500

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Scholarships/sponsorships

Each year the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures offer a number of  School awards  and  Subject-specific bursaries  (the values of which are usually set at Home/EU fees level), open to both Home/EU and international students. The deadline for these is early February each year. Details of all funding opportunities, including deadlines, eligibility and how to apply, can be found on the  School's funding page  where you can also find details of the Government Postgraduate Loan Scheme.

See also  the University's postgraduate funding database  to see if you are eligible for any other funding opportunities.

The  Manchester Postgraduate Scholarship of Academic Excellence  offers up to 100 fee waiver scholarships worth £2,000 each to high-achieving undergraduates from any UK University with an offer to study a Master's degree in the School.

For University of Manchester graduates, the  Manchester Alumni Bursary offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a 1st within the last three years and are progressing to a postgraduate taught masters course for September 2019 entry.

The  Manchester Master's Bursary  is a University-wide scheme that offers 100 bursaries worth £3,000 in funding for students from underrepresented groups.

Postgraduate 1+3 funding  is available from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for students to pursue postgraduate study through a master's (one year) leading into a PhD (3 years). It requires a project proposal as part of the application. Information is available here:

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Contact name
PG Taught Admissions
Telephone
0161 275 0322
Email
Website
http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/centrefornewwriting/
School/Faculty

See: About us

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

Applicants should hold a good, Upper Second Class Honours degree, or its overseas equivalent.

English language

An overall grade of 7.0 (with a minimum writing score of 7) in IELTS is required or 100+ in the TOEFL iBT with a minimum writing score of 25.

If you have obtained a different qualification, please check our  English language requirements  to ensure that it is accepted and equivalent to the above requirements.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Other international entry requirements

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

Application and selection

How to apply

Please refer to the following School page regarding subject-specific requirements. These are in addition to the basic prerequisites as shown under entry requirements:     

http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/study/masters/applying/

For references, please email the following link to your referees:

References for master's applications

They will submit your references directly to us and we will add them to your application.

Please use the  Online Application Form   to apply. Once you register, you can search for the course to which you wish to apply and upload the required supporting documents towards the end of this process.

Advice to applicants

Please note that this course teaches during business hours and does not offer distance learning.

The part-time mode of attendance aims to concentrate contact time onto two days.

How your application is considered

Applications are mainly considered on the basis of an assessment of past and predicted academic achievements, the academic reference(s) and any other supplementary evidence that supports the application.

We therefore strongly recommend you include a personal statement (no more than 500 words) that demonstrates your understanding of the subject and your motivation for wanting to study the programme.

If your academic background is not directly related to the programme, you should supply an academic-standard writing sample on a subject related to the programme.

If English is not your native language, then you should provide an academic-standard writing sample in English directly related to the subject.

For the specific requirements of each programme in the School, please visit our Applying page.

Overseas (non-UK) applicants

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries that equate to a UK 2.1. For these and general requirements including English language see entry requirements from your country .

If English is not your first language, please provide us with evidence of:

  • an overall grade 7.0 (with a minimum writing score of 7) in IELTS; or
  • 100+ in the IBT Internet-based TOEFL).

The other language tests we accept can be found here: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/new-approved-english-tests.pdf

Exceptions to needing a language test (if English is NOT your first language) are:

  • if you have successfully completed an academic qualification deemed by UK NARIC as equivalent to at least a UK Bachelors Degree or higher from one of the following countries:

Antigua & Barbuda; Australia; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; UK; USA.

Portfolio requirements

Applicants should submit:

1. Three original ideas for film(s) or TV drama series (each 1 or 2 pages long).

You should include the title of film and a logline describing it for the poster; where the film is set; when the film is set (eg contemporary/period); what genre the film is (eg drama/comedy/sci-fi) and what it is about thematically.

2. One A4 page on why you want to do the MA including references to films and TV series that have influenced and interested you. 

3. A separate writing sample (no less than 10 pages of screenplay format) to demonstrate that you can write dramatic scenes and dialogue.

This writing sample could be a screenplay draft of one of the ideas you are applying with, or of another screenplay, theatre play, TV/radio drama, short film. It should demonstrate your potential and your ability to create characters, lively dialogue and tell a story dramatically. 

4. CV/biography.

If you have any questions about portfolio requirements, please contact us.

Course details

Course description

The only course of its kind offered by a Russell Group university, our intensive one-year MA Screenwriting training programme will professionalise writers and presents a genuine gateway into the film and television industries.

You will undertake a rigorous combination of workshops, seminars, one-to-one meetings and regular talks from a variety of industry professionals.

You'll also have the chance to gain hands-on industry experience through structured internship programmes with leading production companies that have included Film4 ( Room, Ex_Machina, The Lobster) , Wildgaze (Brooklyn) , Number 9 Films (Carol) , Left Bank (The Crown), Warp (This is England) , Red Productions ( Happy Valley, Scott and Bailey ), and Hammer Films ( The Woman in Black , Let Me In ).

Over the course of the year, you'll work with leading industry practitioners to develop your screenwriting, pitching and story-breaking skills. By the end of the course, you'll have developed a full length feature film screenplay, a pilot TV episode and two short films.

Like all courses at the Centre for New Writing, this MA is taught by practitioners and, as such, it is vocationally-oriented and industry-focused. You'll have access to individual career guidance and training in how to navigate entry-level work in both the television and film industries.

In the second semester, there will be a London industry day based at BAFTA with talks from agents, producers, and writers, as well as a meeting with the BFI.

You'll study story design, visual story-telling and character arcs in both long-running television series and feature films, and develop the tools to be able to analyse and critique screenwriting craft, as well as learn how to disseminate you own work.

There'll be film screenings, and you'll have access to an excellent lending library of films to watch at home.

Throughout the duration of the course, you'll develop a broad and eclectic knowledge of cinema and television.

Special features

Si Wall

"I came away from the London Industry Day feeling positive, empowered and genuinely believing that, with the right work ethic, a thick skin and a bit of luck, I could make it in the British film and television industry.

"This is the opposite of how I felt at the same time the previous year, which is also a testament to the MA as a whole."

Si Wall / MA Screenwriting

Industry speakers

The course includes regular speakers from the film and TV industry. Previous speakers have included Beth Pattinson BBC Films ( Brooklyn, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Philomena ), Chris Chibnall (writer and creator of  Broadchurch ) and Pete Czernin, producer of In Bruges and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (1 and 2).

Internship opportunities

Each summer, we offer students a two week 'hands-on' industry placement at a renowned film or TV production company in either London or the north-west.

These placements are an excellent opportunity for you to make useful contacts, and to develop a practical and direct understanding of the professional context within which screenwriters ply their trade.

Teaching and learning

We intend to keep learning as specific to individual study as possible, and study groups will be intentionally small in scale.

The course capacity is limited to 12 students each year, and you will be taught through a mixture of screenings, lectures and group discussion.

Our 'writers' room' ethos ensures an environment that encourages collaboration, sharing and creative risk-taking.

All writing workshops meet for three hours per week. Workshops will help students add to their portfolio by including adaptations, scenes, draft scripts, script reports, and genre presentations.

Each workshop is assessed by a portfolio which will include pitches, treatments, scenes, draft scripts, script reports and notes on how to progress a draft.

Seminars also meet for three hours per week.

You'll also be offered two individual tutorials per semester in order to discuss the progress of your writing.

Coursework and assessment

Each workshop is assessed by a portfolio which will include pitches, treatments, scenes, draft scripts, script reports and notes on how to progress a draft.

Over the summer, you will complete a 'dissertation' which consists of a final revised version of a full-length screenplay.

Course unit details

You will undertake units totalling 180 credits. This is made up of three core courses worth 90 credits, with the remaining 90 credits allocated to your dissertation.

The course runs across two 12-week semesters, during which you will attend weekly writing workshops to study the very best of contemporary screenwriting, including shows such as Breaking Bad, True Detective, The Killing, Broadchurch, This is England, Rev, Transparency and The Sopranos.

You will also cover British and American examples of charismatic film screenwriting, from Goodfellas to The King's Speech via Alien .

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Industry and Feature Film ENGL70002 90 Mandatory
Story and the Journey of Change ENGL70701 30 Mandatory
The Calling Card Script and Television ENGL70712 30 Mandatory
Genre and Theme ENGL70801 30 Mandatory

Facilities

You will have access to one of the UK's five National Research Libraries at Manchester, as well as 24/7 study facilities at the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons.

Find out more about facilities for master's students .

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

MA Screenwriting - Katie Lythgow

"If you want a career in TV/film and don't know where to start, I would recommend the MA for the insight it gives into the industry.

"It's not a typical academic course - it's very vocational and is focused on preparing you for a job."

Katie Lythgow / Junior Storyliner at Hollyoaks

This course is designed to train graduates to work in the UK film and television industries.

Some will work as professional screenwriters, while others may take up other, related, positions.

We offer talks from professionals in the industry and internship programmes to help you get an insight into what it's like to work in film and TV.

You can read profiles of some of our recent graduates to find out where they ended up working after completing the course - including two graduates who now work on Hollyoaks - on our student spotlights page.