MA Screenwriting

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Industry and Feature Film

Unit code ENGL70002
Credit rating 90
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by English and American Studies
Available as a free choice unit? No


Students will strengthen their pitching skills, learn to write professional reader reports, understand how to approach adaptation and create their own examples, work with their supervisor to establish a successful idea for their feature film and develop it though several drafts to a polished screenplay.




The unit aims to:


Develop students’ practical skills at writing industry-standard reader’s reports.


Arm students with the knowledge and confidence of pitching their own original ideas and presentations successfully.


Equip students with an understanding of how to approach adaptation of texts and how to present their own vision for the material.


Polish and extend students’ screenwriting and storytelling skills so they can produce a feature length script at a second draft stage of an industry professional standard.



Teaching and learning methods


Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of script from pitch to completion of a polished feature film draft.


Demonstrate knowledge of why adaptation is used in screen industry and how to approach adapting existing material.


Demonstrate a professional level of creating reader reports.

Intellectual skills

Effectively and imaginatively respond to professional feedback.


Demonstrate a sophisticated and focussed understanding of possible career paths within the current UK Film and TV industries.


Develop a feature length (90-100 pages) screenplay from an original idea to a second draft stage.


Create reader reports of a professional industry standard.

Practical skills

Effectively present themselves and their script ideas both verbally and in writing


Construct scripts for different media and audiences and/or in different formats, genres and styles including adaptation.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Successfully and persuasively verbally pitch ideas.


Work effectively and flexibly with others.


Being able to offer criticism in a constructive manner.


Manage their time and workload effectively in order to meet deadlines.


Assessment methods

Write 2 reader reports 20%
Feature length screenplay 80%


Feedback methods

Feeback on pitching will be given verbally in workshops

Feedback on reader’s reports will be written and verbal

Feedback on first drafts and final drafts will be written and verbal


Recommended reading

Blake Snyder Save the Cat

Syd Field Screenwriting

John Yorke Into the Woods

Alexander Mackendrick On Filmmaking

Aristotle Poetics

Robert McKee Story



Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
External visits 8.5
Project supervision 1
Seminars 33
Independent study hours
Independent study 857.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Emma Clarke Unit coordinator

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