School of Art, Design and Architecture

MA Screenwriting

Programme code 7553

1 year

Course type

Full-time, Part-time route available

Location Plymouth

MA Screenwriting addresses the increasing demand for digital content required by the creative industries. You are trained in various aspects of writing for ‘screens’ – including the big screen (films) and small screen (phone-specific). The South West is substantially growing as a destination for screenwriters and filmmakers, and you are supported to work at a professional industry standard, covering variable aspects in producing ‘scripts’, including storyboarding and collaborative writing.

This programme is not available for September 2024 entry.
Join us in September 2025.

Careers with this subject

MA Screenwriting graduates will be equipped with skills in demand across a broad range of areas such as feature films, advertising, writing for games, and building narratives for bespoke small screen experiences (using new phone-derivative technologies). 

Key features

  • Hone your writing skills for screen while working in an interdisciplinary environment with filmmakers, performers and musicians, nurturing your collaboration and team working skills.
  • Be equipped to adapt your craft to emerging digital platforms through our new Digital Fabrication and Immersive Media Laboratories providing you with access and experience in using the latest technologies.
  • Get under the skin of the digital storytelling industry, preparing you for a career in the sector.
  • Benefit from cutting-edge facilities, providing opportunities to work with VR, immersive cinema, and specialist media and editing software.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • Hone your skills on this programme for a variety of screens, from exploring writing for feature films to building procedural narratives for video games, equipping you with the ability to tell stories across a range of digital formats.
    Along with developing your creative writing skills, you get to grips with the technical aspects of filmmaking, including camera and sound work, composition, aesthetics and editing.
    The programme prepares you for a career in screenwriting by developing your ability to pitch and present your writing and ideas along with connecting you with professionals in the wider industry.

    Core modules

    • Screenwriting Dissertation and/or Practice (SCRW700)

      The Dissertation module requires students to build on their dissertation proposal and to complete a script (or series of scripts) totalling 30-50 pages. Students can work in any genre (arthouse, documentary, fiction etc), with work intended for any manner of platform/screen.

    • Screenwriting (SCRW701)

      An introduction to writing for screens, from the 'big' screen of film to the small screen of phones. Various platforms will be covered including commissioned work via BBC and self-produced work for YouTube.

    • Making Films (SCRW702)

      Since screenwriting requires an understanding of how to 'make' films and/or digital stories (narrative content), this module introduces students to the technical aspects of filmmaking: including camera and sound work, and covering composition, aesthetics, editing.

    • Writing to Brief (SCRW703)

      This module enables students to further develop their understanding of how to tell stories in digital formats, with emphasis on asking students to 'write to brief', including exploration of topical public interests.

    • The Business of Screenwriting: Before and After Dissertation (SCRW704)

      Writing a script is only half the job; getting that script produced and disseminated is the other half. This module introduces students to pitching and presenting their writing and ideas, connecting them to the wider industry. All the while, students will be developing the research necessary to inform their dissertation projects and articulating that in a dissertation 'proposal'.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MA Screenwriting programme specification 7553

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

A good honours degree (first or second class) or equivalent.
Other qualifications accompanied by substantial experience in an appropriate field may also be considered. Non-standard applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.
International students: IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent. View our English language requirements.

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,500 £10,000
International £16,500 £17,600
Part time (Home) £530 £560
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply

When to apply
Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full.
Before you apply
Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance. 
Disability Inclusion Services
If you have an impairment, health condition or disability, learn about the additional support the University provides.
International students
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office. Take a look at our how to apply information or email
Submitting an application
Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page). 
What happens after I apply?
You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeksof us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.
We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. 
If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:
Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
Admissions policy
More information and advice for applicants can be referenced in our admissions policy which can be found on the student regulations, policies and procedures page. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.