Taught course

Screenwriting

Institution
Birkbeck, University of London · Film, Media and Cultural Studies
Qualifications
MAPGCert

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Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree (2:2) or above in any related subject; other qualifications will be considered.

Applications are encouraged from those with or without prior screenwriting experience.

As part of the application process, applicants are required to submit the following:

  • Part 1: the opening ten pages of script for a film or TV drama
  • Part 2: a four-page feature film treatment
  • Part 3: any three pieces of creative text, such as a short story, an extract from a novel (five pages), an article or a poem.

After review of the application and entrance task, the admissions tutors may invite candidates to attend an interview.

Applications are reviewed on their individual merits and your professional qualifications and/or relevant work experience will be taken into consideration positively. We actively support and encourage applications from mature learners.

Months of entry

October

Course content

Our MA in Screenwriting offers you an integrated programme in the history, theory and practice of screenwriting. It will develop your practical screenwriting skills and techniques, and you will be able to develop outlines, treatments and scripts towards a portfolio of original projects. Projects may be for film or television and the programme will encourage you to write in different genres, and expect you to rewrite draft scripts with feedback and tutor support.

One distinctive feature of the programme is the fast-track core module which will allow all students enrolling on the course, including graduates in other fields, to gain detailed knowledge of screenwriting theories, conventions and formats, and develop the ability to apply these to writing practice. Subsequent modules will deepen your writing skills and knowledge of screenwriting with assignments of increasing length designed to meet industry requirements, such as feature film script and television series writing. You will also study the discourse and practices of screenwriting.

Central to the programme is examining how the industry works, and to this end there are six autumn industry talks with guest speakers, and a four-day summer school, which focuses on the writer working in the industry, and includes pitching and storytelling workshops.

Our Postgraduate Certificate in Screenwriting offers you the opportunity to develop your practical screenwriting skills and techniques, and to apply them to writing briefs, together with developing your ability to evaluate the effectiveness of communicating ideas in script form.

Highlights
  • Graduates in other fields can achieve professional standards of practice and understanding of the industry.
  • We have a state-of-the art cinema and exhibition spaces, all housed in a historic building that was a former home to key members of the Bloomsbury Group, including the author Virginia Woolf and the artist Vanessa Bell. The School is also actively involved in a number of College-wide institutes specifically designed to foster work across disciplines at Birkbeck such as Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image.
  • The Department hosts a range of events including information evenings for prospective students; the annual Murray Lecture where speakers have included Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery, and Neil McGregor, Director of the British Museum; and exhibitions and displays at the Peltz Gallery, the School of Arts' purpose-built exhibition space.
  • The School of Arts offers a number of bursaries for postgraduate students.
  • The School of Arts is an official partner of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London. Opportunities for students have included a year’s free membership of the ICA, private views, discounts on all talks and events, free members' screenings and £3 cinema tickets on Tuesdays, up to 25% off ICA Artists' Editions and a monthly e-newsletter.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, the requirement for this course is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 7.0, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.

If you don't meet the minimum IELTS requirement, we offer pre-sessional English courses and foundation programmes to help you improve your English language skills and get your place at Birkbeck.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • PGCert
    part time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Name
Student Advice Service
Email
studentadvice@bbk.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)20 3907 0700