Taught course

Screenwriting for Television and Film (in Retreat)

Royal Holloway, University of London · Department of Media Arts

Entry requirements

UK Upper Second Class Honours degree 2:1 (Honours) or equivalent, in Literature, Theatre, Media or a related discipline.

Students with degrees in other subjects will also be considered, as will those with relevant professional or creative experience in fiction writing, the film and TV media, theatre, radio or journalism.

Submit up to 50 pages of creating writing, preferably pieces intended for film or television and in film/TV format, though other forms of creating writing such as short stories or plays will also be acceptable.

Months of entry


Course content

During the MA in Screenwriting for Television and Film (in Retreat) you will cover writing for feature film and television as well as new developments such as web drama. You will develop a range of ideas, then go on to write film and television outlines, and several drafts of a feature film screenplay, a TV single drama, or a TV series or serial bible and sample episodes.

Commencing in September, you will be taught through a mixture of intensive writing retreats and distance learning techniques, including Skype and our dedicated online learning environment, Moodle. The course includes four week-long residential retreats throughout one year (full time), with some taking place in Central London and others at our beautiful Egham Campus, near Windsor. This structure immerses you in a creative atmosphere conducive to concentrated learning and group interaction, with Development Lab as a core module, where you will present your work in progress to the group for criticism and feedback, and experiment with co-writing.

Between retreats the course is run via distance-learning with a website, chat room and e-tutorials. This makes it possible for those living outside the UK, and those with busy working lives, such as freelancers and those in full-time employment, to take time out to attend. The course attracts a wide variety of students including those wishing to make a career change from other sectors through to established actors, comedy writers, editors, producers, novelists and many others.

You will also meet and work with industry and independent producers, directors, agents, writers and actors to provide a production context.

  • You'll come to us for four week-long retreats, over the course of a (full-time) year. Between retreats, you'll learn from home via a website, chatroom and tutorials.
  • You'll learn as part of our creative campus, in a department with combined expertise in both Media theory and Media practice, rated in the top 10 Media Arts departments for research quality (REF, 2014)
  • You'll get to bounce your ideas off other people – core to the course is a 'writers' room' space, where students present their works-in-progress to each other for criticism and feedback. You'll also get to experiment with co-writing.
  • You'll learn from course director Ivan Levene, a screenwriter and script editor with over 15 years of experience in the industry. The teaching team includes Adam Ganz (whose dramas include Pillow Talk and Murder Without Motive), Jonathan Powell (former Controller of BBC One and Head of BBC Drama), Gillian Gordon (award-winning producer with 30 years experience) and John Roberts (BAFTA award winning director of Paulie).
  • You'll meet and work with industry and independent producers, directors, agents, writers and actors. Recent speakers include experts from the BBC, Bad Robot Productions, Bankside Films, Casarotto Ramsay and United Agents as well as as well as directors such as Daniel Wolfe (Catch Me Daddy) and Sarah Gavron (Suffragette).

Information for international students

IELTS score of 6.5 with 6.5 in writing and no sub-score below 5.5 for non-native English speaking applicants.

See our International pages for more information.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

See our Postgraduate fees and funding pages to find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Angela Gooden