Taught course

Playwriting

Institution
The University of Manchester · School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Qualifications
MA

Entry requirements

Applicants should hold a good, Upper Second Class Honours degree or above, or its overseas equivalent, normally in a relevant subject.

Months of entry

September

Course content

Our MA Playwriting course is an intensive one-year programme designed to provide a genuine gateway into a writing career in the theatre and performance industries.

Like our successful MA Screenwriting course, the MA Playwriting is taught by practitioners and is vocationally-oriented and industry-focused.

Over the course of the year, you will work with leading industry practitioners to develop your playwriting, pitching and dramaturgical skills. You will learn about and develop skills in writing for performance across a diverse range of contexts, genres and themes.

By the end of the course, you will have developed at least one full-length stage play, a collection of one-act dramas, a full-length play for a festival context and at least one full-length play for a setting outside of a theatre (for example, a piece of experimental performance, immersive performance, forum theatre, community drama, documentary theatre, street theatre, and/or drama for an educational setting).

You will have access to individual career guidance and training in how to navigate entry-level writing work in the theatre and performance industries. The course features regular speakers from the industry, including returning alumni who have established successful careers as writers, dramaturgs and producers.

In Semester 1, you will study the basics of playwriting as a craft, with a focus on form and structure. This will include engaging with plays in textual form and in live performance, and the study of plot/story, character, genre, scene development, monologue and dialogue, dramatic action, beginnings, endings, features of staging and audience relationship.

You will study a diverse range of new and historical works, including historical plays that have brought about innovations in dramatic form and structure, as well as new writing staged in Britain and further afield in recent years.

In the second semester, we turn to industry-oriented study, focusing on developing new pieces for festival contexts, and on the skills and resiliencies needed to sustain a living in playwriting.

You will learn how to facilitate playwriting projects with groups and how to write collaboratively for performance. This will include an opportunity to lead a 'hands-on' playwriting project while on placement in a community or educational setting.

There will be an industry day based at our studio theatre on campus, with talks from directors, agents, producers, publishers, literary officers and writers.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Name
School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Email
MASALC@manchester.ac.uk
Phone
+44 (0)161 275 0322