Taught course


University of Essex · Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies

Entry requirements

Our applicants should have a 1st, 2:1 or 2:2 degree, or equivalent, in a relevant area.

Months of entry


Course content

MA Playwriting offers you the opportunity to develop as a playwright, by learning with professional dramatists. You will produce a varied portfolio of dramatic works, culminating in a full-length original play, which will enable you to hone and develop your own unique voice.

Our students study and practise the principles of dramatic structure and scene construction, explore the origins and possibilities of poetic theatre and verse drama, develop radio drama, and learn about techniques for working as a playwright with youth and community groups. At the end of the course your work will be rehearsed and given a public performance in the Lakeside Theatre at our Colchester Campus. Your dissertation gives you the chance to write a full-length play with one-to-one supervision from an award-winning playwright tutor.

A vibrant centre for theatre and creative writing, our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies hosts visiting writers and speakers. In addition to weekly talks, seminars and film-screenings, there is an innovative programme of plays, workshops and master classes at our Lakeside Theatre. Our MA Playwriting is flexible and allows you to choose modules in other areas of creative writing, literature or film, if you so wish. Our Theatre Research Lab, at our Lakeside Theatre, offers resources for playwriting students to develop their plays through rehearsed readings and workshops. Our course tutors include Elizabeth Kuti, Jonathan Lichtenstein, Glyn Maxwell and Rebecca Prichard, who between them have had plays commissioned and/or produced at the Abbey Theatre Dublin, the Traverse in Edinburgh, the Globe, the Soho Theatre, the National Theatre and the Royal Court, and BBC Radio 4 and 3. Their awards collectively include Edinburgh Fringe Firsts, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, the Stewart Parker Radio Award and the Critics’ Circle Award.

This course will be of interest to those who wish to pursue a career in many areas of the arts, creative writing and media. It can lead to further study at PhD level and careers in higher education or teaching at other levels of education. It is open to those with specialist academic qualifications in a relevant field such as drama, literature, film or creative writing; or alternatively to those with relevant professional experience.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language, then we require IELTS 7.0, or equivalent, with 6.5 in writing.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Graduate Administrator
+44 (0)1206 872 719