MA Creative Writing Scriptwriting


Attendance
Part Time
Award
Degree of Master of Arts



The MA Creative Writing: Scriptwriting addresses dramatic writing across the media with the rigour and professional insight that are the hallmark of our creative writing teaching.

The strand has three core modules. Firstly, Dramaturgy, where we study the core principles of drama as explored from Aristotle to McKee and as embodied in a range of plays, films and TV programmes, from Antigone to Game of Thrones. Alongside this runs Workshop where each week your writing benefits from the scrutiny of fellow writers and workshop leaders such as renowned playwrights Steve Waters and Timberlake Wertenbaker. The Process offers you the chance to build an idea from concept to realisation under the keen eye of an industry expert.

Meanwhile for your other module you can choose from a huge inter-disciplinary menu. By Spring you're embarked on your Dissertation benefiting from close supervision as you write a full length drama for the medium of your choice.

Overview

The MA will explore both theory and practice of dramatic writing, addressing contemporary critical debates, analysing written and performance texts, and experimenting with a range of techniques in original writing. Writers develop skills in constructive criticism and creative editing of each other's writing, towards the creation of a supportive writers' network.

Modules will be taught by theorists and practitioners, and will be supplemented by Master classes given by visiting specialists. Teaching will be via seminar discussions and presentations, screenings, workshops, readings and may also include performance visits. Students will be assessed through an analytical essay, original creative writing and working process materials.

The full-time Scriptwriting strand of the MA in Creative Writing is taken over one academic year (or two years, part-time). Students take four taught modules (two in the Autumn semester, two in Spring) and write a dissertation during the summer, with tutorial supervision. Three of the four taught modules are taken within the candidate's MA specialisation, two in Autumn, one in Spring; these are compulsory modules.

Each module is independently assessed, and is weighted at 20 credits.

The other taught module is an option choice taken from the range of modules offered within the Graduate School (excluding other Creative Writing workshops). These are self-contained modules of one semester duration, independently assessed. Each is weighted at 20 credits.

The dissertation is weighted at 90 credits (50% of the overall course grade). For Scriptwriters, the Dissertation is a full-length (90-120 minutes or variation, subject to negotiation) original script to at least second draft stage, for stage, screen (TV or feature film), or radio. The dissertation is written independently, but students receive regular tutorial supervision and advice.

Click here to view the course organiser's (Steve Waters) profile. 

Course Modules

Students must study the following modules for 20 credits:

Name Code Credits

CREATIVE WRITING: SCRIPTWRITING: DRAMATURGY

This module is compulsory for all scriptwriting MA students, and is a co-requisite with Scriptwriting: Workshop 1 for full time students (part-time students must take Dramaturgy in the autumn of year 1, Workshop 1 in autumn of year 2, Scriptwriting: Process in spring of year 2). It may be taken as an option by non-Scriptwriting students, subject to a maximum enrolment of 16 students; some prior experience of dramatic writing is required. Dramaturgy is an advanced level study of dramatic theory, in four major performance media (theatre, film, television, radio). Weekly seminars build upon students' understanding of structure in dramatic narratives, character creation, temporal and spatial ordering. These are considered within the contexts of reception, cultural and industrial practice applicable to theatre, film, television and radio.

LDCC7007A

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Students may only select a Spring Semester (SEM2) module.

Name Code Credits

ADAPTATION AND INTERPRETATION

Critical reading and creative writing meet in the activity of adapting a text in one medium for presentation in another. The module focuses on dramatic adaptation, establishing a foundation in basic theory and then focusing on readings or original works and screenings. Discussions probe the choices offered by original texts and explore the possibilities and limitations inherent in different dramatic forms. In the later sessions, students will have the opportunity to workshop an adaptation for a final project.

LDCC7010B

20

ASIAN CINEMA

'Asian Cinema' is a category of films increasingly in evidence in diverse places ranging from cinemas to high street shops. Recent years have seen a variety of Asian cinema incursions into global film culture, from Bollywood in UK multiplexes to Hong Kong action styles used in the Hollywood blockbuster. Inherent within the label are debates of resistance, industry, art, technology and aesthetics that have held sway since the dawn of cinema worldwide. In this module we break down these discourses and address the significant cultural, economic and political influences that Asian cinemas have had, and indeed still have, within world culture.

AMAM7000B

20

CREATIVITY AND DEVELOPMENT IN FILM AND TELEVISION PRODUCTION

The module is designed to introduce students to key skills in film and television development practice. It will provide an understanding of the processes of creative script and project development, including film and TV business, the activities of the market and dealing with bodies responsible for commissioning films and television programmes. Priority for places on this module will be given to students taking the MA in Film Studies.

AMAM7007A

20

GOOD GOOD GIRLS AND GOOD BAD BOYS? AMERICAN FICTIONS OF INNOCENCE

Oscar Wilde wrote that 'The youth of America is their oldest tradition; it has been going on now for three hundred years'. Is this true? If so, why? This module will seek to account for the preoccupation with youth in America by focusing particularly on the concept of 'innocence', and by examining how various models of innocence are invoked and questioned in American literary texts. Drawing on a wide array of fictional and theoretical works, we will consider the following questions: What is at stake in America's investment in innocence? Major cultural events - such as the Vietnam War and 9/11, for example - are often described as representing a 'loss of innocence' in American culture. What power interests and ideologies are maintained by repeatedly describing America as 'innocent'? How is this investment in innocence revised in different historical moments? How is it challenged? With particular reference to fictions of growing up in America, how is innocence (and loss of innocence) depicted differently for male and female protagonists?

AMAL7000B

20

MULTICULTURALISM

This module looks at the responses in political theory to the rise of multicultural societies in Europe and North America since the end of World War II. The aim is to introduce students to a range of contemporary theoretical perspectives on multiculturalism and to facilitate critical assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of competing approaches. Theorists under examination will include: Parekh, Kymlicka, Taylor and Modood as well as major liberal alternative views; Barry, Rawls and Raz. The module will combine theoretical study with analysis of practical issues/case studies surrounding multiculturalism. Among the issues to be considered are the following: models of integration, group rights, institutional racism, Islamophobia, and the Rushdie affair. The module will also consider divergent policies adopted within European states (eg, France and Germany) and give attention to the attempts to operationalise multiculturalism in the UK in particular via the Parekh Report.

PPLX7003B

20

PHILOSOPHY OF LITERATURE SEMINAR

In a collaborative seminar format, students explore together with the teacher a range of topics in the philosophy of literature. Topics studied typically include: the definition and purpose of literature; the status of fictional characters; the relevance of author's intention and the role of interpretation in fixing meaning; aesthetic evaluation, taste, subjectivity and objectivity; the value of fakes and copies; the emotional effect of literature; whether literature can convey truth and knowledge, and the relationship between aesthetic judgement and ethics. Students prepare a package of two essays relating to different parts of the course, preceded by formative drafts and essay tutorials.

PPLP7001B

20

POLITICS AND MEDIA

Working from the assumption that the media are an integral part of modern political life, this module examines the way in which politics is represented in the media and reviews critically the argument about 'bias'. It also explores the arguments around the ownership and control of media, the increasing use of the media by political parties and the changing relationship between citizens and politics engendered by new communication technologies.

PPLM7002B

20

PUBLISHING - A PRACTICAL APPROACH

This module aims to give students an introduction to the modern publishing industry and a practical survival guide to the different functions involved in the publication of a book. As well as learning about the structure and economics of the British book industry, the opportunities and challenges of digitalization, students will engage with the process whereby books are chosen for publication, review principles of text and jacket design, practise basic copyediting and proofreading skills and learn tips for running a marketing and publicity campaign, writing 'blurbs' and press releases. The course will also touch on copyright law, finance and distribution. Students from the module are invited to join the core team producing the annual MA Creative Writing anthologies.

LDCC7012B

20

RADICAL DRAMATURGIES

Radical Dramaturgies is an advanced level study of dramatic texts and theory, exploring a range of experimental ways of writing for the stage. Weekly seminars build upon students' understanding of form and practice in a variety of modes of writing: monologue, the solo play, micro-plays, site-specific writing, verbatim, 'post-dramatic', devised, multi-media, hyper-naturalist - we look at work by Wallace Shawn, Samuel Beckett, Suzan Lori-Parks, Martin Crimp, Caryl Churchill, Moises Kaufman, Simon Stephens, Franz Xavier Kroetz, Hans Thies-Lehmann as well as film-makers such as Michael Haneke and theatre directors working with film such as Katie Mitchell. Overall, we will explore: a variety of radical modes of writing, the theoretical and intellectual context informing such work, the structural and performative values informing this writing, a set of criteria for evaluating this work, developing the students' own aesthetic through writing and/or theorising. Writers and artists across disciplines are welcome as are theoretically minded students wishing to work creatively.

LDCD7001B

20

THE BIG PICTURE: CONTEMPORARY HOLLYWOOD CINEMA

Hollywood has remained a dominant force in film production, distribution and exhibition in recent decades, despite competition from other local and transnational cinemas. This module aims to explore the success of the Hollywood system through a focus on the industry itself, and the films it produces, particularly those that have been most successful at the domestic and international box office. The module will, therefore, cover a range of relevant topics that may include: what kind of films does Hollywood invest in? Is financial gain the best lens to judge issues of 'popularity'? Who are the target audiences for those films? What is the role of the audience in receiving and popularising these hit movies? What is the relationship between domestic theatrical release, circulation in foreign markets and distribution in other media such as television, film, and DVD?

AMAM7011B

20

THEORY AND PRACTICE OF FICTION

This module is designed to complement the prose fiction workshop but is open to students on related programmes. It is intended to provide students with creative and critical knowledge in a single experiential burst, by exploring as they are relevant to writing fiction such topics as time, place, dramatic structure, character and concinnity. The unit also gives consideration to professional issues confronting novelists, from writer's block to editing, contracts and dealing with the media. The module presents the writer as both artist and supplier of intellectual property to a market, while examining that and other tensions critically. Reading, writing and analysis happen alongside each other. Fictional, critical and professional texts are examined, writing exercises illuminating the issue at hand are undertaken. Students are also expected to make presentations on topics of their choice. Assessment by creative writing coursework with a critical commentary.

LDCC7015B

20

Students must study the following modules for 140 credits:

Name Code Credits

CREATIVE WRITING AND RESEARCH SEMINARS

This 10-credit module consists of a series of lectures by Creative Writing and Critical faculty of direct relevance to the practical aspects of researching and writing a major piece of creative work. Attendance is compulsory.

LDCC7006B

10

CREATIVE WRITING DISSERTATION

Students are required to write a dissertation of a length as specified in their MA Course Guide on a topic approved by the Course Director or other authorised person.

LDCC7017X

90

CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP: SCRIPTWRITING

This module is compulsory for all Scriptwriting MA students and is reserved for students of the Scriptwriting programme. It is co-requisite with Scriptwriting: Dramaturgy (full-time students). Part-time students must complete Dramaturgy as a pre-requisite, in year 1. Workshop 1 builds upon the parallel study of dramaturgical theory and practice in the four major dramatic performance media. The module requires scriptwriters to incorporate the theory into their own creative practice in weekly creative development workshops. Writers will all complete a series of script planning and writing exercises: each week, two writers will bring their exercise to the workshop table for group discussion.

LDCC7004A

20

CREATIVE WRITING: SCRIPTWRITING: PROCESS

This module is compulsory for all Scriptwriting MA students and is reserved for students of the Scriptwriting programme. Dramaturgy and Workshop 1 are pre-requisites for this module. Students develop a short script for theatre/film/television/radio from initial idea through pitch/treatment/step outline/script drafts. In weekly workshop sessions, the stages of project development are tabled for tutorial and peer group critique. Assessment is by presentation of a portfolio of working documentation, script drafts and a short reflective essay.

LDCC7005B

20

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject UK BA (Hons) 2.1 or equivalent
  • Special Entry Requirements Sample of work - see below

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 7.0 (minimum 6.0 in each section and 7.0 in writing)
  • PTE (Pearson): 68 (minimum 55 in each section and 68 in writing)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Special Entry Requirements

Candidates will be expected to submit a portfolio of writing for assessment - up to 30 pages of dramatic script/screenplay.

Please note that those candidates offered a place on the course will not be able to defer their offer to the next year if they are unable to take up the offer of a place, however they are welcome to reapply the next year.

Intakes

The School's annual intake is in September of each year.

Alternative Qualifications

If you have alternative qualifications that have not been mentioned above then please contact the Admissions Office directly for further information.

Fees and Funding

Tuition fees

Tuition fees for the academic year 2016/17 are:

  • UK/EU Students: £7,150
  • International Students: £14,500

If you choose to study part-time, the fee per annum will be half the annual fee for that year, or a pro-rata fee for the module credit you are taking (only available for UK/EU students).

We estimate living expenses at £820 per month.

Scholarships and Awards:

There are a variety of scholarships and studentships available to postgraduate applicants in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. For further information relevant to the School of Literature and Creative Writing, please click here.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    Need to know more? Take a look at these pages to discover more about Postgraduate opportunities at UEA…

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515