MA Filmmaking imagebar 5

MA in Script Writing

This programme focuses on the creative, analytical and professional aspects of script writing, in the context of the contemporary film, television and radio industries.

About the department
Media & Communications

Length
1 year full-time.
Funding
If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline. Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants.

The Olive Till Memorial Bursary has since 2003 been offered to one female student on this course each year. Once an offer of a place has been accepted, the application for this contribution towards fees is by letter, as advised by the course convenor.

UK students offered a place on this course are elligible for the BAFTA UK Scholarships Programme, closing date 16th June 2014.

The Department of Media and Communications offers fee waivers for this MA. If you have confirmed an offer by 1 May 2014 you'll automatically become eligible for the fee waiver scheme that will fund waivers equivalent in total to 13 full time home/EU fees. International students are also eligible for the scheme. 

AHRC

Fees
See our tuition fees.
Contact the department
Contact Julian Henriques
Visit us
Find out about how you can visit Goldsmiths at one of our open days or come on a campus tour.

The MA Script Writing is accredited by Skillset (further to the Department's accreditation as a Skillset Media Academy) and currently receives funding to support some student bursaries (for more information visit the Skillset website).

The programme is aimed at those who already have some writing experience, but who want to develop professional skills and expertise as screen or radio script writers.

It's geared towards developing each student's own writing and distinctive voice, to enable you to pitch for employment and production funding in a highly competitive industry.

You complete the programme with a feature film or equivalent television or radio script. You also gain knowledge of the film, television or radio industries and some of the contacts necessary to market your projects.

What you study

The core course is designed to give you the skills and understanding required to develop your Treatment for a feature film or equivalent television or radio script.

The course is taught mostly with workshops, in which you present and discuss your own work with other students in a supportive environment. There are also class exercises, lectures, screenings, master classes, seminars and individual tutorials.

Starting in the Spring Term, the course then develops your Treatment into a second draft feature script (or its equivalent). Option courses include Short Fiction, Script Editing and Media a Landscape of Opportunity (from ICCE).

 

Skillset logo (denotes a Skillset-accredited programme)

The MA Script Writing is accredited by Skillset (further to the Department's accreditation as a Skillset Media Academy) and is likely to receive funding to support student bursaries. For more information visit the Skillset website.

About the Department of Media & Communications

 
 
 
 
 

Video: Click to play

Assessment

Feature fiction script; feature treatment; short fiction script; examples of script reader’s reports on other material; other courses are assessed by essay. 


Applying and entrance requirements

You can apply directly to Goldsmiths via the website by clicking the ‘apply now’ button on the main programme page.

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have: 

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments.
  • The email address details of your referee who we can request a reference from.
  • A personal statement. This can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online.
  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory).

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from 1 October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline – 14 February is the deadline if you're applying for AHRC funding.

Find out more about funding opportunities for UK/EU students and international students. 

Selection Process

Please include: evidence of your writing – and preferably your script writing abilities – either in the form of a draft ten-page short script, or opening ten pages of a longer script; or a ten-page short story; and several one-page ideas for short fiction and feature scripts you would like to consider for development and writing on the programme.

When submitting your application, please also submit (upload under 'additional') an example of your recent work in a related field, or include links to a page hosting that work. Failing which, please post an example of that work to: Admissions Office, Goldsmiths, New Cross, London SE14 6NW, UK. Please make sure you include your application reference number (which you will receive when you enter your online application) and the MA degree title. Please see ‘Returning your work’.

We 'batch' applications for this programme. This means that we'll wait until the closing date and then assess all applications together, to make sure they receive equal consideration. Therefore you won't receive a decision from us until after the closing date.

Entrance requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in a relevant/related subject and you should be able to demonstrate a commitment to creative writing and a level of practical experience.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

We also accept a wide range of international equivalent qualifications, which can be found on our country-specific pages. If you'd like more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

Deposit

Due to the popularity of this programme we ask you for a deposit of £450 to secure any offer made to you after applying for the programme. The deposit will be credited against your tuition fees when you enrol.

English language

If your first language is not English, you normally need a minimum score of 7.0 in IELTS (including 7.0 in the written element) or equivalent. 

Please check our English language requirements for more information.

Find out more about applying 

Contact us 

Get in touch via our online form

UK/EU

+44 (0)20 7919 7766
course-info@gold.ac.uk

International (non-EU)

+44 (0)20 7919 7702
international-office@gold.ac.uk

Staff

AHMED, Sara
Professor of Race and Cultural Studies

ARABADJI, Zehra
Management Team Secretary
z.arabadji

BARASSI, Veronica
Lecturer

BASS, Tracy
Lecturer
t.bass

BELL, Ceiren
Lecturer
c.bell

BELL
, Nicholas
Technical Adviser AV Support
n.bell

BENFORD, Leanne
MA Secretary
l.benford

BLACKMAN, Lisa
Professor of Media and Communications

BORGERTH-FILHO, Arnold
Associate Lecturer
a.borgerth.filho

BOURNE, Clea
Lecturer

BULL, Neil
Senior Technical Adviser Radio
n.bull

CHEAL, Jacqui
Practice Manager
j.cheal

CHEAL, Rory
Technical Adviser Film/TV
r.cheal

CROOK, Tim
Reader

CUBITT, Sean
Professor of Film and Television

CUCH, Laura
Technical Adviser, Photography

CURRAN
, James
Professor of Communications

DAVIS, Aeron
Professor of Media and Communications

DOBSON, Hayley
Undergraduate Secretary
h.dobson

DOWMUNT, Dr. Tony
Senior Lecturer

DRINKWATER, Alex
Technical Adviser Digital Media
a.drinkwater

EVANS, Jack
Senior Technical Adviser TV/Film
j.evans

FENTON, Natalie
Professor of Media and Communications
Joint Head of Department

FRANCE, Linda
Lecturer

FRANKLIN, Marianne
Professor

FREEDMAN, Des
Professor

GABER, Ivor
Emeritus Professor of Broadcast Journalism

GALLANT, Amanda
MA Secretary
a.gallant

HALL, Alan
Associate Tutor
a.hall

HENRIQUES, Dr. Julian
Reader
Joint Head of Department

HOLLAND, Judy
Senior Lecturer

JACKSON, Sarah
Resources Assistant
s.jackson

KEMBER
, Sarah
Professor in New Technologies of Communication

KHIABANY, Dr. Gholam
Senior Lecturer

KINGHAM, Andrew
Lecturer

KIRBY
, Terry
Senior Lecturer
t.kirby

LEE-WRIGHT
, Peter
Senior Lecturer

LEVENSON, Ellie
Lecturer

LEYS, Colin
Honorary Research Professor

LOVE, Jacob
Technical Adviser Photography

MACDONALD,
Richard
Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies

MADIANOU, Mirca
Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications

MCLACHLAN, Miranda
Lecturer

MCCULLOCH, Gerry
Senior Lecturer

MACNICOL, Hugh
Senior Department Business Manager
h.macnicol

MCROBBIE, Angela
Professor of Communications

MOOR, Dr. Liz
Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications

MOORE, Dr. Rachel
Lecturer

MORLEY, David
Professor of Communications

OWEN-BOARD, Damian
Lecturer
d.owen-board


PERKINS, Nigel
Lecturer

PHILLIPS, Angela
Professor

SAHA, Anamik
a.saha

SMITH, Nigel
Senior Technical Adviser Film/TV
n.smith

SMITH, Dr. Richard
Senior Lecturer

SMITH, Robert
Senior Lecturer

STANTON, Dr. Gareth
Senior Lecturer

SZENTIRMAI, Gyorgyi
Undergraduate Programmes Secretary
g.szentirmai

TOWNLEY, Nikki
Associate Tutor
n.townley

VÄLIAHO, Dr. Pasi
Senior Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies

WALTER, Matthew
Senior Technical Adviser Digital
m.walter

ZAMBINSKI
, Stefan
Technical Adviser Video/Film
s.zambinski

ZYLINSKA, Dr. Joanna
Professor of New Media and Communications


Modules & structure

The MA is composed of Scriptwriting Portfolio valued at 90 credits, a Reflection Essay 15 credits, Sound Story telling and Narrative Intertextuality 15 credits, two from Short Form Script, Script Editing, Narrative in Practice, Cinema and Society, Screen Cultures, each 30 credits.

Code Module title Credits
tbc Long Form Script (Scriptwriting Portfolio) 90 CATs

As the major creative writing component to this programme, this module is designed to give you the skills and understanding required to develop your Treatment for a feature film or equivalent television or radio script. The module is taught mostly with workshops, in which you present and discuss your own work with other students in a supportive environment. There are also class exercises, lectures, screenings, master classes, seminars and individual tutorials. Starting in the Spring Term, the module then develops the treatment into a second draft feature script (or its equivalent).

MC71001A Issues in Media and Culture 30 CATs

Rachel Moore

Issues in Media and Culture is a module that focuses on the correspondence between making things and thought about cultural artefacts.

Theory, philosophy, and artistic practice all share in the business of asking us to pay attention to something we might otherwise not consider, might not see nor hear, and to think about it. Philosophy searches for meaning unfettered by habitual understandings and beliefs. By making something and placing it before us, the practitioner too makes demands on our otherwise quotidian understanding of the world. Theory pays attention to the relationship between meaning and the things we encounter in the world, be they actions, customs, artworks, or media events. It tries to reveal, clarify, or deepen that relationship.

In all cases, it is with great care that we cut something out of the continuum of life and frame it, be it by the covers of a book, the focus of a lens, the devices of a story, or the punctuations of dialogue. This module aims to aid in sharpening that care by investigating aesthetic, historic, and social theories about the relationship of creative endeavour to contemporary culture.

Reading

  • Frampton, Hollis (2010) On the Camera Arts and Consecutive Matters, ed. Bruce Jenkins, MIT Press
  • Bataille, Georges The Accursed Share Vol I: Consumption, trans Robert Hurley, Zone Books, 1991
  • Kracauer, Siegfried, ‘Photography’, in The Mass Ornament: Weimar Essays (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1995)
  • Lazzarato, Mauritzio, “Immaterial Labor” from Paolo Virno and Michael Hardy, eds. Radical Thought In Italy: A Potential Politics, University of Minnesota Press, 2006
  • Marx, Karl. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, Trans. Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling, New York:  International Publishers
  • 1967, Chapter from Capital ‘The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy’, Situationist International
  • Stern, Daniel, Forms of Vitality: Exploring Dynamic Experience in Psychology, the Arts, Psychotherapy, and Development (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)

tbc Sound Story Telling and Intertextuality of Narrative 15 CATs

This module explores the common aspects of sound narrative in different practice media, and critically investigates to an advanced standard how audiogenic techniques transfer intertextually between radio, prose, theatre, and film. Lecture/seminars, handouts and Web resources will look at the complex debates and issues encountered through the practical experience of adapting scripts between visual and sound storytelling.

Ten two-hour workshops during the Spring term. Twenty contact hours.

Option modules

Choose two from the following:

Code Module title Credits
tbc Narrative in Practice 30 CATs

This module is for both screen practitioners whose creative work involves narrative and for screen studies students interested in theoretical issues arising from the narrative process. We look at broad issues – what narratives are, how they differ from non-narratives, what forms they may take (fiction and non-fiction), and what functions they serve in our own and one or more other societies. We look at elements of narrative creation: character, conflict, structure, plot and we look at the ways in which different aspects of screen productions, particularly editing and sound design, contribute to narrative impact. The speakers are a mix of practitioners who work in the screen industries and theorists who study
narrative in traditional, alternative, cross-cultural and new media forms. Examples are drawn from a range of fiction and non-fiction sources, depending on the speakers’ own interests, and include short films, documentary and feature films, TV drama and news, games and online media.

tbc Script Editing 30 CATs

This module develops editorial and analytical skills to complement the creative ones developed in the others. The module requires you to become familiar with the script development processes in film, television and radio. The module is taught by weekly seminars and practical workshops, some of which are led by industry professionals.

tbc Short Form Script 30 CATs

This module helps you understand the basic elements required for the construction of short fiction scripts for screen or radio. You then use this knowledge to develop one of the ideas you brought to the module to write your script. The module is taught by a weekly one-hour seminar followed by a two-hour workshop. Each script receives a reading from professional actors at the end of the module. All short scripts are eligible for entry into the Short Script Competition for production from MA in Filmmaking students.

tbc Cinema and Society 30 CATs

This module looks at the rise of visual culture from the inception of cinema to the present day. Beginning with its founding myth, the historic
screening of Lumière’s Arrival of the Train in 1895 at The Grand Café, and ending with a study of the place of popular film in our lives today, we will explore the various ways in which the moving image affected consciousness.

tbc Screen Cultures 30 CATs

Screens are now a dominant presence and interface in culture in a number of suggestive ways. This module explores our relationship to these
transformations, the ways in which our bodies are re-positioned by screens, our modes of expression and communication are affected, and our experience of time and space is reworked.

Assessment

You are assessed on your portfolio, which consists of your long form treatment and second draft feature script or equivalent, your 4,000-word Reflection essay on this script, linked to issues in Media and Culture and a radio script adapted from a source text. In addition, depending on your options, your portfolio could also include a 10-12 page short script or script-editing proposal and coverage. Other modules are assessed by 5-6,000-word essays.

Graduate Profile

Gareth

"The course has instilled many new instincts in me, which now play a huge part in how I develop an idea. For instance, I now explore every dramatic possibility before settling on a plot, and put much more effort into making my characters as rounded as possible. I enjoyed having my short film script performed by actors… It's a cliche but writing really is re-writing. However, at the same time have confidence in yourself and try to strike a balance between what you believe is right for your work and the feedback you receive from others. This is quite difficult to achieve."

Morgan

"The most important thing I learned was a solid method for writing a script. I learned that the majority of work goes into actually preparing the world of the story, the narrative and characters so that I now have a very solid idea of what I mean to write before I even start the first draft. This has made creative writing more rewarding and less frustrating. I enjoyed the group dynamic the most. Writing is usually a very isolated act so it was a wonderful change to be around like-minded people who are also dedicated to script writing. After the initial nerves about showing my work I really appreciated the constructive criticism and feedback I got from the group. It helped develop my ideas and clarify what it is that I wanted to write. If you want to improve your craft and iron-out those problems that always seem to strike at page 22. I would recommend this course. It provides you a comprehensive understanding of script writing and a supportive environment to be creative."

Daniel

"The overall most important thing I've learned from the course is how to use the script writing tools to try and hopefully keep your audience interested in what you have to say - your story. Learning and practising these tools I've been enabled to explore them through my own work and through other people's work, being the latter from my own student colleagues, other scripts and/or films already made. What I have enjoyed the most about the course has been the wide and rich variety of professionals coming through to lecturer, teach, and/or guide us, as well as the array of people and backgrounds within my the student cohort. Also, to have met some of the alumni from the MA has provided me with a new dimension on what possibilities lay ahead of me after having studied this MA course, which is an enjoyable thing to think about throughout the course too."

Samples of student work

Accompanying image

Oh Baby, extract, written by Maggie Innes (class of 2003/4), produced by MA Filmmaking (class of 2008).

Shoes, extract from rehearsed television studio reading with actors, written by Andrew Burrell (class of 2008/9), produced by MA Television  Journalism (class of 2008/9).

 

 

 

 

 

Script Readings with actors of first ten pages of feature/ TV projects, MA Degree shows, July 2013

 

 

Display Day Recordings, July 2013

Rebecca Hudson

rslhudson@googlemail.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7cL64qZqt8

Azrain Arifin

azrain.arifin@gmail.com‎

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtXL5EzAKuM

Sanjit Randhawa

san_juan@hotmail.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ-GJpZycqw

Alan Flanagan

alanflanagan@gmail.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGyFtAFwmRQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCVNFST7R18

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxDNBXlomOE

Beate.Groetsch@web.de‎

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sWC17zKr0U

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6PV__6hYaA

Anna

forsyth_anna@hotmail.co.uk‎

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIk9dzrmkPw

John (starts with Anna's)

John Johnson ‎

johnmartinjohnson@mac.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIk9dzrmkPw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoqYfDvzTm4 

Moisés Aisemberg ‎

moyaisemberg@gmail.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jv-GiLouCa4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9xHm05wtAA

Debbie (starts with Moy)

Debmi21@aol.com‎

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9xHm05wtAA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3jzMs2_XqQ

Rogerio Correa ‎

rogerionormand@gmail.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ezs411TVcAI 

Sian Astor-Lewis ‎

sianastorlewis@gmail.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv3QRlkICTE

Short Film Readings

Moy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvEZt_IEkjI

Beate

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIhxgqM2ESw 

Anna

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWveuFghjZM

Sandra

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YVLxBcb0mg

John

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCcykNgYvC0

Sian

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6YEUIXzbLo

Rebecca

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co3A2GaKgTI

Debbie

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOQrvN9Z5KU

Rogerio

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CP3uKEo50Q 

Sanjit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ae9tBDkF8y4 

Alan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9UdEMVcbxA

Azrain

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4BMR6ozeus


Additional information

Accompanying image

This MA programme is focused on developing your own story ideas to end up with a second draft dialogue script as the major part of your portfolio. It's a very intensive course designed to take your writing as far and as fast as it's possible to go within twelve months. Only about twelve students are accepted each year.

There is no preferred medium (film, television or radio), genre or style. That is up to you. There tends to be a wide range of students in terms of age, background and writing experience. But it is not a programme for students who want to try writing, but for those who are committed to developing their writing skills.

The teaching for the practice courses (long form script, short script and script editing) takes place in workshops in which students share their own work and comment on each others. The programme is designed to provide a supportive, stimulating and constructively critical environment for all students to do their very best work.

Once you have made your application, if you would like to find out more about what its like actually being on the MA, please email the programme convenor to arrange a visit to meet some of the current students.


Programme highlights include

Accompanying image
  • All scripts in the short script course receive a reading from professional actors. These scripts are also eligible for the Goldsmiths Short Script Competition from which four are chosen for MA Film Production students’ final productions each year – and shown at BAFTA.
  • There is a mentorship scheme in place whereby students select and approach a mentor with the support of the programme convenor.
  • Specially invited industry speakers for the Olive Till memorial lecture each year. These have included Sir Alan Parker, the late Anthony Minghella, Michael Winterbottom, Gurinder Chadha, Danny Boyle, Stephen Frears, Paul Greengrass, Noel Clarke and Tim Bevan. Also there are visiting guest lecturer and master classes from Linda Aronson and Stewart Till and others.


Content last modified: 14 May 2014

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