The skills of storytelling are timeless. Tackle the creative, analytical and professional sides of script writing for film, television and radio on this industry-accredited MA.
With myriad new media platforms there are more opportunities to create content than ever before. And all these require a script and a story. But how do you get your work to industry-standard and in front of the right people?
The questions we explore
The main question you have to ask yourself for this MA programme is: do I really need to be a writer more than anything else? That’s quite brutal, but script writing is a tough profession. You’re totally exposed as a creative person, it’s you and the page and the tradition in which you’re working, and that can be a liberating but also uncomfortable place to be.
The processes we use
The programme is not about learning how to be a writer; it’s about developing and pushing forward your own writing projects as far and as fast as you can within 12 months. You’ll be developing your own voice, learning how to critique the work of others, and getting to grips with marketing your projects. You’ll also be making industry contacts so you can pitch for employment in an extremely competitive industry.
You’ll cover every aspect of the writing process from getting ideas, maintaining productive writing practices and developing characters and story lines, to presenting your work to an industry standard and pitching your ideas. Writing is a lonely business – that’s why the community of writers that the programme gives you is such a creative advantage.
The approach we take
This is an MA that really focuses on you as the student. There are lectures, but most of the time you’ll be working one-to-one with a writing tutor or within small group workshops (with a maximum of 13 people).
We keep the course small deliberately. In this way we know your individual work and you know other students’ work through the weekly feedback process. We also believe you don’t know who you are until you’re relating to another person, and ultimately this is what script writing is about: making that connection.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Julian Henriques
What you'll study
A 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).
You'll then be able to pick from a selection of option modules.
The MA is composed of:
|Long Form Script (Scriptwriting Portfolio)||90 credits|
You also produce a Reflection Essay (15 credits), and choose option modules to the value of 75 credits from the following list:
|Short Form Script||30 credits|
|Strategies in World Cinema||15 credits|
|The Ascent of the Image||15 credits|
|Filmmakers Make Theory||15 credits|
|Social Activist Film||15 credits|
|Representing Reality||15 credits|
|Sound Design Fundamentals||15 credits|
|Camera Fundamentals||15 credits|
|Film Producing Fundamentals||15 credits|
|Visual Storytelling||15 credits|
|Adaptation and Script Editing||30 credits|
|Sound Storytelling and Intertextuality of Narrative||15 credits|
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.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
You will be considered for this programme on the basis of your submitted creative work and your interview. If you are not a graduate you may be asked to show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 7.0 with a 7.0 in writing and no element lower than 6.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.
Fees, funding & scholarships
Find out more about tuition fees.
UK students offered a place on this course are eligible for the BAFTA UK Scholarships Programme.
How to apply
You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.
Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:
- Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
- The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
- 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)
Please include evidence of your fiction writing abilities in the form of:
- A short film script, in standard screenplay format, of 10-12 pages in length (please add a brief summary of the rest of the story if the script is longer than 12 pages). OR
- The opening 10 pages of a full length script, in standard screenplay format, together with a summary of the rest of the story. OR:
- A 10 page short story. (Please note you may be asked to demonstrate your ability to write scripts by submitting scenes to a brief defined by the course convenor if you don’t have a ‘calling card’ script yet written)
- Three 1 page ideas (single spaced) for short film or feature film projects which you might wish to develop further on the programme.
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/deadline for application
Application open in October and will be considered on a rolling basis. There is no deadline for applications, however applicants are encouraged to apply early to avoid disappointment.
Applicants who are considered suitable for the programme based on their application will be shortlisted to attend an interview. Overseas applicants who can’t attend an interview day are interviewed by Skype.
You'll be required to submit a portfolio along with your application. Portfolios should consist of:
- A completed short script or an expert from a feature film script of no less than 10 pages
- 3 ideas for a original feature film (each 1 page in length)
Find out more about applying.
At the end of the Summer Term every year MA Scriptwriting students organise and present a showcase for their work.
This consists of the first ten pages of the feature or TV script in a table read with professional actors. Friends, family and industry professionals are invited.
Samples of student work
MA Script Showcase Video Recordings, July 2013
- Rebecca Hudson
- Azrain Arifin
- Sanjit Randhawa
- Alan Flanagan
- Beate Groetsch
- Anna Forsyth
- John Johnson (start's with Anna's)
- Moisés Aisemberg
- Debbie Akinbola (starts with Moisés)
- Rogerio Correa
- Sian Astor-Lewis
At the end of the first term there is also a table read - Short Film Readings 2013
Alumni from the programme often go onto work together afterwards, as with Screen Rebels.
MA Script Writing is all about the product. So when you complete this masters, you leave with a whole portfolio of writing, a set of professional skills, a list of industry contacts, and a set of professional friendships through the Goldsmiths Screen School.
The programme gives you a safe, supportive and stimulating environment to unpack your ideas, get constructive feedback, make mistakes, and find the story you want to tell. In the end though, it’s down to you as an individual to become the writer you want to be.
Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths