Study Screenwriting

Screenwriters are responsible for the vast majority of storylines we see in films and television programmes. As a screenwriter, you will work either by yourself or with a team to create original stories for characters, adapt well known books, or recreate old storylines. By studying for a degree in screenwriting, you will be able to take your talent in writing and turn it into a career, gaining industry standard skills and experience.

Highlighted courses and degrees in Screenwriting

Coursework

Undergraduate

An undergraduate degree in screenwriting will provide you with a good foundation of knowledge in the area. The modules you study will develop your creative writing skills, your ability to transform ideas from page to screen, how to create original narratives, and the language of film scripts, among other things.

Your degree will be delivered through a mixture of modes. These will include lectures and seminars, as well as incorporating practical sessions. You may also be presented with the opportunity to take part in a work experience placement module or year, which will allow you to develop your professional practice.

Postgraduate

A postgraduate degree in screenwriting will help you to build on the skills you gained at undergraduate level. The modules you study will cover the more complex and specialist areas of screenwriting, and you will be able to explore your favoured style and narrative. Modules could include the principles of storytelling, adaptation for the screen, and film entrepreneurship. A postgraduate degree will be designed to help you build your professional portfolio in preparation for starting your career.

Specialisations

Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to specialise towards the end of your screenwriting degree. This specialisation could influence the area in which you choose to work once you have graduated. It can also help you to decide which area you wish to focus your dissertation or final year project on. Common specialisations include:

  • Short Films
  • International Film and Television
  • Feature Films
  • Genre Specific Screenwriting (Horror, Comedy, Documentary, etc.)

Accreditation and Certification

The accreditation of your degree will depend on where you choose to study. It will also be influenced by your level of study. At undergraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Bachelor of Arts (BA), or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). at postgraduate level, you can expect to be awarded a Master of Arts (MA), or a Master of Fine Arts (MFA). if you choose to study for a postgraduate research degree, you will be awarded a Master of Research (MRes), Master of Philosophy (MPhil), or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Timeframe and Further Studies

Generally, an undergraduate degree will take three to four years to complete. Foundation degrees, diplomas and certificates can last up to two years when studied full-time. A postgraduate degree will normally take one to two years. If your course includes a placement, this will normally add another year onto your studies.

Some institutions might offer part-time study options. Studying for a degree part-time normally means that your course will last anywhere between three and eight years, with some universities offering more flexible study options.

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Entry Requirements for Degrees in Screenwriting

Undergraduate

The entry requirements for an undergraduate degree in screenwriting will depend on where you choose to study. Normally, you will be required to have previously studied a subject related to screenwriting, such as English language or literature, creative writing, or film and media studies. You may also be required to provide a piece of screenwriting work to support your application.

Some universities might require you to sit an entrance exam, where others may rely on previous exam results. Other universities might consider previous relevant work experience. If your first language is not English, it is likely that you will be required to provide evidence that your English language skills are to a high enough standard.

Postgraduate

The entry requirements for a postgraduate degree in screenwriting will depend on your institution of choice. They will also depend on what sort of postgraduate degree you are applying for. Typically, you will be expected to have gained an undergraduate degree in screenwriting, or a closely related subject. Some universities may also require you to submit a professional portfolio of your previous work as part of your application.

You should check each institution to see what entry requirements they have for their screenwriting programmes.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you may want to consider a pathway course.

Typical entry requirements:

  • UK6.0 IELTS, 2:2 or higher
  • USA6.0 IELTS, GPA 3.0

Fund Your Studies

Tuition fees for international students are not fixed. This means that they can vary greatly from institution to institution. Fees for postgraduate degree courses tend to be higher than undergraduate courses. Exact tuition fees are displayed on institution course pages.

You may be eligible for a scholarship or funding. This could be awarded by your institution, or by a separate funding body. For more information, visit our scholarships and funding section to read more about funding your studies.

Typical course fees (per year):

  • UG£14,450/$22,000
  • PG£18,000/$28,000

Career Options

Screenwriting graduates will find that there are a wide variety of career opportunities available to them in a range of industries. Popular destinations include scriptwriter, script editor, or storyliner. You will have gained many useful and transferable skills throughout your degree. These could include project development, analytical thinking, time management, and effective communication.

Guides to related subjects

Learn about subjects similar to Screenwriting with these related StudyLink guides

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