Playwriting and Screenwriting (MLitt) 2020 entry

The MLitt in Playwriting and Screenwriting provides a gateway into the professional world of writing for stage, radio or screen.

Those interested in writing prose or poetry may instead wish to consider taking the Creative Writing MLitt.

This course is not running for 2019 entry. If you would like to be contacted as soon as information about 2020 entry is available, please register your interest.

Course type

Postgraduate; leading to a Master of Letters (MLitt)

Course dates

The course dates for 2020-2021 have yet to be set. This programme typically starts in early September and ends late September of the following year. 

If you started this programme in 2018, you can find information about 2018 entry on the 2018 Playwriting and Screenwriting (MLitt) page. Information about all programmes from previous years of entry can be found in the archive.

Course duration

One year full time

Entry requirements

The following entry requirements were for 2018 entry and are listed here for indicative purposes only. They are subject to change.

A good 2.1 Honours undergraduate degree. At the discretion of staff, this requirement may occasionally be waived for candidates who demonstrate exceptional talent in their creative submission.

If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.

English language proficiency. See English language tests and qualifications.

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Some academic Schools will ask applicants to achieve significantly higher marks than the minimum. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the writing sample, personal statement, and supporting documents.

Tuition fees

2020 fees have not yet been set for this course. For the 2019 fees, please check the fees web page.

Application deadline

31 January 2020 for those also applying for School of English scholarships; 1 June 2020 for all other applicants. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships and for international visa purposes.

Application requirements

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

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Course information

The MLitt in Playwriting and Screenwriting is a one-year taught programme run by the School of English. The course consists of two semesters with taught components followed by an individual creative writing project taking place over the whole year, but with particular focus during the last three months.

The MLitt will provide you with technically-oriented tuition by leading contemporary playwrights and world-class academics, with an emphasis on best practice in recent and contemporary writing.

Those interested in writing prose or poetry may instead wish to consider taking the Creative Writing MLitt.

Highlights

  • Individual mentors help you to hone your creative practice and to further develop your expressive voice.
  • The course emphasises best practice in recent and contemporary writing, and modules are taught by award-winning professional playwrights.
  • Small class sizes of three to ten students allow for extremely high levels of individual attention.
  • The MLitt year makes full use of being in a theatre building, with the majority of the course being delivered in the Byre Theatre Studio.
  • Students have the opportunity to meet and work with professional theatre directors, actors and writers while studying in St Andrews.

Teaching format

Teaching methods include seminars, workshops and individual tutorials. Class sizes typically range from three to ten students, ensuring high levels of individual attention. Modules are assessed through sample scenes, play scripts, screenplays and essays. 

Students will participate in a number of theatre visits and will be required to meet additional costs of approximately £200.

Further particulars regarding curriculum development.

Modules

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details of each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue which is for the 2018–2019 academic year; some elements may be subject to change for 2020 entry.

These were the modules which ran in 2018-2019 and are listed for indicative purposes only. There is no guarantee these modules will run for 2020 entry.
  • Writing for Performance 1 and 2: introduces key playwriting and screenwriting skills as well as writing for younger audiences and radio.
  • Research Skills for Creative Writers: an introduction into gathering IT resources and library materials; primary skills such as proofreading, copy-editing and basic literary theory; the literary marketplace, and the roles of editors, publishers, agents and festival organisers.

In August, students will submit an original piece of writing of about 45 minutes of performance time (8,000 to 10,000 words). This should be developed in consultation with a supervisor.

If students choose not to complete the dissertation requirement for the MLitt, there is an exit award available that allows suitably qualified candidates to receive a Postgraduate Diploma. By choosing an exit award, you will finish your degree at the end of the second semester of study and receive a PGDip instead of an MLitt.


The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for 2020 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

 

Conferences and events

The School of English hosts research events through its four research groups:

The School of English normally also hosts an annual colloquium (recent colloquia have taken as their themes:

  • The English Legal Imaginary, 1500-1700
  • Bannockburn, 1914: Anniversary culture, war and national identity in Scotland
  • Opera and Fiction
  • World Literature and Dissent.

The postgraduate forum offers postgraduates the opportunity to present research in progress to a group of their peers. 

Funding

All School of English study applicants will be given access to the My Application portal. The scholarships and funding area of the portal includes an online catalogue through which you can apply for available relevant awards. 

Recent Graduate Discount

The University of St Andrews offers a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees to students who are eligible to graduate or who have graduated from St Andrews within the last three academic years and are starting a postgraduate programme with the University of St Andrews.

Find out more about postgraduate scholarships. 

After the MLitt

Research degrees

In addition to the MLitt, the School offers a two-year Playwriting and Screenwriting Master of Fine Arts (MFA).

Many of our graduates continue their education by enrolling in PhD programmes at St Andrews. 

PhD in English

Careers

Graduates of the course have gone on to become published writers or pursue careers in a range of sectors including journalism, marketing, publishing and teaching.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and offers a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Contact information

School of English
University of St Andrews
Castle House
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 2668
Email: pgeng@st-andrews.ac.uk

English website

Policies

Admission to the University of St Andrews is governed by our Admissions policy.

Curriculum development

As a research intensive institution, the University ensures that its teaching references the research interests of its staff, which may change from time to time. As a result, programmes are regularly reviewed with the aim of enhancing students' learning experience. Our approach to course revision is described online. (PDF, 72 KB).

Tuition fees

The University will clarify compulsory fees and charges it requires any student to pay at the time of offer. The offer will also clarify conditions for any variation of fees. The University’s approach to fee setting is described online. (PDF, 84 KB).