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MA Screenwriting (by research)

Explore your screenwriting interests within a research context, guided by an expert within the field.

Show year of entry: 2022

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Put your creative skills into practice, working from an initial story idea to the final creative project with the MA Screenwriting by research. 

You will work from initial story idea to second draft a feature film screenplay (90-120 pages), or a fully developed pilot episode (45-60 pages), and a series bible for a television project. You will also submit an analytical essay of 3,000-5,000 words to set your creative work within its research context.

The MA by Research in Screenwriting has no taught element. You will work independently with support from your academic supervisor.

This degree is particularly aimed at individuals who wish to develop advanced research skills to enhance their undergraduate degree and/or as a prelude to developing a research-based career. As such, whilst counting as a research degree in its own right, this Masters by research may enable you to transfer to PhD study. This is provided your research project is of a sufficiently high standard and has the potential to be explored in greater depth.

Creative insight

Join a creative community of industry professionals, dedicated academics and talented students.


Explore Arts and Creative Technologies funding for MPhil/PhD researchers and wider postgraduate support.


You will be supported by an academic supervisor. They will normally share or complement your research interests.

Course location

You'll be based in the School of Arts and Creative Technologies on Campus East. Most of our facilities and supervisory staff are housed here.

We offer a distance learning (DL) option for this programme if you cannot live in York full- or part-time. As part of the application process, we will ask for justification for taking the DL option and will then assess the feasibility for this research programme.

Entry requirements

You will normally be expected to have at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification. You may be invited for an interview and asked to send samples of your creative practice work.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of your ability.

English language requirements


Apply for the MA in Screenwriting by research

Find out more about how to apply.

You will require the following supporting documents:

  • Application form
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Degree transcript
  • Two references
  • Research proposal
  • Sample work

The research proposal should be two pages. The first page should outline the script you plan to write while on the programme, including the title, logline, genre, setting, and overview of the story. The second page should be a personal explanation of why you want to do the MA by Research, including references to relevant films or television programmes.

We will also require a ten-page script extract as evidence of your creative work. It can be a stage play or a screenplay.

Careers and skills

The MA Screenwriting by research course will help to extend your knowledge of the TV and film industry, develop network connections, gain access to TV and film equipment and facilities and build up your creative portfolio and skills. You will develop your collaborative working, creative thinking, storytelling and investigative research skills, opening the door to a wide range of career opportunities.

Our dedicated careers team offer specific support including a programme of professional researcher development and careers workshops and 1:1 career support sessions. They will help you to build up your employability portfolio and to engage in activities that will build up your skills and experience within and outside of your research work.

Career opportunities

  • Screenwriter
  • Script developer/supervisor
  • Script reading
  • Media researcher
  • Academic researcher
  • TV or film assistant director
  • Copywriter
  • Freelance work

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