Modes of study: Part Time (2 years)
Start date: September 2014
Expected Intake: 20
- The programme
- Supporting information
- Entry requirements
- Finance and fees
- How to apply
- Employment and careers
- LJMU and Liverpool
At a glance
- Part-time programme that can be completed alongside full-time employment
- The new £38million Redmonds Building provides state-of-the-art facilities for the Liverpool Screen School
- Skillset Academy award ensures an exceptional quality course
- Work placements and research project opportunities with BBC, Trinity Mirror and Lime Pictures
- Liverpool Screen School is part of the BBC North Developing Talent Scheme
- Postgraduates are highly sought after by employers and over 95% are in work or further study six months after graduation
LJMU’s Skillset Accredited MA in Screenwriting programme is designed to prepare screenwriters for the exacting demands of the industry. This is a highly participatory course for committed writers of all ages who show originality and talent and is taught by experienced tutors with strong industry connections.
The course emphasises the development of practical screenwriting skills and the production of a portfolio of work, developed to the highest professional standard. An understanding of professional practice, pitching and marketing screenplays, and the critical analysis of films and screen texts are further key elements in the programme.
The course has established links with the screenwriting industry locally and nationally and is regularly visited by industry professionals. This means you will have great networking opportunities plus the chance to engage directly with leading practitioners in the field.
Throughout the two year programme, you will be engaged in the production of varied and increasingly challenging projects, beginning with short film scripts and culminating in the development of feature-length screenplays. All screenplays are developed in small group workshops. Through practice, application of theory and an awareness of the professional world, you will be encouraged to develop an original voice, pursue challenging and innovative methods of storytelling, engage in programmes of research and development, and view your work in the context of the world marketplace. Sessions alternate between lectures, screenings, practical exercises, workshops, specialist visiting lectures and field trips.
Why study this course at LJMU?
The UK film and television industry is enjoying sustained growth and increasing international influence, and the demand for screenwriters with a distinct voice and original vision has never been greater. Liverpool has established itself as a centre for regional film and television production both in the commercial sector, and increasingly through independent production and the LJMU MA in Screenwriting is a Skillset Accredited programme with strong links to the film industry both locally and nationally. Graduates from this course have enjoyed considerable success in the industry both as writers, directors and producers.
Introduction to the School
The Liverpool Screen School, based in the University's Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies, offers undergraduate programmes in Creative Writing, Drama, Film Studies, Journalism and Media Professional Studies and postgraduate courses in International Journalism, Screenwriting and Writing. We pride ourselves on providing a warm and friendly environment with a strong commitment to nurturing and supporting creativity whilst offering excellent learning resources and first-class student support. You will be taught by professional, experienced and enthusiastic academic staff with extensive and current practical industry experience.
As well as being a thriving academic community the School has strong links with local, national and international media companies and institutions including the BBC, Trinity Mirror and Lime Pictures. These productive working relationships provide opportunities for students to undertake work placements and research projects and thereby enhance their employability.
The Liverpool Screen School, in partnership with Liverpool Community College, became the North West's first Skillset Media Academy in 2007 and one of only 23 nationally. This award by Skillset, the UK Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries, is recognition that our courses are of exceptional quality and meet the demands of the media and creative industries for talented and highly skilled graduates. The School is also part of the BBC North Developing Talent Scheme.
From September 2012 the Liverpool Screen School will be based in a brand new building within the Knowledge Quarter of Liverpool city centre – there is more information about this exciting development at www.ljmu.ac.uk/CampusDevelopments/94589.htm.
Staff research interests
Screenwriting, Directing short films & features, Film production, Fantasy novel writing & fantasy fiction, Song writing, recording and performing.
Liverpool Screen School research covers a number of high-profile national and international areas across four key programmes. Film Studies research examines European cinema, early Hollywood, documentary practice, film theory and film-philosophy. The influential Liverpool Film Seminar provides the opportunity to hear international film scholars talk about their recent work. The Centre for Responsible Journalism‘s current research focuses on: Journalism Regulation; privacy; codes of conduct; interviewing vulnerable people; social media journalism; journalism in minority languages as well as work on radio and journalism and international relations and journalism. Drama has expertise and interests in both practical and more traditional academic research. Practical areas include play and screen writing, devising and the creation of new work, directing, acting and stand-up comedy. Other projects focus on regional and local theatre, contemporary performance practice, applied theatre and ethnodrama. The Centre for Writing’s team of tutor-writers includes published poets, novelists, short story writers, screenwriters, and writers for stage and radio. The Centre also manages the ‘Free to Write Project’, which is run in conjunction with Merseyside Probation Services and the Learning and Resource Centre in HM Prison Liverpool funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
How will I be assessed?
Students will be assessed through a series of screenwriting tasks.
These will include screenplays, treatments and selling documents for a variety of film works, starting with five-minute and ten-minute shorts and progressing through 30-minute and 60-minute dramas to two feature-length (90-minute) scripts. The first of these full-length screenplays will be developed to several drafts with peers and tutors and the second will be further developed independently after teaching finishes and delivered as an exploratory draft after a 3-month writing-up period.
Students will also be required to present a formal ‘pitch’ of a feature-length film idea to tutors, to write self-reflective commentaries on their work in terms of genre, story, character development and marketability, and to produce an academic analysis of a film of their choice in terms of its story structure.
An honours degree in Media Production, Drama, Journalism, English or related programme of study. Degree classification 2:1
Applicants with a suitable background or work experience in the film and television industry, or those who have published work or demonstrate good writing skills and a genuine passion for the medium, but without sufficient formal qualifications are encouraged to apply.
The course is suitable for candidates with varying levels of experience in creative writing, screen craft or related subjects. The current cohort comprises writers with professional experience and others who have demonstrated a keen interest in the subject and hold equivalent expertise in an alternative, but parallel medium.
IELTS 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each subtest.
All prospective students are required to submit a portfolio of between twenty to thirty pages of screen, stage and/or radio play(s), or 5,000 words of fiction, or an equivalent combination of these genres. Filmmakers and producers are encouraged to submit their films (DVD, CD or VHS format) in support of their application.
Will I be interviewed?Yes
Tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students for the academic year 2012-2013 are £2, 300.
Securing funding is one of the main hurdles you may have to face when considering Postgraduate study. However there is help available and you may be able to apply for funding from the sources below.
This will normally be from a bank. The most popular of these is a Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL). These loans are from £300 to £10,000 in value and can be used to cover up to 80% of your course fees. Further Information from www.direct.gov.uk and look for PCDL
Charities and Trusts
Trusts and charities can offer assistance to some students. Eligibility for these trusts and charities vary enormously. Your local library will have a section of books and directories of grant making trusts.
Research councils may provide support for recognised postgraduate courses. Their websites offers useful information regarding the support and funding opportunities on offer. Competition for this type of funding can be very strong. For more information about Research Councils visit: www.rcuk.ac.uk
You need to be aware that most PG courses do not attract statutory funding. The ones that do attract statutory support (grants and/or loans) that we offer at LJMU are:
- PGCE courses , for more information please vist www.directgov.co.uk and www.tda.gov.uk
- MA social work for which an NHS bursary is payable to some students. For more information please visit www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk
- PG dip in Architecture
Advice and support at LJMU
LJMU offers a Postgraduate bursary of £500 to students who go from an undergraduate course to study a taught PG course. For further information and eligibility see http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/feesandfunding/117585.htm
LJMU employs a team of staff that are experts in fees and funding who can offer advice based upon your personal circumstances. You can contact them on 0151 904 6056/6057, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance and support.
How to apply
Please apply via the online application form
LJMU's Admissions policy is in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy and applications are welcome from all candidates who fulfil the entry criteria. The university has a commitment to equality of opportunity and welcomes application from everyone regardless of age, disability, race or sex. The University is committed to widening participation and therefore will actively consider applicants who do not have a relevant degree but who are able to provide satisfactory evidence of their knowledge in the area. All applicants will be considered by the Recruitment and Selection Panel, if shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend for an interview.
LJMU offers an extensive support system through its international office and study centre. An equivalence to the normal entry requirements is needed for entry. Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example with an IELTS tests or equivalent. Please note that because of UK visa restrictions, International students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis. Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.
Please contact the Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies on:
- tel: 0151 231 5175
If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:
Tel: +44(0)151 231 5090
Employment and careers
As well as being a thriving academic community Liverpool Screen School has strong links with local, national and international media companies and institutions including the BBC, Trinity Mirror and Lime Pictures. These productive working relationships provide opportunities for students to undertake work placements and research projects and thereby enhance their employability.
As a postgraduate student you will be able to take full advantage of the extensive range of advice and guidance available in our World of Work Careers Centre, including our Ready for Work training courses, which cover everything from interview skills to preparing for assessment centre tests.
LJMU also has a dedicated Centre for Entrepreneurship, offering business advice and start-up funding, to students and graduates interested in setting up their own companies or working freelance.
Our World of Work Programme – endorsed by FTSE 100 companies and leading business organisations – offers you the chance to get an additional certificate proving to potential employers that you have the skills and experience they are looking for. No other university in the UK or internationally, offers students the chance to develop these skills and organisations backing the scheme include the Confederation of British Industry, United Utilities, Sony, Siemens, Peugeot Citroen and Marks and Spencer.
LJMU offers a superb environment for postgraduate study and top level research.
Whether you are studying on a taught master's course or embarking on a research degree, LJMU offers you a supportive, flexible academic environment, well-structured programmes and round-the-clock access to extensive resources.
Our research environment is rated as 'world-leading' in a majority of our subjects and all of our postgraduate programmes are taught by academics actively involved in research or consultancy projects with business and industry.
It is this combination of academic expertise and 'real world' experience that ensures LJMU's courses have real currency with potential employers and why over 95% of our postgraduates are in work or further study six months after they graduate (HESA 2010).
We believe this expertise – coupled with world-class academic standards – 75% of LJMU's research is rated as internationally important – puts us in a league of our own.
To find out more about our postgraduate courses and research opportunities plus the range of facilities and support we offer, click on the links opposite.
Liverpool is a fantastic student city, bursting with opportunities and lots of things to do: a legendary music scene that's bigger than just the Beatles, a city centre bursting with clubs, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes. Plus award-winning shopping facilities, museums, galleries and theatres, not to mention two Premier League football clubs, golf courses, beautiful parks and outstanding countryside a few miles up the motorway.
The city recently won Trip Advisor’s Best Nightlife Destination Award 2011, beating Manchester, London, Glasgow and Brighton. The city has also achieved Purple Flag accreditation, commending Liverpool as a safe place to enjoy a night out.
Liverpool is also a city that is very supportive of all the students who live, work and study in its universities. With such a warm and hospitable culture – Liverpool is the perfect 24-hour student city.
Please Note: The University reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify in any way the information contained in this leaflet.