Raindance MA in Screenwriting
Write your way into the film industry.
Our new MA in Screenwriting is designed to equip you with the knowledge and tools to become a working screenwriter in the film and television industries.
Alongside acquiring the foundational craft skills that will enable you to produce a varied portfolio of work (from a calling-card short screenplay to an original feature screenplay or TV pilot), you will develop an unrivaled knowledge and understanding of the business of screenwriting from pitch presentations to commissioning.
In accordance with the Raindance philosophy of learning through practice, you will have opportunities to collaborate with producers and directors both within and outside of the Raindance community to test and progress your writing at every stage of development.
Please note that this programme currently pending validation by our partner, De Montfort University.
What you will learn
The MA in Screenwriting is divided into six modules:
- Narratology: How Stories Are Told
- Ideation: Generating, Testing, and Pitching Ideas for the Screen Industries
- Writing the Short Film
- Episodic Screenwriting: Writing for Television
- The Art of Adaptation
- Major Project: Writing the Feature Film or Pilot Episode for TV
The MA in Screenwriting with Raindance provides training embedded in an industry setting. The programme provides you with the resourses to prepare for and build a career in screenwriting, with tailored professional guidance and training that will develop and hone your craft skills for the film and TV industries.
In addition to lectures and seminars dedicated to topics such as narratology, world-building, character development, and dialogue, you will receive instruction and mentorship from working screenwriting and filmmaking professionals to assist you with the development of your own film and TV projects.
Through workshopping, pitching, storylining, story editing, and negotiating sessions, you will be exposed to the rigours and realities of the life of the professional screenwriter, empowering you with a greater understanding of the pathways available to you.
As we believe in giving you the maximum of individual attention, you will be part of a small cohort of maximum 15 students.
Are you more of a director/producer/documentary filmmaker?
Are you looking to develop a specific screenplay?
MA in Screenwriting Frequently Asked Questions
This is a two-year, part-time course accredited by DeMontfort University. You will be required to commit to 20 hours per week. The course will be held at Raindance Film School, London, and/or online depending on government guidance on COVID-19 restrictions.
Next start date: September 2021 Deadline to apply: 31st July 2021
The Programme consists in six modules that will develop the necessary craft and industry skills to become a working screenwriter, with knowledge of general storytelling rules as well as how they apply to specific film forms.
- Narratology & Research (15 credits)
This module will provide you with a grounding in narratology in relation to writing for the screen. In particular, you will investigate and analyse how story structures from Aristotle’s ‘Poetics’ through Vladimir Propp’s ‘Narratemes’ to Kim Hudson’s ‘The Virgin’s Promise’ have influenced and shaped character and story development for the big and small screens. The module will also introduce you to research methodologies that are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline of filmmaking, and that will help you to develop and hone your analytical and research skills in preparation for future modules.
- Ideation: Generating, Testing, and Pitching Ideas for the Screen Industries (15 credits)
This module provides you with an opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the idea-generating process, and to pitch and test your ideas accordingly. You will learn how to assess, develop, and stress test an idea for a screen work. In the process, you will write premises and one-page pitch documents, and you will present your ideas to your peers and tutors for feedback. You will also undertake a short research project into an aspect of the film or TV industry that will serve as a springboard into the writing.
- Writing the Short Film (30 credits)
This module provides you with the opportunity to learn the nuts and bolts of screenwriting, with special attention given to the meta elements – character, theme, and story. You will also work through the stages of development from premise to final draft to develop a calling card short screenplay, which you will have the opportunity to pitch to directors and producers within the Raindance community. Testing the strength of the work at each stage of development will allow you to become familiar with the workshopping process with further attention given to giving and receiving feedback.
- Episodic Screenwriting: Writing for Television (30 credits)
This module provides you with the opportunity to explore writing TV drama, with an emphasis on creating a (30 min) pilot episode showcasing an original story world. You will work towards an understanding of the differences of developing a project for TV as opposed to the big screen, and work at generating multiple storylines. This will give you insight into the role of storyliner. You will investigate the various TV formats and platforms and develop a series bible. There will also be an opportunity for you to pitch your work to an industry panel to gain professional feedback.
- The Art of Adaptation (30 credits)
This module provides you with the opportunity to explore adapting a narrative for the screen. You will assess the suitability of source materials from newspaper articles to poems and short stories, and work towards an understanding of what makes an effective adaptation. You will also develop an awareness and understanding of the difference in approach to adapting material for the screen as opposed to creating original works, and you will write a mission statement (that serves as a contract between writer and producer / production company).
- Major Project (60 credits)
This module provides you with an opportunity to create a unique project that explores a chosen area of specialisation – e.g., Feature Screenplay (Film) or Pilot Episode (TV), with a mind to developing your creative, practical, and collaborative skills. The module content builds from your previous modules allowing you to create, write, and develop a longer piece of work. The project will be negotiated with the module leader and must be designed with a focus on developing identified skills that will help you advance your future practice.
Although an individual project, you are encouraged to work collaboratively with your cohort to test, develop, and realise your project and to critically support your fellow students. At the end of this module, you will have the opportunity to pitch your project to an industry panel.
How much does it cost?
The tuition fees for this course are GBP £11,000 (payment plans available), plus a £50 application fee.
Residents in the United Kingdom are eligible for financial support from Student Finance England for this degree.
Who are the mentors?
Our mentors are all working professionals in the industry. You can learn more about this unique team here.
What are the entry requirements?
Candidates to the MA in Screenwriting with Raindance will need to demonstrate an understanding of storytelling in visual media, as well as present a proposal for a screenplay they would like to develop as their major project.
The entry requirements for the application process into the MA in Screenwriting with Raindance are as follows:
- Undergraduate degree (BA/BSc) in a relevant discipline OR substantial experience of the film and / or TV industries (or equivalent);
- Sample portfolio of (screen)writing;
- Application interview;
- For applicants that are not of a majority English-speaking nationality, as defined by the Home Office:
- Academic IELTS score of 6.5 or above, with no individual component score of less than 6.0,
- OR Cambridge English Proficiency Certificate (C2 Proficiency) at grade B or above.
For further details, please consult our application page.
How do I apply?
The application process for the MA in Screenwriting consists in providing the following:
- An application form
- An application processing fee
- Samples of previous writing (needs not be screewriting)
You will then be called for an application interview with the programme team.
For further details and to start an application, please go to our application page.
What next - careers after the MA in Screenwriting
The MA in Screenwriting with Raindance aims to develop not just your screenwriting skills, but also your knowledge and understanding of the realities of the film and television industry.
As such, you will be pitching to industry panels throughout your studies, and collaborating with other creatives in the Raindance community, therefore giving you the standing and ability to sustain a career a professional screenwriter.
Career opportunities may include the following roles:
- Storyliner for continuing series
- Script editor
- Story consultant
The Raindance Postgraduate Team
At a glance
15 students per cohort
Intensive practical training
Direct access to the film industry and the Raindance Film Festival
Develop soft skills (pitching, giving/receiving feedback)
Dedicated personal mentors
Workshopping your screenplays with professional directors, producers, and industry mentors
Opportunity to pitch work to industry panels, and work with directors and producers from the MA in Filmmaking