A script for a performance written on paper

MA Screenwriting

  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Location: BNU based at Pinewood Studios
  • Duration: One Year
  • Start Date: September 2023

Do you have a passion for creative writing and storytelling? Do you want to write screenplays for television and film? Our MA Screenwriting course is for anyone who wants to develop their writing voice and learn the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in this sector.

During this course you’ll spend time at both our High Wycombe Campus and at our Pinewood Studios teaching base, putting you right at the heart of not only the hustle and bustle of a working studio, but also one of the UK’s most important creative communities.

Pinewood studios exterior building
Woman sat at a table making notes on a bit of paper student writing studying

Application guide

For information on how you can boost your career-prospects and apply for our postgraduate courses, follow our application guide.

Twilight light Gateway building and concourse

Postgraduate Open Days

Join us for a Postgraduate Open Day where you can discuss your options and chosen course with our course leaders.

A close up of a calculator on a table student typing office

Fees and Funding

There’s a range of ways you can secure funding for your course, including sponsorship, scholarships and loans. And if you recently graduated from BNU, you may be eligible for a fee discount.

Why study this subject?

The Creative Industries employ over 2 million people in the UK and were projected to create an additional one million jobs by 2050. In the last ten years, jobs in the UK’s Creative Industries have grown at three times the UK average. (Source)

Increased industry demand means employers need graduates with practical skills and hands-on experience. You could turn your passion for screenwriting into a rewarding and successful career with the right teaching and hands on learning experiences.

Why study at BNU?

Our MA Screenwriting is a highly vocational and hands-on course, which will develop your understanding of various aspects of writing for the screen and help you to graduate with a portfolio of writing credits. Not only has this course been designed with industry needs in mind, it is also led and taught by top professionals and lecturers who have years of experience in their field, training future generations and writing and producing award-winning films and TV shows.

Our hand-picked team of experienced professionals are eager to pass on their expertise to the next generation of budding screenwriters. With their support and insider knowledge, you’ll graduate with the skills the industry is looking for.

You will study:

  • How to write an effective treatment and TV Bible
  • How to pitch ideas to producers
  • The art of designing narrative structures
  • How to write engaging characters
  • The art of writing effective dialogue
  • How to deal with agents and producers
  • Techniques to overcome the challenges of rewriting and responding to notes
  • How to survive in the industry as a freelance writer

What will I study?

Our MA Screenwriting course is run over 12 months, and you will work together with fellow students on a mix of core and optional modules. You’ll have the chance to develop your writing voice, learn screenwriting craft skills, and acquire the knowledge to help you succeed in this rewarding and growing sector. You’ll look at how to structure scenes, write convincing characters and dialogue, and consider genre and narrative models. Through a series of workshops, you’ll be guided through the process of producing and assessing industry-standard scripts for films and High End TV (HETV). 

You will develop advanced research skills to demonstrate a systematic understanding of narrative techniques and their application for the development of your own projects and you will work collaboratively to produce a 55 page pilot for HETV as well as a 90-page feature film screenplay.

This course will also deal with practical matters, giving you valuable insights into pitching, overcoming writers block and the practicalities of being a freelance writer, getting and dealing with agents and will introduce you to helpful networking strategies.

Depending on your chosen options, you may focus on writing and pitching a long-form industry-standard series for TV or streaming services. You may wish to create an original feature film screenplay, or to gain professional creative skills in writing and pitching a feature film treatment. You may decide to develop a High End Television pilot, working collaboratively in a simulated writers’ room, and adopting industry-relevant processes to enhance employable team-working skills or to gain in-depth knowledge of the practicalities of operating as a freelancer, from effective networking to securing a contract. You will develop advanced research skills and apply these to a written thesis linked to your practical studies. 

As this programme is focused on developing projects for the national and international market, your scripts will receive feedback from industry professionals looking at the UK market and will also be reviewed by professional screenwriters with extensive experience in the European and international market. 


How will I be taught and assessed?

You will receive feedback from lecturers and industry professionals, who will assess your screenplays commercial and artistic suitability for both UK and international markets. You will also benefit from having your screenplays reviewed by professional screenwriters with extensive experience in the European and global market.

MA Screenwriting Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

You should have the equivalent of a British Honours degree (2:1 minimum) in a relevant subject. If you do not have any formal academic qualifications but do have experience in the industry and previous training in a relevant area, we will consider your application on an individual basis.  We are very open to those who show relevant experience useful to the degree.

We are happy to consider equivalent qualifications from anywhere in the world.

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 6.0 or equivalent when you start the course is essential.

We welcome applications from mature students with non-standard qualifications and recognise all other equivalent and international qualifications.


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£10,400 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

£15,400 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023


What are my career prospects?

After you leave BNU, you might start as a freelance scriptwriter for film or tv, or write content for the web. When you leave, you’ll feel confident in working with industry standard kit and will feel prepared for your first role within the industry.

Course leader

Head shot of a smiling Tom McGorrian, a lecturer at BNU, looking directly into the camera
Dr Tom McGorrian
  • Associate Professor
Read full profile
A head and shoulders shot of a smiling Fil Ieropoulos who has glasses, a beard and is wearing a red jumper looking into the camrea
Dr Fil Ieropoulos
  • Senior Lecturer
Read full profile
carson black
Carson Black
  • Senior Lecturer
Read full profile