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Playwriting MSc

Open Day: 21 November 2014

Our Postgraduate Open Day is an opportunity to learn more about the University and our programmes, and to meet our staff and current students.

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Select your programme and preferred start date to begin your application.
Application deadlines apply.

MSc Playwriting - 1 Year (Full-time)
Fees
MSc Playwriting - 2 Years (Part-time)
Fees

Fees & costs information

Where available, individual programme fees are linked above. For details information on fee status, policies and payment see:

Contact information
Graduate School Administrator
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 4114
Email: llc.pgadmissions@ed.ac.uk
Nicola McCartney (Programme Director)
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3030
Address: Graduate School
School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures
Room 1.13, 50 George Square
Central Campus
Edinburgh
EH8 9LH

Led by a professional playwright, this unique programme focuses on the practical exploration of the theory and craft of writing for performance. It explores how a script is written to be interpreted by the key creative artists in theatre and how that script plays out in space and time in front of an audience.

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline is normally required, or equivalent professional experience.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your spoken and written English.

IELTS minimum score
  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
Other accepted tests and scores
  • TOEFL-iBT: 100 (at least 23 in all sections)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CPE: Grade B; CAE: Grade A

Find out more about our language requirements:

How to apply

You must submit a reference with your application.

The application deadline for the next intake is:

Programme start date Application deadline
14 September 2015 30 June 2015

We strongly recommend you submit your completed application as early as possible, particularly if you are also applying for funding or will require a visa. We may consider late applications if we have places available.

Before you apply, we strongly recommend that you contact us to discuss your proposed programme of study.

In addition to the supporting documents requested on the application form, you must supply a portfolio of writing for live performance of about 45 minutes’ playing time. You should make a selection of extracts from your writing rather than sending full scripts.

You also need to send a personal statement outlining relevant experience, particular writing interests and why you want to study writing for theatre.

All supporting documents, including references, must be uploaded to the online application system by the deadline date.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Programme description

Through seminars, tutorials, workshops and professional master classes (led by some of Europe’s leading playwrights and theatre artists), you will develop an understanding of live performance theory, self-motivation and the focus necessary to work as an independent artist within the theatre industry.

Edinburgh has a buzzing theatre scene and the programme draws on this to culminate in a public, professional reading of your work in progress at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Programme structure

The programme will be taught through a combination of seminars, workshops, independent study, one-to-one supervision and professional master classes. There will also be regular theatre visits.

A central component of the programme will be development workshops with professional actors and established directors, focusing on your own work. You will also work with the performing artists-in-residence, who will offer workshops in each semester. Over two semesters you will take three compulsory courses and one option course.

On completion of these courses, you will produce a major piece of performance writing, supported by one-to-one supervision and development workshops, to be given a professional reading at the end of the programme.

Compulsory courses:

  • The Craft of the Playwright I
  • The Craft of the Playwright II
  • Time and Space of Performance

Option courses may include:

  • Film and the Other Arts
  • Pirandello
  • Postmodern Debates
  • Russian Theatre: From the Modernist Impulse to the Present
  • Spanish Golden Age Theatre: Performance and Engagement
  • Theatre and Society
  • Theatre, Performance and Performativity
  • Twentieth-Century Spanish Theatre

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this programme will:

  • be introduced to and become skilled in a range of applied methods for the development and structuring of dramatic script for live performance
  • develop a knowledge and understanding of writing for different kinds of performance contexts from the single-authored play to devised work
  • develop a knowledge and understanding of the theory, methodology and practice of writing different genres from tragedy and comedy to political theatre
  • develop self-motivation and the focus necessary to work as an independent artist within the theatre industry
  • develop their critical skills as readers of their own and others’ work and as creators and consumers of live performance
  • develop a familiarity with the professional development and production processes of live performance and how these impact on the making of script

Career opportunities

This highly practical programme allows you to forge valuable links within Edinburgh’s performing arts community. You may choose to use the research skills you have developed to pursue advanced study, or seek a role within the theatrical field.

The transferable skills you gain from your studies, such as communication, research and project management will be valuable to your career development whatever path you choose.

Further Information

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