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Playwriting MSc

Online events: 23 July 2014

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

Fees & costs information

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

Contact information
Postgraduate Administrator
Phone: +44 (0)131 650 3030
Nicola McCartney (Programme Director)
Address: Graduate School
School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
Room 1.13, 50 George Square
Central Campus

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

Entry requirements

Applicants require a good honours degree or equivalent professional experience.

Work in other forms (e.g. journalism, fiction or poetry) will not be considered a valid sample.

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 supply a portfolio of writing for live performance of around 45 minutes playing time. You should make a selection of extracts from your writing rather than sending full scripts. This should be accompanied by a personal statement outlining relevant experience, particular writing interests and why you want to study writing for theatre.

Details of the School's requirements and guidance on how to apply for a programme are available on the School website:

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

Programme structure

The programme will be taught through a combination of seminars, workshops, independent study, one to one supervision and professional master-classes led by some of Europe’s leading playwrights and theatre artists. There will also be regular theatre visits.

A core component of the programme will be development workshops with professional actors and established directors, focusing on students’ own work. Students will also work with the Performing Artists in Residence, who will offer workshops in each semester.

The academic year will culminate in a public, professional reading of the students’ work-in-progress at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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.
Further Information

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