Best Universities for Screenwriting in the UK

Filed in Scholarships In UK by on 1st March 2022

One of the most creative and challenging jobs in the world is screenwriting. It may interest you to know that Hollywood created the Blacklist, an exclusive list of the most popular screenplays that can be produced. Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, and The Descendents are just a few of the best films to come out of this great list. Screenwriting courses are industry-focused, high-quality courses for individuals interested in honing their creative abilities and pursuing a career in the media. In this article, we discuss the Best Universities for Screenwriting in the UK, the best screenwriting courses in the world, and the top Screenwriting Academic Programs in the world. 

Top 9 Universities for screenwriting in the UK

If you want to study writing in the literary capital of the world, here is a list of the best universities for screenwriting in the UK, along with their average fees:

1. Arts University Bournemouth 

AUB is known for establishing unique partnerships. Bournemouth Film School films are noted for their high production values and visual effects and animation students and their costume and performance design, makeup, and a variety of other creative courses available on campus, allowing for a genuinely unique filmmaking experience.

Fees currently range from £14,250 to £16,000.

2. Goldsmiths, University of London

As part of the University of London, Goldsmiths already has a solid academic reputation; nonetheless, the Screen School has its ambitions, competing with other film schools for the top students. As a student, you’ll hone your core talent while also taking a variety of short optional modules in other production areas of your choice, such as web theater, online content, and social activist filmmaking, in addition to traditional media skills like cinematography and editing.

Current Fees: £19,660

3. Leeds Beckett University

The School of Film, Music and Performing Arts promotes a creative and participatory culture. LBU contributes to the cultural life of Leeds, which is home to the world’s first film festival. The school educates the pioneers of tomorrow’s art. Influencers who will have an impact on the outside world rather than just reflecting it.

Fees in effect: £14,000

4. London Film Academy

The London Film Academy is a cutting-edge film school that consistently outperforms its competitors, producing multi-skilled, world-class filmmakers through hands-on, industry-relevant, and high-quality training. Their multi-disciplinary approach reflects the harsh reality of the film and television industries, allowing you to grow as an informed and responsible filmmaker while developing your art in small groups in a supportive and loving atmosphere.

Current Fees:  £14,000

5. London Film School

LFS has been a facility for young creative talent to improve their skills, establish their voice, and engage directly with the thriving UK film industries for over sixty years. With students from all over the world, LFS is seen as a cultural crossroads where new voices, experiences, and viewpoints coexist with tradition and history.

Fees are currently £14,826.00 (plus a £200 Visa Administration Fee).

6. MetFilm School

MetFilm School is a world-renowned film, television, and online media school in London and Berlin that provides undergraduate, postgraduate, and short courses. The Ealing Studios, home to The Ladykillers, Notting Hill, Downton Abbey, and The Theory of Everything, is located on the London campus.

Current Fees: £19,000

7. National Film and Television School

The National Film and Television School is regarded as one of the world’s best film, television, and new media schools, as indicated by the Observer newspaper’s designation of the NFTS as “The Best Film School in the World.” There is no other film school that offers as many specialized practical filmmaking courses like this one (eighteen master’s degrees, fourteen diplomas, four certificates, and a wide range of short courses).

Current Fees: £24,900 

8. University of Edinburgh

In the heart of Scotland’s city, Edinburgh University is one of the world’s premier universities. The Edinburgh International Film Festival, the world’s longest continuously running film festival, is held in the city, which has excellent art-house cinemas, galleries, theaters, thriving film culture, and numerous work prospects. Film Studies academics are published researchers emphasizing film theory, film-philosophy, and national cinemas, whereas Film, Exhibition, and Curation personnel have substantial experience curating and making films.

Current Fees: £15,490 

9. University of Westminster

The institution’s film and television courses provide a perfect setting to prepare for professional life, with purpose-built studios, a set-building workshop, and professional film, video, and sound resources. Students have received numerous honors in recent years, including an Academy Award nomination and Royal Television Society Awards in entertainment, fiction, and factual programming.

Current Fees:  £17,000 

 

World’s Best Screenwriting Academic Programs

You must grasp how and why screenplays are written if you want to be a filmmaker. If you have a passion for writing and want to write scripts, you have a lot of resources to choose from. Although a degree is not required for screenwriting, you can enroll in courses and academic programs. Many of the best screenwriters never attended a film school or university to study the profession. Working 8-hour shifts or as interns, they penned screenplays in their spare time. It’s easier to comprehend scriptwriting now that websites like Udemy, Coursera, and Masterclass provide classes on the art.

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There are a few good screenwriting websites that offer the best screenwriting courses. However, some writers have worked their way into the industry after earning a writing degree. Some schools, universities, and institutions in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe offer screenwriting courses, degrees, and programs that could help you get a job in a studio in Los Angeles or New York. According to countries and regions, the best screenwriting courses and academic programs are here. Writing for television and theater games are also included.

1. University of California, Los Angeles —Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting

Duration: 2 years.

This program is one of the most effective in the United States. A lot of emphases is placed on storytelling while also recognizing other aspects of filmmaking. This course provides a solid basis for students to write various screenplays for feature films and television shows. Each student receives the personal attention necessary to produce effective scripts. Students will form relationships in the industry because they will be staying in LA. Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island, Altered Carbon) and David Koepp are former students (Spider-Man).

2. New York Film Academy, New York—BFA & MFA in Screenwriting

Duration: 3 years for a BFA, 2 years for an MFA

These courses are intensive and are meant to teach every last aspect of scriptwriting. Students must write a short film script of 3-5 minutes after completing the first semester. Students will be able to write and sell screenplays after completing the program. By pitching their screenplays to help fulfill their ambitions, the programs will teach students about the realities of the industry. Guest lecturers include Hollywood heavyweights like Steven Spielberg, Derek Kolstad, and many other accomplished individuals. Students can benefit from connections with other students studying acting or directing after they complete their degree.

3. University of Southern California, Los Angeles—BFA & MFA in Writing for Screen & Television

Duration: BFA – four years, MFA – two years

Both of these screenwriting courses include extensive hands-on training under the supervision of professional writers. Workshop-style classes are available. For the BFA degree, 30 students are chosen, and for the MFA degree, 32 students are selected. Students learn a bit of cinematography and direction as well. They have intimate ties to prominent directors, producers, agencies, and studios, in addition to occasional guest speakers. As one of the top-ranked courses in the country, I believe students who graduate from USC have the highest chance of finding a job as a writer in a studio.

4. American Film Institute, Los Angeles—MFA In Screenwriting

Duration: 2 years

AFI is the most prestigious private film school in the United States. Their screenwriting program is quite challenging. Students make three feature films, two TV spec scripts, and one original pilot. Guests such as Scott Silver (Joker) give lectures and seminars to help students better understand the process of writing and filmmaking. Thanks to the AFI’s extensive film archives, students can study films of many genres. Scott Frank (Minority Report), Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich), John Shiban (Breaking Bad), and Jim Reynolds are among the alumni (The Big Bang Theory).

5. New York University’s Tisch School Of The Arts—Graduate in Dramatic Writing (Theater, Film & Episodic Series)

Duration: 2 years

This is one of the Best Universities for Screenwriting that covers all three mediums, including writing for feature films, theater, film, and episodic television series. The first year concentrates on writing two full-length pieces out of the three works. Students will focus on completing a full-length script in one of the three mediums in the second year. A credit-bearing internship is available in the second year, but it is not required.

Benefits: Students gain experience in various fields such as production, directing, and cinematography. This aids in the overall writing process. Joel Cohen (Fargo, No Country For Old Men) and Charlie Kaufman are notable alumni ( Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).

6. Boston University, Massachusetts—MFA in Screenwriting

Duration: 2 years

The first three semesters of the program are held in Boston, and the final semester is held in Los Angeles. The writing classes are kept small to allow students to self-evaluate their work. The teaching also focuses on helping students develop their mental processes to write a story. Students will be required to compose at least seven scripts, including two feature films, two short films, an episode of an existing hour-long television show, an existing sitcom, and an original TV pilot script.

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Advantages: An assistant position allows students to get teaching experience while earning money. As a result, they may feel more comfortable approaching industry professionals and agents. Meetings with producers for story ideas and writing project coverage. Another advantage is that students can learn screenwriting in Boston without being distracted, then travel on to LA to fine-tune their skills.

7. Loyola Marymount College – School of Film & Television, Los Angeles—MFA in Screenwriting

Duration: 2 Years

This program teaches students how to produce feature-length screenplays and other types of writing, focusing on helping them establish their point of view and imagination. Being in LA allows students to make new friends. In addition, the curriculum teaches students how to pitch screenplays to agencies and producers.

8. University of Texas—MFA in Screenwriting

Duration: 2 Years

This program is one of the most cost-effective because it has fewer students in each class. Writing for television and feature films is included. At the end of the course, students will have three feature-length screenplays ready to submit to agents. There is a TV Writers’ Room in the curriculum where students cooperate to write a complete season of a show, which is subsequently sent to studios. Internships at Miramax and the Austin Film Festival are both highly recommended.

9. Columbia University School Of Arts—MFA In Screenwriting / Directing

Duration: 3 Years

This two-week intensive course teaches you how to direct and write screenplays. Students can comprehend both arts and direct a whole feature film at the end of the course because they go hand in hand. This course covers writing and directing in several genres. The workshop and practice sessions are designed to let students learn storytelling at their own pace.

10. California State University, Northridge-MFA in Screenwriting

Duration: 2 Years

Students learn the fundamentals of screenwriting courses, structural ideas, and character development for television and movies. Every qualified student receives one-on-one attention from the professors. With distinguished guest lecturers such as Donald Petrie (Miss Congeniality, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days) Michael Hauge (Writing Screenplays That Sell, Selling Your Story in 60 Seconds), students are sure to learn how to write movies the way Hollywood wants them to.

11. Emerson College, Los Angeles—MFA in Writing for Film and Television 

Duration: 2 Years

Everything about writing for films, television, and short films is taught to the pupils. The students must eventually produce a feature film screenplay, a pilot episode, or both, focusing on critical criticism for scripts created by them. Students can work with other college students. They can submit applications to studios and make pitches to agencies. Alumnus Alex Tse (Watchmen, Superfly) is a screenwriter.

12. The London Film School, England—MA Screenwriting

Duration: 1 Year

It’s a program that teaches feature film screenwriting. To write a feature screenplay, three to four students are joined together. Various workshops are available to help students develop their abilities and imagination. The LFS is a prominent institution with links to industry leaders who can help you secure an internship in a studio when you graduate.

13. University of West London, England—MA Screen Production – Screenwriting & Documentary

Duration: 1 Year

Through numerous seminars, the program places a heavy emphasis on practical writing. The course covers writing for movies, documentaries, pilots, screen criticism and analysis, and writing for Netflix’s 10-hour movie model. As one of the most practical courses covering all you need to know about creating scripts, this is the most acceptable program for keeping up with industry best practices and current trends.

14. Met Film School, London – England—MA Screenwriting

Duration: 1 Year

The program teaches students to write feature films, short films, pilots, and TV miniseries. Students will have to write either a feature screenplay or a TV pilot in the end. Students can also learn to write for video games. Each student will work on a project for a client outside of the class. Students have gone on to write for Netflix after completing this course.

15. National Film & Television School (NTFS), England—MA in Screenwriting

Duration: 2 Years

This program teaches the art of writing for films, television, animation, and games rigorously and practically. Recent graduates have won or been nominated for an Academy Award, multiple BAFTAs, and Royal Television Society Awards, as well as a Nicholl Fellowship. NTFS is well-connected in the industry. Masterclasses (guest lectures from prominent writers and directors such as David Fincher (Zodiac, The Social Network), Sam Mendes (Skyfall, American Beauty), and M Night Shyamalan) are open to all students (The Sixth Sense, The Village).

 

Academic Qualifications & Eligibility Requirements

While a screenwriting course is not required to work in the industry, it is advantageous for many reasons. Not only will study pressure and regularity compel students to focus on work, but some universities can also arrange meetings with well-known screenwriters. Students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree in humanities or fine arts are eligible for an MA in Screenwriting. Applicants for an MA in Screenwriting should have a second-class honors degree at the very least (i.e., 50-69%). It is also considered if an applicant has similar experience or training, primarily in a professional environment. An IELTS score of 7.0, with a 7.0 in writing and a score of no less than 6.5 in all other areas.

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Screenwriting Courses in the UK

  1. MA Screenwriting
  2. MA in Scriptwriting
  3. MA in Television Fiction Writing
  4. MA Screen Production – Screenwriting and Documentary
  5. MLIT Drama and Scriptwriting
  6. MA Creative Writing and Scripting

 

How to Apply to UK Universities for Screenwriting:

Before beginning the application process, international students applying to UK universities should read this well-researched guide:

Step-1: Shortlist Courses and Universities

The first stage in the application process is to narrow down your options for courses and colleges based on your academic background and preferences. Students can use AI-Course Finder to shortlist classes and institutions, develop a list of best universities for screenwriting where they are most likely to succeed, and organize their application process ahead of time.

Step-2: Know Your Deadlines

The next step is to learn the exact dates for the universities and institutions in the United Kingdom to which you intend to apply. International students must start the application procedure as soon as possible (one year to 6 months before the actual deadline). This guarantees that students will complete all college prerequisites, including the SOP, letters of recommendation, English proficiency tests, funding/scholarship possibilities, and housing.

Step-3: Take Entrance Tests

Students must take exams like IELTS, TOEFL, and PTE as part of the third step of the application process for UK universities. Students may be required to submit SAT or ACT exam scores at various universities. The Duolingo Test is a new addition to English proficiency examinations that allow students to take the exam from the comfort of their own homes and is approved worldwide.

Step-4:  Compile Your Documents

The next stage in the application procedure is to gather all of the relevant documentation and test scores. Students should begin drafting their SOPs, obtaining letters of recommendation from teachers and supervisors, organizing their financial statements, and other documentation such as test scorecards. Students must download their immunization certificates and specify the administered vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic application.

Step-5: Get Started with Your Application:

Students can begin the application process either directly or through UCAS once they have all their documents in order. Students interested in applying to UK universities that accept direct applications should visit the university’s official website. They must choose the courses they want to take, pay the application costs, and start the online application process. 

Documents Required 

Here is a list of critical documents that UK universities will want when you apply to one:

  1. Academic transcripts, which serve as evidence of your academic accomplishments.
  2. English Proficiency Test Scores Proof
  3. Proof of Funds as proof of ability to pay for tuition and living expenses for the first year.
  4. Curriculum Vitae/Resumé
  5. Letters of recommendation from professors, LORs, SOPs, or a personal statement.

Conclusion:

The undergraduate study of screenwriting has become increasingly rewarding as the power and importance of mass media have grown. The screenwriting graduates are highly valued by organizations like newspaper, book, and magazine publishers, TV channels, marketing agencies, education guide suppliers, and the entertainment industry. The field is particularly inspiring because of the work’s current and exciting character.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Screenwriting?

The art and craft of writing scripts for mass media such as feature films, television productions, or video games are called screenwriting or scriptwriting. It is generally a self-employed profession.

What Is The Average Salary Of A Screenwriter?

In the United Kingdom, a screenwriter’s typical compensation ranges from £29,500 to £39,000 per month, while the maximum salary in India is 67,742 per month.

Is Screenwriter A Good Career?

Yes. Because a writer is compensated even if they are the ninth or tenth person to make revisions, this can be a very lucrative career. Aspiring screenwriters will ghostwrite scripts to boost their chances of being picked up by a production studio.

Why is Screenwriting Important?

Screenwriting aims to put your video production’s core concept into writing. It gives you a heads-up on what will be said and what scenes will be shot to complement the overall message you’re attempting to convey.

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