MA Screenwriting

Postgraduate, Full-Time

Create a portfolio of scripts, develop skills in writing, editing and project development and gain working knowledge of the film, television and digital fiction industries.

  • Napier code:

    54707MM

  • Course type:

    Full-Time

  • Duration:

    1 year

  • Award:

    MA

  • Location:

    Merchiston campus

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Course introduction

MA Screenwriting was launched at Edinburgh Napier in 2006 and has adapted and developed since to remain one of the strongest screenwriting Masters courses on offer in the UK. The degree is accredited by Creative Skillset and taught at Screen Academy Scotland - one of only three Creative Skillset Film Academies in the UK and the only one outside London.

While the course is primarily for aspiring screenwriters, it is also aimed at those interested in script editing, script development and creative producing.

Teaching staff are working screenwriters and producers and there are regular visits from professional writers, producers, directors and those working in script editing and development.


screen writing

The course has developed a strong international profile, attracting a diverse range of students and as a student at Screen Academy Scotland you will be part of a large and thriving film community.

Collaboration is encouraged and our MA Screenwriters work closely with students on the MA Film programme as well as students at Edinburgh College of Art.

The course will develop skills in screenwriting, creativity, analytical thinking, academic writing, professional writing for film (script reports, coverage), editing and developmental skills.

In summary, the MA Screenwriting:

  • takes a general approach across film, television and other media
  • develops the core craft skills for screenwriting
  • enhances script editing and story development skills
  • places teaching and student work in an industry context
  • introduces students to staff and industry guests working as writers, producers, directors and in script development at a high, professional level

The course is taught two days a week (currently Thursdays and Fridays). Part-time students attend classes on Thursdays in Year 1 and Fridays in Year 2.

Please visit the Screen Academy Scotland website for more details on our programmes, students and industry activities.

Subjects include

  • Writing and Screen Project Development (craft skills)
  • Business of Screen Project Development (industry context)
  • Script Workshop 1 and 2 (practical screenwriting)
  • Script to Screen (theory and critique)
  • Interactive Media or Graphic Fiction
  • Major Project (feature film or long form TV script)

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

Our students have gone on to success in various competitions, winning the PAGE International Screenwriting Award for five years. Former graduates work as self-employed writers for television drama and have gone on to find agents. Others are working professionally in script development and production.

You can find more details on the Screen Academy Scotland website


The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at a 2:2 or above.  We look for applicants to have a background in creative writing, journalism, filmmaking or drama in order to be eligible for the programme.

We may also consider lesser qualifications if you have sufficient relevant work experience within the industry. 

You will also be required to attend an interview, and/or be asked to show evidence of an aptitude for the course, appropriate experience, and an indication of how you might benefit from the course.

As part of the application process you will need to submit the following with your application:

  • A personal statement outlining why you want to write for the screen (maximum 300 words)
  • An outline for a feature film or single television drama (maximum one page)
  • A writing sample - this may be a short film script or an excerpt from a feature film script or television drama (maximum 10 pages)

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test.  The English Language requirements for this programme are IELTS (Academic) with an overall score of 7.0 with no individual component score of less than 6.5.  For guidance on the acceptability of other English Language tests please contact pgadmissions@napier.ac.uk

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.


Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/Masters in Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/Masters in Midwifery

Admissions policies

We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.


Tuition fees
Students from 2016/17 2017/18
Home/EU £3,750 £3,750
Overseas £12,620 £12,620

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships