Produced by Guest blogger
This is a guest blog post written by Student Ambassador Erin Pinnell who is studying MA Scriptwriting.
As someone who completed a drama undergraduate degree, I immediately felt a connection to scriptwriting. Many other MA courses do offer scriptwriting as a module; however, Bournemouth is one of the only universities to offer a course dedicated to Scriptwriting.
Among the few I looked at, Bournemouth stood out for many reasons, the dedication to the specialist topic, the range of modules on offer, as well as lecturers well-versed in the subject.
The modules covered a wide range of topics including writing for adaptation, developing a story and well-rounded characters, and pitching. During these units you get to explore writing scripts for different mediums, you could stick to TV and film or experiment with scripts for theatre or radio dramas. As someone who grew up doing theatre and being on stage, this has been eye-opening to see just how different and unique the structures can be. Each module is taught in a way which prepares you for the industry you want to go into. We are taught how to reach professional industry standards with our writing, and also how to know what professionals will be looking for. So many scripts are pitched every day, so I find it incredibly helpful to know what agents and production studios are looking for, to ensure my work goes to the top of the pile.
I had the pleasure of going to postgraduate open day beforehand, which I highly recommend. During this visit I explored the campus and met the lecturers who would be teaching us. After asking them questions, and now being taught by them, it’s easy to see that each of them are experienced in their fields and most importantly are passionate in the way that they teach.
If you’re considering this course you might be happy to know that the MA Scriptwriting is coursework based, with no stressful tests that require revision. This was a priority for myself as I prefer being marked on work over a period of time, rather than what I can remember on a particular day. Each of the seminars are also very interactive, and some are even dedicated to reading over each other’s work and providing valuable feedback. This was also a great look into what a writer’s room might look like, which most scriptwriters will experience in their career.
Many of the modules you take will leave you with fully conceptualised scripts of your own work for you to do with as you please, as well as other documents such as film outlines and treatments. All of these are usually submitted together as portfolio work. This is another of the main selling points, as it allows you to complete the year with a full portfolio of your own work which can be used as a calling card for after graduation.
Other opportunities that the course provides are, getting guest lectures from industry professionals, having Q&As with graduates and being able to collaborate with other MA courses. During the year you will also be sorted in Production Houses. These are carefully picked groups which put you into contact with other course members from the MA’s in the Communication & Journalism department. Each group will have a certain amount of student directors, producers, cinematographers, editors, sound designers and of course other scriptwriters. This year I have partnered up with people in my own production house to have short films that I have written produced and made, as well as having made many lifelong friends and potential business partners.
All of these opportunities and learning experiences are available and encouraged for every MA Scriptwriting student. I have enjoyed each and every second and recommend the course to anyone who loves writing and creating new stories for others to enjoy too.