MA Screenwriting for
Film + Television

This MA gives writers the opportunity to explore, experiment and learn the craft of screenwriting, in conjunction with the development and writing of a full-length screenplay.

About the MA in Screenwriting

The MA in Screenwriting is the longest running and was the first MA of its kind in the country. It employs the very best screenwriting tutors in Ireland and each year we offer our students advice and input from the very best writers/producers and directors who visit our programme as panelists and guest speakers.

Each year we invite established directors to workshop scene’s from our Master Student’s screenplays with a group of actors – in previous years Lenny Abrahamson, Neil Jordan, Juanita Wilson, Jim Sheridan, Paddy Breathnach, Kirsten Sheridan, Ed Guiney, Neasa Hardiman and many other accomplished directors have dedicated their time and energy to these workshops.

As the year comes to an end we offer our students a chance to meet a number of Irish producers and production companies.

Our alumni are best placed to assess the quality of our programme. Many are now professional screenwriters while others are working as film/television producers, as directors, as documentary makers, or work in script development.

Our alumni include: Robert Quinn – recently directed Dad’s Army for the BBC, Robert Walpole – producer of Oscar shortlisted Viva, and director of Treasure Films.

The producers Brendan McCarthy and John McDonnell of Fantastic films are both graduates and Brendan’s film The Wakewood was written on the course. Peter Foott the writer/director of The Young Offenders - is a graduate of the Masters as was his brother Mike Foott who writes with him on The Republic of Telly. The film critic Gavin Burke, Rioghnach Ni Ghrioghair the development executive at Samson Films, the comedienne and writer Hillary Rose, the producer of Love/Hate Suzanne McAuley, the award winning cinematographer Michael Lavelle and the production designer of Love Hate and now Ripper Street, Steven Daly are all graduates. The prolific writer/director Mark O’Connor – King of the Travellers, Cardboard Gangsters etc. is a graduate and a regular visiting lecturer as is Terry McMahon the director/writer of Patrick’s Day and Charlie Cassanova. The acclaimed novelist Lia Mills was one of our early students. Documentary maker and underwater cinematographer Joel Conroy – Waveriders - director Niall Heery – Gold etc. - graduated in recently. The animator Andrew Kavanagh and director of the hugely successful Kavaleer Productions is another.

Patrick Ryan wrote his feature film Darkness on the Edge of Town on the MA and 2016 we screened Henriette Buegger’s big budget German Television drama Under the Radar, which she wrote on the MA.

What will I be doing?    

Our course aims to inspire you to develop the art and craft of screenwriting and related ancillary skills to a high level. You will have already demonstrated an aptitude for writing (through your undergraduate studies or your portfolio work), and by the end of the course, you will have written a full-length feature script or a pilot episode of a television drama.

You will also acquire an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the craft of screenwriting, and will have gained a clear understanding of the stages of writing from idea to final draft. You will quickly appreciate the opportunities that exist in the film and television industries, as well as matters relating to copyright and contracts.

Future careers

Careers may be found in the film/television industry as screenwriters, script editors and/or in teaching.

What modules will I study?

  • The Craft of Screenwriting,
  • Film Theory and History,
  • Dramatic and Literary Traditions,
  • Main Project.

What should my portfolio include?

  • Substantial relevant written material such as scripts, screenplays, work published or produced for screen or radio, poetry, stories, etc. 
  • At least two script ideas in your portfolio application. These can be in the form of a synopsis, treatment or first draft.

RPL applicants may be considered. Applicants in this category will be required to present a qualifying essay of a standard that demonstrates their ability to undertake work at MA level.

All applications, including the portfolio, are screened and shortlisted.

Applicants will be required to attend an interview.

Scholarship

In 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17, a scholarship was awarded in partnership with Warner Bros. Please contact the Course Co-ordinator or Admissions Officer to check whether this will still be the case for 2017/18.

Warner Bros Scholarship Application Form