Full Time Professional Training Courses

Drama Writing MA

Key Information
  • Award

    MA Drama Writing

  • Duration

    One year (full-time)

  • Academic Year

    30 September 2024 – 18 July 2025

  • Application deadline

    31 March 2024 at 4 PM

  • Applications for 2024 entry to the MA Drama Writing programme are now closed

Term Dates

Course Overview

Drama Writing at BOVTS is designed to nurture you in finding your distinctive voice as a drama writer. The course aims to be innovative in its approach, by immersing you within the whole theatre portfolio, while developing transferable skills to write for screen and audio. You’ll develop a systematic understanding of dramatic writing as an art, craft and business and see your work explored practically by other students.

ⓘ You may also be interested in our short course, Introduction to Playwriting, running between 11 September and 13 September 2024. Find out more.

A short glimpse into the MA Drama Writing course.

This highly practical course is innovative in its approach by immersing future playwrights within the whole theatre and screen portfolio. By building professional assurance through artistic practice, students will develop a systematic understanding of dramatic writing as an art, craft and business.

Students will have their work bought to life by working with other students studying acting, directing, production arts and stage management from across the school.

The Drama Writing programme is delivered through masterclasses, workshops and seminars delivered by top industry professionals and experienced practitioners.

This is a full-time course, but contact hours will normally be concentrated into two to three days a week (normally Wednesday to Friday), with six ‘intensive weeks’ spread through the year. The Writers’ Hub is a dedicated space for teaching & learning, individual writing and for the group to programme activities.

Students will gain an understanding of how directors and actors unpack text. They will also have their scripts examined in practice as actors bring their scripts to life at various points through the course. Students will have access to industry standard facilities including a dedicated writers’ room, a radio drama studio and film department.

This course is delivered from a practitioners’ perspective and the hands-on experience will ensure an excellent start to graduates’ careers and prepare them for employment by providing a practical and critical understanding of commissioning and other industry processes.

The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has a renowned literary pedigree, and enjoys relationships with theatres across the city, south west and nationally. For instance, the School mounts productions in partnership with the Bristol Old Vic, Redgrave Theatre and Tobacco Factory, amongst others, on a regular basis, ensuring that students experience practical application of their craft in professional settings.

An Opportunity to See Your Work Practically Explored by Actors, Directors and Other Theatre Makers

Studying and developing your craft of writing within a drama school means that you will have the opportunity to see your work practically explored by actors, directors and other theatre makers.

This is a full-time course. Contact time averages 15-16 hours per week. Students should expect to undertake at least 15 hours per week of independent study. There will be some weeks where students will need to be in School all week – for example to workshop their Dramatic Medium Part One scenes, to record their radio plays, to attend rehearsal of their signature scripts etc. Students will need to be flexible as some rescheduling may be necessary.

The Writers’ Hub is a dedicated space for teaching & learning, individual writing and for the group to programme activities.

Student sat on floor writing at a chair

A Sophisticated Understanding of the Industry

It is expected that by the end of the course you will have developed a signature-script to be able to offer to producers, have a developed understanding of the demands of the different media (stage, screen, audio etc) and a sophisticated understanding of the industry.

Students in rehearsals in the Weston Studio
One of my favourite parts about BOVTS is that it feels ‘homegrown’. From the set to the costume, lighting, acting and sound, every single aspect of a theatre production or film is down to the students. The location of Clifton is so serene and the School being so small everyone knows each other and it feels so personal and special. Violet Morris, BA Professional Acting Student