Discover how to write for theatre, radio, film, television, and prose fiction, in collaboration with creatives and researchers who are actively engaged in the cultural industries.
This course allows you to engage with a wide variety of genres from both creative and critical perspectives. You’ll develop your imaginative writing skills and analyse the writing process, with opportunities to produce practical work in our state-of-the-art facilities.
Our diverse but close-knit community of professional writers, creative practitioners, and innovative researchers are dedicated to developing emerging talent. You’ll be encouraged to test the limits of style and genre, and to explore how your work connects with our increasingly complex world.
You’ll have opportunities to pursue areas of interest, including tailored pathways in screenwriting or writing for theatre. You can also gain industry experience by delivering a project in collaboration with an external partner.
Leeds has a thriving cultural scene, and our industry connections allow you to work closely with local theatres, museums, radio stations, television studios, publishers, and more. Our partnership with Leeds Playhouse offers a programme of specially created joint writing projects, work experience placements, and workshops with leading creatives.
Our School is based in stage@leeds, a purpose-built landmark building that sits at the heart of campus. As our student, you’ll have access to its two professional standard, publicly licensed theatres: the main space seats 180 and is equipped with the latest technologies, and the theatre studio provides a technically advanced performance research facility.
stage@leeds hosts a range of work by students and visiting theatre companies all year round. Within the building you’ll also find rehearsal rooms, two black-box studios, costume construction and wardrobe stores, a design studio, a scenic workshop, computer aided design facilities and video-editing and sound recording.
Leeds University Library is one of the UK’s major academic research libraries, and has extensive holdings to support your studies including Special Collections offering a huge range of rare books, manuscripts and art.
Highlights include materials relating to Leeds Playhouse, the English Stage Company, Phoenix Dance Theatre, as well as the archives of dramatists, directors and choreographers like Wole Soyinka, Rudolph Laban, John Moody, and William Gaskill.
Many of the Library’s materials are available online, allowing you to access them from a distance. You’ll also have access to study services like one-to-one support and skills development workshops, which will help you to get the most out of your time with us.
You’ll study compulsory modules designed to advance your practical and creative skills, as well as giving you a solid base of theoretical knowledge and high level research skills.
You’ll also choose from a range of optional modules, giving you the ability to tailor your studies to suit your interests and career ambitions.
Depending on your optional module choices, you’ll also have the chance to collaborate with your fellow students or work with local cultural organisations by completing a research placement.
As you progress through your studies, you’ll apply what you’ve learned in an independent research project on a topic of your choice. This can be a written dissertation or major creative writing project with critical commentary.
If you choose to study part-time, you’ll study over a longer period and take fewer modules in each year.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Research Perspectives (Writing for Performance and Publication)
Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
Performance and Collaborative Enterprise
Writing for Film and Television
Learning and teaching
Our tutors are professional dramatists and academic specialists in a range of genres, with experience of dealing with theatres, agents, production companies, editors and publishers. We also invite guest speakers from the worlds of theatre, broadcasting, film and publishing to share their insights into the creative industries.
You’ll be taught using a range of methods including lectures, seminars and tutorials as well as practical sessions and workshops. Independent study is also a vital component of this degree, allowing you to conduct your own research and develop your own ideas.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
For 2020/21 academic year courses the link visible above will take you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
For courses starting from September 2021, applications will open on October 1st 2020 and you will be able to access the application system from that date.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Documents and information you’ll need
A portfolio of 2,000-3,000 words of creative writing. Samples of dramatic scriptwriting (stage, screen or radio) are preferred, but other narrative forms such as prose fiction or journalism are acceptable.
A copy of your degree certificate and transcripts, or partial transcripts if you're still studying (please submit an official English translation if necessary)
Evidence of your English language qualifications, if English is not your first language
A personal statement in response to the questions asked in the supporting statement section of the application form
A full up-to-date CV.
We’ll contact you when we receive your application. Wherever possible, we call candidates for interview – for international students this can be a telephone interview.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
Visit our Brexit page for the latest information on the effect of the UK's exit from the EU on current students and applicants to the University.
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.
Fees for part-time courses are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.
Additional cost information
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.
Many students will want to pursue a career as a professional writer. Although this is a fiercely competitive field, this degree is designed to try to help you realise your ambitions. Alternatively, you could use your additional experience and qualification to progress in your current career or pursue a related path within the creative arts.
You’ll also be well equipped for a future in education, arts administration, script editing, literary management, broadcasting, journalism, advertising, the media, publishing, literary agencies, marketing, PT and many other areas.
The course has established a powerful record for developing successful writers and creative leaders, from playwrights and television writers to novelists, directors and lecturers.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. Thats one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.