Writing for Performance and Digital Media MA

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
12 months full time
24 months part time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons)
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£11,500 (Total)
International fees
£24,500 (Total)

Course overview

MA Writing for Performance and Publication

Develop your unique voice as a writer and storyteller in the context of the School of Performance and Cultural Industries’ outstanding research in the fields of contemporary performance practice, creative and adaptive writing, digital and intermedial art, audience studies and cultural engagement.

On this Masters course, you’ll think critically about narrative, storytelling and performance in contemporary culture, developing your creative writing skills and knowledge across a range of genres, forms and media. You’ll have opportunities to pursue areas of interest, including tailored pathways in writing for theatre, performance, screen and new media.

Our diverse but close-knit community of professional writers, creative practitioners and innovative researchers is dedicated to developing new and emerging talent. You’ll be encouraged to test the limits of style, form and genre, and to explore how your work connects with our increasingly complex world.

Additional highlights

Leeds has a thriving cultural scene, and the University has many connections to local arts organisations, allowing you to engage closely with the region’s theatres, museums, radio stations, film and television studios, and more. Our partnership with Leeds Playhouse offers a programme of specially created events and workshops every year, connecting you with one of the region’s most important centres for new writing.

Specialist facilities

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.

Take a tour of our School

Join current student, Eva, on a tour of our building and its specialist facilities to get a feel for life as a student in the School

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, video-editing and sound recording. We also have a digital performance platform, stage@leeds digital, where you can access our work.

Course details

You’ll study compulsory modules designed to advance your practical skills as a writer and storyteller, while deepening your critical and theoretical understanding of writing for performance, screen and digital media.

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 have the chance to collaborate with your fellow students, work with local cultural organisations or focus on the development of your independent creative practice.

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 could be a major creative writing project with critical commentary, a performance or a written dissertation.

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.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read MA Writing for Performance and Digital Media in the course catalogue.

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
Independent Research Project (MA) 60
Narrative Perspectives in Practice 30
Writing for Contemporary Theatre and Performance 30

Learning and teaching

On the MA in Writing for Performance and Digital Media you will learn through a mix a seminars, practicals, lectures and workshops. This learning will be complemented by personal reading, research and directed creative writing tasks.

The programme places a firm emphasis on the agency and intellectual curiosity of the individual student. You will be encouraged to think about and articulate your identity and positionality as a writer and storyteller. You will reflect critically on your creative goals – connecting your practice and thinking to a variety of different perspectives on aesthetics, cultural value and audience engagement.

The programme does not prescribe rules for writing. Nor does it advocate one way of thinking about story, form or craft. Instead, it invites creative writers to develop a personal account of their practice and connect their assessed work directly to specific industry contexts, practices and intellectual traditions. We aim to establish an inclusive space for innovation, considering writing practice as an expanded field that respects and values aesthetics and practices from popular culture, experimental performance and more conventional dramatic storytelling.

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.

Assessment

The programme uses a variety of approaches to assessment. Modes of assessment will depend on the options you choose; however, all students will be assessed through creative writing practice and critical writing (essay or exegesis).

The potential forms your assessed creative writing practice might take are flexible and will depend on the skills you want to develop and the industry contexts in which you hope to work. Examples include: scripts, performance scores, digital artefacts (like games and podcasts) or other forms of intermedial performance. We aim to be as inclusive as possible in accommodating the creative and intellectual goals of each student’s practice.

Students on the programme all need to complete an individual research project. These projects can take the form of a traditional dissertation; however, the majority of students choose to explore their creative writing practice as a means of critical inquiry, drawing on the School of Performance and Cultural Industries sector leading expertise in practice research.

Applying

Entry requirements

A bachelor undergraduate degree with a 2:1 (hons) or higher.

Applications from a wide range of subject areas are considered, including:

  • Creative Writing
  • Theatre
  • Performance
  • Fine Art
  • Media
  • ​​​​​​​Film
  • ​​​​​​​English

Any social sciences or humanities degree subject is suitable for entry providing there is evidence of commitment to creative writing for live and mediated performance. This is assessed in relation to a portfolio of your creative practice.

Applicants without a degree may also be considered, if they can demonstrate significant relevant industry experience.

International

Our admissions team are experienced in considering a wide range of international qualifications. If you wish to discuss whether your qualifications will meet the necessary entry criteria, contact the School’s admissions team.

You can also check the accepted qualifications for your country or region.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

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.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Arts and Humanities (6 weeks) and Language for Social Science and Arts: Arts and Humanities (10 weeks).

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Please see our How to Apply page for information about application deadlines.

The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.

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. Please include examples of writing for theatre, performance or screen. If your creative practice is better demonstrated through live performance or other kinds of digital artefact (games/podcasts/video), you can also send hyperlinks to digital content or video documentation (no longer than 15 minutes).

  • 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. Please respond to the questions in the application form.

  • A full up-to-date CV.

Next steps

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.

The Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures receives very large numbers of high-quality applications and regrets that it cannot make offers to all of its applicants. Some particularly popular schools may have to reject many that hold the necessary academic qualifications.

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.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

School of Performance and Cultural Industries

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions

Email: pcipg@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Fees

UK: £11,500 (Total)

International: £24,500 (Total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time 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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

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.

You may also be eligible to apply for a scholarship to help support your studies.

Career opportunities

Many students will want to pursue a career as a creative practitioner, working as a writer for stage, screen or new media. Although this is a fiercely competitive field, this degree is designed to help you realise your ambitions by helping you to connect your creative and intellectual concerns to specific industry contexts and practices. You will be encouraged to explore writing across a range of different forms and media, developing skills that can be applied across both traditional and new media.

The course has established a powerful record for developing successful writers and creative leaders, from playwrights, television writers and dramaturgs, to performers, broadcasters and journalists.

Alternatively, you could use your additional experience and qualification to progress in your current career or pursue a related path within the creative arts. Many of the course’s alumni have gone on to work in education, arts administration, script editing, literary management, advertising, publishing, marketing, public relations and many other areas.

There is a wide variety of careers and employability support available across the University to help you with your career.

Graduates from similar courses have continued with their research and progressed to PhD study.

Reach your potential

Hear more about the School and Faculty support you can access from our employability lead, Professor Karen Burland.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s 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 about Careers support.

Alumni profile: Zodwa Nyoni

I graduated with developed ideas, treatments, and completed work in theatre, film, fiction, television, and radio, which I could use when approaching commissioners or literary associates.
Zodwa Nyoni, Playwright and poet
Find out more about Zodwa Nyoni's time at Leeds