Course overview

LFS aims to encourage writing as a continuous practice, to stimulate reflective and critical approaches and to provide a specific historical background to film narrative, genres, and dramaturgy.

This one-year course, accredited by Creative Skillset, is aimed at developing screenwriting skills in the context of a filmmaking community where writing is an everyday practice and a collaborative process involving actors, directors, musicians, editors and producers.

At LFS we explore the boundaries between writing and directing and stimulate debate through classes in film history, crosscultural approaches to dramaturgy and script readings with professional actors. Regular screenings of classic and contemporary films in our own film theatre and visits by contemporary filmmakers complement the core practical work of developing a feature screenplay.

The MA Screenwriting programme provides a year of critical and creative development, a network of future contacts and a space where a writer can define their interests and particular talent. This is a course that is more interested in content over structure, individual development over the imposition of a universal model or set of rules.

At LFS we believe that the study and practice of screenwriting requires an understanding of the technical aspects of filmmaking and of different approaches to narrative as well as the working methods and practice of professional screenwriters as members of a creative team.

We are looking for writers who are excited about writing for the screen, who have a background in writing for other mediums, directors who are seeking to write their own feature script and writers who wish to establish long-term mentoring relationships with development professionals.

'The screenplay is not the last stage of a literary journey. It is the first stage of a film and the only way to become a professional screenwriter is to get in contact with a group of people who make films.'  
Jean-Claude Carriere, Belle du Jour, Danton
'I wouldn't be the writer I am without you and everything I learned during my time there.'
Samuel Jefferson, MA Screenwriting graduate 2014, BAFTA/Rocliffe award for Comedy Writing

I always speak very highly of the Screenwriting MA at LFS when prospective students email me. I learnt so much there and have it to thank for a lot, so thanks!”

Ben Cleary, MA Screenwriting 2011, Short Films Oscar Nominee for STUTTERER


Course Philosophy

  • Encourage writing as a state of mind and everyday practice
  • Stimulate a reflective and critical approach to practice
  • Provide an historical background to film narrative
  • Place the screenplay in the context of a collaborative filmmaking process
  • Explore the boundaries between writing, directing and producing
  • Stimulate alternative approaches to screenwriting through awareness of different dramaturgical traditions
  • Take on writers who wish to develop a long-term mentoring relationship with working professionals
  • Focus on the writers individual development above issues of structure and dramaturgy
  • Create a context where the writer works with others involved in the filmmaking community - directors, actors, musicians, producers


On completion of the course writers will have developed a significant portfolio of work that will include most of the following:

  • The second draft polish of a feature length screenplay
  • Two short screenplays of between 10-20 minutes in length
  • An outline for a Television Series
  • A slate of five ideas for further development
  • Two sets of sample Script Reports
  • Three Research Journals
  • Credits on MA Filmmaking short films as script editors or co-writers

'...the standards of student performance are at the very top end of the scale of similar programmes in the UK. The MA in Screenwriting at LFS is an impressive programme. The quality of work that is produced is of a very high standard with some truly outstanding screenwriting and critical commentaries being produced. The way that the course is structured over the three terms – or units – is both academically rigorous and also industry facing.'

Max Kinnings, External Examiner 2015


The range, quality and volume of work produced in one year makes this one of the outstanding screenwriting courses in the UK. Both teaching and learning is conducted at a very high level. In particular, a lot of work goes into creating and maintaining strong links with the film industry by way of senior industry speakers, high level industry professionals acting as mentors, and a programme of screenings and events often featuring international as well as locally successful filmmakers. All the tutors are screenwriting and filmmaking practitioners. Teaching is sensitive, expert and rigorous. Students are encouraged to develop their screenwriting ‘voice’, and there is a strong emphasis on craft and technical skills as well as the creative aspects of screenwriting. It is clear from the high standard of work produced that this is effective" 

Kate Leys, External Examiner 2012