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BA (Hons) Scriptwriting for Film & Television

BA (Hons) Scriptwriting for Film and Television video
  • UCAS Code:
    W620
  • Institution:
    B50
  • Delivery:
    Full time according to Funding Council definitions

The foundation of all film, TV and radio output is scriptwriting and on this course you'll discover how to produce high-quality scripts that can be brought to life. You’ll be encouraged to develop your creative voice and writing style, as well as having the opportunity to study various aspects of film, television and the media as a whole.

This strong grounding will help you to hone your writing skills and enable you to produce engaging scripts for a variety of mediums. More importantly perhaps, you'll also discover the secrets of pitching and developing documents, so that when you graduate you'll know exactly how to get your scripts noticed once you enter the industry, as well as giving you an overview of the film, TV and radio production processes. 95% of our final year students thought that our staff have made the subject interesting. Come and visit us to find out for yourself what makes this course so good.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Key information

Next start date:

September, 2017

Location:

Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus

Duration:

3 years including a 4-week placement (or 4 years including a minimum 30-week placement). Full-time

Accreditations:

Creative Skillset

Relevant subjects:

English language, drama or any subject with a creative content

Entry requirements:

For 2017 entry (we will use the new UCAS tariff): 112 to 120 tariff points from 3 A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM. For more information check out our 2017 entry requirements page.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component or equivalent. For more information check out our International entry requirements page

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students. You will also benefit from regular guest lectures from industry.

Year 1

Core units

  • Introduction to Scriptwriting: The aim of this unit is to introduce the key skills and concepts for understanding and producing scripts, whilst gaining a greater understanding of narrative forms and how to communicate ideas and meaning effectively across a variety of forms.
  • Developing Arguments: Introducing you to the critical thinking and learning processes involved in studying media at academic level and beyond, the unit focuses on developing your information gathering, processing and presentation skills.
  • The Script into Production: The aim of this unit is to introduce you to the process of producing scripts. You'll develop the tools and skills to translate written work to the screen, gaining core skills that will inform your written work and build a greater awareness of the impact that scripts have on all aspects of production.
  • Discipline and Research: You'll be encouraged to deepen your knowledge and critical understanding of academic concepts and approaches related to your subject specialism and practice.
  • The Resolved Drama Script: You'll consider more advanced scriptwriting craft skills, and support and encourage a more sophisticated approach to communicating ideas and narratives. You are expected to develop your authorial voice and begin to define and contextualise your work within the wider sphere.
  • Collaborative Project: The aim of this unit is to consolidate and communicate production skills and critical learning in a collaborative media project between Digital Media, TV and Radio students.

Year 2

Core units

  • Creating Narrative Formats: Designed to develop your awareness of professional writing; this unit provides you with creative and critical scriptwriting development and a strong foundation for all script-related vocational aspirations beyond graduation.
  • Media Theory Perspectives: You'll choose two theory study options from a menu of choices to help you further your skills of applying media theory to current industry debates. Each option will focus on specific themes in media theory and wider cultural arenas.
  • Script Development and Project: Providing you with an understanding of creative and critical scriptwriting development, this unit will also develop your awareness of professional writing and give you a strong foundation for all script-related vocational aspirations beyond graduation.
  • Debates and Scholarship: This unit introduces you to the contested nature of debates and theories specific to your subject area. It also aims to help you to understand and evaluate various research methadologies and to be able to devise and articulate an appropriate research proposal.

Year 3

You'll have the option to complete a 4 week or 30 week (minimum) placement, providing you with the experience of how an organisation operates, as well as an opportunity to enhance your personal development and future employability.

Year 3/4 (final year)

Core units

  • Pitching and Development Documents: The aim of this unit is to provide a route-map for the development of final year students, from the experience gained on the work placement, to the initial pitching of ideas for a significant project.
  • Dissertation: The dissertation provides you with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate your critical, analytical and research skills by conducting a significant piece of academic work.
  • The Major Script Project: This is the most important unit of the degree, and it aims to further refine to a professional standard your creative scriptwriting development. You'll develop the ability to conceive, develop and write an original feature film, screenplay or an episode and bible of a television drama series of your own creation. You'll achieve this using appropriate script editing and rewriting skills, engage in the creative application of the script development process, properly referencing sources and ideas, and deliver work to a given length, format, brief and deadline.
  • Industry Perspectives: The aim of this unit is to provide a context and trajectory for the Graduate Project work, developing the ability to frame, support and position work to and for relevant industry stake-holders.

Scheduled learning and teaching activities

The emphasis of this course is in guided independent learning, which helps you develop into a self-motivated learner. When not attending lectures and seminars, you will be expected to read around the subject. Your typical week’s activities will include reading books and journal articles, working on group projects, preparing presentations, conducting library research and writing your assignments. The hours below give an indication of how you can expect to spend your time during each year of this course.

Year 1 – 18% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 212.5 hours
  • Independent learning: 987.5 hours

Year 2 – 12% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 142 hours
  • Independent learning: 1058 hours

Year 3/4 – 10% of your time will be spent in timetabled learning & teaching activities

  • Learning and teaching: 114 hours
  • Independent learning: 1086 hours

100% of the course is assessed by coursework

  • Year 1: 100%
  • Year 2: 100%
  • Year 3/4: 100%

Throughout the course you will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, but you will also undertake group work and written exams.

Programme Specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for BA (Hons) Scriptwriting for Film and Television.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

Placement opportunities

At BU, we recognise that placements are extremely valuable and can give you a head start when it comes to your future career; therefore we now offer every new student the opportunity to undertake a work placement as part of their course.

We will provide a great deal of help and support to ensure you achieve a rewarding and satisfying placement. What’s more, you can also choose to undertake your placement abroad, giving you the opportunity to develop yourself personally, academically, and professionally and gain skills to help you stand out in the job market.

A placement should be a highly rewarding experience for you and the employing company and we do our best to ensure that everyone involved feels that they have got the most that they can from the experience. Why not read about some of our students’ experiences?

The benefits to you as a placement student are many. You will have the chance to:

  • Put the theory learnt throughout the course into professional practice
  • Enhance your study and help you decide on subject options (where appropriate)
  • Learn a wide range of skills such as time management, problem solving and team work (all of these are important to succeed in any career)
  • Make contacts, as it is not uncommon for our students to be offered permanent positions to return to after graduating
  • Gain a real insight into how the industry operates in roles that would be almost impossible to achieve for an outsider
  • Many of our students, during their placement, are given responsibilities normally associated with graduate trainees.

Our students have previously worked for:

  • Elstree Film Design
  • Victory Television
  • Edinburgh Festival
  • Haringey Shed Company
  • Linda Seifert Management

How long is my placement?

You will begin your placement after completion of your second year of study and can choose to complete 4 weeks or a minimum 30-week placement.

Your application

Background and Experience

For BA (Hons) Scriptwriting for Film & Television, we are looking for applicants who can:

  • Demonstrate both intellectual and creative abilities
  • Show an understanding of the media industry
  • Have an appreciation of the written form and its importance in film and TV
  • Possess a strong awareness of the written word
  • Demonstrate good written and oral communication skills

Students on this course will typically have a creative background and have some written proof of their creativity. We are looking for students with creative ability, strong imagination and a clear ability to express themselves.

Selection Methods

We’ll use the UCAS applications to create a shortlist of candidates that we would like to find out more about. You can find some handy hints about filling in your UCAS form on our how to apply webpages.

We need you to have practical and applicable skills in this particular subject, we will invite the very best students to submit a short written script based on a genre selected by our course leader.

Please do not submit this with your UCAS application; we will contact the selected applicants with more information.

Our offer making process

Our offer making will typically be based on your three main graded qualifications, including any required subjects. Additional study may be valuable for breadth of study, and we will look at a range of qualifications and subjects, including the Extended Project Qualification and General Studies, although these may not be part of our offer.

If you do not meet the criteria of your original offer, we may still offer you a place. We will review your whole application and consider all academic qualifications (including those not in the offer) and the rest of the application to see if you have the academic potential to succeed on the course. If we feel the answer is yes, we will still confirm your place.

How we'll assess your application

We look at individual applications and make a tailored offer based on your potential to succeed on the course considering a range of factors, including your academic achievements, work and other experience, predicted grades, reference and personal statement, and in some cases, your performance at an interview/selection test.

If you meet one or more of our contextual data indicators for educational disadvantage (such as being in care, living in a low participation neighbourhood or in an area with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics), your offer could be between 6-20 points below the published tariff.

Unconditional Offer Scheme

Our Unconditional Offer Scheme seeks to reward exceptional applicants who are predicted to achieve top academic results. The scheme is offered to applicants on all courses who are predicted AAA at A-level/triple Distinction in BTEC Extended Diploma, or above, or equivalent, subject to any course selection measures and meeting other entry criteria (i.e. required qualifications). What’s more we’ll recognise your achievement if you meet these grades with an Academic Excellence Scholarship from £1,500 when you arrive*.

We believe that unconditional offers will reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible. Excellent grades will become a part of applicants’ CVs and are also required for BU’s scholarships. International qualifications are considered in the scheme; however applicants must satisfy the English language requirements.

*Our scholarships are subject to terms, conditions and eligibility criteria, detailed on our scholarships pages.

2017 entry requirements

The new UCAS Tariff will be used for September 2017 entry

The entry requirements for this course are 112 to 120 tariff points from 3 A-Levels, or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

UCAS have created a helpful calculator so you can calculate points to use for courses starting from September 2017 onwards.

Excluded subjects: This course does not accept General Studies.

GCSEs: This course requires a minimum of 4 GCSEs grades A* - C (or grade 4 or above in the newly reformed GCSE grading) including Maths and English or equivalent qualifications.

Numeracy and literacy: We need to be sure that you can express yourself in written English and have basic numeracy skills. We look at Level 2 of the National Qualifications Framework, which includes, but is not limited to, GCSEs, iGCSEs, Key Skills and Functional Skills Level 2. If you do not have formal qualifications to this level or have alternatives, we may still be able to consider your application – please contact the askBU Enquiry Service to find out more.

Other qualifications

We have outlined below other qualifications that we consider for this course. If you are studying a qualification that is not listed, please contact the askBU Enquiry Service – it may be that we can still consider it.

Access Course: BU welcomes Access to HE Diploma applicants. This course requires applicants to Pass the Access to HE Diploma (with 60 Credits - at least 45 at level 3, remainder at level 2 or equivalent).  Any combination of grades to meet the overall tariff is acceptable.

BTEC Qualifications

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit.
  • Diploma: This course requires a Distinction, Merit in addition to an A-Level to achieve the overall tariff.
  • 90-credit Diploma: The 90-credit Diploma will be accepted as part of your overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-Levels or equivalent qualifications.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: This course requires a Distinction in addition to two A-levels to achieve the overall tariff.

A combination of BTEC qualifications to meet the overall course tariff is also acceptable.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: We welcome applicants studying the Cambridge Pre-U Diploma or a combination of Pre-U subjects and A-levels.

European Baccalaureate: Applicants are required to achieve a minimum score of 75%.

International Baccalaureate: The IB Diploma is welcomed as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB). This course requires 30-31 points including 5 points from each of the 3 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Qualifications: Scottish Advanced Highers, Scottish Highers and other Scottish qualifications are all welcomed providing that your results meet the overall course tariff.

Welsh Baccalaureate: The Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma is welcomed alongside A-Levels or equivalent, to meet the overall course tariff.

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Qualification: The OCR Extended Diploma or a combination of one Diploma plus one Introductory Diploma is acceptable for entry to this course.

Extended Diploma: The course requires Distinction, Distinction, Merit.

Other combinations of OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical qualifications to meet the overall course tariff may be acceptable.

Extended Project Qualification: The grade achieved for the Extended Project may be taken into account when considering whether or not to accept a candidate who has marginally failed to meet the conditions of their offer.

Deferred Entry: We are happy to consider applicants for deferred entry.

International entry requirements

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

IELTS (Academic) 6.5 with minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirement for your degree then why not join our Pre-Sessional English course. Successful completion of our Pre-Sessional English course will meet your English language requirement, without the need to re-take IELTS.

Academic entry requirements

You can find details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our entry requirements for non-UK students’ page.

We offer a number of preparatory programmes through the Bournemouth University International College. These courses offer you progression from High School in your home country to a Bachelor’s degree at BU.

Options include:

Careers

With the range of media channels always growing, there are more and more opportunities for scriptwriters to see their work produced. As well as writing for the big screen and TV, there is also the option of writing for the web, or entering a related role within the screen industry.

Six months after finishing their course 70% of our students are working or in further study*. In many cases, you will enter the industry in a junior role and can look forward to good career progression, either within the film or TV industries, or with industry organisations. Among the jobs our graduates take on are:

  • Freelance scriptwriter
  • Scriptwriter
  • Script editor
  • Script reader
  • Script assessor.

This course is accredited by Creative Skillset and carries the Creative Skillset Tick. In achieving the Creative Skillset Tick this course joins the ranks of the top creative training and education this country has to offer, you can be sure that it has undergone a rigorous assessment process conducted by experts working in the creative industries. The Tick is only given to those courses that have the strongest links with industry giving you the best possible chance of a successful career.

Industries worked in

  • Film
  • TV
  • Documentary
  • Media
  • Production.

Further Study

Once you have completed an undergraduate Honours degree, you can further develop your education by studying for a postgraduate degree. Please visit our Postgraduate section for further details about our range of Master's degrees.

*All statistics shown are taken from Unistats, Destination of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE), BU institutional data and Ipsos MORI (National Student Survey) unless otherwise stated.

No hidden extras

Course specific material(s) included in your tuition fee:

  • Level C (Year 1) Collaborative Project

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide.
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsided travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the Students section of the website.

Repeat Units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies, you may be required to pay an additional fee of £1,500 per 20 credit unit. 

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.

Hear from our staff

Phil Mathews

Our graduates emerge able to write high quality film and television scripts as well as having a thorough awareness of commercial and contextual issues.

What our graduates think

Matt Denison

Networking and understanding not only how to read a script but how to communicate with writers are the two most valuable skills I learned at BU.

Additional Information

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

Find out about fees and funding, including scholarships and bursaries.

Steph Bisson

Open Days

We give a warm welcome to anyone who comes to meet us and we love showing off our campuses and Bournemouth to prospective students and their families. 

Omolola Fagbule

International students

We have a strong international student community. Find all the practical advice and information you need here.