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BA (Hons) Scriptwriting for Film & Television

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Our highly focused Scriptwriting for Film & Television degree offers training in creating the very foundation of film and television; the scripts themselves.

You’ll develop your own creative voice and writing style, while learning how to produce scripts and studying various aspects of film, television and the media as a whole. The course is accredited by Creative Skillset in recognition of the excellent preparation it offers graduates looking to enter the creative industries.

You'll be taught by highly-skilled academic staff and professional practitioners, alongside regular guest speakers from the industry, who will help you to discover the secrets of pitching and developing documents, so that when you graduate you'll know exactly how to get your scripts noticed, as well as giving you an overview of the film and TV production processes.

During the course you will work collaboratively with students on other courses, giving you opportunities to see your work made (short films, webisodes, etc.) and form creative partnerships which can lead to career opportunities.

To complement what you learn in the classroom, you’ll be required to execute a work placement of either four or 30 weeks, depending on the length of your degree. The result will be invaluable experience and a host of professional contacts, which will help you enter the workplace in a much stronger position.

After one year, a typical BU graduate in this subject, had earnings that were ranked in the first of all universities for this subject (1st out of 123). Join us on live chat now to find out more, or register to meet us at an open day.

Statistics shown are taken from Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO 2017).

Key information

Next start date:

September 2018, September 2019


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


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


Creative Skillset

Entry requirements:

For 2018 entry: 112-128 tariff points from a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent qualifications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.  For more information check out our 2018 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

  • Scriptwriting Principles: Introduces you to the key skills essential to understanding and producing scripts. It will enable you to develop a greater understanding of narrative forms and how to communicate ideas and meaning effectively across a variety of formats. You will focus on engaging in creative development processes, producing multiple drafts for a given project to demonstrate scriptwriting craft and concepts.
  • Script Editorial: Provides an awareness of professional writing approaches, and creative/critical scriptwriting development and editorial processes. You will work on solving narrative problems and apply industry practices in relation to reading, analysing and reporting on scripts to inform editorial judgement.
  • Media Scholarship: You’ll be introduced to the key scholarly and learning processes involved in studying Media in higher education and beyond. You will analyse and evaluate evidence you gather in order to develop debating and communication skills.
  • Page to Screen: You will gain an understanding of the production journey from the page to the screen. Developing basic production skills, you’ll gain a greater awareness of the impact scripts have, further enhancing your writing skills.
  • The Professional Scriptwriter: Facilitates a greater understanding and development of narrative and how to communicate ideas and meaning effectively across a variety of forms. Writers will also gain an understanding of core professional practices, including hitting specific, tight, deadlines.
  • Understanding Media: Develops skills and knowledge gained on previous units, enabling you to explore media practice; considering your own engagement with media as both consumer and producer.

Year 2

Core units

  • Developing Spec Scripts: Focusing on pre-existing television formats, this Unit introduces students to the craft skills required to contribute as a working writer to an ongoing television franchise, with its own history, story world, characters, tone and ethos. You will learn to understand and produce story concepts and outlines involving pre-existing characters and inhabiting worlds from a number of television genres.
  • Writing Spec Scripts: Building on skills learnt developing spec scripts for pre-existing television, you will specialise in a chosen genre and write a script for an ongoing television franchise, adhering to its history, story world, characters, tone and ethos.
  • Media Perspectives: You’ll choose two options from a menu of perspectives/approaches to addressing Media. From these you’ll develop a sustained, critical and evidence-informed argument in relation to practice and research findings, and how it might be applied to the field.
  • Developing Original Narratives: Focusing on creating original television shows, this Unit introduces you to craft skills essential to conceive and develop the idea, characters, story world and plot lines. You will collect and utilise research and develop an original story world and story concepts working in a writing team to develop an original television show concept.
  • Writing Original Narratives: Focusing on original television shows, you’ll gain further experience of development, pilot-plotting and writing scripts while working as part of a writing team developing and plotting a Pilot Episode of an original television show.
  • Researching Media: This Unit focuses on the critical understanding of Humanities, Social Science and Practice Led/Based research processes, methods and techniques. You will identify an aspect of Media Practice to address and frame a fitting research framework to the enquiry; this then being used to develop a sustained, critical and evidence-informed argument.

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

  • Concept and Project Development: You will develop ideas for a significant project, learning to use advanced development processes for a longer form piece of work, from initial brainstorming, through workshops, pitches and writing of key development documents, including a Treatment.
  • Dissertation: Provides you with the opportunity to develop and demonstrate your critical, analytical, research methodological and conceptual skills to address an issue or debate within your chosen practice/discipline.
  • Enquiry and Experiment: Here you will undertake a practice led or based research project. You’ll create a research ‘artefact’ and offer a critical reflection on the artefact, research act and findings, being encouraged to creatively challenge practice conventions.
  • Industry Research Project: You will critically examine and apply original research into a media industry organisation of your choice. Within this you will be responsible for applying professional, ethical and theoretical considerations to a question or issue arising from that research.
  • Career Pathways: This Unit is placed towards the end of degree programme enabling you to present and reflect on your and your peers work. You will review experiences gained on the programme and critical understanding of your field, whilst constructing a reflexive forward-facing career profile/plan.
  • Graduate Script Project: The most important Unit of the degree, and building on the previous development phase, the writer will further develop and write a longer form script work – original feature film or television drama – utilising all their writing, rewriting and editorial skills gained up to this point to deliver a piece of work to industry standards.

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

How you will be assessed

You will be assessed by coursework culminating in your final year research project, and you will also undertake group work and written exams. The assessment methods for each unit can be found on the programme profile in the programme specification for your course. As an indication, 100% of the most popular units on this course in 2016/17 were assessed by coursework.

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.

Based on your UCAS application we will then invite successful applicants to submit a short written script based on a genre selected by our course leader. You will have two weeks to submit this.

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 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

Applicants who are predicted to achieve strong academic results will be eligible for BU’s Unconditional Offer Scheme in recognition of their academic performance and potential to succeed at university. If you are selected for the scheme and commit to us as your firm choice of university, then we will match this commitment by making your offer unconditional, which will guarantee your place at BU.

You will receive a standard conditional offer based on the entry requirements for your course via UCAS Track and your offer letter – it will advise that you are eligible for the unconditional offer scheme. We will then update your offer to unconditional should you choose BU as your firm choice on UCAS Track. We believe that unconditional offers reduce pressure on applicants who will continue to strive to achieve the best grades possible, and we will reward you with an Academic Excellence scholarship of £1,000 in your first year if you achieve AAA or above at A-level or equivalent.

2018 entry requirements

We use the UCAS Tariff to show our entry requirements and will accept a combination of grades from your qualifications. You can use the UCAS calculator to see how your qualifications equate to tariff points.

The entry requirements for this course are 112-128 tariff points from a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent applications. BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM.

Excluded subjects: General Studies.

GCSEs: This course requires GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) 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 Future Students Enquiry Team – it may be that we can still consider it.

Access courses: 112 - 128 tariff points with any combination of Distinction, Merit, Pass grades.

BTEC qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points)
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.
  • BTEC National Foundation Diploma/90-credit Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.
  • BTEC National Extended Certificate/Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.

Cambridge Pre-U Diploma: 112-128 tariff points from 2 principal subjects.

Cambridge Technical qualifications:

  • Extended Diploma: This course requires Distinction, Merit, Merit (112 tariff points).
  • Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by an A-level or equivalent.
  • Subsidiary Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.
  • Introductory Diploma: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.

International Baccalaureate Diploma: 30-32 points overall including grade H5 from 2 Higher Level subjects.

Scottish Advanced Highers: 112-128 tariff points from 2 Advanced Highers.

Welsh Baccalaureate: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by A-levels or equivalent.

Extended Project Qualification: Accepted as part of the overall tariff but it must be accompanied by 2 A-levels or equivalent.

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:


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 80% 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.

Your lecturers

Our staff are actively engaged in research and professional practice in the film sector which is integrated into the teaching of this course. Find out more about some of the staff and their research activities who will be teaching on this course below.

Resh Somauroo

Resh Somauroo is currently Programme Leader of Bournemouth University’s Undergraduate Scriptwriting degree. His doctoral research focuses on transmedia storytelling, examining both cannon and reboot theory in relation to long-term narrative. Career highlights: BBC, Channel Four Television (Programme Commissioning helping oversee the development and production of over 30 programmes a year, plus responsible for his department’s drama development slate), UK Film Council (freelance Script-Editor) and LEGO (International Head of Development for LEGO’s Character & Story division, charged with the development and implementation of original stories and characters for use with LEGO play-materials, international marketing campaigns and multi-media activities, helping win numerous international awards). Resh is also an active and full-voting member of B.A.F.T.A.

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, and non-financial support whilst on placement
  • 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
  • Optional 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 (with or without attendence), 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.

Course changes

The table below indicates the latest changes to this course.

Date Changes to this course Where the change was made Previous text

After an annual review of the placement year tuition fee,  a price increase in line with current inflation, equating to 3% has been introduced.

Fees £790
17/10/2017 Changes to course units in year 1, 2 and 3. Course details Please refer to the previous programme specification for more details.

2018 entry requirements have changed to 112 - 128 tariff points including a minimum of 2 A-levels or equivalent. 

Key facts and 2018 entry requirements 

The entry requirements for this course are 112-120 tariff points from 3 A-levels or equivalent applications.  


2018 GCSE entry requirements have changed to This course requires GCSE English and Mathematics grade C (or grade 4 in the reformed GCSE grading) or equivalent qualifications. 2018 entry requirements

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.


From 2018 we will no longer be interviewing for the course, we will just be basing your application on your personal statement.

Your application

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.

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

Students in Dylans Bar

Fees and funding

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

Open Days

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. 

Purbeck House common room

International students

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