Master's Programme in Film and Television - Screenwriting
Language of instruction:
Field of study:
Goal of education
Master's students in Screenwriting develop their ability to produce high-quality and artistically significant work and are able to apply this ability in the artistic production process and related group work. Master’s students become familiar with the central theoretical questions in the field and acquire the skills needed for research activities.
The educational goal in the field of screenwriting for film and television is for graduates to be able to work professionally in the field and to research and renew the current realm of human experience, in which life is more planned, produced, and recorded in writing than ever before. The master's degree programme directs students to engage in the deeper intellectual and societal structures associated with modes of artistic expression, with special focus on the use of animation in screenwriting, during the study process, and in research.
More about the language of instruction
The language of instruction in the Master’s Programme in Film and Television, major in Screenwriting is Finnish. However, part of the courses are taught in English. The degree can be completed in English.
Students who major in Screenwriting specialise and are employed in artistic work in films (screenwriters, screenwriter directors, screenwriter producers), artistic production work in television (TV scriptwriters, script and story editors, producers, assistant producers), as developers in the game industry, entrepreneurs and social actors (production companies, television channels, institutions in the field) and as teachers (universities and universities of applied science).
The core content in the master's degree programme consists of structured project work in which the students work individually to produce a piece of art and develop their specialist expertise in dynamic multi-disciplinary groups.
As a master’s thesis, the student produces a competitive script of high artistic and production quality and the related research section, in which he/she addresses an issue in the screenwriting field that is meaningful both personally and to the screenwriting community.
The master’s student also becomes familiar with the practice, theory, and research history of screenwriting as well as with recent achievements and new applications in the field. The student is able to assess the importance and feasibility of their own screenwriting, film and television series projects, and those of fellow students. The skills needed for various duties and job descriptions are strengthened through personal projects, group work, international studies, and joint projects with other artistic practitioners and producers in the field. Minor study modules (such as Film Directing, Film and Television Producing, Film Editing or other university-level studies) allow the student to understand the comprehensive and organic nature of film and television and related fields. Seminars, variable study modules, international workshops, and educational projects help students identify their personal strengths and network in a meaningful manner.
Studies in the master's programme include departments joint courses (30 ECTS) which are obligatory. These courses deal with entrepreneurial and working life skills, analytical skills, and provide research skills.
For further details on the education content, see the study guide for the academic years 2018-2020.
Some of the studies are completed as international projects, seminars, and workshops. Student exchanges provide students with the opportunity to become familiar with the international education and operating environment on a longer-term basis. Broad-based, yearly cooperation is possible in conjunction with, for example, the Engage project (Screen Academy Scotland at Edinburgh Napier University, National Film School Ireland at IADT, Baltic Film and Media School at Tallinn University) and Screenwriting Research Network activities.
Programme-specific Admission Procedure and Evaluation Criteria
What we look for in an applicant?
We value the following skills and competences: an understanding of drama, visual storytelling ability, process work skills, group work skills, understanding details as well as the bigger picture, and a readiness to observe, recognise, and create special and important works in the field of screenwriting for film and television.
- Motivation letter
In addition to these, in the second stage the evaluation criteria also includes
- Possible additional assignments and work samples
First stage and required application documents
In the first stage of the evaluation the selection committee evaluates the applications based on the application documents. Study Option’s requirements for the application documents are listed below. Please also note requirements for the application documents presented in the general application instructions. Attach each application document to the electronic application form in PDF form.
The portfolio consists of two parts.
- Past artistic activities – max. 2 pages
The applicant describes their former artistic and/or professional activities in the field of screenwriting for film and television. In this section, the applicant may also describe in more detail their key works in the field of screenwriting, related objectives pertaining to their narrative or content, and the experiences or observations related to implementing these objectives. The applicant may also include links to video files (Vimeo, YouTube etc.) in their portfolio.
The applicant submits a screenwriting sample. They can choose one of two options:
1. Screenplay of a full length fiction film (90–120 minutes) Genre not specified.
- synopsis of the entire movie, max. 3 pages
- script sample from the beginning of the film (scene 1) / screenplay format / 25–30 pages
2. Television series screenplay
The series must have a minimum of three and a maximum of eight episodes. Length of the episodes is 25–30 minutes. Genre not specified.
- a concise synopsis of the events in the series in general, and a description of the key characters / max. 4 pages
- series pilot episode / screenplay format / 25–30 pages
In the CV, the applicant provides the following information:
- personal information
- applicant's works as a screenwriter, including student projects:
name of the piece created using the applicant's screenplay, production year, format (short film, TV series etc.), duration, director, producer, applicant's role in the author group if the work has more than one screenwriters
- possible screenplays currently in production or otherwise in progress
- other work experience in film and other non-film related work experience
- possible publications, articles, prizes and grants, other information considered relevant to the application
The motivation letter comprises two parts:
- Description of the applicant’s views and objectives
The applicant explains what their special interests are in screenwriting for film and television, and what their objectives and hopes are for the MA studies. The applicant describes their possible career plans after graduation.
- Study plan
The applicant explores the degree requirements of Screenwriting for Film and Television and creates a preliminary plan for their own MA studies.
The maximum length of the motivation letter is 4 000 characters.
Language of application documents
The application documents must be submitted in Finnish (Swedish) or English.
Part of the applicants are invited to the second stage. The invitation to the second stage is sent to the applicants at latest 7 days in advance.
The second stage consists of an interview and possible additional assignments and work samples.