Study options

Master's Programme in Film and Television - Screenwriting

The aim of the Master's Degree Programme in Screenwriting for Film and Television is to strengthen the student's individual expression, skills in writing for film and the abilities required in artistic and production-related process work and group work. Master’s students become familiar with the central theoretical questions in the field and its research.
Screeningwriting

Degree:

Master of Arts (Art and Design)

Application period:

1.12.2021 – 3.1.2022

Language of instruction:

Finnish
English
Swedish

Duration:

2 years, full-time

Eligibility:

Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Art and Design

Credits:

120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)

The application period will open 1.12.2021 09:00 (UTC+2)

Applying to master’s programmes

Language of instruction

The language of instruction in the Master’s Programme in Film and Television, major in Screenwriting is Finnish (or Swedish). However, part of the courses are taught in English. The degree can be completed in English.

Study objectives

The aim of the master’s degree studies in Screenwriting for Film and Television is to strengthen the student’s artistic skills, competence and ability to build their individual expression in film narrative. The student learns to apply their skills to production-related processes and group work and becomes capable of performing long-term, independent work. Students become familiar with the entire process of film and television production, the many possible roles and tasks of screenwriters and the practices and the kinds of agreements used in the field. The master’s degree student will become familiar with the central theoretical questions of screenwriting for film and be able to conduct relevant research. The student may also choose to focus on screenwriting for film or for television.

Education content

The Master’s degree studies in Screenwriting for Film and Television consist of advanced studies in screenwriting, elective studies, and general studies in the Master’s Programme in Film and Television. Over the course of the studies, the student may choose to focus on film or television and select courses from the course catalogue to support this focus.

In the advanced studies of the major subject, the student learns screenwriting for different forms and genres of film and television. As is the practice in the field, gradual progress and feedback are integrated into the working methods of screenwriting courses, which are organised both as individual projects and group work.  Studies in the theory of screenwriting support the writing work and provide broader perspectives into the tradition and future of the field. The cornerstone of the education is to enable the development of the student’s individual expression and creative personality. The elective studies included in the student’s personal study plan are selected in a way that supports this goal. In addition to the student’s major, elective studies can also be selected from other major subjects at Aalto University or other universities. In the general studies of Film and Television, students familiarise themselves with entire field of film and television producing, and its various job descriptions and practices from both an artistic and production perspective. General studies also include theoretical studies that encourage holistic artistic reflection and that are related to creator-oriented research.

For the master’s thesis, the student prepares an artistically high-quality screenplay either as an independent project or by working as a screenwriter in a joint thesis film created by a student group in the field of film and design. The thesis work also includes a research section in which students address a topic that they find relevant both to themselves personally and to the field of screenwriting.

Further information about the contents of the programme can be found in the degree requirements for 2020–2022

Career opportunities

Most film and television screenwriters work as freelancers participating in a versatile range of film, television and audiovisual productions. Screenwriters can also apply their competence to related fields such as radio, documentary films and other media content creation.

Job titles

Film screenwriter, screenwriter director, screenwriter producer, TV scriptwriter (production company head of drama, showrunner, concept developer, head writer, episode writer, script editor, reality TV scriptwriter), various positions as a specialist in dramaturgy and funding assessment, and entrepreneur, teacher and educator.

Internationalisation

International visiting teachers, projects, seminars, workshops and festival participation are part of the curriculum of the major. Exchange studies enable students to familiarise themselves with international education and operational environments over a longer period of time.

Study-option-specific evaluation criteria

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.

Applicants meeting Aalto’s general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that has been decided in advance for each study option. Applicants without a previous degree or with a degree from another field are taken into account.

The applications to Master’s programme in Film and Television - Screenwriting will be evaluated based on the following criteria.

Phase I

Artistic and/or design practice

What is evaluated

Demonstrations of artistic work

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

 

Artistic work evaluation criteria: originality, creativity, a sense of drama and visual storytelling skills.

Taiteellisen työn arviointiperusteet: omaperäisyys, luovuus, draaman taju ja visuaalisen tarinankerronnan taidot.

Method of demonstrating competence

Portfolio

 

 

Relevance of previous studies

What is evaluated

Content and quantity in relation to the applied study-option-specific requirements

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

A degree in the field of film and television practice or a similar/relevant area

Method of demonstrating competence

Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)

 

 

Suitability

What is evaluated

Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies/communication skills

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

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.

Method of demonstrating competence

Motivation letter

 

Other areas of competence

What is evaluated

Work experience and other acquired knowledge/achievements e.g. publications, non-formal education, competitions

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Experience in the field of film and television or writing: work, publications, non-formal education and/or non-professional activities in the field – especially applicable if the previous degree is NOT in the field of film and television practice or a similar/relevant area

Method of demonstrating competence

Curriculum vitae, publications

The study option does not consider recommendation letters.

 

Phase II

Suitability

What is evaluated

Applicant’s further suitability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies/communication skills/ assessment of second phase assignments

What we look for in an applicant/Admission requirements

Motivation and the quality of artistic work in the second phase assignment

 

Method of demonstrating competence

Interview and 2nd phase assignments

 

Evaluation process

The applicants will be first evaluated based on Aalto’s general eligibility requirements. Applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies will be evaluated and ranked according to the evaluation criteria that has been decided in advance for each study option.

The selection process for applicants who meet the general eligibility criteria comprises of two phases: 

Phase I

In Phase I, the applicants are evaluated based on the following criteria

  • Artistic and/or design practice
  • Relevance of previous studies
  • Suitability/Motivation letter
  • Other areas of competence

Only the applicants who fulfill the requirements/are ranked highest in the preliminary evaluation will be invited to phase II in the selection process.

Phase II

In Phase II, the evaluation is based on the following criteria

  • Suitability/Interview and second phase assignments

Part of the applicants are invited to the second phase. The invitation to the second phase is sent to the applicants latest seven days in advance.

After the evaluation conducted in Phase II, the best applicants will be selected based on the joint evaluation from Phases I and II.

Study-option-specific documents requested

The documents requested from all applicants are listed on the Aalto University website (https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto/applying-to-masters-programmes). In addition, applicants to this study-option are requested to provide the following study-option-specific documents:

Portfolio

Applicant submits a 10-12 pages long work sample of either an entire short film screenplay or a screenplay that is part of a Television series. The screenplay can be from a short film or it can be part of a Television series that has already been executed, or the screenplay can be a sample that has not been executed yet.   

Maximum size of the file is 1.0 GB. Name the file Portfolio-lastname-firstname.pdf.

CV

In the CV, the applicant provides the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Applicant's works as a screenwriter, including student projects
  • Possible screenplays currently in production or otherwise in progress
  • Non-formal education and non-professional activities related to the field (adult education e.g. Adult Education Centre or Folk High School, Open University, other courses)
  • Possible publications, articles, prizes and grants, other information considered relevant to the application

The study option does not consider recommendation letters.

Motivation letter

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 his/her possible career plans after graduation.

The maximum length of the motivation letter is 4000 characters.

Language of application documents

The application documents must be submitted in Finnish (Swedish) or English.

The application period will open 1.12.2021 09:00 (UTC+2)

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