Master's Programme in Film and Television - Screenwriting
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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.
Admission procedure and programme-specific requirements
Applicants for the Master’s Degree Programme in Film and Television; Screenwriting apply in the Master’s level admissions in the field of Art and Design. Student selection takes place by means of a two-stage entrance exam. During this process, some applicants are eliminated between the two stages. Selection is based on the application documents, advance assignments, work samples (portfolio), a study plan compiled by the applicant, and a CV. The second stage consists of an interview and any application-specific advance assignments and additional work samples required by the programme being applied for.
Key admission criteria for selecting Screenwriting students are an understanding of drama, visual storytelling ability, social skills, process work skills, understanding details and concepts, and a readiness to observe, recognise, and create special and important experiential concepts.
The motivation letter comprises two parts:
- Description of your views and goals
Report your particular interests in screenwriting for film and television, as well as your goals and expectations for the studies to be completed at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Describe what plans you may have for your career after graduation.
- Study plan
After familiarising yourself with the degree requirements for film and television screenwriting, write up a tentative plan of your own MA studies based on the requirements.
In addition to the two parts, you may include a description of your strengths, interests, artistic views, creative goals and other aspects relating to your work.
The maximum length of the motivation letter is 4000 characters. Motivation letter is part of the online application form.
Your CV should contain the following information: your personal details, education, screenplays you have produced (include the year of the film or TV production, whether it was a short film, TV series, play, etc., the director and the running time), screenplays currently in production, other work experience in film, any publications or articles, awards and grants, and other information relevant to the application.
Before sending the application, upload your CV as a single PDF file into the application system.
The portfolio comprises two parts:
- Previous artistic activity, max. 4 pages
In your own words describe the most relevant aspects of your previous artistic and/or professional activities in the field of screenwriting. In this part you have the chance to describe your main screenwriting works in more detail, e.g. the narrative or other objectives of the works, their content, and your experiences and perceptions of how the work was realised on film. You may include in your portfolio links to video files (on Vimeo, YouTube, etc.).
- Preliminary assignment
Submit a sample of your screenwriting work for evaluation. Select one of the two options below for your sample:
1. A screenplay for a feature-length dramatic film (90–120 min., any genre)
- Synopsis of Acts I and II, maximum length 3 pages
- Act III in screenplay format, maximum length 30 pages
2. A screenplay for a television series (long-form seasonal series)
- First production year of the series, general description of its primary characters, events and season finale, max. 4 pages.
- Series premier episode in screenplay format, max. 55 pages
Language of the application documents
Finnish, Swedish or English.