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Gain direct access to the London theatre industry and the opportunity to write your own full-length play. 

  • Write scripts ready for performance, including a full-length thesis play
  • Modules delivered by leading industry professionals

Why study Playwriting?

The UK theatre scene is a world leader in the creation of new plays, showcasing the most exciting voices in drama.

On the MA Playwriting degree, you will learn the building blocks of the dramatic craft and gain practical experience of the London theatre industry, through:

  • reading and analyzing the most exciting contemporary scripts
  • attending live theatre in London and meeting theatre-makers
  • visiting lectures from industry professionals in a range of roles
  • experience of theatre research and critical writing
  • the Creative Workshop (a dynamic module across two semesters) on which you will create your own full-length thesis play
  • insight into the Business of Playwriting and starting your career

Why St Mary's?

You'll learn directly from a range of artists working at both ‘fringe’ and more established institutions.

In our current academic year, guest lecturers have worked at venues like the National Theatre, The Old Vic, The Bush, Sheffield Crucible, Manchester Royal Exchange, The Lyric Hammersmith and Headlong. These included:

Students participated in behind-the-scenes visits to venues like the Orange Tree, Hampstead Theatre, and Theatre 503. They gained valuable work experience with literary departments and also conducted research at the National Theatre Archive.

You will complete the course with an invaluable grounding in how the theatre really operates, and gain a headstart in navigating your own writing career.

Drama St Mary’s offers a range Drama training programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Our courses aim to offer the very best academic and practical instruction, underpinned by a supportive university environment. The programmes are taught by an experienced team of academics and a collection of professional visiting practitioners.

London is the theatre capital of the world, allowing you to benefit from a diverse variety of theatre and art. The degree expands on our established links with London theatre venues and organisations, giving you the most relevant and up-to-date training.

Drama St Mary's also offers a Master's degree in London Theatre.

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Course lead

Dr Michelle Paull headshotDr Michelle Paull
Associate Professor in Drama

Entry requirements

2:2 Previous degree

A first degree at second-class level or above (or equivalent) is required.

Additional requirement information

Students without such qualifications may, in some circumstances, be considered for entry if they are deemed to have substantial equivalent qualifications or experience.

Candidates will also be interviewed for a place on this degree.

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any section (or equivalent).

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

Further information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Course content


  •  Core
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Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Career opportunities

Drama St Mary’s graduates have gone on to work in a range of related arts industries. Our courses prepare students to find consistent, professional work in their chosen field.

The module The Business of Playwriting aims to introduce students to a range of new writing networks as well as look closely at funding for projects, commissions, publishing and being a writer every day.

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How the degree is taught

Teaching methods

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

You will be taught in small groups or individually. Some core modules are shared with the London Theatre students where you can share practice and create small networks.

Some of the programme is delivered as lecture/seminar sessions responding to work you have seen in London and meeting theatre professionals. 

Creative Workshop is a distinct module which offers playwriting ‘puzzles’ every week, challenging you to try new things, create your best work and gain valuable advice and support.

Assessment methods

Lecture seminars are assessed through essays. The remaining modules are assessed through creative written pieces, including your final playwriting project – your very own full-length play.


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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

September 2023

  • Home: £9,300
  • International: £16,350

January 2023

  • Home: coming soon
  • International: £14,550

The tuition fees listed are for the duration of the course. Students will be charged for the modules undertaken per academic year. Module prices are calculated as a percentage of credits against the total credits and cost of the degree. Please see clause 5.15.2 of the Tuition Fee Regulations for further information.

Tuition fees are subject to an inflationary increase each year, meaning if your course runs over more than one academic year you may pay an increased fee per module for each subsequent year of study. Tuition fee increases for returning students will be capped at the higher of 5% per annum or the rate of Consumer Price Index inflation in the United Kingdom.

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.


Government-funded loans of over £11,000 are available to many Home postgraduate students.

Home and International students may also be eligible for external sources of funding. 

International Students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

For more information, please look at our postgraduate funding page.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme.

Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.

For further information about additional costs please see our additional costs webpage

Further information