Course Overview

The MA in Screenwriting is a challenging course in writing for and about film. The programme has three core objectives: to teach the craft of writing screen narrative, to help students find their own voice as writers in a supportive environment, and to encourage the development of critical and analytical skills. Emerging graduates are equipped to engage in various areas of screen narrative, including writing for film and television, new and emerging forms of digital narrative, script development and editing, and film criticism and analysis.

Huston School of Film and Digital Media

The Huston School of Film and Digital Media was established in 2003 under the active patronage of the (John) Huston family. The School offers a dynamic approach to film and digital media training, with a strong emphasis on critical studies. As well as offering postgraduate programmes, the Huston School also hosts a range of guest seminars during the year with academics and practitioners of film. Visitors have included Gabriel Byrne, Seamus McGarvey, Lenny Abrahamson, Mark O’Halloran, James Cromwell, John Boorman, Roddy Doyle, Colin MacCabe, Laura Mulvey and Mike Figgis.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above.

Who Teaches this Course

  • Dr. Seán Crosson, M.Phil, PhD
  • Dr. Niamh Doheny, M.A., PhD
  • Dr. Mary Watson Seoighe, PhD
  • Jenny Roche, MA
  • Tony Tracy, MA

Requirements and Assessment

Students are assessed on the various modules by essay and exam. Students will also be required to complete a feature film or television drama script as their final assessment, to be submitted in early August.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

NQAI Level 8 degree or equivalent H2.2. GPA 3.0 or international qualification. IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent if applicable. Students who do not meet the Honours degree requirement but have a Level 7 (Merit 2) degree may be admitted to the PDip course, with the possibility of progressing to the MA if they receive a minimum of 60% in their coursework during the year.

Students may only apply for the MA. Those who do not meet the minimum entry requirements may be admitted with relevant professional experience via a qualifying exam, or be admitted to the PDip.

Additional Requirements


1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2016

A Level Grades ()

Average intake


Closing Date

You are advised to apply early, which may result in an early offer; see the offer round dates

Next start date

September 2016

NFQ level

Mode of study


ECTS weighting

MA—90, PG Dip—60



PAC code


Course Outline

The year is divided into two teaching semesters: September to December and January to April. During the first semester, students focus on the craft of dramatic writing and develop a feature film idea to treatment stage. This is complemented by the study of American film history and practical experience of collaborative short film-making. The second semester expands into wider areas of screen narrative, including TV and web drama, through a series of practical, immersive workshops with industry professionals. Students develop either a first draft feature film or TV drama screenplay and focus on the study of European film history. The summer period is given over to writing the final draft of a feature length screenplay or TV drama script and bible. The course is a full-time, 12-month programme, which runs from September to August of each year.

Why Choose This Course?

Career Opportunities

Many graduates have found work as writers. A number have written and directed short films and had work supported by funding bodies and broadcasters, including the Irish Film Board, Filmbase, RTE and BBC NI. Some have founded their own production companies and many work in script editing. A recent student, Will Collins, saw his feature screenplay, My Brothers, produced and screened successfully at many international film festivals. He also wrote the screenplay for Oscar-nominated Song of the Sea in 2014.

Who’s Suited to This Course

Learning Outcomes

Work Placement

Study Abroad

Related Student Organisations

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€6,015 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Tuition

€5,791 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Student levy

€224 p.a. 2015/16

Fees: Non EU

€13,250 p.a. 2015/16

M.A. EU Full time programme:  €6,015; P.Dip. EU Full time programme:  €5,965.

Postgraduate students in receipt of a SUSI grant – please note an F4 grant is where SUSI will pay €2,000 towards your tuition.  You will be liable for the remainder of the total fee.  An F5 grant is where SUSI will pay TUITION up to a maximum of €6,270.  SUSI will not cover the student levy of €224.

Postgraduate fee breakdown = tuition (EU or NON EU) + student levy as outlined above.


Find out More

Jenny Roche | Dee Quinn
T: 353 91 494 182 | +353 91 495 076
E: |

What Our Students Say


Tom Conway |    

What I found to be most helpful and rewarding, is continuous, constructive feedback of your work from talented and experienced people who have worked in the industry…The intimate and friendly settings of the Huston School made it a very comfortable, pleasurable and constructive year.

William Collins |   Currently working on animated feature, 'Song of the Sea'

For me, the Huston is a place where passion for the medium of film and storytelling is nurtured and encouraged in a warm intimate environment. Without it, I know I would not be working as a screenwriter today. There, I was handed to tools which help create a screenplay and my cinematic horizon was broadened. It also serves a more important role, it creates a community of like-minded people. They are the people sitting next to you who share your love and encourage you long after the term has ended. The Huston School is a wonderful place to study.