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Screenwriting in London

It begins with a story in your imagination and ends with a draft of a full-length screenplay for a feature film.

This 16-week Advanced Screenwriting program is taught by producer and script consultant Archie Tait, a former distributor of world cinema, known for introducing the work of directors Terence Davies, Jim Jarmusch, Pedro Almodovar, Chen Kaige, Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Luc Besson and others.

Program Overview

Classes are held at the University of London’s Senate House. The first half of the semester examines the principles of creating a unique feature film script. Toward the end of the semester, you participate in readings, workshops and appraise the work you and your classmates create. 

"We got to meet the actors as classmates in our companion courses. Seeing these wonderfully talented people bring your script to life in an actual theater setting is scary and exhilarating. They'll bring something out of your script that you didn't even intend to be there and it will become even better." 
— Savannah Gatton, Screenwriting in London, Fall 2015

Core Curriculum

Your semester abroad consists of your core program course and two additional companion courses, completing a full-time, 16 unit semester.

Advanced Screenwriting (Core)

IDWPG-UT 1057 | 8 units | Instructor: Archie Tait

This course provides a stimulating and challenging examination of the principles and processes of writing for the big screen, drawing on contemporary and classical screenwriting examples from British, European and American filmmaking. The program is a re-discovery of the fundamentals of writing a film: the screenplay is not a script, but should be a descriptive representation of the original film the writer has created in their imagination. Beginning with story, and exploring its possible forms and shapes; imagining characters from the inside outwards; and then situating your characters in their story world, the course provides a toolkit to assist any writer in creating not just their first feature screenplay, but all their screenplays to follow. Topics include explorations of genre, tone, style and emotion; an introduction to writing for TV; and how (and why) the film and TV industries work. Students are encouraged to participate actively in workshop development of their own and their colleagues’ scripts. By the end of the semester, participants will have completed a first draft feature length screenplay, and have directed an extract for its public presentation in a rehearsed reading; the cast recruited from students on the Tisch Shakespeare in Performance at RADA program.

The Arts in London: A Cultural History

IOART-UT 1301 | 4 Units | Instructor: Richard Williams

This course offers a wide-ranging introduction to London’s history and contemporary developments and explores the capital through field trips to galleries, museums, and places of iconic interest. Lectures and visits by practicing artists, as well as discussions and debates, stimulate interest in a wide spectrum of the arts, including architecture, music, photography, painting, the applied arts, and aspects of performance. 

British Cinema: London on Film

IFMTV-UT 1020 | 4 Units | Instructor: Amy Sargeant

This course examines the role that the capital has played in British film from the early, silent years to today. Many directors have used the iconic status of London as either the protagonist or backdrop in films of different genres, from the silent era to World War II documentaries, from the “swinging London” of the 1960s to the social satires of the 1980s, and from gangster films to romantic comedies. The course explores the significance of this world city and its representation of Britishness. It also provides the opportunity, where possible, of exploring the real locations and venues where films were shot.

Studies in Shakespeare

ITHEA-UT 700 | 4 Units | Instructor: TBD

The focus of this course is Shakespeare’s text as performance.  The study aims to uncover clues apparent to an Elizabethan actor and consider how this might inform current theatre practice.  Each sessions is a discrete unit, each with a separate focus blending academic and theatrical in areas such as adaptation and sources, style and interpretation, structure and genre, mythology and history.  The course encourages students to develop a working knowledge of the canon and read as widely as possible.  A chance to specialise comes in the final presentation which is in the form of a production proposal based on the experience of the course.  Work is enhanced by a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon, a performance by the Royal Shakespeare Company, a visit to the Globe theatre and opportunities to view a wide range of recorded productions.

Theatre in London

ITHEA-UT 662 | 4 Units | Instructor: Ellis Jones

A selection of theatrical productions is chosen to give students a feel for the breadth and depth of London theatre during weekly theatre visits to the West End and fringe theatres. Each production is viewed and analyzed as a whole, but the many and varied elements that go into making London theatre supply a different focus each week. In addition there are occasional field trips to sites of theatrical interest with a guest speaker or two thrown into the mix each semester to discuss his/her work (from writing to directing to acting to designing), to share knowledge and expertise and to help demonstrate how high-quality parts are needed to make a high-quality whole.

Program Dates

Fall 2017

Student Arrival: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 (not earlier)
NYU Welcome and Orientation: Thursday, August 31 - Sunday, September 3, 2017
Tisch Orientation: Friday, September 1, 2017
Classes Begin: Monday, September 4, 2017
Fall Break: Friday, October 27 - Sunday, November 5, 2017 
Last Day of Classes: Monday, December 11 or Tuesday, December 12, 2017 (tentative)
Final Presentations: week of December 11th (tentative)
Student Departure: Friday, December 15, 2017

Spring 2018

Student Arrival: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 (not earlier)
Spring Break: Friday, March 30 - Sunday, April 8, 2018
Student Departure: Friday, May 18, 2018

ADMISSIONS

Prerequisites:

Dramatic Writing Majors: Screenwriting I (DWPG-UT 35)
Film/TV Majors: Two Sight and Sound courses and either Preparing the Screenplay (FMTV-UT 1019) OR Introduction to TV Writing (FMTV-UT 1017)
NYU and Visiting Students: College level experience in Screenwriting

Deadlines:

Spring 2018: The application is now closed.

For more information please view our Admissions Calendar.

Application:

Please read the following admissions information before starting your application.

Expenses

  • Academic Year 2017-2018 Full-time Tuition, 12-18 unit flat rate per term: $26,451

Additional Fees Include:

  • Nonrefundable Registration and Services Fee: $1,261
  • Theatre in London Fee: Approximately $500
  • NYU Housing: Visit the NYU London website for options and costs

Please review the Tisch Special Programs cancellation policy.

Visit the Office of Global Programs for additional study abroad costs.

SCHOLARSHIPS AND FINANCIAL AID

There are opportunities for financial assistance to study abroad.

Please review the Scholarships and Financial Aid for Study Abroad page for more information.

HOUSING

Visit the NYU London website for housing options and descriptions.