Master of Culture and Arts
General admission criteria, see TAMK's web sites.
The aim of the degree programme is to train scriptwriters who are able to develop film scripts that are innovative and creative but also commercially viable. The programme addresses issues of language, genre, economic viability, and artistic merit within the process of film script development and film script production.
You will develop and write short film scripts as well as two separate feature film scripts or one feature length film script and one tv-series concept.
The first semester studies take place at TAMK. You will spend part of the second semester in the UK, where you will complete a module of study at the University of Salford, in Manchester. In the third semester you will carry out an MA Film Project, which may be completed in Finland.
The studies can be completed within 1.5 years alongside work as blended learning. The extent of the programme is 90 credits, consisting of professional studies (60 cr) and master's thesis (30 cr).
In term one there are two modules: 1. Storytelling and the Moving Image: Short Film, 2. Forms and Genres in Film. The first module gives a hands-on introduction to film screenwriting. It covers theme, dramatic elements of story, ideas and originality, story and structure, character, the narrative differences between short and feature films, and the craft and technique of writing for the screen.
After initially outlining the three-act structure, the Forms and Genres module will demonstrate the importance of genre as a tool for the contemporary film screenwriter. Genre is a powerful tool that can help shape a premise and develop a story into a marketable script. We will look at popular filmic genres, examine their universal appeal and how, at their best, they draw upon the primal hopes and fears that are found in all the great screen stories.
Besides studying specific expectations within genres from historical, development and marketing viewpoints, you will be expected to develop your own marketable movie idea through practical pitching sessions.
You will complete two feature film scripts or one feature length film script and one tv-series concept during the programme. The intent is to make the feature written in term two (Storytelling and the Moving Image: The Feature Film) as part of a learning process which, along with the period of reflection and retrenchment allowed by a summer break, allows for the development of a far stronger second feature length script (MA Film Project). The goal of the module is to script, develop and then write a feature length script to at least second draft stage.
The MA Film Project involves structured and supervised development of a full-length film script text (the minimum length is 90 minutes) or completing the first feature and creating one tv-series concept. A learning agreement with the student will determine the nature of the script development process. The assessment takes the form of a portfolio of work undertaken over the script development process. The script will be at the third draft stage. Accompanying documents will include a self-analysis paper and research journal.
You will have regular one-to-one tutorials with your tutor and professional mentor at each step of the script development process. There will also be workshops at each stage of the script development process in order for you to analyse and discuss your own and other students' projects. You will be able to apply critical analysis and evaluation to the progressive development of your script text, apply effective communication strategies in working in collaboration with a professional mentor, and understand and apply standard script development criteria and methodologies.
We are working actively towards bringing this MA Film Project up to an artistic and commercial standard that will allow it to compete in the European market.
Links to the global film and TV industry provide opportunities to network with key people and to have feedback on your work; to learn the demands the industry makes on writers; to be at the cutting edge of changes and developments in the industry; and to develop mentoring relationships that may persist beyond the programme.
Besides writing for the film or television industry, you may build a career in other satellite professions such as producer, script editor, storyliner, and script consultant.
Industry links form a significant component of the programme. Besides having connections with film and TV companies, the programme has strong ties with international associations like Cilect, Geect and Nordicil. It is also actively involved in Film Festivals and events all over Europe.
After graduation you can study further to PhD level. Academic analyses of the process of scriptwriting are now acknowledged as a field of academic enquiry. Other possibilities include PhDs in the field of the television and radio industry and/or cultural history.
The language of the degree programme is English.You will be supported to work alongside your studies by using an online environment and distance education practices. A virtual learning environment is used, where supplementary material will be provided.