Writing Television Drama - ENGL9230

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Spring Term 7 30 (15) Scarlett Thomas checkmark-circle


The module will be run like a professional TV writers' room. Seminar discussions will explore groundbreaking examples of recent television and will 'break' ideas students wish to use for their own shows. Topics covered will include: how to have ideas; characterisation; organisation of research; creating a beat sheet; working with 5-act structure; using PowerPoint to create high-quality PDFs.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 280
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:
Pitch Deck (1,000 words) 30%
Pilot episode outline (4000 words) 60%
Presentation (15-20 minutes) 10%

Reassessment methods: like for like

Indicative reading

Douglas, Pamela. 2018. Writing the TV Drama Series San Francisco: Michael Weise Productions
Harris, Charles. 2016. Jaws in Space: Powerful Pitching for Film and TV Screenwriters Creative Essentials
Mamet, David. 2002. Three Uses of the Knife: On the nature and purpose of drama London: Methuen
Tierno, Michael. 2002. Aristotle's Poetics for Screenwriters New York: Hyperion
Yorke, John. 2013. Into the Woods London: Penguin
Various long-form TV dramas will form part of the reading list, including SUCCESSION (HBO) and BREAKING BAD (AMC)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Confidently present their idea for a contemporary television drama using a variety of communication methods;
2. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of how to explore contemporary themes in television drama;
3. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of how to create a pitch deck in PowerPoint and share it as a high-quality PDF;
4. Demonstrate originality by creating an outline for the pilot episode of their own television drama;
5. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the basics of the current TV industry in the UK and the US.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate advanced communicative and planning skills to present ideas clearly and confidently;
2. Demonstrate advanced skills in storytelling;
3. Use fiction to explore deep themes in contemporary society


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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