Screenwriting - FILM6180

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Autumn Term 5 30 (15) Lawrence Jackson checkmark-circle
Spring Term 5 30 (15) Lawrence Jackson checkmark-circle


This module offers students an introduction to the terms, ideas and craft, involved in the creation of screenplays. Screenwriting is a unique form of writing with very different concerns from the novel, theatre and radio. Although the screenplay is a vital component of a film's success, it tends to be neglected as a separate art form.

In this module we explore the conventions of dramatic structure, new narrative forms and short film variations. Students are encouraged to think critically about screenplay writing and will have an opportunity to write their own screenplay. A selection of writing exercises have been designed to take them through the writing process; from preparation and initial concept to final draft.
The emphasis here will be on practical knowledge and support as students uncover their creative voice. This module does not aim to provide vocational training for students wishing to pursue careers in the feature film or television industries.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 33
Private study hours: 267
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods:

Screenplay (50%)
Essay (2000 words) (30%)
Research File (20%)

Reassessment methods:
Like for Like

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Aronson, Linda (2000). 21st Century Screenplay. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
Dancyger, Ken, and Cooper, Patricia (2005). Writing the Short Film. 2nd ed. Burlington, MA: Focal Press.
Horton, Andrew (1994). Writing the Character-Centered Screenplay. Berkeley: University of California Press..
McKee, Robert (1997). Story. New York: Focal Press.
Parker, Phillip (1998). The Art and Science of Screenwriting, Bristol: Intellect.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate a knowledge and critical understanding of the history of Screenwriting and understood the techniques of practical screenwriting in order to creatively develop an idea from concept to completed screenplay.
2 Demonstrate an ability to apply historical, theoretical and aesthetic approaches to a range of different examples of screenwriting of which a critical understanding will enhance their overall capacity for theoretical analysis of films.
3 Demonstrate an awareness of significant methods of enquiry and be able to evaluate their relevance to understanding the role of Screenwriting in the film-making process.
4 Demonstrate a structured understanding of the development process.
5 Demonstrate an ability to devise a short film script based on a sustained engagement with key processes, practices and theoretical insight.
6 Demonstrate the capacity to engage in productive critical reflection on the screenwriting process with other class members in group situations.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Show that they have developed skills of critical and historical analysis, together with intellectual skills of synthesis, summarisation, critical judgement and problem-solving, that will allow for the construction of original and persuasive arguments.
2 Communicate effectively, using appropriate vocabulary, ideas and arguments in written and/or oral form.
3 Use and analyse and use a range of primary and secondary texts.
4 Locate and use appropriately a range of learning and reference resources (including moving image resources) within the Templeman Library and elsewhere, including the internet.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  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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