Undergraduate prospectus

Course Information

Advanced Screenwriting

Module summary

Module code: COML1065
Level: 6
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Design
Module Coordinator(s): Valentina Signorelli


Pre and co requisites



This course aims to open up further perspectives on screenwriting to students: allowing them to explore a wide range of narrative and dramatic form and to follow their own interests and talents in their choice of genre and format. It will also give students a deeper understanding of industry institutions and practices and relevant approaches for career development

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 Consolidate and synthesise their understanding of a range of narrative and dramatic forms, genres and techniques in feature film, television and other relevant contexts.
2 Apply advanced skills in key aspects of screenwriting, such as visual storytelling, narrative structure, characterisation and dialogue, style and tone.
3 Critically appraise their own work and that of their peers, as well as of established practitioners in the field.

Indicative content

Students will review and practice a range of approaches within screenwriting: including classic Hollywood narrative, three act structure and alternative narrative structures; working with film genres, and issues of representation relating to screenwriting. They will analyse and critique the work of others in relation to these approaches, as well as their own work.
Students will also investigate the range of contexts and production structures in which visual narratives are produced, considering and evaluating the implications for screenwriters and screenwriting within these structures. They will review funding opportunities and commissioning processes within the film and television industries and consider and evaluate strategies for getting a screenplay produced.

Teaching and learning activity

Lectures will provide overviews of topics and clarification of issues and contextual background information. Seminars will mainly take the form of creative workshops structured around creative writing exercises and discussion of students' work in progress. They will also include critical reflection and discussion of reading and viewing set as part of the course.


Treatment - 10% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcomes 1 & 2.
Outline of an idea for a screenplay. 1000 words.

Script Analysis Essay - 20% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning outcome 3.
Analysis of a produced screenplay by a professional writer. 2000 words.

Screenplay - 70% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning utcomes 1 & 2.
Screenplay. 25-30 pgs.

Students are not required to pass all elements of summative assessment in order to pass the course.

Formative Assessment - Preliminary treatment drafts submitted for workshops and tutorial feedback.