Introduction to Screenwriting

The details
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
18 March 2022


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA PW38 Film and Creative Writing,
BA PW39 Film and Creative Writing (Including Placement Year),
BA PW88 Film and Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year),
BA PWH8 Film and Creative Writing (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

This module introduces students to some of the practical and theoretical aspects of writing for the screen. It will investigate script form and structure in feature and short films, as well as examining techniques of ideas generation and creating memorable characters and plots.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

1. To introduce students to a range of screenwriting styles and contrasting approaches used to create original work.
2. To introduce students to some of the techniques used to construct a successful screenplay and to inspire them to create original stories in a cinematic context.
3. To enable students to find their voice and create engaging, original and thought-provoking scripts.
4. To familiarise students with terminology used by screenwriters and to enable students to write a short film script.
5. To introduce students to how the film industry works from a writer’s perspective.

Module learning outcomes

After successful completion of this module, students will:

1. be competent in screenwriting
2. fluent in the critical language used by screenwriters
3. be able to distinguish a variety of critical approaches to screenwriting
4. understand how to navigate the industry as a screenwriter

Module information

Students will be expected to write their own short films, essays which reflect their understanding of screenwriting, and also participate in creative pitching and ideas development sessions. Preparation for and participation in the module will involve compulsory viewing of all the films, attendance at weekly seminars, the reading of relevant extracts, and some creative homework.

Learning and teaching methods

Anticipated teaching delivery: Weekly 2-hour seminar


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Participation    5% 
Coursework   Assignment 1 (Screenplay package and supporting materials) (REASSESSMENT ONLY)     
Coursework   Assignment 1: Pitch Document    15% 
Coursework   Assignment 2: Screenwriting Essay    30% 
Coursework   Assignment 2 (Essay - 2,500 words) (REASSESSMENT ONLY)     
Coursework   Assignment 3 (Screenplay package and supporting materials) (REASSESSMENT ONLY)     
Coursework   Online Portfolio (REASSESSMENT ONLY)     
Coursework   Assignment 3: Short Film Screenplay    50% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Mr Bevan Walsh, email:
Bevan Walsh
LiFTS General Office - email Telephone 01206 872626



External examiner

Dr Andrew Birtwistle
Canterbury Christ Church University
Reader in Film and Sound
Available via Moodle
Of 72 hours, 68 (94.4%) hours available to students:
4 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.