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Writing for Stage and Screen

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Duration 10 weekly meetings
Tutor Rachel Smith
Course code CRW23A5462B
Fee £186
Concessionary fee £148 (find out about eligibility and funding options)

50-51 Park Place
CF10 3AT

This course will introduce you to the principles of successful scriptwriting whether for stage or screen, from formulating an idea to developing strong characters.

What makes a play a play and a film a film? What is the Three Act Structure and how do we apply it to writing for both stage and screen? Why is theatre dialogue different from film dialogue and how can we become confident at writing both?

Taught in a series of seminars and lectures, you will be able to learn about the fundamental elements of dramatic writing that all scripts utilise and also the distinct requirements of each medium where they differ.

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered through ten 2-hour sessions, made up of lectures, class discussions, small group work and debates.

Class sessions will be supplemented by resources available to students via Learning Central. For online delivery, weekly workshops will be conducted live via Zoom and supported by recorded lectures.

Topics may include:

  • Dramatic Premise
  • Dramatic Structure
  • Dramatic Action and Plotting
  • Formatting
  • Character
  • Dialogue
  • Style
  • Drafting & Editing

Coursework and assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

To fulfil the assessment requirements of the course, you will complete a 10-page dramatic script and write reflectively about your own process.

Reading suggestions

Students may find the following texts useful as introductions:

  • The Art & Science of Screenwriting by Philip Parker
  • Screenplay by Sid Field
  • The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
  • The Art & Craft of Playwriting by Jeffrey Hatcher
  • The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.