Skip to main content

Screenwriting - The Thirty-Minute Script


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Barbara Cox (subject to change)
  • Prerequisite: Screenwriting
  • Assessment: a script for a five-minute short silent film (0%), a 30-minute script for a single film or TV episode (75%) and an evaluation of at least 1200 words (25%)

Module description

In this module, you will learn more about the creative and technical skills of writing for film and television and your own writing practice. Topics will be illustrated with screened clips from films and TV programmes, extracts from professional scripts, and writing exercises.

We will revise the concepts and improve the skills needed to create an effective script for film or television, as well as introducing you to useful examples of existing work in film and TV drama.

Like the previous Screenwriting module, this is a practical class and you should come prepared to write. Writing exercises will again be used in class to help you get into the habit of writing and to encourage the development of specific screenwriting skills. You will also need to work on your silent film assignment and main coursework in your own time.

Indicative syllabus

  • Revision and consolidation of basic screenwriting practice: characterisation, story structure, dialogue, story setting and atmosphere.
  • Writing for a visual medium: developing and writing your silent film script, how can you apply the lessons from writing a silent film to other scripts?
  • Genre: understanding genres such as comedy, romantic comedy, horror, crime, etc.; working within the conventions of genre or trying to break new ground
  • Context: widening your awareness of existing film and TV; finding and reading published film scripts - what can they teach you? 30-minute scripts in the industry - where and how are they used?