Writing for Screen

Subject CWRI20009 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2.5-hour worksop per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 102-hours across the semester, including class time.





Recommended Background Knowledge:

106-105/CWRI10001 Creative Writing: Ideas and Practice

Non Allowed Subjects:

106-244 Writing for Screen

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Elizabeth MacFarlane


Subject Overview:

In this subject students will be introduced to the history of screenwriting and the principles of the craft of writing scripts for screen. Students will read and respond to a variety of scripts written for screen. Students will also be required to write a short script, with accompanying synopsis and storyboard.This subject is highly recommended for students intending to take Advanced Screenwriting and/or Writing for Theatre in their 3rd year studies.


On completion of the subject students should have:

  • an appreciation of the screenplay as a historically, culturally and technically distinct form of writing;
  • the ability to apply the basic technical elements of screenwriting;
  • demonstrated a functional knowledge of basic screenwriting terminology;
  • developed, through workshopping and completion of assessment tasks, an understanding of the skills, concepts and history that underpin the writing of a screenplay;
  • learnt how to reconceptualise and rewrite through extensive presentation through work-in-progress during workshops;
  • demonstrated a greater facility with writing, collaboration, communication and the giving and receiving of constructive feedback.

Attendance and participation in workshops 10%, a 1000 word story outline of an existing screenplay (due mid-semester) 15%, an 800 word work-in-progress script to be workshopped in class during semester 15%, a 2000 word script for screen (due at the end of semester) 50%, a 200 word synopsis of the final script with an accompanying one-page visual storyboard of a scene from the script 10%, submitted with the final script at the end of the semester. This subject has a minimum hurdle requirement of 80% attendance and regular participation in tutorials. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • be able to apply analytic, independent and critical thinking skills to written texts;
  • be able to respond creatively to texts;
  • be able to plan and develop their written work;
  • be able to join in group discussion and activities, working to a common goal;
  • be able to work effectively with others while respecting differences.

This subject is available to Bachelor of Arts (Continuing) and Bachelor of Creative Arts students and may be credited towards a major in Creative Writing in either course.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts(Media and Communications)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Creative Writing
Creative Writing
Creative Writing
Creative Writing Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Creative Writing

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