Master of Screenwriting

Course MC-SCWR (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Year and Campus: 2013 - Southbank
CRICOS Code: 075501C
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 150 credit points taken over 18 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Annabelle Murphy and Ben Michael


Faculty of the VCA & MCM Student Centre
Ground Floor, Elisabeth Murdoch Building (Bldg 860)
Southbank Campus
234 St Kilda Road, Southbank, 3006

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Course Overview:

The Master of Screenwriting is an 18-month, practice based, course designed for those who have a desire to tell audience-driven stories via a visual medium. Students are introduced in Semester One of Year One to facets of screenwriting with a focus on feature and television writing. Storytelling workshops, script tutorials, the craft of writing, and a unique script development hothouse are major attributes of the course.

A substantial first draft feature screenplay, or a TV Bible plus a draft of a script, are the expected outcomes after Year One. Students in the final Semester are expected to implement the learnt skills for writing and re-writing as they head towards a third or final draft of the script. Students also learn about the screenwriting industries, concluding the course with the Business of Screenwriting.

Semester One subjects will be studied full time but students may elect to study part time for the Semester Two subject; Major Screenwriting Project, and for the final Semester subject Writing and Rewriting.


On completion of the course students will have:

• developed screenwriting skills for national and international screenwriting industries;
• become confident with writing and rewriting screenplays;
• demonstrated an ability to develop concepts and ideas into screenplays;
• qualified for employment in the film, television and allied industries;
• demonstrated developed skills in research methodology for writers;
• accomplished a high standard third or final draft of a feature length screenplay or television bible and script.

Course Structure & Available Subjects:

On completion of this course students will:

• demonstrate leadership excellence with strong global understandings;
• demonstrate an ability to overcome limitations both critically and creatively;
• understand and appreciate how screenwriting connects with a broader society and contributes to its social and economic development;
• demonstrate a flexible and innovative approach to the national and international challenges for the professional screenwriter in the 21st century;
• work at various levels, both as an individual and as a team member, in a wide variety of environments;
• exhibit strong theoretical and practical knowledge of the film, television and/or allied industries, including relevant professional, skills, discipline and ethics as they relate to these industries;
• demonstrate capacities for artistic imagination, creativity, transformation and interpretation, and
• demonstrate advanced skills in respect of critical analysis, problem solving, report writing, team work and oral and written communication.

Subject Options:

First Semester

First and second year subject structure

First year subjects are:






Second year semester 1 subjects are:



Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
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Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Entry Requirements:

1. The Selection Committee will evaluate the applicant’s ability to pursue the course successfully using the following criteria:


--- an undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification, with a GPA of 65% over the last two years of study;


--- at least five years of documented relevant work experience related to film and television, with evidence of artistic ability and achievement or practice comparable to that expected of undergraduate degree holders in relevant disciplines;


• a selection test which may include both visual and written elements; and
• a folio of past work.

2. The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for referee reports or employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

Core Participation Requirements:

Communication: Students must be able to participate in and produce performances and exhibitions as required; they will also need to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written forms. Communication with fellow students, professional and academic staff, and the wider public about their knowledge and application of practising Arts disciplines is essential.
Creative, Intellectual and Organisational Abilities: Students require the capacity for high-level creative performance or production. They are also expected to have the ability to develop problem-solving skills and to comprehend disciplinary and cross-disciplinary information. Students must have the ability to establish study plans and prioritise training objectives and outcomes.
Behavioural and Social Attributes: Students must possess behavioural and social attributes that enable them to participate in a complex learning environment. They must take full responsibility for their own participation and learning. Students also contribute to the learning of other students in collaborative environments and must therefore demonstrate a wide range of interpersonal skills which consider the needs of other students. Assessment may include the outcomes of tasks completed in collaboration with other students.
Disability: Students who have a disability which may prevent them from participating in tasks involving these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:
Adjustments can be provided to minimise the impact of a disability; however, students will need to participate in the course in an independent manner.

Further Study:

After successful completion of the first year at an appropriate level students will be eligible to apply to apply for a research Masters degree.

Graduate Attributes:

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