The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


This course will introduce students to the skills and knowledge required for writing scripts for film, video, or television production. The course will examine elements of storytelling for both fiction and documentary modes, including: structure, drama, plot, characters, actions, dialogue, narration and ways to present factual content. Students will write concept documents, outlines, treatments and pitch decks to gain an understanding of the stages of script production and the forms and conventions of screenwriting.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): CMNS3170 and CMNS3180. Students who have successfully completed CMNS3170 or CMNS3180 are not eligible to enrol in CMNS2180.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Write and edit imaginative and creative scripts;

2. Apply different styles and techniques to the screenplay form;

3. Categorise and assess films and other audio-visual forms of entertainment;

4. Integrate constraints imposed by budgets and time schedules.


The focus of this course is on the conception, research and writing of dramatic and documentary scripts which are presentable to a Producer for further development.Topics will include:

  1. Analysis and evaluation of films, documentaries and television programs in terms of their narrative content and plot devices
  2. Script writing and editing for various genres and the role of screen writing in the production of films, documentaries and television programs
  3. Narrative styles, techniques and layouts of the screenplay form
  4. Planning of scripts within the constraints imposed by budgets and time schedules.


You cannot enrol in this course if you have successfully completed CMNS3170 and CMNS3180.

Assumed knowledge

CMNS1090 or equivalent understanding of production, writing and analysis.

Assessment items

Professional Task: Assessment 1 - Short Film Synopsis - 20%

Professional Task: Assessment 2 - The Treatment -20%

Professional Task: Assessment 3 - The First Draft - 30%

Professional Task: Assessment 4 - Second Draft Script - 30%

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 3 Weeks starting in week 11


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term