Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


This course introduces students to the concepts, skills and knowledge required for writing short scripts for the screen. The course will examine elements of dramatic, factual and documentary storytelling such as structure, theme, character and storyworlds, content and plot devices, as well as scene, action, dialogue and narration. Students will write concept documents, outlines, treatments and pitch decks to gain an understanding of the stages of script production as well as new and evolving forms and conventions of screenwriting.


Newcastle City Precinct

  • Semester 2 - 2022

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. Analyse films and other audio-visual forms of media entertainment;

4. Integrate constraints imposed by budgets and time schedules.


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

  1. Analysis and evaluation of short films, documentaries, television and media programs in terms of their approach to narrative and experimental storytelling.
  2. Script writing and editing for various genres and modes of storytelling and the role of screen writing in the production of films, documentaries, television and transmedia programs
  3. Narrative styles, techniques and layouts of the screenplay form
  4. Consideration of scripts within the constraints of 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 - Script Proposal & Initial Proof of Concept- 40%

Professional Task: Assessment 2 - The First Draft -30%

Professional Task: Assessment 3 - Final Draft & Final Proof of Concept - 30%

Contact hours

Newcastle City Precinct


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

Weeks 1-3


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 10 Weeks starting in week 2

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.