Home Courses Creative Industries BA (Hons) Screenwriting
Screenwriting class with a PowerPoint presentation on characters

Learn to write for film, TV, web, and games

UCAS LogoUCAS Logo
W810
3 years full-time
Bognor Regis Campus

Top 30

UK higher education institution

Guardian University Guide 2021

5th

for courses and lecturers

WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2020

5 star

rating for inclusiveness, teaching and facilities

QS Stars university rating (2019)

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Overview

Develop your best work and prepare to proceed into the screenwriting industry 

Our BA (Hons) Screenwriting course allows you to find your own voice, hone your creativity, and gain the skills and disciplines required for a future career in the screenwriting industry.

Examine the art and craft of screenwriting

This course teaches you the key aspects of contemporary screenwriting practice, as you develop your skills and knowledge to produce vibrant and original screenplays in line with the requirements of the industry.

You will explore structure, genre, character, and tone through project work and analysis as you shape your own style and process.

Build your portfolio of work

Throughout the course, you will learn to produce a portfolio of work that aligns your skills with your commercial and professional objectives to enhance your career prospects.

See your work come to life

Throughout your degree, you will collaborate with our BA (Hons) Digital Film Production students to help produce your work, see your ideas come to life, and enhancing your vital employability skills.

Learn from expert and industry-experienced staff

Our team of professional and experienced screenwriters are here to help you create your best work and prepare you to proceed into the screenwriting industry at a professional level.

Hear from industry professionals

We regularly welcome a wide range of industry insiders to hold talks and deliver guest lectures to provide you with a unique insight into the professional world.

You will learn to write:

  • A TV "Bible"
  • TV Drama scripts
  • Short film and feature scripts
  • Feature film treatments
  • Film pitches
  • Professional synopsis and outlines
  • Charity campaign scripts

On this course you will:

  • Gain an in-depth knowledge of writing for the screen across a variety of genres and forms.
  • Learn from our expert team of industry-experienced screenwriters.
  • Grow your confidence to share and constructively discuss you own work with peers and tutors.
  • Collaborate with Digital Film Production students to see your screenplays come to life.
  • Join a community of writers who can support and learn from each other.

Partnerships

As a part of the Department of Creative Industries you will benefit from our industry partnerships with companies including HyperX, DXRacer, Twitch, ARRI, and AVID, and be able to access to industry standard software such as Nuke, Maya and Houdini.

The Course

Deepen your writing practice and develop your screenwriting interests

Year One

In your first year, you will learn the foundations of screenwriting and film studies as you begin to examine the craft of smaller screenplays such as those for short films and audio dramas.

Year Two

Your second year allows you to begin to branch out and explore more wider areas of screenwriting, such as writing for games and TV, the psychology of screenwriting, and narrative design.

Year Three

In your third year, you will work towards you final major screenwriting project that acts a culmination of your learning throughout your degree.

You will also look to expand your knowledge of genre, form, and writing for a mass audience as you develop your employability by building your online portfolio of your creative work.

This list is indicative and subject to change.

Select a year

Adaptation

This module aims to develop practical creative skills in the transformation of stories, narrative, and plot from one medium into another through screenwriting with a focus on balancing creativity and market needs.

The module examines the process by which a screenwriter will adapt a work for television, film, or video game with the aim of preserving and successfully translating the theme and intended meaning behind the source material.

The idea that a story needs to prove marketability in an alternative market before its adaptation to film, TV or video game will be interrogated, and issues surrounding fidelity to an original work, or a lack thereof, will also be explored.

Audio Drama

This module aims to develop creative skills in audio drama scriptwriting through an exploratory approach to the methods, processes, styles, and structures.

Using traditional and contemporary platforms such as Radio and Podcasts, the module will analyse character building and dialogue, whilst understanding audio formatting.

By the end of the module, you will have created a final draft, short script that reflects essential elements of a successful audio drama.

Foundations of Screenwriting

This module explores some key concepts of story and screenwriting theory, as you focus on the cultivation of early relationships between story, character, structure & plot.

As part of this process, you will be introduced to some of the processes used in the creation of original screen-works through the development of initial story ideas.

You will also be introduced to some of the history and theory of screenwriting as you consider screenwriting as a craft, gain vital awareness of how screenwriting works in the industry, and develop transferable skills in creativity and critical analysis.

 

Introduction to Film Studies

This module will explore Hollywood films and independent US cinema as textual and cultural products. You will place these in a context that traces their aesthetic and formal development to gain a firm grounding in film studies.

Screenwriting Structure

This module explore the importance of structure during the screenwriting process. You will consider the multitude of choices when considering how to identify, control and utilise structure when writing screenplays.

Writing the Short Film

In this module, you will develop creative skills in audiovisual storytelling through an exploratory approach to the methods, processes, styles, and structures involved in the writing and pitching of short (3-7 minute) narrative films.

You will concentrate mainly on conventional, rather than avant-garde, approaches.

Global TV

This module explores the political economy of the global, national, and local television industries. You will explore aspects of global and local TV formats, transmedia marketing, distribution, consumption, audiences, and cultural and cross-cultural relevance.

Iconic Screen Characters

You will examine a range of iconic screen characters from film, television and gaming such as:

  • Batman
  • The Joker
  • Dorothy Gale
  • Ripley
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Mary Poppins
  • Super Mario
  • Dracula
  • Lara Croft
  • James Bond
  • Spider-Man
  • Harry Potter
  • Bugs Bunny
  • Superman
  • Wonder Woman.

You will consider these characters in dialogue with critical and theoretical perspectives on adaptation.

Journalism and Content

The aim of this module is to examine the nature of contemporary media, how it operates and how it differs from traditional journalism.

You will examine what constitutes effective information dissemination in the online age and the technologies involved, including how they may be manipulated.

It aims to develop transferable skills in design, online presentation, writing and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Narrative Design and Interactive Fiction

This module develops your understanding of fundamental theories, pipelines and processes pertaining to narrative design in videogames.

You will then learn to apply these theories in practical exercises that mirror the responsibilities of writers working in the contemporary games industry.

During the module, you will have the opportunity to create a piece of interactive fiction using the tools and techniques taught.

Psychology in Screenwriting

This module will principally examine the academic writings by Professor of Psychology William Indick, in his book “Psychology for Screenwriters”.

Exploring the psychology behind story and characterisation, this module will explore psychologists Freud, Jung, Erik Erikson, Alfred Adler, Rollo May and Joseph Campbell in relation to character and narrative development for screen-based content.

Writing for Games

This module examines the role of the screenwriter in the development of narrative based computer games.

You will explore the role the screenwriter plays in developing characters, dialogue and worldbuilding.

You will also be introduced to the debates around narrative vs Ludology and the tensions created between story and play.

Writing the TV Bible

This module introduces you to the process of development when creating a long form TV Drama series.

Throughout the module, you will contribute to the creation of a Drama TV “Bible”, a package of materials that is used to inform writers, producers and directors of a show’s particular production criteria. The module will give you the opportunity to explore the industrial context of such documents and how to generate story ideas for such shows. It aims to develop transferable skills in packaging and selling creative work.

Included in the Bible there will be individual episode outline documents. These will be exclusively developed by individuals within the group and will form a percentage of the overall personal final grade.

Writing the TV Script

This module aims to introduce you to the process of development when creating a long form drama script.

Taking an original idea from concept to final draft, sessions will explore structure, style, theme and character, with attention to format. Emphasis on strong dialogue will be a key element to script development, whilst the difference between story and plot will be explored.

The importance of a ‘pilot’ episode will be recognised and what elements must be included when establishing a show’s selling point. You will also discover key pitching ideas on how to promote their script.

Final Major Project: Screenwriting

This dissertation level project allows you to utilise and build on the practical skills and subject knowledge developed at levels Four and Five. It aims to give you the opportunity to work as autonomous writers, deepening and enhancing your knowledge and understanding of your chosen subject.

There is a choice of a Feature Film Script (90 pages), TV Script (50 pages) and Pitch, or a Games Pitch Package.

Industry and Pitching

This module aims to introduce you to an industry landscape of film promotion and pitching. The importance of being able to verbally sell work will be navigated and honed. You will explore what industry is currently seeking when commissioning work and how best writers can convey and sell their ideas.

Presentation skills are practiced and honed alongside a professional presentation coach or actors.

Horror

Optional

This module examines the history and development of the horror genre and explores examples from cinema, television and gaming. You will use a cross-disciplinary approach by drawing upon historical approaches and theoretical frameworks that have dominated critical responses to the genre.

Representation on Screen

Optional

This module seeks to interrogate how media representations shape the way we understand our own and others’ lives in a global age.

You will examine how the media construct marginalised and intersectional identities such as:

  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Class
  • Age
  • Disability
  • Class
  • Gender
  • Sexuality

and how popular knowledges and discourses are constructed, experienced and contested.

Global Cinema

Optional

The module investigates various film movements across the world outside of Hollywood and mainstream cinema. The course prioritises global cinema over mainstream film and, hence, art over
business and creativity over celebrity.

The module could explore specific areas of study, for example: Weimar cinema; French cinema’s golden age; Italian Neorealism and Italian cinema’s rejection of the traditional dramatic and cinematic conventions of Hollywood; Iranian New Wave since the 1960s; French New Wave/Nouvelle Vague and New German Cinema from the 1970s; to name a few.

Online Portfolio

Optional

This module aims to build on the creative work done over the past 2 years and the strategic planning undertaken in industry modules.

You will be expected to enhance your career prospects by producing an online portfolio that aligns your skills with your commercial and professional objectives.

Campaign Writing

Optional

This module aims to provide a foundation knowledge of non commercial campaign writing and give you the chance to study alternative career paths post graduation.

Exploring event and online content, the module will look at how to convey a client’s intent through narrative awareness.

The module aims to inform and instruct writers on the opportunities for screenwriters in business, looking at recruitment campaigns, social awareness campaigns and company in-house communications.

Experience

Discover facilities and research centres that support your learning

Teaching and Assessment

Feel the support of one of the most experienced teaching teams in the UK

Teaching

Teaching is delivered by academics and industry practitioners via lectures and practical workshops, peer review and peer assessment within group work.

Much of our teaching is in small groups. Within these classes, you will typically discuss good writing practice and workshop your own writing.

Our commitment to smaller class sizes allows you to feel more confident to discuss your ideas in a supportive environment. It also allows your tutors get to know you and how best to aid your development.

Assessment

Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, allowing you to clearly see your academic progress.

Your screenwriting modules will be assessed in a number of innovative and professional-relevant ways, including:

  • Script Drafting and redrafting
  • Presentations
  • Reflective essays
  • Essays on relevant practices or film studies.
  • Work shopping in groups.

Guest Speakers

Gain a direct insight into the screenwriting industry

Each year we welcome film professionals to the University to hold talks for our students as part of the ‘The Depart. Of Creative & Digital Technologies Presents…’ series.

We have had a wide range of people from different fields including directors, film producers, actors and screenwriters, most recently:

– Simon Nelson – Development Executive, BBC Writersroom.

– John Yorke – Managing Director of Company Pictures, the production company behind hit-shows such as Skins, Shameless, and Wolf Hall. Yorke is also the author of the best-selling book Into the Woods: How Stories are Told and Why We Tell Them.

 

Study Abroad

Explore the opportunity to study part of your course abroad

As a student at the University of Chichester, you can explore opportunities to study abroad during your studies as you enrich and broaden your educational experiences.

Students who have undertaken this in the past have found it to be an amazing experience to broaden their horizons, a great opportunity to meet new people, undertake further travelling and to immerse themselves within a new culture.

You will be fully supported throughout the process to help find the right destination institution for you and your course. We can take you through everything that you will need to consider, from visas to financial support, to help ensure that you can get the best out of your time studying abroad.

Careers

Open up your future career options

Our BA (Hons) Screenwriting programme is designed to provide you with the skills and determination needed to succeed within the screenwriting industry.

The skills you will develop during the course will also open up career opportunities outside of screenwriting within a variety of sectors, including:

  • Television
  • Film
  • Radio
  • Advertising
  • Teaching

Postgraduate pathways

  • MA Screen Acting
  • MA Composition for Film, TV and Games
  • PGCEs
  • Postgraduate Research (MPhil/PhD)

University of Chichester alumni who have completed a full undergraduate degree at the University will receive a 15% discount on their postgraduate fees.

Course Costs

Course Fees 2024/25

UK fee
£9,250
International fee
£15,840

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fees page.

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

To find out about any additional costs on this course, please see our Additional Costs page.

Entry Requirements

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary)

UCAS
104-112
tariff points.
A Levels
BBC - BCC
BTEC/Cambridge Technical
DMM - MMM
Access to HE Diploma
Pass
IB
28 points
IELTS
6.0 overall
with no element lower than 5.5.

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