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BA (Hons) Screenwriting

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Institution C58

UCAS W810

3 Years Full Time

Entry Requirements and Fees

2020/21 UK fee: £9,250

2020/21 International fee: £13,500

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

Typical Offers (individual offers may vary):

Tariff points: 104 - 112

A Levels: BBC - BCC

BTEC: DMM - MMM

International Baccalaureate: 28 points

Access to HE Diploma: Pass with at least 15 credits worth of level 3 units at Merit 

IELTS 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5

Course content

Our students will explore a variety of screenwriting platforms in Film, TV, Web and Games.

This degree aims to provide you with all the skills and disciplines required and expected in industry. However, the degree is also an opportunity for you to find your own voice and hone your creativity. Our priority on this degree is to maximise the potential of each student’s writing so they achieve their best work and are ready to engage in industry at a professional level.

You will build a portfolio of work including; a TV Bible and TV Drama script, two short film scripts, a feature film treatment, film pitches, synopsis and outlines, a charity campaign script and a final dissertation short feature script. However, within the department there is an online Script Bank where you can also submit your script. This is done to encourage collaboration with Digital Film Production students outside indicative modules and take your work into production.

Taught by Industry professionals, with guest lecturers and visitors, the degree offers students continual opportunity to engage with current figures in the field of writing.

John Yorke (Author; Into the Woods) has provided a Master Classes on Five Act Structure.

At all levels students learn through analytical screenings, workshops and one to one tutorials. There’s a great deal of writing, so drafting and re drafting supported by the skills gained through theoretical learning is ongoing. Pitching is important, we need to sell our work, so there is opportunity to present written and verbal pitches during the degree.

On completion of this degree we are confident that you will have the ability to understand the disciplines and requirements industry would expect from a screenwriter. You should gain an appreciation of the pragmatism and determination a writer needs to sustain a writing career. You will gain an understanding of time keeping and the importance of sticking to a deadline and the confidence to talk about your work with the flexibility to develop it with other individuals.

This degree wants to allow you to showcase your best stories, but doing that in script form needs skill and determination. We aim to provide you with the ability and opportunity to succeed in these aspects and get your ideas on screen!

Our facilities

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

Tech Park Exterior

The department of Creative and Digital Technologies occupies the new Tech Park on the Bognor Regis Campus, which is where you will be taught. This exciting investment gives students access to professional industry standard facilities and hands on practical learning. 

The Tech Park facilites include:

A 300sqm film production studio and sound stage:

Film Studio

9 post production edit suites with‘soho’ standard dubbing:

Editing suite

An 80sqm green screen studio for motion capture and chroma work:

Green Screen

Professional recording studios with Mac and PC suites:

Recording Studio

The Tech Park is situated on our Bognor Regis campus, with our award-winning ‘Learning Resource Centre’ (LRC) at the heart of the campus, which hosts a modern library service with areas for quiet and silent study.

LRC Exterior

Also situated in the LRC is the ‘Support and Information Zone’ (SIZ), Costa Coffee and over 80 open access workstations. An equipment loan centre offers laptops, tablets and other electronic devices for short and long-term loans. 

Where this can take you

Postgraduate Pathways

Alumni receive a 15% discount on postgraduate courses at Chichester

Postgraduate study options available at Chichester include PGCE and Masters.

  • MA Film Production
  • MA Screen Acting
  • PGCE Primary

Indicative modules

LEVEL 4

Semester 1

Foundations of Story

The aims of this module are to introduce students to some of the processes used in creating original screen-works through character design and ideas development. The module will also explore some of the key concepts of story and screenwriting theory, and focuses on the relationships between story, character, structure & plot. It aims to develop transferable skills in creativity and critical analysis.

New TV

This course assesses the recent changes in television culture and engages with key theoretical debates in the field of critical media research. Students will develop their understanding of television genres, audiences and transmedia interactions. Key themes are examined in critical, theoretical and analytical depth. It aims to develop transferable skills in writing, debating and presenting.

Practice Tool kit

This module is designed to provide a foundation ‘toolkit’ of practical skills to aid understanding of current creative media industries. Students will be introduced to a range of technical and procedural skills including audio, video, photography, web and digital design. These skills will develop their understanding of the processes involved in the manufacture and delivery of audio-visual presentations within the creative industries. It aims to develop transferable skills in information technology.

Theory Toolkit  

This module aims to support students in their transition into higher education. It aims to develop student understanding of some of the key concepts, issues, critical perspectives and methodologies that constitute our approach to learning, studying and teaching media. It aims to develop transferable skills in research and analysis.

Semester 2        

History & Theory of the Screenplay    

This module will introduce students to the history and theory of screenwriting and give students the knowledge that will strengthen their grounding for further study of screenwriting as a craft, and give them the vital awareness of how screenwriting works in the real world. The module will explore the beginnings of screenwriting as a blueprint for film, and its evolution as a craft over the years through to the present day and beyond. The module aims to develop a critical awareness of screenwriting as both creative endeavour and functional blueprint, and gain knowledge of how screenwriting has evolved, thus giving students a wholesome awareness of the industry into which they will study further in later modules.     

Screenwriting Structure

Students will be presented with a range of structural models to consider when creating a screenplay for film and television. This will range form traditional concepts such as 3 Act Structure and Hero’s Journey through to more contemporary approaches such as 22 Step Structure and the Five Sequence Approach. Students will also examine how Form, such as commercial TV Drama, SitCom & Advertising, can influence the structural choices writers have to make

Hollywood Film

This module aims to both explore and to problematise Hollywood films as textual and as cultural products, and place these products in a context which traces their aesthetic and formal development. This approach is designed to provide students with a firm grounding in film studies.

Journalism  

This module develops a critical understanding of the contemporary global, national and local work of journalists in different areas, from hard news journalism to niche interest writing and online presentation. The module considers different forms of writing style, such as reviewing or feature-writing, across a range of different media technologies. It provides a basic guide to the narrative structure of writing for news stories, magazines and on-line contexts, including blogs, podcasts and YouTube channels. Further issues explored are the shifting status of journalism as a form of employment, and a consideration of the legal and ethical issues of being a professional journalist.

 

LEVEL 5

Semester 1        

Writing the Short Film

This module aims to develop creative skills in audio visual storytelling through an exploratory approach to the methods, processes, styles and structures involved in the writing of a short (6-7 minute) narrative film. It will concentrate mainly on conventional, rather than avant-garde, approaches. It aims to develop transferable skills in pitching.

Psychology in Screenwriting  

This module will examine the academic writings by Professor of Psychology William Indick, in his book “Psychology for Screenwriters”. Exploring the psychology behind plot and characters, 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 TV Drama (30 credits across 2 semesters)

The module aims to introduce students to the process of development when creating a long form TV Drama series or serial. Throughout the module students 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 students the opportunity to explore the industrial context of such documents and how to generate story ideas and scripts for such shows. It aims to develop transferable skills in packaging and selling creative work.

British Film

This module aims to develop student’s knowledge and understanding of British cinema. It examines a range of perspectives on the subject which build to form a comprehensive picture of a national industry.

OR

Factual Interview Techniques    

This module aims to explore the importance of the recorded interview in film and TV research and practice. Students will engage with a range of recorded interview techniques and styles as employed by researchers, documentarians and journalists. As such, the focus of the module is on ‘factual’ stories and those who can reveal them. Students will also examine the role ethics play in the development and presentation of filmed interviews.  

Semester 2        

Writing the Feature Film 

The module aims to introduce students to the process of research and development when creating a Feature Film concept for cinema release. Throughout the module students will explore the opportunities available to UK based writers when developing feature films ideas. The constraints and issues faced by screenwriters in this highly competitive market, and the need to be imaginative, original and distinctive in their work will also be a constant theme. The module will give students the opportunity to explore the industrial context of development and how to generate cinematic treatments for commercial exploitation. It aims to develop transferable skills in packaging and selling creative work.

Writing for Games 

This module examines the role of the screenwriter in the development of narrative based computer games. Students will explore the role the screenwriter plays in developing characters, dialogue and worldbuilding. Students will also be introduced to the debates around narrative vs Ludology and the tensions created between story and play.   

Writing TV Drama (30 credits across 2 semesters)

The module aims to introduce students to the process of development when creating a long form TV Drama series or serial. Throughout the module students 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 students the opportunity to explore the industrial context of such documents and how to generate story ideas and scripts for such shows. It aims to develop transferable skills in packaging and selling creative work.

War Films

This module examines the historical, aesthetic, and thematic development of war films. It explores examples from contemporary American cinema, focusing primarily on WW II and the Vietnam War, and places these examples in the relevant historical context. The module will follow a thematic approach, exploring some of the major topics in war films while dealing with some of the core (theoretical) issues of representing war on screen. It takes a cross-disciplinary approach by drawing upon media and cultural studies, historical approaches and questions around cultural memory.

OR

Comedy   

This module provides students with a lively mix of content that explores the historical and critical elements of comedy while also providing a learning environment where students can integrate some of the basic skills of creating a short performance with a particular emphasis on stand-up comedy.

Completion of 240 credits by the end of Level 5

 

LEVEL 6

Semester 1        

Personal Study (Screenwriting)

This dissertation level project allows students to build on the practical skills and subject knowledge developed at Level Five. It gives students the opportunity to work as autonomous writers, deepening and enhancing knowledge and understanding of their chosen subject. Crucially, students are expected to work professionally to produce a script with high standards of content, presentation, and development. It aims to develop transferable skills in identifying commercial opportunities for creative practitioners.

Industry Engagement & Film Festivals

This module offers students the opportunity to learn about the dynamic and rapidly changing ways in which films are consumed in the public arena. Festivals are a key element of the filmmaking market place, where films are sold by independent producers and bought by distributors. But they also offer audiences the opportunity to experience a rich variety of cinema, such as animation, shorts and documentaries. This module will encourage students to engage with the world of the film festival, the industry networking opportunities they offer and apply analysis to both audio-visual content and Festival management.

American TV Dramas

The module examines contemporary American television drama, focusing primarily (though not exclusively) on HBO as a network with a distinct visual, thematic and narrative style that clearly demonstrates noteworthy developments within the television industry. The module will consider HBO and other series in relation to a variety of issues, such as a serial television, developments in television production, and shifts in reception. The module aims to critically examine and analyse the aesthetic and ideological content of some of these texts, focusing on a selection of series.

Horror

This module examines the history and development of the horror genre and explores examples from contemporary American cinema and beyond. It takes a cross-disciplinary approach by drawing upon film studies, historical approaches, and theoretical frameworks that have dominated critical responses to the genre, such as psychoanalysis. It aims to develop transferable skills in reflection on the learning process.

Semester 2

Campaign Writing

This module aims to provide a foundation knowledge of non commercial campaign writing and give students 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.

Creative Portfolio

This Level Six module aims to build on the creative work done by students over the past 2 years and the strategic planning undertaken in Industry modules. Students will be expected to enhance their career prospects by producing creative artefacts that align their skills with their commercial and professional objectives. It aims to develop transferable skills in balancing creative and strategic career objectives.

OR

Shocking Text     

This module examines transgressive, controversial and subversive media texts from film, television, computer gaming and print media. It explores a variety of extreme texts in relation to the regulation of shock and disgust, taste and decency, censorship, transgression, and the impact of sex and violence in the media. It aims to develop transferable skills in effective group work.

Individual Project    

This module enables students to plan and execute an individual project over two semesters. It allows students to build on knowledge developed at Levels 4 and 5 and gives students the opportunity to work on a research project independently to pursue specialist interests and enhance their knowledge of media-sport relations.

Completion of 360 credits by the end of Level 6

 

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

International English Studies

Teaching and assessment

Assessment for Screenwriting is delivered in a formative (ongoing) and summative (final submission).

This can include;

  • Script Drafting and redrafting
  • Presentations
  • Reflective essays
  • Essays on relevant practices or film studies.
  • Work shopping in groups.
  • Exam (Horror Module only, should you chose this module)

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

As a student within a community of undergraduates, you will develop your teamwork skills, study trends in contemporary media cultures, and have the opportunity to work within a vibrant cultural hub of actors, dancers, filmmakers, composers, orchestras and choreographers.

You will enhance your fit-for-industry business skills, helping you to find your place in one of the most exciting and diverse professions.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs

Dept of Screenwriting presents...

Each year we welcome film professionals to the University to hold talks for our students. We have had a wide range of people from different fields including directors, film producers, actors and screenwriters. The talks are welcome to all Creative and Digital Technologies students and are completely free. Here are the most recent professionals we've had the opportunity to hear from: