OnlineSession 1N/A

Unit description

Introduces students to the theory and practice of scriptwriting with introduction to the concepts of character, plot, dialogue, and script presentation. By being exposed to and analysing examples of scripts, the student will be able to select appropriate form and content as applied to radio, film, video, television, and multimedia.

Unit content

  • Introduction: finding the story; starting to write
  • The screenwriting process: logline, synopsis, character profiles, beat outline, treatment, scene breakdown and screenplay
  • Screen story fundamentals:  archetypes; theme; genre; imagery and action; conflict
  • Character:  character and journey; protagonist versus antagonist; theme; goal, stakes and jeopardy; levels of conflict; creating compelling characters; relationships
  • Framing the story:  horizontal structure - the three act paradigm; vertical structure - main plot and subplot hierarchy
  • Screen semiotics: communicating meaning, story and character through imagery
  • The scene: purpose, structure and point of view; building stories from scene sequences
  • Description, action and dialogue: writing for subtext
  • Non linear screen story
  • Adaptation
  • Writing for television
  • A screenwriter’s guide to the industry: the Australian context; development pathways; finding a producer; the development process; contracts and copyright; maintaining momentum

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • No prescribed texts.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Lecture online 1 hour (Fortnightly)
Structured online learning (Weekly)
Logline, Synopsis and Character Profiles20%
Treatment & Writer's Notes25%
First Draft & Writer's Notes40%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2019 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.