ALW103 - Scriptwriting Fundamentals

Unit details


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 2: Burwood (Melbourne), Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: Donna McRae
Cohort rule:Nil


Incompatible with: ALWM103
Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150-hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

This will include educator guided online learning activities within the unit site.

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - on-campus unit enrolment:

1 x 2-hour seminar or equivalent per week

Educator-facilitated (scheduled) learning activities - online unit enrolment:

Online independent and collaborative activities, including 1 x 2-hour seminar per week or equivalent


This unit introduces students to the fundamentals of scriptwriting with a focus on developing practical skills and knowledge for a contemporary context. Scriptwriting elements covered include writing on country, writing from the self, adaptation, verbatim, character, action, story and structure. Students will learn how these elements may be used to maximum creative advantage within divergent scriptwriting forms. Understanding the fundamentals to script writing will give the student a grounding in all forms of performance writing, including for theatre, film, series, gaming, and performance art. The unit encourages writers to embrace a flexible definition of scripts in relationship to their wide application in the industry. The unit's focus is very much on understanding and developing practical skills, then applying them in practice. Intensive workshopping ensures the acquisition of the collaborative and audience awareness skills essential to allow students to undertake scriptwriting roles of the future.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Apply fundamental elements of scriptwriting to produce scripts in different forms for a contemporary context

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO4: Critical thinking


Use scriptwriting software effectively

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO3: Digital literacy

GLO4: Critical thinking


Collaborate positively with other writers on scriptwriting projects

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO7: Teamwork


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Story in action - Action in Adaptation. Students will adapt an existing scene in contemporary language to a specific setting. Students must include a title page with a 2 line synopsis that has been contextualised from material supplied. 800 words or equivalent 20% Week 4
Assessment 2 - Action in dialogue - Writing Character. Students will write an original brief scene between two fictional characters. 800 words or equivalent 20% Week 6
Assessment 3 - Workshopping participation 800 words or equivalent 20% Week 9 - 11
Assessment 4 - Individual Script. Students will complete a first draft in A4 formet and correctly formatted pages of a short film (max 7 pages), a short pilot suited for online delivery (max 7 pages), or play (max 5 pages). (if choosing a play it can be an entire script or a portion of a longer work). Students must include a title page with 2 line synopsis and indicated genre, format, live action or animation. 1600 words or equivalent 40% Week 11

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

There is no prescribed text. Unit materials are provided via the unit site. This includes unit topic readings and references to further information.

Unit Fee Information

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