ALW227 - Scriptwriting: Character, Action and Reaction

Unit details


2024 unit information

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waurn Ponds (Geelong), Online
Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Patrick West
Cohort rule:Nil

Students must have passed one level 1 unit prior to enrolling in this unit

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 per week

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

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


Students will examine the fundamentals of dramatic writing as these apply across a range of scriptwriting genres, with a focus on advanced storytelling strategies for local, national and international audiences. Scriptwriting elements covered include structure, plot, turning points, character, dialogue, scenes, setting, and subtext. Particular attention is devoted to writing film scripts. More broadly, students are encouraged to experiment in a range of genre styles, and to develop a reflective awareness of the collaborative nature of scriptwriting. Presentation of work-in-progress, intensive workshopping, and subsequent redrafting, provides training in audience awareness skills, while attention to international story-telling strategies reflects the increasing significance of international co-productions and cross-cultural audiences to contemporary scriptwriting careers. The major assessment item is either a complete short film script or the first act or third act of a longer film script. 

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

Engage in creative and critical thinking in developing dramatic works using narrative technique, character development, dialogue and subtext

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking


Apply relevant research, experience and materials from a variety of sources to create dramatic works

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities


Give and receive constructive critique that focusses on the intention of the writer, the specified audience, and the demands of the medium.

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO5: Problem solving


Utilise scriptwriting technology, research and feedback to compose, redraft, analyse and critically evaluate scripts

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO3: Digital literacy


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 - Exercise: Exploring Dialogue and Characters Through Scenes 1200 words 30% Week 5
Assessment 2 - Exercise: Plot Summary and Workshopping Reflection 800 words 20% Week 10
Assessment 3 -Exercise: Writing a Film Script 2000 words 50% Week 12

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

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link ALW227

Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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