Course Title: Advanced Scriptwriting

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced Scriptwriting

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


345H Media and Communication


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014

Course Coordinator: Dr Craig Batty

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2456

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

You should have satisfactorily completed the prerequisite course COMM2389 Telling Stories before you commence this course. You should also undertake COMM2397 Anatomy of a Screenplay at the same time as this course as it contains areas of knowledge and skills which are implemented together in practice. These are co-requisite courses. Note it is a condition of enrolment at RMIT that you accept responsibility for ensuring that you have completed the pre-requisite and agree to concurrently enrol in the co-requisite course before enrolling in a course.

Course Description

This course builds on techniques and skills being developed in COMM2397 Anatomy of a Screenplay that may apply to a range of script projects including short films, feature, and TV. You will develop skills and techniques through writing practice, including writing dialogue and building structure and characterisation, and acquire an understanding of visual language. This course gives you screenwriting fundamentals which will be extended in COMM2401 Screenplay Studio in semester 2. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

In this course you will develop the following program capabilities:
-    creative writing skills
-    critical analysis
-    an understanding of screenwriting structure and forms, and
-    an increased knowledge of screenwriting culture.

Upon successful completion of this course you will be able to:
-    implement technical proficiency and skills in screenplay form, including genre, structure, characterisation and visual language
-    explore techniques for generating story ideas and select one or two concepts which may be the centre of your creative focus
-    develop proficiency in your ability to critically and creatively assess yours and others’ writing
-    execute appropriate strategies for best practice.

Overview of Learning Activities

Through a series of screenings, tutorials, workshops and possible guest lectures, you will explore creative writing for the screen by analysing existing scripts and films and undertaking writing exercises to develop your own ideas. You will have the opportunity to test your ideas in a group and class setting and will receive lecturer and peer feedback. Through a series of tutorials and workshops, you will develop your scriptwriting skills, your ability to identify screenwriting structures and forms, and technical skill with writing. You will learn techniques for generating story ideas of your own in order to develop original scripts.

Overview of Learning Resources

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. You will view some films and be required to read film scripts to further your understanding of screenwriting. You will be expected to read different practitioners and studies of scriptwriting in order to develop a sense of the field and the various approaches to the craft. In addition, you will be directed towards web-based resources that will give you a greater understanding of the field. This reading and viewing will provide you with an introduction to theories of scriptwriting and provide you with grounding in key concepts, terminology and forms.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities. Assessment in this course aims to test your abilities in creative thinking, your ability to develop ideas and engage critically with them, your capacity to successfully execute an idea, and skill in narrative structure and understanding of related scriptwriting documents. Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program director or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures.