Course Title: Critique cultural works

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2018

Course Code: OART5005C

Course Title: Critique cultural works

School: 345T Media and Communication

Campus: City Campus

Program: C6160 - Advanced Diploma of Professional Screenwriting

Course Contact: Program Administration

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4815

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Cameron Clarke

Nominal Hours: 50

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

In this course you will develop the craft skills and knowledge required to analyse, assess and offer verbal or written critiques of television drama. This will enable you to understand current trends in the television marketplace and to review contemporary screen productions for performance media.   This course addresses the following unit of competency: CUARES502 Critique cultural works


National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

CUARES502 Critique cultural works


1. Prepare to critique cultural works

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Confirm type of cultural works to be appraised in consultation with relevant personnel 1.2 Identify requirements and constraints that may influence critiques and plan accordingly 1.3 Discuss plans or preliminary ideas with relevant personnel as required 1.4 Identify and explore relevant sources of information on cultural works with respect for cultural protocols 1.5 Use formal and informal research techniques to access information 1.6 Organise research materials and findings for current and future use, with awareness of intellectual property considerations


2. Link research to cultural works

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Critically evaluate works and related information 2.2 Assess ways in which different influences are applied, adapted or challenged within cultural works 2.3 Develop substantiated positions to inform critical analysis of works 2.4 Discuss research findings with others and consider modifying opinions to integrate other perspectives


3. Present critiques

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Produce written or spoken texts on cultural works to meet organisational or publishing requirements 3.2 Take into account information about audience and purpose of critiques 3.3 Apply relevant cultural standards and conventions to critiques of cultural works 3.4 Present critiques in negotiated format and timeline 3.5 Seek feedback on quality of critiques from relevant personnel and note areas for future improvement


4. Maintain knowledge of trends related to domain of cultural works

Performance Criteria:

4.1 Identify and use opportunities to update and expand knowledge of influences on cultural works 4.2 Incorporate knowledge into cultural analysis and reporting

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will be equipped with the skills to analyse, assess and critique television drama.

Details of Learning Activities

In class: Workshops, close script readings, class exercises, industry speakers, group discussion and presentation.

Out of class: Independent project work, writing and reading assignments, independent study.

Teaching Schedule





Week 1

Week beginning

Feb 5

Course Guide and Dates for assessments.

Select TV Series and form groups for first assignment.

Examine bibles

When do we assess/review scripts?

What is meant by dramatic action? Where do the rules come from?
What is the relationship between story and dramatic action?


Story strands/subplots

Beat sheets


Week 2


Week beginning

Feb 12

What can we learn from Aristotle?

Basics story concepts: premise, dramatic question, theme, exposition

Basic story components: conflict, action, character development, characterization etc. 


Week 3


Week beginning

Feb 19

What are narrative conventions? What is genre?

Character voices and choices

Exploring conflict


Roles in script departments.


Week 4


Week beginning

Feb 26

Assessment 1 presentations

Talk about 2nd assignment


Working with house style and rules.


Script: Happy Valley, Series 1, Episode 1. Writer: Sally Wainwright

Serial TV Writing

Story plotting. Scene breakdowns.

Script: Neighbours

Developing conflict.

Assessment Task 1 due – Prepare a Series Mini-Bible

Week 5


Week beginning

Mar 5

Themes and their importance to narrative development.
What is the relationship between theme, character and story?

Feedback and criticism


Week 6


Week beginning

Mar 12

P.O.V.: How does it change things?

Preparing notes on your own work


Week 7


Week beginning

Mar 19

How do you structure a scene effectively?

Imagery, Action and Big Print. Telling story with pictures.

Positive and Negative values


Week 8


Week beginning

Mar 26

The script report and the meeting

Feedback – from synopsis to script

Thompson, Kristin Storytelling in Film and Television.





Mid-semester break: no classes Friday 30 March - Friday April 6 inclusive


Week 9


Week beginning

Apr 9

Script Reports


The audience. Who are you critiquing for? What expectations are to be met?

The elements of the critique.

Assessment Task 2 due - Script Report on a TV Drama Series Episode

Week 10


Week beginning

Apr 16

Reviewing the review

Review tools for assessing strengths and weaknesses:

• dramatic action
• character development
• plotting

• scene structure
• subtext
• imagery 


Week 11


Week beginning

Apr 23

Research and discussion

Practical exercise


Week 12


Week beginning

Apr 30

Research and discussion


Week 13


Week beginning

May 7



Assessment Task 3 - Episode Critique

Week 14

Week beginning

May 14



Assessment Task 3 - Episode Critique

Week 15


Week beginning

May 21

 No scheduled classes - marking


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

You require access to a computer and to the internet for this course.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment is ongoing throughout the course. Assessment will incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of knowledge and skills and will include participation in class exercises, oral presentations and practical writing tasks. Full assessment briefs will be provided.

Assessment Tasks

To demonstrate competency in this course you will need to complete all of the following assessment tasks to a satisfactory standard. You will receive written feedback on all assessment (refer to Canvas for assessment criteria). Submission dates for tasks fall on the day you attend class.

Assessment 1. Prepare a Series Mini-Bible
Working in groups, research a previously broadcast TV series and prepare a mini-bible which includes a synopsis of the series, brief character bios, key personnel, and a broad breakdown of series arcs and storylines. Your mini-bible may cover one or more seasons of the show. In addition to the mini-bible itself, each group will present their findings to the class. Presentations should be no more than 10 minutes in length.

Due: Week 4 (Week beginning Feb 26)

Assessment 2. Script Report on a TV Drama Series Episode

You will assess an episode of a TV series you examined in Assessment 1 and write a 1500-word Script Report for the author. The purpose of the Script Report is to identify areas in the script that need attention and to offer potential solutions which will allow the author to move to the next draft.

Due: Week 9 (Week beginning Apr 9)

Assessment 3. Episode Critique (graded)

You will review of an episode of a TV series. Episodes may be drawn from any of the series examined in class. The review will be written with the TV series audience in mind. The focus is on the script as it has been written, directed, edited and produced.

You will present your Script Report in class, and you will be assessed on your presentation. Allow 10 minutes for your presentation, and 5 minutes for discussion.

Due: Weeks 13, 14 (Weeks beginning May 7, 14: negotiated with your teacher)

Please note: this final assessment is also graded.

Assessment Matrix

Assessment Matrix
The assessment matrix demonstrates alignment of assessment tasks with the relevant Unit of Competency. These are available through the course contact in Program administration

Other Information

Please refer to the RMIT student page for extensive information about study support, assessment, extensions, appeals and a range of other matters.

Your learning experience will involve class-based teaching, discussion, demonstration and practical exercises. It is strongly advised that you attend all timetabled sessions. This will allow you to engage in the required learning activities, ensuring you the maximum opportunity to complete this course successfully.

Assessment Feedback
You will receive spoken and written feedback on all your work. Where relevant, this feedback will also include suggestions on how you can proceed to the next stage of developing your projects.

Student Progress
Monitoring academic progress is an important enabling and proactive strategy designed to assist you in achieving your learning potential.

Adjustments to Assessment (eg. applying for an extension of time):
If you are unable to complete any piece of assessment satisfactorily by the due date, you can choose to apply for an adjustment to your assessment. RMIT University offers a range of adjustments designed to support you in your studies, including an extension of time to complete the assessment.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
RMIT University has a strict policy on plagiarism and academic integrity. Please refer to the website for more information on this policy.

Credit Transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning
Credit transfer is the recognition of previously completed formal learning (an officially accredited qualification).

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is an assessment process that allows you to demonstrate competence using the skills you have gained through experience in the workplace, voluntary work, informal or formal training or other life experiences.

Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) RCC applies only if you have previously successfully demonstrated competence in a unit of competency, and now require to be reassessed to ensure that the competence is being maintained.

Please speak to your teacher if you wish to discuss applying for Credit Transfer, RPL, or RCC for the unit(s) of competency addressed in this course.


Course Overview: Access Course Overview