Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Writing Broadcast Radio Play Scripts
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay 2,500 words:  30%
Semester Assessment First 10 minutes of a long-form radio play with full synopsis  40%
Semester Assessment 10/15 minute collaborative playscrips to be performed and recorded in class  30%
Supplementary Assessment Resits of assignments, when necessary, will follow the same structure but will not include assessment two and will follow a different topic/creative structure. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • To conduct a close critical analysis of the extent and depth of a radio play script.
  • To understand the way in which the interaction between the audience and play is achieved through such elements as pace and rhythm.
  • To organise and realise a practical demonstration of the styalistic, methodological and representational requirements of writing radio drama.
  • To be able to use personal experience to create and embellish dramatic form while simultaneously making good use of rigorous methods of investigation and analysis of other works.
  • To create a radio playscript with more than one layer of meaning and awareness and to be aware of the different requirements of long and short form productions.


The course will involve listening to a number of radio plays and analysing their effectiveness for the medium.

Seminar Topics

  1. Finding a strong idea and identifying where it will take you at the end of a radio play
  2. Creating landscapes
  3. Finding a holding form: Structure
  4. Characterisation
  5. Language. Making Choices
  6. Having something to say. Telling a story
  7. Leaving room for the listener
  8. Adaptation
  9. Readings of student work
  10. Two tutorials

Brief description

The student will be given the specific skills to develop short form radio drama scripts. It is expected that a selection of these students will choose to develop their ideas into a long-form script in semester three of the degree scheme.


This module provides the student with the means to explore the creative process of writing for Broadcast Radio Drama. The course will explore and critique the different techniques involved specifically for writing a piece of drama for the ear

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Person to person communication and presentation skills will be actively developed in the seminars. The collaborative production of a radio play will be the most obvious example of this
Improving own Learning and Performance Students are expected to drive their own learning and to develop their own unique creative approaches
Information Technology Students will be required to make full use of the library facilities and master the computer-based script formats.
Personal Development and Career planning For those students wishing to develop the craft of radio script writing, they will be encouraged to develop their ideas onto a broader canvas of a 45 minute play in semester three of the degree scheme.
Research skills The essay and script writing assignments will reflect the student¿s ability to read widely and to listen critically to radio broadcasts. They will have to apply this knowledge to make informed decisions about their own work.
Team work This is indirectly assessed through the production of the radio play in class.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Ash, W. The Way to Write Radio Drama Elm Tree Books Primo search Crissell, A., (1986) Understanding Radio Methuen Primo search Crook, T., Radio Drama Theory and Practice Routledge Primo search Drakakis, J., (1981) British Radio Drama Cambridge University Press Primo search Gough, L., Three Plays ( Crossing the Bar, Head, Our Lady of Shadows) Seren Primo search Guielgud, V., (1981) British Radio Drama Cambridge University Press Primo search Guralnick, E.S., Sight Unseen Ohio University Primo search Horstman, R., Writing for Radio Black Primo search McWhinnie, D., (1959) The Art of Radio Drama Faber and Faber Primo search Rattigan, D., Theatre of Sound. Raio and th Dramatc Imagination Garysfort Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7