Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Writing a Radio Play: Nuts and Bolts
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 4 x 5 hour seminar sessions


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1. Essay 2500 words.  This essay will require the student to deconstruct a radio play to demonstrate a thorough understanding of how the play was constructed - its audience, genre, plotting, characterization etc.  50%
Semester Assessment 2. Radio Play Treatment 2,500 words.  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1. Essay 2500 words.  Resit of assignments, when necessary, will follow the same structure but be on a different topic/creative structure.  50%
Supplementary Assessment 2. Radio Play Treatment 2,500 words.  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1.To discuss critically the extent and depth of a radio play script.

2.To display a comprehensive understanding of the way in which the interaction between the audience and play is achieved through such elements as pace and rhythm.

3.To organise and realise in a systematic manner a practical demonstration of the stylistic, methodological and representational requirements of writing radio drama.

4.To be able to use personal experience to create and embellish dramatic form.

5.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 production.


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

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.


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

Seminar Topics will be taught across four intensive sessions of 5 hours each and include the following:
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

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not assessed or developed
Communication Written communication skills are at the heart of all the work a student does.
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
Problem solving This element is not directly assessed
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.
Subject Specific Skills Creating radio-specific ideas.
Team work Students will have the opportunity to access and give feedback on each other's work.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Ash, W. (1985) The Way to Write Radio Drama London: Elm Tree Books Primo search Beckett, S. (2009) All That Fall London: Faber and Faber Primo search Gough, Lucy (2006) By a Thread and the Raft London: Methuen Primo search Gough, Lucy (2000) Crossing the Bar, Head, Our Lady of Shadows Bridged: Seren Books Primo search Hortsman, R. (1997) Writing for Radio London: A&C Black Primo search Mamet, D. (1987) Writing in Restaurants London: Penguin Primo search Pinter, H. (1991) A Slight Ache London: Faber and Faber Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7