Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Writing Audio Drama
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  (2,500 words)  50%
Semester Assessment Radio Play treatment  (2,500 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  (2,500 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Radio Play treatment  (2,500 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. To demonstrate a critical understanding of the form and content of a radio play script

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

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

4. To create a radio play script with more than one layer of meaning and awareness.

Brief description

The Audio Drama module gives the student the opportunity to explore the imaginative world of the radio play, and to gain some experience in writing for this particular medium.
The lectures will explore the different techniques involved in writing a piece of drama and particularly what is involved in writing a piece for radio. During the lectures students will be required to carry out some writing exercises either in groups or individually. By the end of these lectures they will be expected to have an idea of what they want to write.


This 20 credit module consists of ten 2-hour weekly lecture-workshops.
Indicative content:

Week l: Introduction.
About the module. Why write radio drama? What to listen to in order to become a better writer. What a radio play is not.
The use of Imagination and how important imagination is to the Radio play.
Look at the play ‘The Gun In My Right Hand Is Loaded’. By Timothy West.

Week 2: Beginnings, and Creating a Landscape.
The ‘How and Why’ of engaging an audience at the beginning of a play.
Here we will look at finding a strong beginning for the play and a ‘Hook’.

Week 3: Structure and Pace.
What shape is the skeleton? What holds the play together and how does the shape enforce its meaning?
Writing for an audience. How pace manipulates the response and controls the engagement of the audience.
Making use of obstacles.

Week 4: Language and Leaving room for the listener.
'Mining' an image.
Dialogue and non-verbal sounds: Sound Effects, Silence and Space. Music.
Obsession as a part of writing.

Week 5: Creating Characters and Telling the story.
What is Character? How is it revealed? What brings a character to life? Analysing the techniques and ways in which different plays reveal character.

Week 6: Having something to say. The importance of narrative. The ‘and then’ principle.

Week 7: How to create a landscape for the play.
Soundscapes and possible guest lecturer.

Week 8: Making Radio.
In this session, students will write a complete (very short) radio play in groups. If possible it will be also be recorded.

Weeks 9
A session in the recording studio, undertaking group practical work on the recording of sounds.

Weeks 10
Listening to a radio play, following it with a script and group discussion.
Recap of course.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
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 This module has a strong focus on personal development and career planning, but this is not assessed.
Problem solving
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.


This module is at CQFW Level 5