Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Mutually Exclusive
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 A complete original play for stage (approximately 60 minutes playing time)  60%
Semester Assessment Creative Portfolio  40%
Supplementary Assessment A complete original play for stage (approximately 60 minutes playing time)  60%
Supplementary Assessment Creative Portfolio  40%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. A detailed understanding of how to effectively employ the conventions of theatrical and dramatic language, and of dramatic structure with regard to writing for the stage;

2. A developed understanding of the processes and conventions of producing and developing a script for the stage;

3. Developed skills in the independent creative application of these knowledges, processes and conventions in an extended original performance for stage.

Brief description

This module will be taught through a series of lecture/workshops and individual tutorials, which will include analysis of dramatic technique, as well as playwriting exercises and writing assignments. The focus of the module will be the development of techniques enabling students to work towards the independent creation of a piece of writing for the stage.

Students will have an opportunity to submit a summative assignment demonstrating their knowledge of the stages of a writing project as well as their knowledge of the conventions and formats of playwriting. They will also be required to develop and submit a major original piece of dramatic writing.


Course delivery:

10 x 2 hour Seminar/Workshops (5 x 2 hours semester 1 and 5 x 2 hours semester 2)
2 x 15 minute Individual Tutorials by appointment on a rotational basis

The module will explore at an advanced level, the following areas of study:

Choice and uses of differernt forms (such as monologue, dialogue);
The importance of beginnings and different possibilities;
'Mining an image', how the use of certain images can add depth and insight into the play;
Ways to use research for creative writing;
The body as image/metaphor;
Pace, what it is, how it works, why it is so important, how to control it;
The importance of space: space in the text, space in the world of the play and the performance space, imaginative space for the audience.

Tutorial time will be used to focus on the development of the script.

Session 1: Grieg, Noel (2005) 'Playwriting: A Practical Guide' London: Routledge

Session 2: Yeger, Sheila (1990) 'The Sound of One Hand Clapping' Oxford: Amber Lane

Session 3: Spencer, Stuart (2002) 'The Playwright's Guidebook' London: Faber

Session 4: McKee, Robert (1998) 'Story' London: Methuen

Session 5: Edgar, David (2009) 'How Plays Work' London: NHB

Session 6: Waters, Steve (2010) 'The Secret Life of Plays' London: NHB

Session 7: Goldman, Lisa (2012) 'The 'No Rules' Handbook for Writers' London: Oberon

Session 8: Mamet, David (2007) 'Three Uses of the Knife' London: Mathuen; Mamet, David (2010) 'Theatre' London: Faber

Session 9: May, Adrian (2011) 'Myth and Creative Writing' Harlow: Longman/Pearson

Session 10: Rabey, David Ian (2004) 'The Wye Plays' Bristol: Intellect

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication All assessed assignments require a high level of written communication. Lectures iclude segments on how to communicate effectively in these media, and the overall assessment of a piece includes assessments on how well the concept has been communicated.
Improving own Learning and Performance This is an independent creative study module and students will be expected to engage with autonomus learning processes. An assessment will be made on the basis of the work included in the creative portfolio (which will include early drafts of scripts) as to how the student's work has improved in the process of creating the final script.
Information Technology Not assessed, although it is the Department's expectation that students present their work in word processed format.
Personal Development and Career planning Career planning is not assessed. However, it will be developed through discussion of th expectations the media places on a writer, what types of appraoches to the media are construed to be professional, and what type of work is most likely to enhance the student's writing prospects.
Problem solving This element is not assessed directly. However, all scriptwriting involves problem solving: what type of character will best convey a particular theme? What plot devices will most effectively propel the story to the next plot point? The effectiveness with which the author has solved problems is evident in the quality of the finished product.
Research skills The element is not assessed directly. However most scripts involve some from of specialized knowledge that the student must research independently.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work Students will have the opportunity to access and give feedback on each other's work.


This module is at CQFW Level 6