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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM2655 Screen Fiction

20 creditsClass Size: 35

Module manager: Dr Alison Peirse

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20


COMM1890Screen Narrative

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the narrative and aesthetic function of screen fiction in order to develop and deepen your own knowledge of how screen fiction works. This knowledge is then utilised in the development of your own, original short film script. This module builds on and develops critical thinking and creative practice established in COMM1890 Screen Narrative at L1 and prepares you for the extended COMM3805 Script Project at L3.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of narrative structures and aesthetic approaches to mainstream and short form modes of storytelling.
2. Apply that understanding in writing an original short film script (15 – 30 pages).
3. An ability to offer constructive criticism on fellow students’ work.

Learning outcomes
1. Write a short script.
2. Use scriptwriting software to write a short script.
3. To engage critically and creatively with screen fiction writing, both in theory and in practice.
4. An understanding of short form screen fiction narratives

Skills outcomes
Use of screenwriting software, e.g. CeltX, Adobe Story, Final Draft.
Formatting of script to appropriate professional standard.


Students will study the current varieties of fiction available in screen media (with a particular focus on film and television); how screen drama is developed and produced and why these forms achieve popular status with a modern audience. The weekly seminar offers opportunities for testing out script ideas, analysing and responding to short form screen texts, generative writing exercises and peer review of each other’s work.

As such, specific small group work activities will include: watching short films / TV and film extracts, analysing the structure and narrative decision making in these extracts and feeding back this analysis to the whole group; writing scenes in pairs based on story prompts; pitching story ideas to each other in small groups and offering feedback on pitches to develop the stories further; and undertaking table reads of draft scenes from each other’s scripts and offering feedback for development.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours30.00
Private study hours150.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are required to spend a great deal of time researching, planning and redrafting their own writing. In addition, they are expected to read independently and widely. This reading covers not only craft and critical approaches to scriptwriting / fiction, but original fiction and factual texts (short stories / newspapers / plays / novels / screenplays). Three hours worth of online viewing is set every week, but in addition students are expected to seek out and view screen fiction relevant to the script they are developing.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress is monitored formally in the seminar via formative work required for the development of the script. This work may include: verbal delivery of story ideas, in-class writing exercises, verbal story pitches and roundtable development work. The tutor will listen / read respond to the formative work and provide verbal feedback. This feedback will be supported by structured verbal and written feedback from peers.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Written WorkScript: 15 – 30-page / 2,700- 5,400 word short film script100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit information: Students can resit by producing a new, original script.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/06/2019


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