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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM1890 Screen Narrative

20 creditsClass Size: 48

Module manager: Dr Tracey Mollet

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as a discovery module


The module introduces the theories behind, and the practices of, constructing narrative for moving image media, including introducing the structural variations used for different types and genres of such media.

Learning outcomes
Students will be able to:
1. Describe the conventions of screen narrative and explain how they relate to dramatic structure
2. Draw on film and television theory to analyse media text(s)
3. Using scriptwriting software, create a short script that applies narrative conventions
4. Demonstrate knowledge of industry screenwriting practices
5. Reflect critically on the experience of creative production using words and/or images

Skills outcomes
Awareness of common screenplay layout in Master Scene, in relation to industrial practices.


The module syllabus follows two key strands:-

1. The ‘theoretical’ strand refers to industrial practices, the domain of screenwriting, and observable narrative structures in cinema, TV, and new media. Indicative topics include the doxa, the screen Idea and the Screen Idea Work Group, silent film narrative, visual storytelling, conventional (Hollywood) scripting, navigational narratives, TV series and serials, factual documentary and the short film.

2. The 'practical' strand follows a formative pattern of script development over 10 weeks using common industrial script tools.

Both strands underpin the nature of the other theoretical and practically based level 1 modules.

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
Film Screenings52.0010.00
Private study hours172.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

20 hours reading/viewing for lectures
10 hours preparation for seminars
15 hours preparation for tutorial groups
110 hours independent research and writing

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress is monitored formally via formative work required (1) for the essay, as a draft submitted normally at week 5, feedback for which is provided via the tutorial groups. For the creative project (2) a draft is also required normally at a similar (though not exactly the same) juncture, and feedback provided in the same manner. The development of the creative project follows a pattern of idea development and construction of a narrative over the weeks of the module. In the tutorials students are directed towards generic criteria for written work and for practical work, in relation to issues evidenced by these drafts.

The final submissions of both pieces of work are submitted towards the end of the module, and assessed in relation to the generic criteria for (a) essay and similar work, or (b) practical work, as appropriate.

Students who appear to be failing, or are not engaging, are asked to attend an individual tutorial. Attendance is monitored formally using the standard procedure. Students may request an individual tutorial in any case.

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
Essay1 x 2,500-3,000 words50.00
Written Work1x Script 8-10 mins/2,000 - 2,500 words equivalent, plus professional brief (c.750 words)50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

If you are required to resit any component for this module, a new version must be submitted following the instructions in the resit letter

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 02/05/2019


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