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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 08/03/2022 11:27:48

Title of Module: Writing Serial Television Drama

Code: BROA09001 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Module Co-ordinator:John  Quinn

Summary of Module

Writing Serial Television Drama guides students through the theoretical, ethical and practical processes of devising, and developing a long running series for television.

In asynchronous online support of the above, the teaching and learning includes continuing collaborative development, analyses of the creative writing practices and processes underpinning the production of a number of contemporary continuing television dramas and the utilisation of repository based support materials and learning activities.

As a part of the module, each learner creates and disseminates ‘Bible’ for a new and original television series, including Character Outlines, Backstories and Arcs, Series Arcs, Story Arcs, and Springboards for a second series. 


  • Narrative structuring

  • Character Development

  • Story discourse and voice

  • Appreciation and Criticism of television theme, tone and genre

  • Narrative shaping

  • Creative pitching skills

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:


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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of screenwriting practice (KU).

L2. Conceive and develop continuing television narrative. (Applied).

L3. Undertake ongoing analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues related to the development of a continuing television narrative (Cognitive).

L4. Present or convey information, formally and informally to peer and professional audiences (communication).

L5. Manage complex ethical and professional issues in accordance with current professional and/or ethical codes or practices (Autonomy).

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

Demonstrate and/or work with: An understanding of the scope and defining features of continuing television narrative development, and an integrated knowledge of its main areas and boundaries.

A critical understanding of a range of the principles, principal theories, concepts and terminology of continuing television narrative development.

Knowledge of one or more specialisms that is informed by forefront developments of continuing television narrative.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Apply knowledge, skills and understanding:
In using a range of the principal professional skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with continuing television narrative development.

In using a few skills, techniques, practices and/or materials that are specialised and/or advanced in relation to continuing television narrative development.

In practising routine methods of enquiry and/or research.

To practise in a range of professional level contexts that include a degree of unpredictability related to continuing television narrative development.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues in relation to continuing television narrative development.

Identify and analyse routine professional problems and issues within the proposed narrative form.

Draw on a range of sources in making judgements.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Use a wide range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills in support of established practices when undertaking continuing television narrative development, for example:

Present or convey, formally and informally, information on continuing television narrative development panel of industry professionals.

Use a range of ICT applications to support and enhance work.

Interpret, use and evaluate graphical data to convey narrative concepts.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Exercise autonomy and initiative in some activities at a professional level in practice or in developing continuing television narratives.

Exercise managerial responsibility for the work of others and for a range of resources.

Practise in ways that show awareness of own and others’ roles and responsibilities.

Work, under guidance, with specialist practitioners.

Seek guidance where appropriate, manage ethical and professional issues in accordance with current professional and/or ethical codes or practices.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Introduction to Script Writing
Other:Or equivalent
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module will be delivered in three blocks. The first block will focus on the conception, development and pitching of original continuing television drama within a creative industry context. The second block will focus on the refinement of original continuing television drama in relation to editorial/commissioning feedback and the development and dissemination of ‘Series Bible’ story lining mechanisms. The third block will focus on story lining and disseminating individual continuing television drama episodes from brief.
Each block will involve face-to-face on campus seminars and further asynchronous learning activity (online and negotiated peer led face-to-face). Typical sessions include:
1. An in-class workshop requiring group discussion/inquiry based activities.
2. An asynchronous evaluation/development tasks hosted via the Moodle VLE.
3. Asynchronous accessing/development of support materials hosted on the Moodle VLE.
4. Independent creative writing activity.
Face-to-face contact will take place through weekly seminars/workshops. Seminars/workshops will examine the key theories, processes and practices central to writing for television from a range of (inter)disciplinary and international perspectives. Seminars will be learner led, with students working with peers to conceive, draft and revise original continuing television drama, while engaging in on-going critical evaluation of their work and the works of others.
The module will involve significant asynchronous digital learning and peer assessment activities through the VLE. This module will utilise the VLE as a vehicle for the facilitation of collaboration, the sharing and analysis of content and as a repository for support materials. A central element of the module, and a central underpinning of the teaching and learning processes, will be the development of student understanding, and engagement with, peer editorial processes and practices standard in the wider creative and cultural industries. The module supports the acquisition and development of graduate attributes and employability, lifelong learning and citizenship competencies by:
Exposing students to ‘authentic’ industry feedback from a range of industry professionals, demonstrating assessment-employability relationships explicit to the requirements of (portfolio) writing/editing careers in the creative and cultural industries.
Grounding learners in the complexities of national and international television commissioning, though the appropriation, and development of, creative discourses, competencies, practices, software and protocols.
Enabling students to work with peers in order to negotiate skills and personal attribute mapping, while demonstrating an awareness of creative and cultural diversity, protocol and collegiate sensitivity;
Engendering the primacy of professional self-reflection and evaluation skills, demonstrated through the iterative creative writing and conceptualisation practices aligned to individual career trajectories.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery16
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity3
Asynchronous Class Activity17
Independent Study164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Meyers, L. (2010) Inside the TV Writer’s Room, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

Moritz C. (2001) Scriptwriting For The Screen. Routledge London.

Rabiger, M (2016) Developing story ideas: the power and purpose and storytelling. New York: Routledge.

Selbo, J (2016) Screenplay: building story through character. New York: Routledge.

Davis, R. (2016) Creating compelling characters for film, tv, theatre and radio. London : Bloomsbury Academic.

Yorke, J (2013) Into the woods: a five act journey into story. London: Penguin.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardArts & Media
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelFilmmaking and Screenwriting
ModeratorDr Stephen Langston
External ExaminerWilfred Darlington
Accreditation DetailsSkillset
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Dissemination of Series Bible (100%)
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentationcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark1000
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content. The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.