SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMW821942
Module Leader Ann Marie Di Mambro
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Media and Journalism
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module provides students with an opportunity to study various forms of television dramas, soap opera, and portfolio dramas (eg Coronation Street, River City, Casualty, Waterloo Road) and high-concept programming (Being Human, Dr. Who, The Wire, Life On Mars...) The module explores where these different drama sit in the market and in the schedules - and online - and how they are created and function. The students will then learn how to devise such drama series, working individually and in groups to create a series of their own. How to pitch it, storyline it, create characters, write scene by scene breakdowns and produce samples of script.


Narrative techniques, story structuring, series structuring. Study of existing dramas in the present-day market. Developing character through story. Writing and editing scene-by-scenes. Building towards narrative, episodic, climax; bridging between episodes; character and story formation in single episodes and across the series. Analysis (eg High Concept v Precinct dramas) Verbal pitching.

Learning Outcomes

1 Learning OutcomeOn satisfactory completion of this module, students should be able to:1.Demonstrate critical knowledge and evaluative understanding of the principal professional practices and processes relevant to the advanced creation of television drama series.2.Evaluate and integrate into the students' own practice contemporary TV industry paradigms and principles with respect to the advanced creation of a TV drama series.3.Demonstrate originality and creativity in the devising and developing of such a drama, including pitching, storylining, character creation, scene-by-scene breakdowns, and sample scene writing to current TV fiction industry standards and requirements.4.Adopt both a self-directed and team-directed, creative approach to the writing of television series based on an understanding of current TV fiction industry and audiences

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Delivery via team-teaching, utilising other skills and personnel within GCU staff and at least one visiting industry professional practitioners. Lectures, tutorials and assisted peer-group sessions will progress through the stages of devising a drama from inception to production. Students will be encouraged to think creatively and work in a team.

Indicative Reading

Creeber, G. (2008), The Television Genre Book, 2 nd edn., London: British Film Institute Creeber, G. (2004) Serial television: Big Drama on the Small screen, London: British Film Institute Hammond, M and Mazdon, L. (eds) (2005), The Contemporary Television Series, Edinburgh: EUP Douglas, P. (2007) Writing the TV Drama Series, Michael Wiese productions Smethurst, W. (2007), How To Write For Television, London: How To Books. O'Donnell, H. (1999), Good Times, Bad times: Soap Opera and Society in Western Europe, Leicester: Leicester University Press Wetton, S. (2005), Writing TV Scripts, London: Studymates Edelstein, L. (2006), The Writer's Guide to Character Traits, Ohio: Writer's Digest Books Cook, J and Gras, V. W. (1998), The Passion of Dennis Potter: International Collected Essays, New York: St. Martin's Press. Nelson, Robin. (2007), State of Play: Contemporary 'High-End' TV Drama, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Journals Broadcast Critical Studies in Television (Manchester University Press 2006 -) Radio Times The Stage And Television Today Television and New Media (sage) Worldscreen Websites <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Transferrable Skills

Analytical thinking Team-working Team-writing Self-confidence Self-discipline Self-reliance Awareness of strengths and weaknesses Written and spoken communication Creativity

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (PT) 16.00
Lectures (FT) 22.00
Tutorials (FT) 14.00
Practicals (FT) 22.00
Independent Learning (FT) 76.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 50% 100% Coursework, ie: Pitching Story (verbal presentation); Story Document for series drama.