Scriptwriting: An Introduction (Beginner)

Tuesday 7 May
£ 495.00

This course is an all-encompassing introduction to scriptwriting and is designed for writers who are just starting to explore a variety of script forms: TV, film, theatre and radio.

Got a great television, film or radio script in mind?


This course is an all-encompassing introduction to scriptwriting and is designed for writers who are just starting to explore scripts. You will learn the mechanisms of working across a variety of script forms: TV, film, theatre and radio. You’ll discover ways to generate ideas and turn them into stories, how to write dialogue and how visual narrative storytelling works. The course will also provide insight into the script industries and how to pitch your projects.

This course is ideal for people who have done no formal training or courses who want to learn the basic skills of scriptwriting. Build your confidence and a writing routine with the support of your peers and individual feedback from a highly experienced tutor.

Start date

Tuesday 7 May 2024





12 weeks (please see course schedule below)




This course will teach you how to…


  • Work across various script forms
  • Create a portfolio of ideas and exercises from which you can draw in the future
  • Develop a pitch/story outline according to industry standards
  • Gain a greater understanding of story structure and plot mechanisms
  • Generate future ideas and develop them further
  • Begin approaching agents and production companies
  • Further develop your craft.
Online course

Why study with National Centre for Writing?

National Centre for Writing has been supporting writers to develop their craft for over 25 years. Our online tutored courses are developed in partnership with University of East Anglia, home to the prestigious School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing, which boasts award-winning alumni including Kazuo Ishiguro, Ian McEwan and Anne Enright. Our course tutors are all published writers, many of whom have studied or taught at UEA themselves.


While there are many online courses available to you across the world, ours are unique in offering:

  • One-to-one feedback on up to six assignments, directly from your course tutor
  • A tailored learning experience with 15 students maximum
  • Flexibility to progress through the course anywhere, any time
  • Support and structure to develop a writing routine
  • Skills and knowledge to improve the craft of writing
  • Confidence in your ability as a writer
  • Opportunity to join our NCW Alumni, an international network of like-minded writers and translators.

The feedback I received from my course tutor was so valuable — constructive and encouraging.

Morwenna Rogers

Course programme

Module one – Ideas and Outline
This module will introduce you to the world of scriptwriting. You’ll read some scripts to get familiar with the look and pace of a script on a page, and you’ll be introduced to the different forms of scriptwriting you’ll cover in the course. You’ll also look at the fundamentals of all scripts – ideas generation and creating compelling characters. For your first module, you’ll come up with a one-page synopsis.

Module two – Film
In this module you’ll look at one of the main forms of screenwriting: writing for film. You’ll use the fundamentals of character that you learned in module 1 to explore how you can create a visual narrative with your storytelling. You’ll also look at how to structure a film narrative and you’ll try your hand at creating a beat sheet. For your assignment, you’ll submit the opening 5 pages of a film script.

Module three – Theatre
This module tackles writing for stage. You’ll read a few examples of stage scripts and plays and you’ll explore the different techniques needed to make a story come to life on the stage. You’ll also cover some of the basics of scriptwriting, including speech and dialogue, monologues, and structure for stage plays. Your assignment is a five-page play.

Module four – Radio
You’ll begin this module by familiarising yourself with a radio script and you’ll look at the different ways you can engage dialogue and sound to create an audio-only environment. You’ll also look at the ways you can captivate a listener by placing your radio drama in an unfamiliar or unusual setting. Your assignment will put everything you’ve learned in this module to the test in a five-page radio script.

Module five – Writing for TV
In this module, you’ll revisit the visual world by looking at TV scripts. You’ll notice the power of the audio versus the visual and you’ll have a go at writing your own exposition. You’ll also look at the importance of point of view in scriptwriting, and you’ll explore the world of screen directions. For the assignment this module, you’ll have a go at a live verbal pitch for a TV show or series.

Module six – Next Stages
For the final module, you’ll look at editing and re-writing. You also learn about the importance of getting and agent and the ways in which you can get your script and screenwriting out into the world.

Live sessions

There will be two live sessions for this course, which will take place over Zoom.

Zoom one: Wednesday 8 May, 6-7.30pm BST

Zoom two: Wednesday 17 July, 6-8pm BST

Meet the tutor

Molly Naylor is an award-winning writer and performer. She is the co-creator and writer of Sky One comedy After Hours. Her plays have been toured nationally and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Her third poetry collection Whatever You’ve Got is published by Bad Betty Press. She wrote and performed the acclaimed solo spoken-word shows Stop Trying To Be FantasticWhenever I Get Blown Up I Think Of You and My Robot Heart. Her first graphic novel Lights, Planets, People! won the Broken Frontier award for best graphic novel. Her first feature film is in development.

Compared to the many other online writing courses — I’ve done many — the personal contact was tremendous.

Barry Norton

How does this course work?

We have partnered with digital learning platform Teachable to host our self-paced courses. The platform is accessible across a range of devices, simple to use, and does not require any specialist equipment.

We want to make sure that you get the most out of our tutored online courses and feel confident that you’re choosing the right course. Each course contains a mixture of teaching content, reading to prompt discussion, writing exercises for you to hone your skills, and group and one-to-one feedback.

Click to read more about how they are structured and what equipment you may need.

Find out more

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Got a question?

If you still have questions, get in touch with the learning team by email [email protected] or phone (+44) 01603 877177 between our working hours of 9am – 5pm BST, Monday to Friday. We’re here to help!

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