Professional Training

Screenwriting: First Steps

10 weeks
495 GBP
Next course start
Enquire for more information See details
Course delivery
Virtual Classroom
10 weeks
495 GBP
Next course start
Enquire for more information See details
Course delivery
Virtual Classroom
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Course description

Screenwriting: First Steps

Screenwriting: First Steps

City’s introduction to Screenwriting course, taught by an award-winning and Critically acclaimed screenwriter, will equip you with knowledge to write feature film scripts in just 10 weeks.

Do you have a good idea for a film script but don’t know where to begin? Our practical Screenwriting short course will guide you through the complex world of scriptwriting – giving ‘top tips’ and developing skills to produce industry-standard scripts and thrive within the professional filmmaking industry.

Over the course of 10-weeks, City’s Scriptwriting course will give you the tools through every stage of the process, including:

  • learning to write visually
  • analysing and learning screenplay structure
  • creating memorable characters
  • film treatment - what is it?
  • creatine standout dialogue
  • writing powerful scenes
  • building strong but surprising narrative.

Throughout the course, you will analyse filmscripts and clips across a range of genres and be given practical exercises to test your knowledge. You will prepare a pitch for a script idea and write and present a 1,200- 1,500 script treatment and a sample script.

The main focus is on screenwriting for the UK market but the US and European markets are also explored.

Upcoming start dates

1 start date available

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  • Virtual Classroom
  • Online

Suitability - Who should attend?

City, University of London’s Screenwriting short course is perfect way to explore your passion for writing for the small or big screen. Whether you are pursuing a hobby or looking to kickstart a career in film, this course will give you a steady grounding to write scripts capably and confidently.


We do not ask for any formal qualifications to enrol on the Screenwriting short course but if would be beneficial to have some knowledge of filmmaking or a keen interest in film.

English requirements:

You should be proficient in written and spoken English.

Outcome / Qualification etc.

You will be awarded an official City, University of London certificate if you attend above 70 percent of the classes, however, our short courses are not formally accredited.

Training Course Content

On completion of the course you will have acquired the basic tools to write a feature script. You will understand screenplay structure and have mastered character development and narrative. You will have a good grasp on the essential professional and industry aspects of screenwriting.

Week 1 - What is a screenplay? Writing a visual world

  • Exploring scripts in different styles.

Week 2 - Elements of a screenplay (continued)

  • Screen elements with clips and exercises.

Week 3 - Character and conflict – with clips

  • Character work; protagonists and antagonists
  • Studying and creating strong screen characters.

Week 4 - The 3 Act 8 Sequence structure

  • Film analysis and learning about turning points.

Week 5 - Review and Regroup

  • Identify and analyse form, genre, unique narrative and character strength of a film of your choice.

Week 6 - Focusing your idea

  • Honing direction of your film idea
  • Pitches and one pager exercise and scenes
  • Writing a one-page synopsis of a film of your choice
  • Developing an understanding of how film narrative, character arc, plot and turning points work together.

Week 7 - Writing memorable key scenes and dialogue

  • Functions of dialogue in film (with clips).

Week 8 – Time frame

  • Working with time in film writing; transitions (with clips).

Week 9 – Genre and film

  • Art film or action cinema (with clips)
  • Writing comedy, from short films to Netflix series.

Week 10 – Industry/industry professional guest

  • Scriptwriting as a collaborative form; working with script editors, financiers, directors, producers and other writers.
  • Introducing you to other industry professionals.

Course delivery details

This course takes place every Thursday at 18.30 for 10 weeks.

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City, University of London
Northampton Square
EC1V 0HB London

City, University of London

City, University of London is a special place. With skill and dedication, we have been using education, research and enterprise to transform the lives of our students, our community and the world for a hundred years. We are proud of...

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