Screenwriting Online Course | CityVarsity Online
Introduction to Screenwriting Online Short Course: Screenwriting 101

Introduction to Screenwriting Online Short Course: Screenwriting 101

Course Features

  • Modules 8
  • Quizzes 6
  • Duration 8 Weeks
  • Skill level Beginner
  • Language English
  • Students 20
  • Certificate Yes
  • Practical Assignments

Screenwriting 101

Introduction to Screenwriting Online Short Course

Welcome to our Introduction to Screenwriting Online Short Course! The course is designed to take the beginner through a gentle but rigorous 8 weeks of screenwriting theory and practice to move you from zero to hero. The outcome of the course is a 3 to 10 page short film script in an industry professional format. Learn to write for a production team. Learn to find captivating stories. Create memorable characters. Find out about what career options are out there for screenwriters. And finally, learn how to package your idea, and any others you might have in an industry standard Treatment Package. Armed with this information will give you an edge over any other writers entering the film industry.

Do you have a movie idea inside you that wants to come out? Do you have a script idea that you think will sell? Or do you just love movies and want to learn how they really work? If so then this course is for you. You will learn where to find stories, what makes a strong narrative, how to write memorable characters and how to format a professional industry standard script. The outcome of the course is a short film script and a list of competitions you can enter it to, if you want to launch your film making or screenwriting career. Learning about narrative is learning about life. If you are a CEO who wants to inspire his or her workers or a Creative who wants to know narrative structure to write compelling pitch documents, you will also get a lot out of this course. It’s a practical, hands-on and clear pathway to screenwriting success.

In this course

Module 0

Orientation Module

Module 1

Finding stories

  • Understand vital screenwriting terms
  • Analyse the different genres of film and different formats of film
  • Identify your target audience
  • How to find new stories
Module 2

The world of short film narratives

  • Identify where to find short films and which you enjoy
  • Analyse the narrative of a short film
  • Compare the narrative to traditional feature film narration
  • List short film script competitions
Module 3


  • Identify what makes a good character
  • Understanding the character equation
  • Demonstrate understanding in a character bible
Module 4

Script formatting

  • Recognise the importance of formatting
  • Demonstrate how to format a script correctly
Module 5

Writing the scene, writing the script

  • Recognise how a good scene is structured
  • Demonstrate how to format a script with your own work
  • Demonstrate all learning so far in first draft of short film script
Module 6


  • Recognise the importance of re-writing
  • Demonstrate learning in second draft script
Module 7

Wrap Up

  • Synthesise your learning journey experience
  • Evaluate the course

Meet your online course lecturer

Vicki Bawcombe is a specialist in scriptwriting, story and speech. She studied English, Drama and Performance at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and spent her first professional decade as a performer in theatre, film and radio. She now writes professionally for a number of media, while continuing to teach and develop other writers. She is the Scriptwriting lecturer at CityVarsity 's Cape Town campus and Acting HOD of the Film and Television Diploma. Vicki will be the Online Course Lecturer (OCL) through the Introduction to Screenwriting course. You will be able to engage with her directly.

Meet your academic advisor

Each CityVarsity Online course is assigned their own academic advisor, who is ready and waiting to guide and assist their learners throughout their online learning experience.

The Academic Adviser who is assigned to Introduce you to Screenwriting Online Short Course: Screenwriting 101, is trained to build each student up to reach their fullest potential. Students can expect their Academic Adviser to answer questions, offer advice and provide further clarification on any academic aspects of the course. As a complimentary online service, students are contacted by their Academic Adviser over the phone or by email.