#CA-03-01 An Introduction to Screenwriting

  • Categories Creative Arts
  • Duration 12h
  • Total Enrolled 16
  • Last Update September 14, 2020

About Course

University of East Anglia


Why join the course?

Screenplays form the starting point for most dramatic films, the essential work from which all other filmmaking flows. All of the tender romance, terrifying action and memorable lines begin at the screenwriter’s desk. This free online course will introduce you to the basic elements and key concepts behind a professional screenplay.

The University of East Anglia’s School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing have built this course with instructors and recent alumni from their famed course in Creative Writing.


Where could this course take me?

The course is a must for anyone new to scriptwriting and for more experienced writers who wish to raise their scriptwriting to a professional level. It will establish a common vocabulary for approaching the screenplay and form the basis for upcoming courses in dramatic adaptation, the crime screenplay, and other genres and skills.


What and how will I learn?

You’ll learn from a mixture of basic theory, script analysis and practical exercises. We will explore key principles as they’re expressed in great films, then immediately apply these concepts. Videos, articles and discussion steps will offer you the opportunity to learn and engage with other learners on key concepts and ideas.

By the end of the course, you will understand the key concepts necessary to write an effective screenplay and be fluent in the language used to discuss the form.


Who will you learn with?

Michael Lengsfield

Screenwriter Michael Lengsfield teaches scriptwriting at the University of East Anglia, where he specializes in the theory and practice of dramatic adaptation.



Who developed the course?

UEA - University of East Anglia logo

The University of East Anglia is an internationally renowned university providing top quality academic, social and cultural facilities to over 15,000 students from over 100 countries around the globe.



What Will I Learn?

  • Explore key issues in the practice of creating screenplays
  • Explain the basic principles of the screenwriting process
  • Identify the essentials of the screenplay format
  • Discuss the construction of a professional script
  • Design a story 'pitch'

Topics for this course

16 Lessons12h

Introducing the course?

Welcome! Prof Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland, welcomes you to the course.
Welcome aboard!00:01:17
Meet the team
An introduction to this course00:02:17
Introduce yourself
Read screenplays

Cinematic story and form?

Anyone who’s been to the pictures will have a perfectly good notion of how screen stories operate! However, it's useful for us, as screenwriters, to review some basic characteristics.

Story structure?

We will now consider the idea of "story structure". It refers to the process of constructing the screenplay's plot: the order and timing of the events that take place in the film.

Student Feedback


Total 4 Ratings

3 ratings
1 rating
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It´s a clear, very well structured and organized course! I learned a lot! Thank you for all of the lessons and keep up the great work!

Thanks to this course I now watch movies differently and I have a better understanding of what it takes to write a screenplay from start to finish.

I'm really enjoying this course. I love getting information that goes at key moments in a screenplay. I think it will help a lot in structuring my screenplays.

I think this is a good start for a beginner like. Would have liked some ideas on content generation, inspirational sources, how to pick a genre etc.


Material Includes

  • Official Certificate

Target Audience

  • There are no formal requirements for this course, just an interest in screenwriting.