Course Location
Sydney On-Campus and Online
2018 Advanced Diploma in Screenwriting: Series Television
Undergraduate (AQF Level 6)
Delivery Mode
32 weeks / 2 semesters. Semester starts week commencing February 26, 2018
Course Fee
Compulsory online Orientation week commencing Monday February 19. Further details will be provided post enrolment.
Attendance Pattern
Primarily online, including video conferencing and with four weekend workshops (two per semester) on campus at AFTRS, Moore Park, Sydney


In this intense and practical course, you will deepen your knowledge and skills in writing for series television. Working in a simulated writer’s room, you will consolidate your understanding of genre conventions and collaborative writing skills while you hone your practice through continuous practice, reviewing and refining. All this while strengthening your television series concept.

Delivered across two semesters, through a combination of online independent and collaborative learning activities, supplemented with on campus workshops, this course offers the flexibility to allow you to maintain employment whilst studying.


This course is for you if you aspire to be a series television writer who understands the relationship between character, plot, genre and format, wants to develop an understanding of audience, and seeks knowledge of the logistical and practical requirements of the television industry.

This course is after hours, approximately 7.5 hours a week (for 32 weeks) of course work with additional time for assessments and course related practice activities.


For details of help to pay for your fees, please refer to the Study Assist website​


To complete the course you will need access to:

  • A computer with an internet connection (please be aware that the video conference sessions use the same amount of data as Skype).

Foundation Diploma graduates from 2009-2014 are automatically accepted into this course and need only to register by providing their name and the date of graduation. The link to register as a Foundation Diploma graduate is available here.

Foundation Diploma graduates have until December 1, 2017 to register. Further details will be provided about enrolment after that date.

Contact our Student Centre​ or call 1300 131 461 or (02) 9805 6444 with any questions or to learn more about your study options. You can also contact the Indigenous Unit

Changes in circumstances may impact upon the accuracy or currency of information. While AFTRS takes all due care to ensure that the information is accurate, it reserves the right to vary any information described here without notice.

Last updated May, 16 2017



Online lessons released every Monday.

Video conference timetable available shortly.

There are two weekend workshops each semester.

Semester 1: Saturday 3 to Sunday March 4 (Week 1) and Saturday 2 to Sunday 3 June (Week 14). Subjects in Semester 1: Production Process and the Writer and Genre, Format and Development.

Semester 2: Saturday 8 to Sunday September 9 (Week 8) and Saturday 20 to Sunday October 21 (Week 14). Subjects in Semester 2: Creative Writing and Writing in Practice.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the process of developing drama for television.
  2. Describe work practices of the television industry.
  3. Apply screenwriting craft principles and terminology as relevant to television drama.
  4. Apply written, verbal and collaborative communication skills including giving and receiving constructive feedback.

Admission Requirements

Places in this course are competitive and are based on merit selection.

Candidates are required to submit the following:

1. Application Task

Select an Australian drama or comedy series that appeals to you. Using two characters from that show, write a scene (max 3 pages) along the theme of “The Proposal”.

Remember the scene should have its own story shape, a beginning, middle and an end, with a punchy effective out moment that leaves the audience wanting more (submit as PDF file).

2. Uploading your Documents

You will be able to upload your media file/s as part of the application process. Ensure you conform to the required file type and size specified as follows.
Each document has a maximum of 10MB in size. Please contact the Student Centre on (02) 9805 6444, if you having any problems in uploading your documents.

3. Resume and Educational Qualifications

Provide a one-page list of your achievements, educational qualifications and work experience.

You must also provide a certified copy of your highest education level as detailed on the How and When to Apply page on the AFTRS website. Use the link provided for information on how to certify documents.

4. Proof of Residency

Ensure you submit a certified copy of your birth certificate or passport as detailed on the How and When to Apply page on the AFTRS website. Use the link provided for information on how to certify documents.

Selection Criteria

Places in this course are competitive and are based on merit selection. The selection criteria are:

  • Evidence of a commitment to a career in the creative industries.

  • Evidence of original creative thinking.

  • Evidence of ability to complete complex tasks.


Subject 1: Production Process and the Writer

This subject aims to develop the students’ understanding of the work practices of the television industry and the professional, technical and logistic requirements of writing series drama. Students will learn the essential duties of the writer in the production process, the connection between logistic requirements of serialised drama and story development, and the importance of key story documents in the production process.

Subject 2: Genre, Format and Development

This subject aims to give students the essential skills and knowledge of the conventions of different formats and genres of television drama series, and have the opportunity to practice story development in a simulated collaborative environment.

Subject 3: Creative Writing

This subject aims to develop the student’s ability to express their unique voice by plotting, structuring and writing a half an hour script. Through reflection and discussion, students will develop skills and use principles of television drama to express creative ideas in a script form.

Subject 4: Writing in Practice

This subject aims to give students industry skills in research, pitching, feedback, editing and script management. In a simulated Writers’ Room students have the opportunity to develop the full range of analytical, technical and creative skills.


The Australian Film Television and Radio School would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners, the Bidjigal people and Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, on whose land we meet, work, study and teach. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.