Accredited courses from leading Australian universities, TAFEs and colleges

Documentary Scriptwriting

  • Qualification:

    Undergraduate unit

  • Study mode:


  • Payment options:

    HECS-HELP may be available
    FEE-HELP may be available

  • Duration:

    13 weeks

  • Start date:

    Enquire now for upcoming start dates

  • Awarded by:

    Griffith University

Want more course info?

FREE CALL 1800 063 523

Monday to Friday: 8am - late
Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 5pm

Course Unit
A course unit is a single subject offered as part of a program of study, but can be completed individually. You may receive Recognition of Prior Learning for studying this unit.

What you'll learn

About this unit

Open Universities Australia and Griffith University have come together to deliver this online Documentary Scriptwriting unit, which teaches students everything they need to know in order to take an idea for a documentary and turn it into a marketable product.

In this unit, students will learn both the theory and the necessary practical skills to create an excellent documentary script. The unit covers the history of documentaries, the various production methods utilised in documentary making, and the ethical considerations involved in documentary filmmaking.

After being taught the various theoretical aspects of documentary scriptwriting, students will then move onto learning the practical skills such as learning how to write project proposals, use a range of research methods and employ scripting techniques. Students will also learn how to pitch their scripts in order to move it into development.

Upon completion of Documentary Scriptwriting, students will have produced a project synopsis, treatment, script and a marketing brief.



Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible to enter this program:

  • Have completed level 2 communications studies to take this unit

Course pathways

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

  • Bachelor of Arts, Griffith University
  • Bachelor of Communication, Griffith University

Content may also be relevant to other courses, and could qualify you for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for a course offered by another institution.

Areas of study

In this documentary scriptwriting unit, the topics you will study include:

  • Documentary history, production methods and ethics.
  • Documentary topics, project proposal, research methods and script techniques.
  • Pitching, development, treatment and scripting.
  • Project proposal.
  • Research methods and scripting techniques.
  • Pitching, development, treatment and scripting.
For two decades, Open Universities Australia (OUA) has partnered with leading Australian educators to make tertiary-level courses easier to access for people, no matter their background, their work status or their other life commitments. OUA has built up their reputation by making education more flexible, easier to tailor and available almost entirely online.

OUA's devotion to online education remains to this day, but where they once focused on higher education, today they offer the broadest set of post-secondary education and training programs in Australia.
Open Universities Australia offers a range of administrative and student support options. As a student of OUA you will have access to four hours of free expert tutoring support for each unit undertaken through the tutoring service SMARTHINKING. This on-demand service allows you to get fast, detailed feedback on your assignment drafts and gives you access to your tutor in real time.

The My OUA portal is an online student medium that allows you access to all your course and enrolment information as well as access to student forums and assessment tips.

Career outcomes

This Documentary Scriptwriting unit will help students to advance their careers through a range of skills and techniques taught online by Griffith University, and will prepare them for a working life in documentary filmmaking. This career preparation is evident at the completion of the 13-week unit, when students will have all the skills necessary to produce a marketable documentary script.

The unit will teach students valuable skills for making industry standard documentary scripts. This includes meeting criteria and guidelines, as well as recognising limitations and potential in writing scripts for documentaries. Furthermore, students will be able to practically apply their understanding of production methods, documentary ethics, research methods and scripting techniques to produce a high quality documentary script.

Students will also learn the highly valuable skills of pitching their scripts. This is a crucial skill for any filmmaker looking to further develop their ideas, gain grants for funding or partner with a development studio.

Payment options & support

Finance options

If you are an Australian citizen, you may be eligible to receive a government HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan, meaning you can defer payment of your fees.

You may be eligible to receive HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP for this course!

This course can be paid for through the HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP government loan schemes. If you are an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa, this means you don’t need to pay upfront.

Instead, the Australian government will pay your course fees on your behalf. You’ll begin repaying your loan through the tax system once you start earning more than the minimum threshold of $54,869 (2016-17 income year).

Find out more about government study loans here.

Get more information

Want more information about the career benefits of this course?
Fill out the enquiry form to the right and a study consultant will contact you with the details you need.

Your details will only be shared with the provider listed above.
View our privacy policy

FREE CALL 1800 063 523

Monday to Friday: 8am - late
Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 5pm

Related Courses

Drama Screenwriting

This online unit by Griffith University gives you the opportunity to learn to format and develop a short script.

read more

Introduction to Writing

Learn about the different forms of creative expression with this online Introduction to Writing unit of study from Curtin University.
read more

Over 1,000 accredited online courses from leading Australian universities, TAFEs and colleges