Core Module Information
Module title: Dramatic Story and Structure

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 40.00
ECTS credit value: 20

Module code: CLP11129
Module leader: Donna Soto-Morettini
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Screen and Performance


Description of module content:

Beginning with an intensive week of instruction (20 hours), you will focus on developing a critical understanding of the elements of dramatic story-telling (character, dialogue, plot, visuals, theme, etc.), language and tropes and on the varieties of dramatic structure – from simple chronological narrative to more sophisticated techniques of time-manipulation and exploitation of suspense. You will face a set of project-based challenges in order to consolidate your learning. You will have regular tutorials throughout the trimester to monitor progress and discuss ideas, and each project will have observation/mentoring time as agreed (6 hours) through weekly tutorials and rehearsals. Each of these project-based challenges will be set with increasing time requirements. Examples might include:

A two-minute opening ‘montage’ with minimal dialogue, adapted from a painting, sculpture or piece of music.
A three-minute scene adapted from a poem or short story.
A three to four-minute minute scene adapted from a current event news story
A final project scene adaptation from any source.

Projects will be produced in collaboration with directors and playwrights, Napier graduate actors, and with students on the Acting & English and the Acting for Stage & Screen courses.
During your ‘mini-placement’ you will be expected to work with and support a full scale in house production for the Acting programmes at Edinburgh Napier as a production assistant. You will have opportunity to observe how texts are realised by experienced directors, while learning some of the practicalities of realizing a stage production.

The module culminates in a workshop presentation, where directors and playwrights will be teamed with actors to create a piece of original drama adapted from an extant source. You will accompany this final project with an analytical essay (1000 words).

Learning Outcomes for module:

At the end of this module, the student should be able
LO1: Demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of dramatic story structuring techniques.
LO2: Describe and understand the process of planning and executing a performance project to a semi-professional standard, from first read-through to final performance
LO3: Communicate clearly and effectively within a collaborative group process
LO4: Demonstrate leadership and vision and to identify, conceptualise and solve artistic issues and problems in practice.
LO5: Demonstrate, through practice, deep knowledge of applied techniques and some original thinking in the areas of delineating character, plot and theme, in the service of creating a strong dramatic narrative.
LO6: Articulate practically the relationship between critical analysis and creative practice

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 1, Face-to-Face, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Face-to-Face
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Iain Davie
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Teaching will involve an intensive week of instruction, which will combine lectures and practical workshop projects. Lectures will introduce a variety of creative approaches, which students may adapt to their own interests and needs (LOs 1, 4 5). Practical projects will rehearse independently but be monitored through tutorials and rehearsal observation as agreed (LOs 1-5). Students will learn by observing a full rehearsal and performance project as a production assistant (LO 2). A final written piece will articulate very specific links between theory and applied practice in the projects (LO6).

Embedding of employability/PDP/Scholarship Skills
The design of this programme is such that all practical modules simulate professional conditions and all theoretical modules inculcate skills that are valued by employers across a range of industries. Specifically, both practical and theoretical modules promote advanced skills in: communication, creative-problem solving, working collaboratively, working with a high-level of autonomy, and excellent time-management.

Research / teaching linkages
The module will be supported by tutors who are active in the industry and whose professional work and networks will ensure that student practice is up to date and industry-relevant.
Supporting equality and diversity

Supporting equality and diversity
In the design of this programme, and in its delivery, we are committed to promoting equality of opportunity for all, and to ensuring that no individual is discriminated against. The nature of creating and producing new performance work is such that we feel staff and students will have the opportunity actively to promote multicultural points of view. Small intake across this course ensures that we will be able to respond to students individually, and to employ a variety of teaching and assessment methods to support a student’s learning experience. We will value the diverse experience that students from a wide variety of backgrounds bring to the work and the structure of this programme is such that it gives voice to that variety of experience.

Given the context of our delivery in Edinburgh, and the student residency for at least one if not two of the summer festivals, we are certain that students will be made aware of the international potential for their work, as well as the presence of international practice that can inspire the same in students’ work. Additionally, we hope to target a number of universities internationally in the hope of building an globally diverse cohort each year.

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment will occur through continuous monitoring of a set of project-based challenges, observed rehearsal sessions, and in tutorial sessions as agreed with mentors. Summative assessment will combine final project showings to a panel and final written assessment.

Summative Assessment:

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Tutorial 20
Online Tutorial 6
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 30
Independent Learning Practical classes and workshops 344
Total Study Hours400
Expected Total Study Hours for Module400

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Practical Skills Assessment 50 1-5 14 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 0
Essay 10 6 15 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 1000
Practical Skills Assessment 30 1-5 4 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 0
Placement (Practical) 10 2 1 HOURS= 30, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 60
Component 2 subtotal: 40
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
CLP11129 Dramatic Story and Structure