Explore your options in the creative economy

Bachelor of Creative Writing

3-year full-time | SAQA ID 112550

  • Most Creative writing programmes are in the postgraduate domain. The Bachelor of Creative Writing at AFDA is one of the few fully fledged undergraduate degrees in this field on offer in the country.
  • The programme will supply students with a broad-based skill set and a network of creative practitioners that will increase options for content production in the world of work.AFDA, being the school for the Creative Economies, is actively exploring new evolutions in technological developments and will equip students to write for emerging platforms as they develop.
  • Students will do Ideation Studies for the 3 year duration of the course as this forms the core of concept development for all the disciplines.
  • Students will do Contextual, Project and Reflection Studies for the 1st 18 months – thereafter these practices will be conducted through learner-lead-learning
  • In Discipline Studies, students will attend and observe selected discipline workshops in the BA Motion Picture and Live Performance programmes, to give context to their writing skills.
    • These will include, amongst others, classes in Directing, Production Design, Cinematography, Editing, Sound, Multi-camera Production, as well as Screen and Stage Acting.
    • They will also observe the production processes and practices on film and television sets, as well as rehearsals and performances in theatre plays.
  • Students will generate the following project outcomes in Discipline Studies:


Students will demonstrate a basic understanding of the required conceptual,  perceptual, technical and craft skills in all 8 disciplines on offer, and will produce the following work:

  • Screenplay:
    • A script for a 3 minute live-action or animation film.
  • Drama Series
    • A teaser for the pilot episode of the proposed drama series.         
  • Short Story
    • A 1 to 2 page short story, focussing on content.
  • Playwriting
    • The first draft of a monologue and the first draft of a scene for a play
  • Documentary
    • A narrative treatment for a proposed documentary.
  • Live Actuality
    • A technical running order and script for a pre-recorded, studio based factual magazine programme of 15 minutes (3 x 5 minute segments).
  • Entertainment formats
    • The first draft and a pitch of a proposal for an entertainment format, for instance, a Reality, Shiny Floor or Game show.
  • Copywriting  & Advertising
    • A print advertorial, a press release and a written social media campaign (consisting of three adverts) for a product according to brief. 


Students will demonstrate an intermediate understanding of the required conceptual,  perceptual, technical and craft skills in  4 disciplines of their choice, and will produce the following work:

  • Screenplay:
    • A script for a 5 minute live-action or animation film
    • A script for a 7 minute live-action or animation film
  • Drama Series
    • A seven-page pitch document for an original drama series.
  • Short Story
    • A 3-5 page story, focussing on content and form.
  • Playwriting
    • A short play of 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • Documentary
    • A 12 – 15 minute documentary script on a topical issue.
  • Live Actuality
    • A technical running order and a script for a pre-recorded, studio based factual magazine programme of 15 minutes (3 x 5 minute segments)
    • A script for a live sports talk show of 15 minutes (3 x 5 minute segments)
  • Entertainment formats
    • A Game show of 15 – 18 minutes, and its format mechanisms, modelled on existing shows.
    • A reality show of 15 to 18 minutes and its format mechanisms, modelled on existing shows.
  • Copywriting  & Advertising
    • A public service announcement for a social cause in in three formats: 15, 30 and 60 seconds.
    • A 3 part fictional mobi-series that is related to a Multi-Media Brand Campaign of a prospective client.


Students will demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the required conceptual, perceptual, technical and craft skills in 2 disciplines of their choice. They will dedicate their year to prepare for a capstone project that will be either be produced, or pitched at a professional marketplace with the intent to be acquisitioned.

Students will produce the following work:

  • Screenplay:
    • A 12 minute art film
    • A 24 minute commercial film in semester 2. 
  • Drama Series
    • A series bible and step outline for a ½ hour pilot episode of a commercially viable television series.
    • A ½ hour pilot episode for an original drama, telenovela, comedy or radio drama series
  • Short Story
    • Three pieces of flash fiction in preparation for a longer format short story.
    • A longer short story (of 8-12 pages in length) or five new pieces of flash fiction.
  • Playwriting
    • The first, second and final drafts of a one-act play of roughly 45 minutes, with a producer or theatre in mind, who might want to purchase the performance rights.
  • Documentary
    • A 24 minute contemporary documentary utilising a variety of unconventional documentary techniques and strategies.
    • A 24 minute documentary script for a predetermined target market.
  • Live Actuality
    • A live news broadcast of 20 minutes based on a broadcast brief.
    • A concept, script and technical running order for a weekly, live actuality programme of 24 minutes.
  • Entertainment formats
    • A pilot for a 30 minute entertainment format (reality show, game show, and hybrid) with distinct mechanisms and a format bible.
  • Copywriting  & Advertising
    • A full Multi-Media campaign to a client, comprising of the following:
      • A print advertorial.
      • A press release.
      • A social media campaign, consisting of three adverts.
      • A commercial for screen, written in three formats: 15, 30 and 60 seconds.
      • A 15 second radio commercial.
      • An accompanying mobi-series and web-series for the product.
      • A promotional event for the product, which could include a cultural or sports event, a flash mob, or a pop-up experience.

The legislated minimum admission to degree programmes provides the admission requirements for the programme (as per Government Gazette No 37902 and 41473), and no other additional criteria are applied. The admission requirements are therefore:

  • An NSC certificate completed with the entry into a Bachelor’s Degree
  • A completed Higher Certificate programme including those offered by AFDA)
  • A National Certificate (Vocational) with a minimum of 60% for English.
  • An exemption certificate provided by Higher Education South Africa (HESA) permitting entry into a degree programme
  • International students may apply for a certificate of exemption from HESA (see point 4 above)
  • Through RPL


  • Concept
    • Knowledge domains in the humanities selected from applied philosophy; mythology; cultural studies, history, political studies, current affairs, media ethics and communication theory:
      • Focus: to provide students with the required critical and analytical skills to originate engaging narrative concepts
    • Character
      • Knowledge domains in the humanities selected from psychology; social anthropology; sociology and gender studies.
        • Focus: to provide students with the insight into the human condition in order to create well-rounded and empathetic characters, subjects and personalities.
      • Structure
        • Contemporary and classic narrative structures
          • Focus: to provide students with the required technical and craft skills to structure narratives for a variety of formats and genres
        • Format & Style
          • Textual analysis of a variety of motion picture media, theatre, photography and fine arts images.
            • Focus: to provide students with the required aesthetic, technical and craft skills to write for their chosen media
          • Business
            • Aspects of Business Practice as it pertains to Creative writing practitioners , such as pitching products, producers,  agents, contracts, copyright, business models and marketing.
              • Focus: to equip students with the required skills to practice their craft in the world of work



  • Key 21st century skills are covered, such as critical thinking; collaboration, career development and resilience skills, goal-setting and values, together with an understanding of the landscape of digital technology.



During the development phase and at the conclusion of the project, students are guided in a structured way to reflect on their work.


  • Reflection on Use of Ideation Learning in Project
  • Contextual Reflection on Team Values & Collaboration
  • Contextual Reflection on Creative Challenges
  • Reflection on Project Development Process
  • Reflection on Project Learning Goal & Objectives
  • Contextual Reflection of Conflict Resolution
  • Reflection on Project Pitch & Review
  • Reflection on Term Learning

Disciplines on offer:


  • Screenwriting
  • Television Series Writing
  • Short Story Writing
  • Playwriting


  • Documentary Writing
  • News & Actuality Writing
  • Television Show Format Writing
  • Copy & Commercial Writing

Discipline selection:

  • 1st Year:
    • Students do a semester module in all 8 disciplines (4 in Semester 1 and 4 in Semester 2)
  • 2nd Year:
    • Students  select  any 4 disciplines for continuous studies through the year
  • 3rd Year:
    • Students select any 2  majors out of 8 disciplines for continuous studies through the year

Key Skills and learning outcomes:

  • Conceptual and research skills
    • Apply relevant theories and concepts from the appropriate knowledge fields to inform the development of the two exit level graduation project outcomes
  • Attitudinal skills
    • Apply a range of contextual skills to inform interactions with peers in order to form productive relationships, problem solve, and develop efficient ways of working.
  • Perceptual discipline skills
    • Conceptualise and develop  a creative work to industry standard and demonstrate the skills to pitch this for commission or sale in a work-simulated market place
  • Technical and craft skills
    • Apply the required skills for the appropriate use of language, literary devices, narrative structures, and genre and format principles to generate appropriate and engaging texts for different marketplaces and audiences.
  • Reflective skills
    • Critically reflect on the appropriate use of conceptual, attitudinal, perceptual and discipline, technical & craft skills that inform the work

Professional writers for a variety of commercially viable media texts, such as:

  • Screenwriters
  • Television Series Writers
  • Short Story Writers
  • Playwrights
  • Documentary Writers
  • News & Actuality Writers
  • Television Show Format Writers
  • Copy Writers
  • Commercial Writers
  • New Media Writers

Study this course at these campuses

Johannesburg, Cape Town

Course type

Undergraduate Degrees


3 years, Full Time

2020 FEES request information apply now


  • Writing courses have existed at AFDA in both Film and Television, but the creative industries are undergoing massive growth and diversification. There is a clear need to advance the core business of Creative Writing in such a way that the new platforms and media technologies which are emerging will have highly trained content providers. At the heart of all work in this industry is Story. This new degree is conceived to provide a high level intervention in the entertainment industry as it exists, but will be structured to be responsive to the rapidly changing landscape. Digital Convergence and the Fourth Industrial Revolution is affecting the way the new audiences across the whole African continent and the world consume entertainment products.

  • South Africa has a very important role to play in this burgeoning creative arts industry. This programme has been designed to deliver multi-skilled writers that can create content for a variety of existing and emerging platforms.


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AFDA is registered as the South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance, and is a private higher education institution which offers higher certificate and degree programmes. It is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) as a private higher education institution under the the Higher Education Act, 1997. Registration certificate no. 2001/HE07/012. Our programmes are accredited and we participate productively in the ongoing reaccreditation and quality assurance processes of the Council on Higher Education (CHE) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) to ensure the quality of our programmes.
Disclaimer: AFDA reserves the rights to make changes or withdraw information or course offers without prior notice. Where possible, AFDA will endeavour to notify all persons and/or organisations affected as a result.