Scriptwriters are part of production teams of film, radio, video and television productions. They use their creative writing skills and abilities to create scripts or stories that are interesting, to capture and hold the attention of viewers or listeners.

They must be able to incorporate whatever is happening in the world into their scripts while maintaining the character of each actor or actress. Sitcoms, serials, speeches for specific people (such as special guests appearing on radio or television), plays, material for chat shows or special ceremonies and scripts for movies could all be part of the tasks of scriptwriters.

Sometimes they make use of the assistance of researchers to collect specific information for the visual and audio aspects of a documentary or period production. They also need to have a thorough knowledge of filming techniques.

The work settings are mostly indoors in their own offices, or on sets or in television studios. In remote locations, it might be necessary to adjust the script.

Personal Requirements

  • able to write interestingly and well
  • lively mind and imagination
  • quick wit
  • work well with others
  • good knowledge of current and past events
  • flexible, problem-solving approach
  • able to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • very real insight into all kinds of people

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution has its own entry requirements.

What to Study

Degree: Drama - UP, Wits, UFS, UCT, RU, US, UKZN, Communications - UJ, UFH, NWU, UFS, UKZN, UP, Monash.

Diploma: The N.Dip. Drama and the N.Dip. Theatre Crafts are offered at TUT, DUT. TUT also offers the BTech. Drama degree and the BTech.Theatre Technology degree


  • movie, radio, television or video production companies
  • self-employment, as freelance scriptwriter or start own business

Further Information

Any of the universities or universities of technology mentioned above or any movie, radio, television or video production company

Getting Started

  • practise your writing skills
  • join your local amateur drama group and get as much experience as possible of practical acting
  • speak to a scriptwriter to find out more about this career.

Programmes by Study Institutions

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