Course Outline

CMN203 Screen Media and Pop Culture

Course Coordinator:Phoebe Macrossan ( School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2022Semester 2

USC Sunshine Coast

USC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


In this course, students will explore screen aesthetics, style, genre and form in fiction filmmaking. Building on screen production knowledge and skills gained in CMN202, students further develop their skills (writing, directing, camera, lighting, sound, editing) and apply this to the processes of drama production and fiction filmmaking. In exploring and examining traditions, conventions and craft in fiction film, students develop and create short screen work reflective of a particular aesthetic, style, or approach. 

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Asynchronous online delivery of learning material. 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Synchronous and scheduled face to face workshops. 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Information session – Synchronous online Task Information Sessions (Recorded/ All cohort/ Shared with Online). 2hrs Week 4 3 times
Learning materials – Synchronous online Task Information Sessions (Recorded/ All cohort/ Shared with Online). 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Synchronous online workshops (Recorded). 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Information session – Synchronous online Task Information Sessions (Recorded/ All cohort/ Shared with Blended). 2hrs Week 4 3 times

Course Topics

Fiction Filmmaking

Drama Production

Narrative Film Conventions

Film Genres, Cycles and Histories

Film Narrative

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Identify screen aesthetics and production techniques using correct screen terminology
2 Apply relevant codes, conventions, and aesthetics in the production of creative screen work. Engaged
3 Engage in screen production workflows and processes reflective of industry practices. Empowered
4 Identify and analyse creative approaches with an understanding of screen language (how meaning is created) Creative and critical thinker

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Assumed knowledge/experience in screen language and screen production practice at an intermediate level.

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

By Week 3 of this course you will have received in class feedback on your knowledge and understanding of course content.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Quiz/zes Individual 20%
5 minutes per quiz.
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) Online Test (Quiz)
All 2 Artefact - Creative, and Oral Individual and Group 30%
5 minute group presentation + pitch document containing logline, synopsis or script, storyboard/mood board and brief production plan for 3-min film.
Week 6 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check and in class
All 3 Artefact - Creative Individual and Group 50%
3-min fiction screen project
Week 13 Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Weekly Quizzes
The goal of this task is to demonstrate and develop your knowledge and analysis of fiction and narrative film codes and conventions, as well as screen terminology, language and aesthetics.
Product: Quiz/zes
Online weekly quizzes to be completed at the end of each workshop. Quizzes will cover key concepts, codes and conventions in popular screen media. Weeks 1-10.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrated knowledge of fiction and narrative film codes and conventions
Demonstrated knowledge of screen terminology, language and aesthetics
All - Assessment Task 2:Project Plan and Pitch
The goal of this task is to demonstrate and develop your ability to effectively utilise screen production techniques, including professional communication, to plan and persuasively pitch a 3-min fiction screen production project.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Oral
Professional/industry format (including presentation slides) to be presented in class. You will have 5 mins for a Q&A after the presentation to receive feedback from your teacher and your classmates to critically reflect on your project idea.
20% of this presentation will be a group mark (criteria 1-3) and 10% of this presentation will be an individual mark (criteria 4).
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Effective incorporation of film narrative codes and conventions
1 2
Knowledge of screen language and aesthetics, including the correct use of screen and production terminology
1 2 4
Depth and quality of creative ideas
Quality of presentation and professional communication
3 4
All - Assessment Task 3:Screen Media Project
The purpose of this task is to produce a short fiction film as part of a production team.
Product: Artefact - Creative
Following on from Task 2, and working with classmates as a production team, you will produce a 3 minute fiction film. Each production team will work collaboratively in roles reflecting those of industry however all group members should be present and engage at each stage of production.
This is a group assignment but you will receive individual marks. 30% of the assessment will be a group mark (criteria 1-3) and 20% will be an individual mark (criteria 4). You are required to perform a peer assessment of others in your group and their professional contribution to the project. You will not receive your final grade unless you complete the peer assessment component.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Effective and creative combination of vision, sound and editing to convey specific meaning
2 3 4
Demonstrates knowledge and application of popular narrative film codes, conventions and aesthetics
2 4
Effective development of story/theme/subject through the production of a structured and organised narrative on screen.
2 4
Active participation in group work, screen production workflows and processes to produce a cohesive final film product

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

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