Languages for All
Short Courses
Your basket
Your account

Writing Audio Drama for Radio and Podcasts (Online)

Course Times & Enrolment

Wednesdays from 27th September 2023 (Code CW111-101) Wednesdays from
27th September 2023 6:30pm - 8:30pm • (10 classes)
Online • Tutor: Douglas Dougan MA MAIE
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

Write your own audio play for radio or podcast. This course is designed for those new to writing scripts for audio drama or drama in general but is also suitable for more experienced writers who wish to explore the challenge of a new medium. Classes are engaging and interactive with plenty of opportunities to share your developing work with others in a supportive environment. 

Course Details

Content of Course

Students will begin with a brief history of audio drama from the recording of live stage radio broadcasts in the early twentieth century, to the contemporary output from broadcasters such as the BBC, RTE and fiction podcasts. Using a range of examples, we will introduce students to the techniques required for writing audio drama. These will include script layout and some tips on useful software. Students will practise how to prompt a listener's imagination using dialogue, sound effects, contrast and variation. Throughout the course, students will work on planning, drafting and editing an original radio drama script of their own, read and workshop other students’ scripts, and get advice on markets and outlets for audio drama and fiction podcasts.

Teaching method(s)

This course will be taught through a combination of available materials and live online sessions delivered via our Virtual Learning Environment. Live sessions will be a mix of lectures, listening to examples, discussion and analysis of clips/script excerpts. Students will be encouraged to practice their writing skills in short exercises during class sessions and in homework, with space for students to read, analyse and feedback on each other’s work.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the scope and possibilities of audio drama.
  2. Distinguish and critically analyse what effective audio drama is.
  3. Critique scripts, diagnose problems, and devise solutions.
  4. Design, lay out, write and present an audio drama script according to appropriate industry formats.


Core Readings


There are no essential texts for this course but the following are recommended.


  • MacLoughlin, S., 2001. Writing for Radio (2nd edition). Bristol: Soundplay
  • Caulfield, A., 2009. Writing for Radio: A Practical Guide. Marlborough: Crowood Press
  • Boardman-Jacobs, S., 2004. Radio Scriptwriting, Seren, Poetry Wales Press Ltd.
  • Watts, E., 2018. Drama Podcasts: An overview of the US and UK drama podcast market [pdf] BBC Sounds. Available at:

Web Sources

BBC, 2021. BBC Writers Room. [online] Available at:


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.