module specification

SM5011 - Television Studies (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Television Studies
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
150 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
60 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   3000 word essay
Group Coursework 20%   Group television script
Group Coursework 30%   As-Live 10 minute television magazine programme
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module provides a thorough overview of institutions, economics, technologies, texts, audiences and production practices, relating to television broadcasting and its contemporary online successors. The module combines theoretical discussion of the television medium, with practice-based learning in television production.

The aims of this module are to:

1. Introduce students to a range of a range of debates about the role of television in everyday life.
2. Encourage students to deploy critical methods of analysis from previous modules to television and develop these skills through examination of specific case studies.
3. Enable students to gain experience of television production and develop skills in television practice
4. Enable students to develop a range of transferable skills relevant to audio-visual production.


The module is divided into separate theory and practice components, each taking one semester of the module

The first part of the module will examine television, considering its importance as a cultural and technological form in relation to everyday life in specific national contexts. It will provide an historical account of British and American television, the industries, institutions, texts, audiences and their study. It will provide a general introduction to the histories and key theories of understanding broadcast media, before focusing on specific issues in television, such as its audiences, genres, gender, technological change, and public service broadcasting. The module will consider the impact of convergence between television and computing technologies for the production, distribution, form, content and audience for television programming.

The second half of the module will allow students to develop media practice skills by working towards the recording of a 10 minute ‘as live’ television magazine programme. The module will address planning, scripting, performing, and producing television productions and allow students to experience different roles in the television production process.

Learning Outcomes LO 1 - 5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module will be delivered through a combination of modes of delivery, including formal lectures, seminars, film and television screenings, individual tutorials, and media practice work. The mixed-mode module delivery will be used to encourage a supportive environment for individual and peer-group learning. 

A blended learning strategy will be employed to enhance the learning experience, facilitate communication between students and tutors and develop collaboration among students. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will be used as a platform to support online activities including on-line discussions, evaluation of online resources, and access to electronic reading packs. The VLE will also be used to facilitate formative assessment and related feedback, as well as a tool to integrate useful online learning materials provided by research institutions, academic publications, professional organisations and other relevant sources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be equipped to
1. Explain and apply a number of different theoretical approaches to the understanding of television.
2. Explain the changing historical and institutional forms of television in the UK.
3. Summarise the place and purpose of television in everyday life, together with its economic, political and cultural importance.
4. Undertake research across academic and industry sources about TV practices and their relationship to the texts and/or audiences of television.
5. Contribute to the production of a television camera script for television production and to the production of an as-live television show

Assessment strategy

This is an intermediate level module with appropriate assessment tools. There are three contributory assessments

1. The 3,000 word essay on television as institution, technology and cultural form tests the student’s ability to critically analyse the relevant secondary literature and to evaluate the changing historical and institutional forms of television in the UK, and assesses the student’s ability to undertake research across academic and industry sources and to analyse the purpose of television in everyday life and its political and cultural importance. [LO1-LO4]

2. The group based television script is designed as formative assessment towards the as-live recording of the television magazine programme. It will test the students’ ability to work collaboratively towards a creative media product and their understanding of the stages involved in producing television. [LO4-LO5]

3. The group as-live 10 minute television magazine programme  will test the students ability to work collaboratively towards a creative media product,  to manage the pressures of media production, and to contribute different roles to television production.[LO4-LO5]


Core Bignell, J. (2012) An Introduction to Television Studies (3 rd edn). London Routledge

Other Texts:
General Television Studies:

Allen, Robert C., ed., Channels of Discourse, Reassembled: Television and Contemporary
Criticism, (London: Routledge, Second Edition 1992)
Bonner, Frances, Ordinary Television, (London: Sage, 2003)
Buonanno, Milly, The Age of Television: Experiences and Theories, (Bristol: Intellect, 2008)
Buscombe, Edward, ed., British Television: A Reader, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)
Corner, John, Television Form and Public Address, (London: Arnold, 1995)
Crisell, Andrew, An Introductory History of British Broadcasting, (London: Routledge, Second Edition 2002)
Dunleavy, Trisha (2017) Complex Serial Drama and Multiplatform Television. London:
Ellis, John, Seeing Things: Television in the Age of Uncertainty, (London: I.B. Tauris, 2000)
Ellis, John, Visible Fictions: Cinema, Television, Video, (London: Routledge, Second Edition
Fiske, John, Television Culture, (London: Routledge, 1986)
Fiske, John and John Hartley, Reading Television, (London: Routledge, 1978)
Gauntlett, David and Annette Hill, TV Living: Television, Culture, and Everyday Life, (London: Routledge, 1999)
Hilmes, Michele, ed., The Television History Book, (London: BFI, 2002)
Lury, Karen, Interpreting Television, (London: Arnold, 2005)
Mellencamp, Patricia, ed., Logics of Television: Essays in Cultural Criticism, (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1990)
Newcomb, Horace, ed. Television: The Critical View, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, Sixth
Edition, 2000)
Newcomb, Horace, TV: The Most Popular Art, (New York, NY: Anchor Books, 1974)
Silverstone, Roger, Television and Everyday Life, (London: Routledge, 1994)
Spigel, Lynn and Jan Olsson, eds, Television After TV: Essays on a Medium in Transition,
(Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004)
Turner, Graeme, and Jinna Tay, eds, Television Studies After TV: Understanding Television in
the Post-Broadcast Era, (Oxon: Routledge, 2009)
Wasko, Janet, ed., A Companion to Television, (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)
Williams, Raymond, Television: Technology and Cultural Form, (London: Routledge, Routledge Classics Edition 2003)

Television Genre & Documentary:

Beattie, Keith, Documentary Screens: Nonfiction Film and Television, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004)
Bignell, Jonathan, Big Brother: Reality TV in the Twenty-first Century, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005)
Biressi, Anita and Heather Nunn, Reality TV: Realism and Revelation, (London: Wallflower,
Bruzzi, Stella, New Documentary, (London: Routledge, Second Edition 2006)
Corner, John, The Art of Record, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996)
Creeber, Glen, ed., The Television Genre Book, (London: BFI, Second Edition 2008)
Ellis, John, Documentary: Witness and Revelation, (Oxon: Routledge, 2012)
Edgerton, Gary R. and Brian G. Rose, Thinking Outside the Box: A Contemporary Television
Genre Reader, (Lexington, KY: University of Kentucky Press, 2005)
Escoffery, David S., ed., Essays on Truth and Representation: How Real is Reality TV,
(McFarland and Company, 2006)
Geraghty, Lincoln and Mark Jancovich, eds, The Shifting Definitions of Genre: Essays on
Labeling Films, Television Shows and Media, (Jefferson, N.C: McFarland, 2008)
Hartley, John, Understanding News, (London: Routledge, 1982)
Hill, Annette, Reality TV: Audiences and Popular Factual Television, (London: Routledge, 2005)
Hill, Annette, Restyling Factual TV: The Reception of News, Documentary and Reality Genres, (Oxon: Routledge, 2007)
Holmes, Su and Deborah Jermyn, eds, Understanding Reality Television, (London, Routledge, 2004)
Izod, John, and Richard Kilborn, eds., From Grierson to the Docu-Soap: Breaking the
Boundaries, (Luton: University of Luton Press, 2000)
Jerslev, Anne, ed. “Realism and ‘Reality’ in Film and Media” themed issue of Northern Lights: Film & Media Studies Yearbook 1 (2002)
Kavka, Misha, Reality TV, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2012)
Kilborn, Richard and John Izod, An Introduction to Television Documentary: Confronting
Reality, (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997)
Kilborn, Richard, Staging the Real: Factual TV Programming in the Age of Big Brother,
(Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003)
Lacey, Nick, Narrative and Genre: Key Concepts in Media Studies, (Basingstoke: Macmillan,
Mittell, Jason, Genre and Television: From Cop Shows to Cartoons in American Culture, (New York, NY: Routledge, 2004)
Murray Susan and Laurie Ouellette, eds, Reality TV: Re-making Television Culture, (New York, NY: New York University Press, 2004)
Nichols, Bill, Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary, (Bloomington, IN:
Indiana University Press, 2001)
Rosenthal, Alan and John Corner, eds, New Challenges for Documentary, (Manchester:
Manchester University Press, Second Edition 2005)
Winston, Brian, Claiming the Real: The Documentary Film Revisited, (London: BFI, 1995)
Winston, Brian, Lies, Damn Lies and Documentary, (London: BFI, 2000)

Journal of British Cinema and Television Broadcast
Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies
Critical Studies in Media Communication
Critical Studies in Television
Digital Media
European Journal of Cultural Studies
Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television
International Journal of Cultural Studies
Journal of British Cinema and Television
Journal of Popular Culture
Journal of Popular Film and Television
Media, Culture and Society
New Review of Film and Television Studies
Television & New Media
Television Week
Velvet Light Trap