module specification

SM5011 - Television Studies (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Television Studies
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   3000 word essay on British TV
Group Coursework 20%   Group television studio script
Group Coursework 30%   As-Live 15 minute television magazine programme
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Friday Afternoon

Module summary

This module provides a thorough grounding into the institutions, economics, technologies, texts, audiences and production practices, of television broadcasting. The module combines theoretical discussion of the television medium, with practice-based learning in television studio production.

Module aims

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 studio production and develop skills in television studio practice
  4. Enable students to develop a range of transferable skills in audio-visual production
  5. Encourage students to work collaboratively towards the production of an as-live television programme.
  6. Encourage a critical, reflective and collaborative approach to practice based media work.


The module is divides into a theory and practice component. The first part of the module will examine television, relating its importance as a cultural and technological form to everyday life in specific national contexts. It will provide an historical account of British television, its industry, institutions, texts, audiences and their study, primarily within a UK context. 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, or public service broadcasting.

The second half of the module will allow students to development media practice skills by working towards the recording of a 20 minute as live television magazine programme. The module will address planning, scripting, performing, and producing television studio productions and allow students to experience different roles in the television production process.

Learning and teaching

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 in the television studio. The mixed-mode module delivery will 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 studio script for television production and demonstrate an understanding of the different roles in television production. 
  6. Contribute to the production of an as-live television show and demonstrate the ability to adopt and complete a formal role in the television production process

Assessment strategy

This is an intermediate level module with appropriate assessment tools.

1. The 3,000-3,500  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 studio 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-LO6]

3. The group as-live 20 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-LO6]


Austin, T. & Wilma de Jong, (2009) Rethinking Documentary. London: McGraw Hill
       Bruzzi, S. (2000/2006) New Documentary. London: Routledge
Creeber, G., (2002) The Television Genre Book. London: BFI Publishing
Creeber, G., (2006) Tele-Visions. London: BFI Publishing
Crisell, A. (2002) An introductory history of British broadcasting.  2nd edition. London : Routledge
Ellis, J. (2011), Documentary: Witness and Self-revelation. London:  Routledge
Ellis, J., (2000). Seeing Things: Television in the Age of Uncertainty. London: I.B. Tauris.
Geraghty, C. & David Lusted (1998) The Television Studies Book. London: Arnold
Hilmes, M. (2002) The Television History Book. London: BFI Publishing.
Miller, T. (2002). Television Studies. London: BFI Publishing
       Nichols, B. Introduction to Documentary (2001/10)  Indiana: Indiana University Press
      Spigel, L. & Jan Olsson. (eds.) (2004) Television after TV: Essays on a Medium in Transition.
         Durham & London: Duke University Press
Williams R. (1992). Television: Technology and Cultural Form. London: Routledge. (Original work published 1975).
       Winston, B. Claiming the Real: The Documentary Film Revisited (1995). London: BFI
Radio and Television Journals:

New Review of Film & Television Studies
European Journal of Cultural Studies
Television & New Media
International Journal of Cultural Studies
Journal of British Cinema and Television

Industry documents/magazines
New Media Age
BBC Public documents
Department of Culture Media and Sport legislation and policy documentation
Ofcom consultations/findings