Module Catalogue 2018/19

COM3067 : Television Studies (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2018/19
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Gareth Longstaff
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module aims to:

1. Enable students to understand the changing significance of television in systems of mass communication, in cultures, and in human relationships.

2. Provide a critical understanding of the key theoretical approaches to the study of television and encourage students to consolidate these critical skills in their study of television texts, contexts and audiences.

3. Provide a critical understanding of the key production processes and techniques of television.

4. Discuss and evaluate recent debates surrounding the changing function and value of television in contemporary national and international cultures (e.g. the impact of digitalization, the rise of global television, marketization and public service broadcasting, transmedia television)

5. Examine and assess studies of television in relation to audiences, texts, industry, regulation, and policy.

Television Studies is a relatively new discipline which engages with what is the most pervasive and prevalent of the communication mediums. As a medium, television shapes how individuals and communities perceive and make sense of local and international spheres, and offers representational frameworks through which subjects construct a sense of identity. Television is seen by its critics as a problem: lowering moral standards, vulgar, having a negative impact on violence, behaviour, and motivation. Yet television is also used to bring communities together, shaping the values and opinions which serve to shape 'national' identities, represent minority communities and issues, and acts as a significant point of emotional engagement and attachment.

Television Studies examines these tensions and approaches television as a psychological, social and cultural form, as well as an economic and political one.

This module will examine the principal themes, issues, and debates in contemporary television studies, and explore possible future directions. The module will allow students to both develop a detailed understanding of principal perspectives in the analysis of factual and fictional television output, and to explore and evaluate empirical and theoretical tools for the understanding of television in recent history.

The module will include analyses of key issues, including TV audiences and identities, methods of textual analysis, social and critical theory and television, technological and economic changes and challenges, and issues in TV history and contemporary output. This includes topics such as quality and programming, reality TV, drama, soap and documentary, genre and textual analysis, the development of television at key moments in television history, and questions of the relationship between television and social formations in public and private spheres such as class, gender, national identity, and race.

Outline Of Syllabus

Television Studies: key concepts and disciplinary history

National television, mass communication and the public sphere, marketization, policy and regulation

Genre: soap, documentary, fact and fiction, hybrid genres

Audience studies, television consumption, media effects and ideology

Reality television: celebrity, spectacle, visibility

Makeover television: identity, social and cultural taste

Representation, fandom and the emotional politics of television

Post-broadcasting, transmedia and digital television

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

The module will allow students to gain a knowledge of:

1. The role and power of television in communication, in contemporary culture and society, in the local, national and global spheres of meaning, in social and inter-personal relationships and in personal lives

2. The codes, forms, and conventions of a range of television texts, genres and practices

3. The ways in which TV (at levels of production and consumption) shapes messages and constructs a sense of what the world 'is' , could be, or should be, and the ways in which television constructs genres, messages and narratives which contribute to the construction of the social and the personal.

4. How to plan and execute research assessments, engage critically with media and cultural texts, develop case studies and make use of theoretical and empirical material from within the discipline of television studies in their independent and group work.

Intended Skill Outcomes

The module will allow students to consolidate skills in the following:

1. Analysis and evaluation skills with regard to television texts, television flow and processes/practices of production and consumption.

2. Speaking and listening skills in group and seminar work.

3. Writing and reading skills in independent assessment work.

4. Critical viewing skills and representation skills.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Data Synthesis : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Assessed
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Assessed
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Present
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Present
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Oral : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Peer Assessment Review : Present
  • Application
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Assessed

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion250:00100:00Two assessments
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00Lecture
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading124:0024:00Weekly key text and further reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity120:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity120:0020:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module aims to encourage the development and comprehension of television (content, form, production, and consumption). Lectures introduce and develop ideas and supporting seminars allows students to consider material in more detail. Students support this scheduled learning with student-led critical viewing and reflective discussion sessions, which will enable them to explore ideas and consolidate skills for their Project Work. A mixture of lecture, seminar, small-group work and spoken presentations will be combined with private study, essay writing and project work development.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A70Essay, 2500 words
Portfolio2M30Critical Assessment Essay, 1500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Project Work allows students to measure theories of flow, production, and consumption in popular media. This assessment asks students to focus upon a specific television text and to consider how it (re)produces social and cultural meaning, using the conceptual models of the module. This assessment represents the cumulation of ongoing critical viewing work which they are asked to reflect upon in student-led group sessions. This fits well with formative side of the module as well as realities of ‘life’ in media industries (e.g. the log of work in production settings). It also enables students to consolidate their analysis and evaluative skills by applying themselves to an example of their own choosing.

The longer essay will allow students to bring together critical and evaluative skills in an extended piece of work. They are asked to respond to one of a list of essay questions set by the Convenor, drawing upon conceptual and empirical material introduced in the module as well as social and cultural theories of television production and consumption.

These assessments allow students to establish practical, theoretical, critical and evaluative skills and stress the importance of working to deadlines and goals.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2018/19 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2018/19 entry will be published here in early-April 2018. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.