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2017/18 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMM5170M Television Narrative

30 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Alison Peirse

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module focuses on television programming: who makes it, what people produce, how they construct it and what they believe is important in constructing it. It considers TV texts not in isolation, but in reference to media industries, production practices, national and international markets and audiences, and the future of television in the age of new digital media. TV Narrative is about what those in the TV industry think is the best way to tell their stories.


On completion of this module, students should be able to ...
1. To introduce students to industrial and theoretical approaches to the conception of television narratives.
2. To understand the organising structures of television narratives.
3. To build an awareness of geo-historical, industrial and cultural contexts of the production of television narratives.
4. To build an awareness of changing industrial, cultural and political conditions for TV narratives, and their place in media markets.
5. To understand methods of analysing TV narrative, its development and production.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of a range of organising structures and practices of television narrative.
2. Use this knowledge in relation to a specific topic, constructing arguments about how such structures may impact on television narratives, using appropriate concepts and theoretical approaches.
3. In relation to a specific topic, construct arguments about how past and or future TV narratives were, or could be, conceived and constructed.
4. Demonstrate an understanding of research methods appropriate to the study of content development and production.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of academic conference procedures.

Skills outcomes
1. How to make a presentation or poster in a conference-type setting.


Weekly lectures look at issues such as agency and structure in TV production, global markets for narrative TV, issues of analysing TV texts, dramaturgy as a creative framework, creative labour and creativity, narrative modes and paradigms, genre in relation to practices, the cultural historical background to television narratives, the relationship of TV practices with new media including transmedia and multi-platform production.

Weekly seminars discuss points arising from the lectures, and develop the discussion further. Weekly group tutorials discuss and workshop individual projects.

Students research a topic throughout the semester, and (emulating standard academic outcomes) present their argument in the form of (1) an extended essay, and (2) as a conference presentation (a traditional verbal presentation with e.g. powerpoint, or exhibition, or research poster).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning51.005.00
Private study hours274.00
Total Contact hours26.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

124 hours: main research for the Essay topic
20 hours: reading and research for seminar discussion
40 hours: drafting, writing, presentation of essay
50 hours: additional research for the conference paper, portfolio or exhibition
40 hours: presentation drafts and skills for conference item.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students are asked on entry to consider topics and by week 2 they must decide on their own topic and research question. An individual tutorial discusses and agrees work, assessing possible pitfalls and assisting with planning the personal work schedule. Progress is monitored weekly at the group tutorial, where student-raised topics are discussed in relation to their projects. Students are encouraged to share issues with colleagues. Two individual tutorials are scheduled in total, and students can request additional time where there are specific issues requiring support.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 5,000 - 6,000 words70.00
PresentationPresentation as per academic paper of 15 minutes duration plus Q&A30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/01/2018


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