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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

COMM3960 Creative Work in the Cultural Industries

20 creditsClass Size: 48

Module manager: Anna Zoellner

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The cultural industries are those industries that produce culture, and so they naturally include media industries such as television, film, music, publishing (books, newspapers and magazines) and so on. People often want to work in these industries because they offer the opportunity to be ‘creative’. But what does ‘creativity’ mean? And what kind of conditions do creative workers face? In order to explore these questions, we reflect on changes in the nature of work itself in modern societies. For example, when so much modern work is temporary and precarious, and people in advanced industrial countries work longer hours than ever before, is there a danger that work is detracting from the quality of our lives rather than enhancing it? The module explores the pressures, but also the pleasures, of creative work in the media.We also look at the extent to which it is feasible to do ‘good work’ in the cultural industries, as they become seemingly ever more commercial and competitive. How possible is it to produce challenging, innovative, groundbreaking, thoughtful or just genuinely entertaining media products? This means engaging with academic research and other writing, both historical and contemporary in nature. The above issues cannot be addressed through simple description. They raise important theoretical and historical issues about the place of artistic and professional creativity in modern societies.


- To enhance students knowledge and understanding of the organisation and management of creative work in the cultural industries.
- To enhance students knowledge and understanding of the ways in which creative workers conceive of their work and their own experiences.
- To enhance students knowledge and understanding of how representations of creative work can impact upon the experience and organisation of it.
- To compare how these different dynamics operate across different cultural industries.
- To introduce students to debates about the most appropriate ways to theorise and empirically analyse the organisation and experience of creative work.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:
- construct arguments about the organisation and experience of creative work in the cultural industries, with appropriate use of concepts, theories and evidence
- analyse and deconstruct textual material from the media, and from commentaries on the media, with regard to the above
- interpret and critically assess evidence about creative work in the cultural industries.


This module will cover topics such as: creative and cultural industries, creativity and commerce, autonomy, alienation, exploitation and self-exploitation, flexibilisation of labour, insecurity and precarity, emotional labour, representations of cultural work, making texts and researching cultural labour.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are required to prepare for each seminar (est. 10 hours per week) which involves the study of the weekly reading material and collecting material for seminar tasks. The remaining private study time should be dedicated to researching, preparing and writing the assessments including the required fieldwork and transcription for the research interview.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored via tutorials, participation in seminars and assessment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000-2,500 words50.00
Report1 x 1,500 - 2,000 word interview analysis plus transcript*50.00
Group DiscussionWork to create themed contributions for the module discussion board. Each contribution will be tied to a designated week of study and should be: 500-600 words in length. The aim of the contributions is to engage critically with a module theme or reading, and pose questions for your module peers to respond to.0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

*students are required to carry out a research interview with a media worker via video call. Assessment is based on critical analysis of the interview and submission of the interview transcript.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2022 15:23:01


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