Stand Up Comedy - DR676

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 2)
Autumn 6 30 (15) DR S Quirk checkmark-circle


This module will introduce students to practical and theoretical aspects of stand-up comedy. Initially, they will analyse the work of individual comedians, exploring such issues as comic theory, traditions of stand-up, and historical context. Later, they will work on creating their own short stand-up acts, generating original material and developing key performance skills such as developing persona, working an audience, improvisation, and characterisation.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 47
Private study hours: 253
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Performance (60%)
Essay (3000 words) (40%)

Indicative reading

Allen, Tony, Attitude: Wanna Make Something Of It?, Glastonbury: Gothic Image, 2002
Barker, C., ‘The “Image” in Show Business’, Theatre Quarterly, Vol. VIII, No. 29, Spring 1978, pp.7-11
Carr, Jimmy and Greeves, Lucy, The Naked Jape: Uncovering the Hidden World of Jokes, London: Michael Joseph, 2006
Cook, W., The Comedy Store: the Club that Changed British Comedy, London: Little, Brown, 2001
Double, O., Stand-Up: On Being a Comedian, London: Methuen, 1997
Double, O., Getting the Joke: The Inner Workings of Stand-Up Comedy, London: Methuen, 2005
Double, O., Getting the Joke: The Inner Workings of Stand-Up Comedy, London: Bloomsbury, 2014
Lee, Stewart, How I Escaped my Certain Fate: The Life and Deaths of a Stand-Up Comedian, London: Faber & Faber, 2010
Martin, Steve, Born Standing Up, London: Simon & Schuster, 2007
Mintz, L.E., ‘Standup Comedy as Social and Cultural Mediation’, American Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 1, Spring 1985, pp.71-80

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- Analyse the work of individual comedians, relating them to their historical context and comic tradition, and applying relevant theory.
- Carry out research, showing the ability to access and interpret a range of sources.
- Write original stand-up comedy material.
- Perform stand-up comedy, demonstrating appropriate skills.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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