Film and Television Adaptation - FI568

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Autumn 6 30 (15) MS F Kamm checkmark-circle


A huge number of films and television programmes are adapted from other sources, and adaptation frequently arouses powerful responses from viewers and critics. This course explores the phenomenon of screen adaptations. There will be an emphasis on adaptations of literature to film and television, but the course also covers adaptations from theatre and other media. Students will watch a variety of film and television adaptations taken from classic novels, short stories, plays, modern novels and other sources, and in many cases we will also discuss the sources themselves. Therefore this course will appeal to students with eclectic interests, particularly those who enjoy literature, film and television. This course will provide an overview of adaptation studies, by addressing the particular questions that relate to adaptation, considering different approaches to the subject and debating the most contentious questions in the field. It will also open up discussion about the specificity and aesthetics of film and television as they are compared with other media. Students will investigate the connections and differences between distinct media, focusing on key features such as the manipulation of time and space, characterisation, point of view, style, voice, interpretation and evaluation. The course will also give them the chance to explore how film and television deal with 'literary' devices such as syntax, allusion, metaphor and tense. Students will thus be exploring aspects of filmic and televisual representation that are ordinarily overlooked in the mainstream of film studies, enhancing our understanding of those media. Within the remit of the course, there will be opportunities for students to develop their own interests within the subject area, and to address new questions and problems in the field.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 60
Private study hours: 240
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

Essay 1 (3000 words) (40%)
Essay 2 (4000 words) (60%)

Indicative reading

Cardwell, Sarah, Adaptation Revisited: Television and the Classic Novel, Manchester, 2002
Giddings, Robert & Erica Sheen, The Classic Novel: From Page to Screen, Manchester, 2000
McFarlane, Brian, Novel to Film, Clarendon Press, 1996
Naremore, James (ed.), Film Adaptation, Athlone Press, 2000

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- a systematic knowledge of different forms of adaptation in film and television through analysis of the debates around industrial, aesthetic, social and cultural trends, and the ability to coherently articulate their understanding of the relationships between these developments
- an understanding of the different modes of analysis made possible by key methods of enquiry and be able to demonstrate their relevance to the study of adaptation in film and television
- the ability to devise a discussion of adaptation through a sustained engagement with key methods of enquiry
- a greater understanding of the interplay between aesthetic choices and technological innovation deployed in adaptation through their research into relevant scholarly literature


  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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