TV: From Soap Operas to Sitcoms - FI632

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
5 30 (15)







Television is the most pervasive media form in daily life. In this introductory module students will look at the various historical, institutional and cultural factors that influence television production and programming. The module will examine a range of formats and genres (such as soap operas, sitcoms and 'reality TV') and students will gain critical understanding of the theoretical frameworks developed for their study. In addition, questions of target audiences (for example, children's programmes) and key debates (such as the role of a public service broadcaster) will be addressed.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

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

Method of assessment

Seminar Presentation (20%)
Essay 1 (2000 words) (35%)
Essay 2 (3000 words) (45%).

Indicative reading

Allen R., ed., (1995) To be continued--: soap operas around the world. London and New York: Routledge
Bignell J., (2013) An introduction to television studies. 3rd edition. London & New York: Routledge.
Bignell J. and Fickers A., (2008) European television history. Oxford: Blackwell.
Cooke L., (2015) British television drama. 2nd edition. London: Palgrave/BFI
Hill A.. (2005), Reality TV. London and New York: Routledge
Holmes, S. and Jermyn D. eds, (2004) Understanding reality TV. London and New York: Routledge
Thompson E. and Mittell J., eds, (2013) How to Watch Television New York: New York University Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the various historical, institutional and cultural contexts that inform television programming.
- Demonstrate knowledge of and critical understanding of the key theoretical approaches to the analysis of television.
- Analyse a range of television texts, taking consideration of issues of format, genre and audience.
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of how television can be positioned amongst other audio-visual media.

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