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Unit information: Television Drama in 2021/22

Unit name Television Drama
Unit code FATVM0001
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Piper
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Film and Television
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will focus on the history, forms and genres of television drama. It will concentrate primarily on the contextualised study of British texts, drawing on historical, industrial, and audience research as appropriate to make a detailed examination of generic, formal and stylistic elements noting, for instance, the way these might arise from technological, economic and institutional practices and/or constraints. Sub-genres (such as the police series) may be used to explore critical debates about, say, realism or authorship, and/or to consider the relationship between television and the social contexts of production/reception. Although the focus will be on British television drama, students will be able to make comparisons with programmes from other countries.


  • To explore the relationship between fictional television programming and its historic contexts of production and reception.
  • To introduce students to the development of given genres.
  • To interrogate a wide range of different aesthetic strategies and forms of fictional programming.
  • To introduce critical and theoretical approaches useful and appropriate for discussing specific genres, forms and programmes.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will

  • have developed advanced skills of written textual, generic and formal analysis
  • have critical awareness of the history of television and the development of textual forms in one particular national context
  • be able to recognize the diversity of dramatic forms on television and their specific historical and political significance in a particular national and social context .

Teaching Information

Lectures, seminars, screenings.

Assessment Information

1 x 5,000 word essay (100%).


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. FATVM0001).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.