Introduction to Television
University of Reading
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits6
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units8
Hours & Credits
OverviewModule Provider: Film, Theatre and TVNumber of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]Level:4Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term modulePre-requisites:Non-modular pre-requisites:Co-requisites:Modules excluded:Module version for: 2014/5Module Convenor: Dr Faye WoodsEmail: email@example.comSummary module description:This module introduces students to the scholarly study of television as a major cultural and entertainment medium. It aims to enable students to demonstrate a critical understanding of the development of selected television forms in their historical, cultural and institutional contexts; to analyse a range of television texts, from a variety of programme formats and genres (such as soaps, sitcom, 'reality TV' and documentary); to demonstrate a familiarity with some of the most important critical terms and concepts used in the discussion and analysis of television; to undertake close analysis of a range of television texts and, where appropriate, to relate them to their contexts; the ability to make effective use of critical and contextual reading for essay writing and independent study.?Aims:This module aims to enable students to demonstrate a critical understanding of the central issues of television studies. Focusing on close textual analysis of television fiction and non-fiction programming, alongside discussion of industrial context and key theoretical debates, students will critically study areas such as British and US industrial contexts; concepts of representation, ideology and globalisation; issues of genre (which may include case studies such as documentary, soap and science-fiction) and narrative; digital technology, transmedia practices and the impact of shifts in delivery platforms; the place of the audience and the value of critical models such as authorship and quality, alongside central issues such as flow and public service broadcasting. The module seeks to provide students with the ability to critically engage with both texts and critical and contextual reading for essay writing and independent study.Assessable learning outcomes:By the end of this module it is expected that students will be able to:? demonstrate a familiarity with some of the most important critical terms and concepts used in the discussion and analysis of television;? articulate a critical understanding of the development of selected television forms in their historical, cultural and institutional contexts;? undertake close analysis of a range of television texts, from a variety of programme formats and genres, and where appropriate, to relate them to their contexts;? relate developments in television to established and emerging practices in theatre and film, as well as digital media;? demonstrate a critical awareness of key issues concerning audiences and television spectatorship, as well as evaluative discourses surrounding television.Additional outcomes:The module plays a significant role in the continuing development of skills and competencies which are central to the course. It is expected that the level of skills and competencies achieved in the following will be appropriate to the level of study: oral communication and argument in group situations; deployment of research using printed and electronic resources; critical analysis and coherent argument; undertaking self-directed, independent work; presentation of written work using IT; developing and presenting arguments in a range of written forms; identifying and addressing problems in the analysis of television.Outline content:This module focuses on the critical evaluation of television programmes, the historical, cultural and political context of the medium, and the role of institutional and technological developments. By means of lecture and seminars, the module introduces the skills of close analysis of television programmes, and explores critical approaches that have been developed for the study of the medium. Students will study texts from a range of programme categories (such as news, 'reality TV', medical drama and sitcom), exploring both their distinctiveness and their inter-connections. The module will introduce students to appropriate critical terms and concepts (for example, scheduling, the concept of 'flow') and key debates in television studies (such as the nature of public service broadcasting, the impact of multichannel broadcasting and digital technologies on viewing patterns). The module centres on television in Britain, with some consideration of television in the USA and the global broadcasting landscape.Global context:This module explores British, American and some international texts, engaging with the transnational relationship between these industries and audiences as well as their international circulation.Brief description of teaching and learning methods:The normal teaching pattern will be one lecture and one seminar per week, but will also include some longer interactive sessions. Lectures will be used to establish contexts and to introduce issues for discussion and debate. Seminars will concentrate mainly on the close analysis of extracts from television texts and the weekly reading.Contact hours:Autumn SpringLectures 9 9Seminars 9 9Project Supervision 4Supervised time in studio/workshop 18 18Guided independent study 52 52Total hours by term 88.00 88.00Total hours for module 166.0Summative Assessment Methods:Method PercentageWritten assignment including essay 60Portfolio 40Other information on summative assessment:All students will write two essays or other assignment of the equivalent of 2,000 words each and a project in the Summer term which will result in a 2,000 word portfolio or the equivalent thereof.Formative assessment methods:Penalties for late submission:Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. ?The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:? where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;? where the piece of work is submitted more than one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.Requirements for a pass:A mark of 40% overall.Reassessment arrangements:Resubmission of failed coursework.Last updated: 8 October 2014
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