Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Successful completion of Part 1 Media & Communications Degree, Part 1 Film & Television Studies or Part 1 for students on the History and Media Degree
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 1 hour
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 1 hour
Workload Breakdown Lectures = 10 hours Seminars = 10 hours Preparation for seminars = 50 hours Preparation for essays = 130 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 essay on a specified theme from the course (2,000 words)  40%
Semester Assessment 1 essay on a theme from the course (3,000 words)  60%
Supplementary Assessment 1 essay on a specified theme from the course (2,000 words)  40%
Supplementary Assessment 1 essay on a theme from the course (3,000 words)  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a substantive knowledge of developments in the media in the UK since the 1890s.

2. Understand and assess the range of factors shaping the development of the media in the UK since the 1890s.

3. Critically engage with debates about historical change and the media in the UK.

4. Write coherent, clear, properly referenced work.


One of the key strands in the Media and Communications and Film and Television Degree schemes is the history of the media. This module provides the basis for students to study media history in greater depth at level 3.

Brief description

This module is designed to provide an overview of the mass media in the United Kingdom from the 1890s, when the mass press and film become part of the communications network, to the present. It will outline the development of the key industries, the press, cinema, radio, and the internet, placing them firmly within their historical context, and relating them to wider changes in the social and political history of the UK.


Indicative topics are:

1. Introduction to the course: key themes.

2. The newspaper press in the UK - 1896-1950.

3. The newspaper press and the challenge of new technology since 1950.

4. The cinema, 1896 - 1950 - the age of dominance.

5. The 'decline' of cinema after 1950 - myth or reality?

6. The birth of broadcasting - Radio and society 1922 - 1954.

7. Radio survives the television: radio from 1950 to the digital age.

8. Media de-regulation in the 1980s.

9. Satellite, cable, computers and the internet - where did they come from?

10. Overview: Media, history and the development of UK society.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Seminar presentations and discussions.
Improving own Learning and Performance Preparation for seminars, work in seminars. Preparation for essays and reflection on essay feedback.
Information Technology Use of IT to locate sources.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving Through seminar discussion. Through essays.
Research skills Seminars and lectures will coach students in relevant reserach skills, for dealing with library and other sources.
Subject Specific Skills Researching databases and libraries for access to relevant sources. Capacity to understand and critique historical accounts of the media in the UK.
Team work Group work in seminars.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Bailey, M (ed) (2009) Narrating Media History Routledge Primo search Bingham, A. (2004) Gender, Modernity and the Popular Press in Inter-War Britain Clarendon Press Primo search Briggs, A. and P. Burke (2005) A Social History of the Media 2nd ed Polity Press Primo search Curran, James and Jean Seaton (2003) Power Without Responsibility 6th ed Routledge Primo search Koss, S. (1984) The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain Vol. 2. The Twentieth Century Hamish Hamilton Primo search O'Malley, T. (1994) Closedown? The BBC and Government Broadcasting Policy 1979-1992 Pluto Press Primo search Street, S. (2002) A concise History of British Radio 1922-2002 Tiverton, Kelly Publications Primo search Street, S. (1997) British National Cinema Routledge Primo search Williams, K. (2009) Give me a Murder a Day! A History of Mass Communication in Britain 2nd ed Hodder Primo search Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television Primo search Media History Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5