Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Successful completion of Part 1 Film and Television Studies or Part 1 History for students on the History and Media Degree.

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture Lecture 10 x 1 hour
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 1 hour


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 essay identifying and critiquing one or more of the primary sources in the area (2,000 words)  40%
Semester Assessment 1 essay on a theme from the course (3,000 words)  60%
Supplementary Assessment 1 essay identifying and critiquing one or more primary sources in the area (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 substantative knowledge of developments in the media in the UK in the 1950s.

2. Critically engage with debates about historical change and the media in the 1950s.

3. Understand and use, in a critical fashion, primary sources for the history of the media in the 1950s.

4. Write coherent, clear, properly referenced work.


One of the key strands in the Film and Television and Media and Communications Degree Schemes is the history of the media, in particular TV. This module will allow students to study the history of the media in more depth at level 3.

Brief description

This module is designed to provide:

(a) a brief overview of developments in the mass media in the period of rapid change occasioned by the arrival of mass television, and the relative decline of radio and the national press
(b) the opportunity to focus on the development of specific media (press and TV) in some depth
(c) the opportunity to work with and critique primary sources in the area and
(d) the opportunity to engage with the historiography of the subject. It will examine the media in relation to wider social and cultural changes. Each of the case studies will focus on a particular issue or programme or film which exemplifies key issues. The emphasis across the media will change according to the research and teaching interests of the staff.


The course will be delivered by lectures linked with seminars.
Indicative topics are:

1. Introduction to the media in the 20th Century - historical and critical issues.

2. Sources for the study of media history.

3. The newspaper press in the 1950s.

4. Case Study: the newspaper press.

5. Radio in the 1950s.

6. Case Study: radio.

7. Television in the 1950s.

8. Case Study: TV.

9. Changes in Policy.

10. Case Study: Policy Change.

Each seminar will be devoted to one of the lecture topics so as to supplement the material in the lectures.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Seminar presentation 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 research skills, for dealing with primary and secondary resources.
Subject Specific Skills Researching databases and libraries for access to primary sources. The critical analysis and contextualisation of printed primary sources.
Team work Group work in seminars.

Reading List

General Text
Bailey, M (ed) (2008) Narrating Media History Routledge Primo search Briggs, A. (1979) The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom Volume 4. Sound and Vision Oxford University Press Primo search Briggs, A. (1995) The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom Volume 5. Competition Oxford University Press Primo search Curran, James (2002) Media History Media and the Making of British Society c. 1700-2000 Vol. 8:2, pgs 135-154 Primo search Curran, James (2003) Power Without Responsibility 6th Routledge Primo search Holmes, Su (2008) Entertaining Television: the BBC and Popular Culture in the 1950s Manchester University Press Primo search Johnson, Catherine (2005) Telefantasy BFI Primo search Koss, S. (1984) The Rise and Fall of the Political Press in Britain Vol.2 The Twentieth Century Hamish Hamilton Primo search Sandbrook, D. (2005) Never Had it So Good. A History of Britain from Suez to the Beatles Abacus Primo search Thomas, J. (2005) Popular Newspapers, the Labour Party and British Politics Routledge Primo search Wheatley, Helen (2007) Reviewing Television History. Critical Issues in Television Historiography Ornebring, Henrik, 'Writing the History of Television Audiences. The Coronation in the Mass-Observation Archive pgs 170-183 I.B. Tauris Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6