Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture Lecture/Seminars 10 x 3 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay of 2,500 words  50%
Semester Assessment Essay of 2,500 words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resits of assignments, when necessary, will follow the same structure but be on a different topic/creative structure.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a knowledge of the significant texts and events in recent factual broadcasting.

2. Coherently articulate the relationship between the TV industry, and its factual products.

3. Have developed an understanding of the changing nature of factual TV discourses.

4. Be familiar with current academic debates surrounding factual television.

Brief description

This module offers an industrial history of the development of hybrid factual TV forms, an opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with the construction of such programming, and to place their growing familiarity in the context of recent academic debate as to the cultural impact of such programmes.


(10 x 3 hour lectures)

This module is likely to contain the following content:

1. Introduction
2. Arts Programming
3. Science Programmes
4. Wildlife Documentaries
5. Leisure Programming
6. The Mockumentary
7. Current Affairs
8. Reality TV
9. History Documentary
10. Elimination Shows: Competition and Choice?

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication * Students' written communication skills will be developed (e.g. appropriate language and style, accuracy, precision and ability to be concise). * Opportunities will be given, through interactive lecture-workshop sessions, for students to develop confidence in using their speaking and listening skills when communicating their ideas.
Improving own Learning and Performance * Students will be able to develop their skills of information location and retrieval. * Students will be given opportunities to develop effective note-taking skills. * Students will develop their critical thinking skills. * Through group and whole class discussion students will be given opportunities to develop an awareness of the opinions of others and reconsider initial ideas where necessary.
Information Technology * Students will be given the opportunity to develop their authorial and note-taking skills when planning and preparing for the written assignments and will be encouraged to dedevelop their note-taking skills in lectures. * Students will be given opportunities to develop their skills using electronic search and retrieval of sources both on the web and on the AU LIS. * Students will develop their skills when referencing from the web and related sources and will focus on the selection of materials appropriate to the task. * E-mail and Blackboard will be the main forms of communication and information-sharing in this module, so students will be encouraged to actively engage in these processes.
Personal Development and Career planning * Students will be given the opportunity to evaluate current knowledge and skills and set targets for self-improvement. * Students will be encouraged to take increasing responsibility for managing their own learning. * Students will be encouraged to build upon the knowledge gained from lectures through developing skills in self study (supported by the general and specific reading lists and other resources distributed throughout the module). * Students will gain important industrial knowledge which will be invaluable if they seek a vocational entry into documentary production.
Problem solving * Students should be able to identify tensions and debates in the field and will be encouraged to critically reflect. * Students should gain experience in applying different approaches and materials to understand texts and their contexts.
Research skills * Students will be able to develop their skills of information location and retrieval. * Students will be given opportunities to develop effective note-taking skills. * Students will be encouraged to evaluate, interpret and reflect upon a variety of sources and to make links to accomodate new ideas.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work * Most sessions will involve group work where students will be able to collaborate through discussion.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Barnet and Seymour (1999) 'A Shrinking Iceberg Travelling South...': Changing Trends in British Television: a Case Study of Drama and Current Affairs CQT Primo search Bazalgette, P. (2005) Billion Dollar Game Little Brown Primo search Born, G. (2004) Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC Vintage Primo search Bromley (Ed) (2001) No News is Bad News: Radio, Television and the Press Longman Primo search Cannadine, D. (2004) History and the Media Palgrave Primo search Darlow, M. (2004) Independents' Struggle Quartet Primo search Dover and Barnett (2004) The World on the Box: International Issues in News and Factual Programmes on UK Television 1975-2003 London: 3WE Primo search Dovey, J. (2000) Freakshow: First Person Media and Factual Television Pluto Press Primo search Holland, Patricia (2005) The Angry Buzz: This Week and Current Affairs Television I.B. Tauris Primo search Paget (1998) No Other Way to Tell It Manchester University Press Primo search Roscoe & Hight (2002) Faking It: Mockumentary and the Subversion of Factuality Manchester University Press Primo search Ward, P. (2005) The Margins of Reality Wallflower Press Primo search Wyver, J. (2007) Vision On: Film, Television and the Arts in Britain Wallflower Press Primo search Brunsdon, C. (2003) Lifestyling Britain: The 8-9 Slot on British Television International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1, 5-23 Primo search Corner, J. (2002) Performing the Real: Documentary Diversions Television New Media; 3; 255 Primo search Dingwall & Aldridge (2003) Technology on Television?: Implicit Models of Evolution in Broadcast Wildlife and Nature Programmes European Journal of Communication, Vol. 18, No. 4, 435-453 Primo search Dingwall & Aldridge (2006) Television Wildlife Programming as a Source of Popular Scientific Information: a Case Study of Evolution Public Understanding of Science, Vol. 15, No. 2, 131-152 Primo search Gray and Bell (2007) History on Television: Charisma, Narrative and Knowledge European Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 10, No. 1, 113-133 Primo search Hunt, Tristram (2006) Reality, Identity and Empathy Journal of Social History, 39.3, 843-858 Primo search Kilborn, R. (2006) A Walk on the Wild Side: the Changing Face of TV Wildlife Documentary Jump Cut, No. 48, winter 2006 Primo search Phillips, D. (2005) Transformational Scenes: The Television Interior Makeover International Journal of Cultural Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2, 213-229 Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6