Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
All core modules
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Genre research essay - a research findings document will outline the key areas students have examined, common techniques they have discovered, examples of programmes in which these techniques have been employed and analyses of the effectiveness of the production formats and intended audience as well as an historical context. (3,000 words)  40%
Semester Assessment Produce a radio feature package between 4"30" and 5 duration based around a specified genre. Submit on cd. (To maximize learning progression, this final assessment will be scheduled for January after the assessments for Radio Production 1 have been submitted and marked.)   40%
Semester Assessment Production Portfolio - based on assessment two, students will deliver a document specifying chosen genre, written sources, interview subjects, specific areas of exploration. (2000 words)  20%
Supplementary Assessment Resits of assignments, when necessary, will follow the same structure but be on a different topic/creative structure. The presentation will be pitched to two or three nominated staff members in place of the classroom situation.  

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate and critique how genres work in the radio industry.
2. Illustrate and evaluate the creation of style and format within given genres.
3. Demonstrate a mastery of the complexities of narrative within a given genre.
4. Coherently articulate the nature of radio `audiences?.
5. Develop original ideas into a short item of broadcast quality.


To provide students with an understanding of the full range of factual genres scheduled on radio. To discuss the creation of style, format and narrative within the given genres and evaluate listener/audience responses. This module will present students with an understanding of the theory and practice of producing within a specific genre or media format, culminating in an individual production.

Brief description

Students will carry out research into a chosen genre, to enhance their understanding of the conventions of that genre, and the ways in which it is commonly formulated. There will be a thorough exploration of the approaches and utilities of specific research materials for programmes within different radio genres. There are two distinct sections within this module. In the first stage, students will carry out an in-depth research project on their chosen genre, guided by a series of lectures covering methodological approaches. Secondly, they will submit a research proposal for one particular programme within their chosen genre and carry out individual research through a variety of sources: archival, personal interviews, on-line material and a review of relevant sources. They will present their findings in a Genre Research Document and then produce a pilot episode based on these findings?


(10 x 2 hour lectures, 2 x 1 hour individual tutorials around the production, 3 x 1 hour seminars developing concepts from Factual documentary, Music and Arts.)

Lecture Topics

  • Conventions within genres overview
  • Factual programmes cover a multitude of topics from news and current affairs to religion, arts, popular culture, business, history, environmental issues, music, nature, people and places. As a speech based service, Radio 4's output is mainly features, documentary, drama and entertainment/comedy. Examples of these will be used to analyse specific radio genres along with Radio Wales and Radio Cymru. Examples from Radio 1, 2, 3, 5, Classic FM, Real Radio and Radio Pembrokeshire will also be used to analyse different genres in radio. Giving the students the broadest possible insight into public service broadcasting and commercial radio. The following genre studies will all contain elements of audience, production and programming.
  • Factual Documentary
  • Factual programmes (specific and general) cover a multitude of topics from popular culture to business, history, science, environmental issues, music, nature, people, places etc. Formats, including features, themed, access, current affairs and history documentaries will be analysed.
  • Arts
  • Arts and culture cover a wide and diverse range of subjects such as music in all its forms, literature, comedy, cinema, dance, drama, visual arts, architecture, fashion, design, international and national festivals. Programmes within the arts and culture genre are reflected in a number of formats from features, magazine programmes, documentaries, chat and debate, music-based programming, themed nights and seasons and outside broadcasts from special events. These will be explored and analysed as a part of this session.
  • Music
  • Features with a musical focus display a distinct format and production approach dependent on station identity and audience. Examples from Radio 1, Radio 3 and Real Radio will be analysed here.
  • Daily Strands
  • Radio stations attempt to match the pace, style and content of their programmes to the daily routines of the listeners. Breakfast programmes, daytime, drive-time, evening and night time stranding will be explored and analysed.
  • News/Current Affairs and Sport
  • The immediacy of radio is eminently suited for the delivery of news. The importance of news and news values to radio is evident in the different ways it is used throughout programming on both music and speech-based stations. News bulletins, discussion programmes, documentary and phone-ins will be explored and analysed. Sports coverage on radio varies from station to station. For National stations like BBC 5 Live it is a central part of the output, while the other National stations give varying amounts of time to it. It is important to most local and regional radio stations because it provides a focal point for the relationship between the station and the audience. Studio based programmes and outside broadcasts will be explored and analysed.
  • Entertainment/comedy
  • Programmes within the entertainment and comedy genre fall into an eclectic range of entertainment, be it stand-up or broken comedy, quizzes, panel games, sketch shows. Comedy narrative includes entertaining dramatisations, comedy drama and situation comedy. Examples of these will be explored and analysed.

  • Events and O.B.s
  • From Wimbledon to the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, the National Eisteddfod and the Royal Welsh show. Events and special occasions are reflected on live radio outside broadcasts. They are intricate operations that require meticulous technical and creative preparation. Specific events raise a network'r profile and reinforce its values and distinctiveness. Examples from this genre will be explored and analysed.
  • Drama
  • Daily serialisations, adaptations, biography, comedy, contemporary, crime/thriller, drama documentary, family, fantastical, period and roman

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Communication underpins all activities on this course and will be developed and assessed throughout this module.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be encouraged to listen and analyse various genres of radio programming. This will improve their learning and performance
Information Technology IT will be utilised for some research work during this module
Personal Development and Career planning This module will give students a clear indication of where their interest/talents lie, whether it be in history documentary or music programmes.
Problem solving The unpredictability of production planning and process requires students to be continually solving problems related to their individual programme.
Research skills Research skills are developed throughout the module and are finally assessed in the assignment

Reading List

Recommended Text
Hart, A. (1991) Understanding the Media: a Pratical GUide Routledge Primo search
Recommended Background
Barlow, D M, Mitchell, P and O'Malley, T.P (2005) The Media in Wales: Voices of a Small Nation University of Wales Press, Cardiff Primo search Boyd, A. Broadcast JounralismTechniques of Radio and Television News 5th edition Focal Press Primo search Chater, K. (1998) Production Research: An Introduction Focal Press Primo search Davies, J. (1994) Broadcasting and the BBC in Wales University of Wales Press Primo search Dimbleby et al (1994) Practical Media: A Guide to Production Techniques Hodder and Soughton Primo search Jarvis, P. (1993) A Production Handbook: A Guide to the Pitfalls of Programme Making Focal Press Primo search Shingler, M and Wieringa, C. (1998) On Air: Methods and Meanings of Radio Hodder Arnold Primo search Taccahi, Jo. in Bromley, M. (ed) (2001) No News is bad News: radio, Television and the Press "Who Listens to Radio? The role of Industrial Audience Research" P137-156 Longman Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7