Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
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)  30%
Semester Assessment radio feature  - Produce a radio feature package between 4'30'' and 5' duration based around a specified genre. Submit on CD.  70%
Supplementary Assessment Resits of assignments, when necessary, will follow the same structure but be on a different topic/creative structure. 

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a mastery of the complexities of narrative within a given genre.

2. Coherently articulate the nature of radio 'audiences'.

3. Develop original ideas into a short item of broadcast quality.


To provide students on the MA Scriptwriting 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

This module offers a thorough exploration of the approaches and utilities of specific research materials for programmes within different radio genres. Students will be expected to produce a short feature for radio within one of the genres studied.


Indicative Lecture Content

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 4s 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 Pembrokshire 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, themes, access, current affairs and history documentaries will be analysed.

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.

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.

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.Bs
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's profile and reinforce its values and distinctiveness. Examples from this genre will be explored and analysed.

Daily serialisations, adaptations, biography, comedy, contemporary, crime/thriller, drama documentary, family fantastical, period and romance are some of the genres covered in radio drama. Alongside the well-made play, there are other formats broadcast under this genre such as dramatised features, enhanced readings or monologues, poetic pieces, work by performance

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Communication underpins all activities on this course and will be developed and assessed throughot 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 durin 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.
Subject Specific Skills
Team work

Reading List

General Text
Baldwin, T (1996) Convergence: Integrating Media, Information & Communication Sage Primo search Barlow, David M.; Mitchell, Philip; O'Malley, Tom (2005) The Media in Wales: Voices of a Small Nation University of Wales Press Primo search Boyd, Andrew (2000) Broadcast Journalism Techniques of Radio and Television News (5th ed) Focal Press Primo search Bromley, M. (Ed) (2001) No News is Bad News: Radio, Television and the Press Tacchi, Jo "Who Listens to Radio? The Role of Industrial Audience Research" p 137-156 Longman 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 Hart, Andrew (1991) Understanding the Media: A Practical Guide Routledge Primo search Jarvis, P. (1993) A Production Handbook: A Guide to the Pitfalls of Programme Making Focal Press Primo search Shingler, Martin; Wieringa, Cindy (1998) On Air: Methods and Meanings of Radio Hodder Arnold Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7