Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
All core modules on the MA Radio Studies Scheme
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Conceive, pitch (written and verbal) a 14 feature for a bespoke R4 morning slot. Your pitch should be delivered orally to your tutor supported by a succinct written conceptualisation of the idea, format, audience, style and cast on no more than two A4 pages.  20%
Semester Assessment The final 14 production delivered on wav. form  60%
Semester Assessment Produce a final portfolio of supporting production documents demonstrating project development and production planning competencies underlining problems encountered and overcome. This should also include your proposal, written pitch, budget, research notes and sources, production schedule, programme structure, programme script and final running order.  20%
Supplementary Assessment Resits of assignments, when necessary, will follow the same structure but be on a different topic/creative structure.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Synthesize their editorial knowledge within a professional and practical context demonstrating a sophisticated understanding of genre, production process, editorial policy, creative realization and audience.
  2. Demonstrate an enhanced level of communication, interpersonal and research skills.
  3. Act autonomously in planning, implementing and producing radio factual output regarded as being of a professional level.


To allow students to fully develop the technical and editorial skills learnt in semester one through the production of a full radio feature.

Brief description

This module builds on the students' technical, editorial and production management skills, as well as the students' new understanding of generic conventions, market and audience, by asking them to conceive, pitch and produce a 14 minute radio feature targeted specifically at Radio 4's Tuesday morning feature slot. The module will also require students to produce a portfolio of supporting production documents demonstrating project development and production planning competencies.


The module will be built around a series of 4 intensive lecture/seminars with supporting tutorials.
Indicative Sessions

  • Pitching
When developing a programme or series proposal to pitch to a commissioner or editor a number of factors must be taken into consideration. The idea must be suitable for the relevant market; it must fit the slot and the audience profile listening at the given time. The potential for winning new listeners in a constantly competitive world must always be taken into account. It must be produced within a given price tariff and comply with relevant editorial guidelines. A unique selling point will always make it popular but production clarity and focus, both on paper and verbally is crucial. The narrative has to be strongly developed and the relevance and importance of the presenter has to be considered. The proposal must have taken diversity into account as well as whether the idea is suitable for the station's promotions strategy and if it has cross platform potential. Originality and creative thinking are pre-requisites but all the points mentioned have to be taken on board in order to pitch and sell the idea to a radio station or network.

  • Deconstructing generic conventions for the R4 feature slot.
The morning features broadcast in this slot stand out as key building-blocks in the Radio 4 schedule. Whilst generating ideas for production in this slot it is necessary not to look at it in isolation. Placed between the conversations/series at 0902 and the readings at 0945, the features here provide a change of texture and a different sound, with a range of voices and lively production. Simple formats and clear concepts help to define this slot. They might use music for illustration or effect. A sense of fun is welcome at a time of day when listeners are dipping in and out of Radio 4, but real content is still an essential pre-requisite. Strong presentation and compelling narrative are more successful at this time of day.

  • Advanced Research and contributor management.
Every programme needs research, which should be done by the producer or the producer in conjunction with the series/programme researcher. There is no such thing as too much research which involves reading articles and books, telephoning contacts, examining websites, visiting relevant places and people, listening to previous programmes on the same subject, thinking laterally, keeping note of everything one learns and using imagination. Having done this, choosing the most interesting and relevant facts to include in the programme is of the utmost importance. One must justify the choice intelligently to make it the most effective for radio. Research is the basis for constructing a good programme out of detail and information cohesively interwoven into a strong radio narrative. Facts gleaned from research are the building blocks of the programme. This includes contributor research; finding the best speakers and experts for the task and directing them accordingly so that they know exactly what is expected of them and their contribution.

  • Advanced production technique and management.
Advanced production technique and management requires synthesis of editorial and practical knowledge. Students will demonstrate this by exploring the complex issues of the production cycle from conception to post production. They will include the disciplines of channeling creative thought into a strong and cohesive programme idea, structuring a narrative and analysing the best use of music and effects. They will produce a feature that will engage with the listener by articulating their knowledge of the audience profile. Compelling storytelling and good use of presenter and presentation style will be implemented. A critique of the requirement of contributors will be undertaken. Authority on editorial guidelines and effectiveness on budget will be scrutinized. Producing the highest standard of programme possible is the requirement.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Communication of programme pitch and production requirements to contributors will be crucial to this module and assessed in the assignment
Improving own Learning and Performance Improving ones own learning and performance and critical analysis is a core element in this module. The development will be evaluated throughout the module and assessed in the end of semester assignment
Information Technology This is integral to all the technical skills being offered
Research skills Research skills are further developed in preparation for the semester assignment where the skills will be assessed
Team work Successful completion of this task will rely on the coordinated cooperation of others.

Reading List

Recommended Background
Alled, R. and Miller, N. (1996) The Post Production Age: New Technologies, New Communities University of Luton Press Primo search Aspinall, R. Radio Programme Production:A Manual for Training Primo search Crissell, A. (1994) Understanding Radio 2nd Edition Routledge Primo search Dimbleby et al (1994) Practical Media: A Guide to Production Techniques Hodder and Soughton Primo search Donovan, P. (1991) The Radio Companion Harper Collins Primo search Flemming , C. (2002) The Radio Handbook Routledge Primo search Hoffer, J. Radio Production Techniques Primo search McLeish, R. (1994) The Techniques of Radio Production: A Manual for Braodcasters 3rd edition Focal Press Primo search Wilby P. and Conroy, A. (1994) The Radio Handbook Routledge Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7