Module Identifier TF21120  
Module Title RADIO STUDIES  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Thomas P O'Malley  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Mr Jamie Medhurst  
Pre-Requisite TF10420  
Course delivery Lecture   10 X 1 HOUR  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 X 1 HOUR  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam 2 hour written exam For information on due dates for submission of assessed work, please refer to the departmental web pages at
Semester Assessment 2500 word essay  50%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Demonstrate an understanding of a range of theoretical tools associated with the study of radio.

Demonstrate an understanding of the historical development of radio.

Analyse the nature of the social, economic, political and cultural forces which shape radio.

Evaluate the nature and implications of the content of radio.

Demonstrate and understanding of particular forms of radio content and the ways in which they are created.

Brief description

Radio is one of the most important means of mass communication, touching on the daily lives of millions of people. This module provides a detailed introduction to the history of radio and to the nature of the contemporary industry. As well as surveying the forces which have and do shape radio, the module takes a critical look at the different forms that radio content takes, as well as developing an understanding of some of the theoretical problems associated with its study.


The course will open with an overview of the critical issues associated with the study of radio. It will then examine the history of radio in the UK, by exploring key historical moments in its development; for example, the origins of radio in the 1920s; radio during the Second World War; the origins and development of commercial radio; radio in Wales; and contemporary developments in radio. It will then focus on some the key theoretical tools associated with the relationship between radio and society; e.g., the public sphere, theories about news and audiences, the concept of public service broadcasting, and the commodification of the media. This will be followed by an overview of the nature and factors shaping the contemporary industry, and an in depth analysis of key radio forms, such as drama, documentary, music, news and talk radio. The module will conclude with an assessment of the future of radio in the developing multi-media environment of the twenty ?first century. Throughout the course students will be reminded of the importance of understanding radio in relation to other models of radio, especially that of the USA, which has at an enduring influence on developments in the UK.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Background
Barnard, S (2000) Studying Radio London: Arnold
Crissell, A (1994) Understanding Radio London: Routledge
Crissell, A (2002) An Introductory History of British Broadcasting London: Routledge
Crook, T (1999) Radio Drama Theory and Practice London: Routledge
Curran, J and Gurevitch, M (2000) Mass Media and Society London: Arnold
Drakakis, J (1981) British Radio Drama Cambridge: Cambridge UP
Hendy, D (2000) Radio in the Global Age Cambridge: Polity
Mitchell, C (2000) Women and Radio: airing differences London: Routledge
Scannell, P (1996) Radio, Television and Modern Life Oxford: Blackwells
Scannell, P & Cardiff, D (1991) A Social History of British Broadcasting, Volume 1 1922-1939, Serving the Nation Oxford: Blackwells


This module is at CQFW Level 5