SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MMP321939
Module Leader Catriona Miller
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Media and Journalism
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

In this module, students will be provided with the opportunity to research the current television fiction market, including the identities of the four major fiction-producing British terrestrial TV channels with reference to their drama output, stated aims, particular remit (public service or commercial), commissioning policies and audience demographic. There will also be consideration of policy and regulatory aspects relevant to TV fiction writers; as well as of international markets including US broadcasting and of new and emerging digital platforms. Students will analyse the current TV fiction output of different broadcasters. They will also apply this research to analysing the reasons for the comparative success and failure of particular TV fiction productions, whether in audience ratings or critical review terms.


-360b7 Branding and channels b7 Public Service Broadcasting & quality b7 Cops & Docs b7 Cult TV & Science Fiction b7 Compliance, Tone, Scheduling b7 Authored Drama b7 Audiences and TV3 b7 The American Long Form b7 Costume Drama b7 Commissioning b7 Thinking Global

Learning Outcomes

On satisfactory completion of this module, students should be able to:1. Demonstrate critical knowledge and evaluative understanding of the production, consumption, structural and commercial issues which condition and affect individual TV fiction writing practice in the contemporary TV industry, together with the nature of particular kinds of television organisations and markets.2. Demonstrate critical knowledge and analytical understanding of the comparative success and failure (in ratings and/or critical review terms) of particular different texts and aesthetic forms in the contemporary television fiction market.3. Evaluate the importance of research, facts, television ratings and scheduling information (such as watershed) in relation to the contemporary television fiction market in order to explain and elucidate issues and aspects pertinent to the field of television fiction writing. 4. Apply specialised research skills and techniques of enquiry to the field of television fiction writing.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

12 x 1 hour weekly lectures; 12 x 1 hour weekly seminars; Tutorials on written assignments; Formative assessment incorporating reflective elements alongside practical research exercises; Summative assessment of TV fiction output and comparative TV drama analysis. GCU staff delivery supplemented for particular specialised syllabus topics by visiting lecture and/or seminar input from appropriately qualified / experienced professional practitioners from the TV fiction industry. Module pass mark: 50%.

Indicative Reading

Blain, N. and Hutchison, D. (eds.) (2008), The Media in Scotland Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Brown, M. (2007), A Licence To Be Different: The Story of Channel 4, London: British Film Institute. Caughie, J. (2000), Television Drama, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cooper-Chen, A. (2005), Global Entertainment Media: Content, Audiences, Issues London and New York: Routledge. Ellis, J. (2007), TV F.A.Q., London and New York: I.B. Tauris. Emm, A. (2001), Researching for Television and Radio, London: Routledge. Flew, T. (2007), Understanding Global Media, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Franklin, B. (2001), British Television Policy; A Reader, London: Routledge. Friedmann, J. (2000), How to Make Money Scriptwriting, 2nd edn., Luton: Intellect. Gibson, J. (2008), Media 08: The Essential Guide to the Changing Media Landscape with 14,000 Contacts, London: Guardian Newspapers. Hutchison, D. (1999), Media Policy: An Introduction, London: Blackwell. McCabe, J. (2007), Quality TV: Contemporary American Television and Beyond, London and New York: I.B. Tauris. Nelson, R. (2007), State of Play: Contemporary 'High-End' Drama, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Palfrey, J. and Gasser U. (2008), Born Digital: Connecting with a Global Generation of Digital Natives London: Perseus Books Group. Sarakakis, K. (2007), Media and Cultural Policy in the European Union, Amsterdam: Rodopi. Steemers, J. (2004), Selling Television: British Television in the Global Marketplace London: British Film Institute. Journals Broadcast Critical Studies in Television (Manchester University Press 2006 - ) Film and Television Law Quarterly (also at Hollywood Scriptwriter Journal of British Cinema and Television (Edinburgh University Press 2005 - ) Radio Times The Stage and Television Today Television Business International Television and New Media (Sage) Variety WorldScreen Websites:

Transferrable Skills

Self-confidence; Self-discipline; Self-reliance; Awareness of strengths and weaknesses; Written communication; Creativity; Independence; Ability to reflect; Commercial awareness; Ability to prioritise tasks; Time management; Innovation; Independence and risk-taking; Ability to apply knowledge; Problem-solving; Research skills.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (PT) 12.00
Tutorials (FT) 14.00
Lectures (PT) 12.00
Independent Learning (FT) 96.00
Assessment (PT) 16.00
Tutorials (PT) 14.00
Assessment (FT) 16.00
Lectures (FT) 12.00
Independent Learning (PT) 96.00
Seminars (FT) 12.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 100.00 50% e.g. Report on current output of drama in the UK (2000) and case study on the use of multimedia platforms as world building tools in a TV drama (2000 words)