MA Film Studies

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Global Television Industries

Course unit fact file
Unit code DRAM72012
Credit rating 30
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course introduces students to the study of contemporary television industries in a global context, with a focus on scripted drama from the 2010s onwards. Adopting a Media Industries Studies approach, students will consider how transnational hits such as Top Boy, The Bridge and Sacred Games are shaped by specific industrial forces and practices, often at the national and local levels.  

Through a combination of creative and analytical work, students will gain deeper insights into industry practices of commissioning and development; production roles and cultures; trade and policy discourses; strategies of placemaking and 'TV tourism'; and the curatorial practices of online streaming platforms. With options to pursue critical research or develop their own TV drama proposal, the course will provide students with functional knowledge of industry practice, as well as critical tools to consider TV drama as a form of national, transnational and global cultural production. 


  • To familiarise students with the approaches and methodologies of Media Industries studies, applied to the study of contemporary TV drama in a ‘global’ context. 
  • Enabling students to confidently research and analyse TV drama through a variety of industrial ‘texts’ beyond the programme itself. 
  • To critically apply advanced conceptual work on globalisation, locality, and cultural geography to the study of television as a transnational creative industry. 
  • To equip students with advanced knowledge and critical tools relevant to further academic research and/or professional industry practice. 

Teaching and learning methods

  • 11x 1hr weekly lectures 
  • 11x 2hr weekly seminars 
  • 5x 1hr fortnightly MA-only seminar  
  • Online screenings and student-led viewing (asynchronous, variable length) 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Develop advanced knowledge of television industry practices, and the various contextual factors that shape trends in contemporary TV drama production and distribution. 
  • Identify and critically assess a wide range of primary sources, applying the methods of media industries studies to research and analysis of television beyond the TV text. 
  • Discuss and critically apply a complex range of historical and current scholarship on globalisation and cultural geography to contemporary creative industry contexts. 

Intellectual skills

  • Identify, critically assess, and effectively synthesise a variety of industry-related sources within an academic analysis of TV drama. 
  • Contextualise the circulation of 'local' and 'global' media forms within current industry debates as well as advanced academic work in fields of sociology, globalisation and cultural geography. 
  • Undertake independent, critical research into a variety of global television cultures and associated programming trends. 
  • Demonstrate skilled application of relevant contexts to creative practice and/or written and oral argument and analysis. 

Practical skills

  • Research both academic and non-academic materials, evaluating the effectiveness of these materials as supporting evidence for seminar presentations, essays and/or creative projects. 
  • Plan, undertake and evaluate independent critical and creative work. 
  • Effectively communicate research material verbally, audio-visually and in writing. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Advanced ability to articulate critical arguments about media form and use, from a variety of perspectives beyond the student's direct experience. 
  • Advanced ability to contextualise and critically assess a variety of media artefacts and public discourses. 
  • Present and communicate complex ideas and information in an effective, accessible manner. 

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Advanced critical thinking, problem-solving and planning skills
Group/team working
Effectively demonstrate productive team and independent working skills, in learning environments that present complex and unpredictable challenges
Project management
Ability to manage, complete and evaluate a project effectively
Oral communication
Ability to effectively adapt self-presentation to different audiences/contexts, especially when communicating complex topics.
Advanced ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility

Assessment methods

Creative Proposal (TV drama pitch)- Summative- 100%


Researched Essay-  Summative- 100%

Feedback methods

Feedback Method Formative or Summative
Verbal feedback on seminar presentations Formative
Consultations on Proposal OR Essay Formative
Written feedback on Plan for Proposal OR Essay Formative
Written feedback on Proposal OR Essay Summative


Recommended reading

  • Pertierra, A. C. and Turner, G. (2013). Locating Television: Zones of Consumption. London: Routledge. 
  • Parks, L. and Kumar, S. (2003) Planet TV: A Global Television Reader. New York: NYU Press. 
  • Holt, J. and Perren, A. (2011). Media Industries: History, Theory, Method. Chichester: Wiley. 
  • Lobato, R. (2019). Netflix Nations: The Geography of Global Distribution. New York: NYU Press. 
  • Lotz, A. D. (2017). Portals: A Treatise on Internet-DIstributed Television. Michigan: Maize Books. 
  • Mayer, V. (2011). Below the Line: Producers and Production Studies in the New Television Economy. Durham: Duke University Press. 
  • Curtin, M. and Sanson, K. [eds] (2016). Precarious Creativity: Global Media, Local Labour. Berkeley: University of California Press. 
  • Chow, P. (2021).Transnational Screen Culture in Scandinavia: Mediating Regional Space and Identity in the Øresund Region. Palgrave European Film and Media Studies. Cham: Palgrave MacMillan. 
  • Straubhaar, J. (2007). World Television: From Global to Local. London: SAGE. 



  • Broen/Bron (Sweden/Denmark: SVT1/DR1, 2011-18);
  • Sacred Games (India: Netflix, 2018-19); Panchayaat (India: Amazon, 2020-);
  • Pachinko (USA: Apple TV+, 2022);
  • Bad Banks (Germany/Luxembourg: ZDF/Arte, 2018-); Squid Game (South Korea: Netflix, 2021);
  • McMafia (UK/USA: BBC/AMC, 2016);
  • Top Boy (UK/USA: Channel 4/Netflix, 2011-). 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 11
Seminars 27
Independent study hours
Independent study 267

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Robert Watts Unit coordinator

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