BA Film Studies and History of Art / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Global Television Industries

Course unit fact file
Unit code DRAM32012
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
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 introduce students to 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 apply selected concepts of globalisation, locality, and cultural geography to think about television as a transnational creative industry.
  • To equip students with knowledge and critical tools relevant to both academic research and professional industry practice.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Develop a working knowledge of television industry practices, and the various contextual factors that shape trends in contemporary TV drama production and distribution.
  • Identify appropriate sources, and apply the methods of media industries studies to an analysis of television beyond the TV text.
  • Think critically about discourses of ‘global’ creative industries, and consider the locatedness of TV drama as a form of cultural production and professional practice.

Intellectual skills

  • Identify, critically assess, and apply a variety of industry sources to an academic analysis of TV drama.
  • Contextualise the circulation of 'local' and 'global' media forms within appropriate academic and industry debates.
  • Undertake guided and independent research into a variety of global television cultures and associated programming trends.
  • Be able to articulate and apply relevant contexts to creative practice, 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.
  • Communicate research material verbally, audio-visually and in writing.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

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

Employability skills

Critical thinking, problem-solving and planning skills; Ability to exercise initiative and personal responsibility; Productive team and independent working skills in learning environments that present complex and unpredictable challenges; Ability to effectively adapt self-presentation to different audiences/contexts, especially when communicating complex topics; Ability to manage, complete and evaluate a project effectively.

Assessment methods

Assessment task

Formative or Summative Weighting within unit (%)

Individual seminar presentations

Formative n/a

Critical Analysis Project: Visual


Video Essay

Summative 40%

Consultations on Creative Proposal


Researched Essay

Formative n/a

Creative Proposal (TV drama pitch)


Researched Essay

Summative 60%


Resit Assessment

Assessment task

Critical Analysis Project

Creative Proposal


Researched Essay

Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or Summative

Verbal feedback on seminar presentations


Consultation on assessment proposals


Written feedback on Critical Analysis Project


Written feedback on Proposal OR Essay


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.


Indicative Case Studies:

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 22
Independent study hours
Independent study 167

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Robert Watts Unit coordinator

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