Learn about the key debates in British film and television Learn about the key debates in British film and television

Academic Lead - Dr Eylem Atakav

James Bond, Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Mr. Bean. All quintessentially British television shows and films, some with a vast history that stretch back over 50 years while others have been created in the last decade and all have taken the world by storm. What makes British film and television so popular throughout the world and what characteristics determine that such productions are ‘British’?

This module will introduce students to a range of different forms and periods within the history of British film and television. It aims to provide students with an understanding of the key debates that surround British film and television; to examine its production, mediation and consumption.

Through seminar sessions and fieldtrips students will engage with key issues in the analysis of British film and television, whilst also having opportunities for close analysis of key texts, figures and periods. More specifically the module will critically evaluate claims about the realist tradition within British film and television production; analysing a range of British genres and exploring debates over the situation of British stars and directors. It will also cover the preoccupation with historical materials in British film and television production, asking students to question its centrality. With importance that dates back to the earliest days of both media, the module will scrutinise the concept of national cinema; observing the importance that international markets, and their audiences, have to both film and television production.

By the end of this module students will have developed:

  • Knowledge and Understanding - Students will have a comprehensive understanding of the key debates in British film and television, the production, mediation and consumption of British film and television and a range of forms and periods within the history of British film and television.
  • Intellectual Skills - Apply ideas and concepts in the discussion of aspects of British film and television. Construct coherent and independent arguments.
  • Professional Skills - The module will develop students’ ability to: select, sift and synthesize information from a variety of materials. Write accurately and grammatically and present written material using appropriate conventions.
  • Transferable Skills - The module will develop students’ ability to: manage a large body of information, use IT to word-process their assessed work, speak and write cogently about a chosen subject.

Field Trips

Field trips will be involved in this module and may include:

  • The north Norfolk coast (British seaside and the location of many British films, including the ending of Shakespeare in Love).
  • Medieval Norwich (locations for numerous films including the fairytale adventure Stardust)


This module would be ideal if you are currently studying Media Studies or any Media related modules. However, no prior knowledge is needed to study this module.

School Profile

The Media department is within the School of Art, Media and American Studies (AMA) and UEA was one of the first British universities to develop the study of television and film in a single department. In the most recent quality assessments by the Higher Education Funding Council, the teaching level was adjudged excellent (with a score of 23 out of a possible 24) and research in the sector achieved a top rating of 5*. Publishing extensively, the School is at the forefront of the field, making it an ideal environment in which to learn about film and television from leading scholars in the field. For more information please visit the School of Art, Media and American Studies webpages.

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