Box Set TV: Contemporary Serial Television (P5050)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

In the twenty-first century, serial television has enjoyed an unparalleled level of critical prestige, with the press celebrating a new ‘golden age’ of quality programming. At the same time, digital streaming and portable screens have transformed the viewing experience, with audiences able to access on-demand content anytime, anywhere.

On this module, we’ll take a critical look at these industrial, technological, and cultural changes and explore the themes, narratives, and aesthetics of contemporary long-form television. You will be introduced to key conceptual approaches to serial television as an artform and a production practice, examining seriality and long-form storytelling; notions of complexity; discourses of quality, taste, and cultural value; questions of authorship; innovations in visual style and sound design; the rise of streaming services such as Netflix; new viewing practices and habits (such as ‘binge-viewing’); and issues of gender equality and ethnic diversity on- and off-screen.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Group presentation)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 55 hours of contact time and about 95 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: