TV Drama and Society

The module is assessed by two equally-weighted essays of 1500 words. The first is due after the first half of the module and it will be about television drama representations of various social groups. It is due on 11th December 2020.


The second essay questions will address the topics covered in the second half of the module (which have to do with television drama writers/auteurs). It is due on 29th January 2021.


Questions for Essay 1



Answer ONE of the following questions in the form of a 1500 word essay. The essay should be written in continuous prose and it should be referenced with a bibliography in APA containing a minimum of 7 items.


Tips: Material used to answer the question ought to be drawn from a range of primary and secondary sources. Students are encouraged to make use of all of the material covered in the lectures (i.e. an essay on images of class should not draw solely upon Week 2 lecture content, since most of the lectures will contain relevant material about working-class representation). A range of dramas relevant to your argument should be discussed, although you do not have to allocate equal amount of words to each of them – some dramas may be referenced briefly to make a point, while one or two might be discussed in more depth in order to illustrate key points.


There should be *some* analysis of the style (e.g. visual iconography, dialogue, sound design, etc.) as well as the content of television dramas (this will help you to fulfil the ‘focus’ element of the second marking criterion below). Finally, do not simply copy lecture material (such as quotations or bullet points) for the essay; as far as possible, find your own quotations and textual examples to illustrate your argument. The word ‘essay’ means attempt – and this is your own, necessarily subjective turn to construct an argument about television drama. Write concisely, as the word limit is strictly limited to 1500 +/- 10%.






  1. How adequately have the realities of working-class life OR of Black and Asian communities been represented in British television drama since the 1950s?




  1. Explain and illustrate the changing nature of representations of sexuality in British television drama. Have these representations improved or deteriorated?




  1. In Britain, docudrama is the most progressive and challenging form of television drama. Discuss.




Marking criteria (25% each):




  • Quality of argument


  • Clarity, structure and focus


  • Research and/or use of appropriate sources


  • Presentation