Undergraduate Courses

FAM2013S Television Drama: Theories & Genres

NQF credits: 24 at HEQSF level 6.

Second year, second-semester course, 2 lectures and 1 double-period or two single period seminars per week, screenings.


Dr. Litheko Modisane

Entrance requirements:

FAM1000S, FAM1001F and FAM2004F, or at the discretion of the Head of Department.

Course outline:

This course develops central issues and debates in television studies. The lecture series will explore the challenges and complexities of engaging with television texts, with a particular emphasis on television drama, often extending critical attention outside of the text to consider the contexts of television production and viewing. Students will examine the ‘canon’ of television studies theory and more current critical writing that addresses the rapidly changing nature of contemporary television. In addition the course encourages critical engagement with a range of television texts across generic boundaries and formats from the historical context of early sitcoms (I Love Lucy) to contemporary hybrid dramas (Dexter) and South African television (Isidingo and Zero Tolerance).

Lecture times:

7th period, Monday and Tuesday; Screening: 6th and 8th periods, Friday.

Seminars: double period or 2 single-period weekly

DP requirements:

All written work must be submitted by the stipulated dates. Students who miss more than two seminars will lose their DPs.


Assessment for the lecture series will be based on classwork (30%) plus one two-hour examination (20%). The lecture series counts 50% and the seminar 50% of the final mark for the course.