Accessibility statement

Story (BCI) - TFT00028C

« Back to module search

  • Department: Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media
  • Module co-ordinator: Mr. Andrew Vickers
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

All the creative industries have one key ambition which underscores their business objectives: to tell stories to an audience that will enjoy them, and use them to make sense of their world and their experiences. This module will immerse students u in what storytelling means, how it functions in the world, and how it operates across screen, stage, games and interactive media and music. "Story" is the launch-pad for your future study on Business of the Creative Industries: the core principles that will drive your creative and entrepreneurial ambitions.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

This module aims to

Introduce you to the centrality of story and story-telling to cinema, television, theatre, interactive media and beyond. It will identify and explore certain dominant forms and traditions of story telling. It will examine how different forms of content tell their stories by introducing and examining key principles such as narrative premise, structure and development; the dynamics and interrelation of plot, character and dialogue; the relationship between audio visual text and audience; the function of key aesthetic properties including visual style, performance and sound design in relation to storytelling; and the key principles of literary adaptation.

Explore certain institutional factors that inform and constrain storytelling for specific media.

Acquaint students with the notion of "story" as a first principle for organising material, and for mediating between subject-matter and audience across a range of media contexts: film, drama, documentary, news, theatre, games and so on.

Encourage a critical sensitivity to the effectiveness of narratives and a critical understanding of the contexts in which they operate.

Promote an understanding of storytelling techniques, forms and languages as a whole, the ways in which sound, vision and performance combine for example and how they can be applied to the telling of stories.

Develop practical skills for the origination, research, development and delivery of stories in a variety of media contexts - traditional and innovative

Module learning outcomes

At the end of this module students will

  • Understand the centrality of story and storytelling to the popularity of the creative industries, screen, stage and beyond.
  • Understand the construction and function of the components of storytelling including narrative premise and structure, plot development, character and dialogue and other aspects of audio-visual storytelling.
  • Have knowledge of various forms and traditions of storytelling in theatre, film, television and digital media
  • Understand how screen, stage and digital content uses story and storytelling techniques to impart information to and emotionally engage with an audience.
  • Have knowledge of certain institutional factors, including commercial and political imperatives, in the creative industries and how these inform and constrain the process of storytelling.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay or Portfolio
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Each seminar for this module will contain an element of formative work. In addition there will be at least one formative written exercise which will be designed to align with the module summative and which will focus on university-level writing


Task Length % of module mark
Essay or Portfolio
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive regular feedback during seminars and after an interim formative exercise which are is designed to align with the module's summative exercise.

Indicative reading

Aristotle, (2000) The Poetics, London: Penguin Classics.

Bordwell, D. (2004) The Way Hollywood Tells It: Story and Style in Modern Movies. Berkeley, CA and London: University of California Press.

Thompson, K. (2003) Storytelling in Film and Television. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press.

Hiltunen, A. (2002) Aristotle in Hollywood: The Anatomy of Successful Storytelling. Bristol: Intellect Books.

Harrison, S. (2005) Adaptations: From Short Story to Big Screen. New York: Three Rivers Press.

Bernard, S. C. (2007) Documentary Storytelling. Amsterdam and London: Focal Press.

Moran, A. and Malbon, J. (2006) Understanding the Global TV Format. Bristol: Intellect.

Thornam, S. and Purvis, T. (2005) Television Drama: Theories and Identities. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

Nelson, R. (2007) State of Play: Contemporary High End TV Drama. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Forcier Eric (ed) (2014), Words, Worlds and Narratives: Transmedia and Immersion. London: Inter-Disciplinary Press.

Alfreds, Mike (2013), Then What Happens: Storytelling and adapting for the Theatre. London: Nick Hern.



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.