Film & Television Studies MA

Television Sitcom FTV4072

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course investigates the development of the sitcom in relation to genre, institutions, issues of representation and visual aesthetics. It will introduce students to the key theoretical and critical debates associated with the form and ask what is meant by the term 'sitcom' at significant periods throughout television history.


Weekly sessions: screening (2 hours), lecture (1 hour), seminar (2 hours) for 10 weeks


Mid-course Essay - 2,500 words, End-of-course Essay - 2,500 words

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ introduce students to key theoretical and critical debates associated with the sitcom genre

■ provide students with an understanding of the historical development of sitcom in relation to changing cultural circumstances, industrial motivations, and audience practices

■ relate theories of identity, representation, and social power to the analysis of sitcom

■ develop students' ability to critically analyse the televisual aesthetic of sitcom

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students will be able to:

■ demonstrate an understanding of key theoretical and critical debates surrounding the sitcom genre and its historical development

■ show how differing institutional structures impact on programme form

■ demonstrate a firm understanding of how the sitcom relates to issues of representation

■ critically analyse sitcom's visual aesthetic

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.