FIL-20011 - Adaptation
Coordinator: Neil Archer Tel: +44 1782 7 33202
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2024/25

This module moves beyond the fidelity debate that dominated adaptation studies for decades, in which faithfulness to an original literary text is often used as a way of evaluating the quality of its screen adaptation. Instead, we will consider adaptation as a process and a theoretical school, exploring how literary fiction makes the transition into visual narratives, such as films and television shows, but also looking at other forms of adaptations, such as novelizations and video game adaptations. We will engage with genre studies, intertextuality, and theories of rewriting, in which familiar narratives are revisited and reworked. The course will be structured around sets of two adaptations of a source text, in order to see how different versions of each story are echoed, inflected, and reworked across differing media. Indicative content may include Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles; Terence Fisher, The Hound of the Baskervilles; Mark Gatiss, and Steven Moffat, Sherlock; Thomas Harris, Red Dragon; Michael Mann, Manhunter; Bryan Fuller, Hannibal; Ridley Scott, Alien; Alan Dean Foster, Alien: The Official Movie Novelization; and Creative Assembly, Alien: Isolation.
This module is taught through one lecture and one seminar per week. It is assessed by one short paper (1500 words, 30% of the overall assessment) and one essay (2500 words, 70% of the overall assessment).

To develop an understanding and evaluation of adaptations and related theories.
To provide an introduction to literary, film, television and comic narratives and their critical vocabulary.
To trace the process of adaptation across media
To analyse intertextual connections and key differences between various adaptations of the same text.
To situate adaptations within both historical and contemporary industrial contexts, and identify key trends in the production of adaptations

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

identify the key features of literary, film, and television and comic language and narration and critically evaluate these in written work;: 1,2
demonstrate an understanding of the relationships and differences between different media forms: 1,2
produce original and creative content ideas, that show an understanding of adaptation trends and awareness of adaptation as a process: 2
demonstrate an understanding of relevant critical theories relevant to adaptation studies.: 1,2
discuss adaptations in the contexts of industrial trends both historically and from a contemporary perspective: 1,2

Study hours

Active Learning 25 hours:
12 x 1-hour lectures (12 hours)
12 x 1-hour seminars (12 hours)
Individual supervision (1 hour)
Independent Study 125 hours:
Film and television viewing (20 hours)
Reading and other class preparation (25 hours)
First assessment preparation (40 hours)
Second assessment preparation (40 hours)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Reflective Analysis weighted 50%
1,250-word comparative analysis
Students will produce a 1,250 word comparative analysis of TWO film/television texts studied on the module, though not two texts derived from the same source material. Students will select one from a given set of questions as the basis for their analysis. The analyses should demonstrate a critical and theoretical understanding of the processes and creative decisions involved in producing the adaptations discussed, and should incorporate visual evidence (in the form of screen images) to support their arguments wherever possible.

2: Project weighted 50%
1250-word adaptation 'pitch'
Students will devise a 'pitch' for a piece of original adaptation content, devised either for film or television. The adaptation can derive from any prior piece of media content (literary text, comic, videogame, or earlier film/television series). The 'pitch' must show an awareness both of adaptation theory as practised, explaining and justifying its choice of text creative decisions. The pitch will also demonstrate an awareness of both historical and emerging trends in adaptation as an industry form, situating its own ideas alongside previous and contemporary adaptation texts.