FIL-20011 - Adaptation
Coordinator: David Mcwilliam Tel: +44 1782 7 34575
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733147

Programme/Approved Electives for 2023/24


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2023/24

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, and television narratives and their critical vocabulary.
To trace the process of adaptation from literature to film and television.
To analyse intertextual connections between various adaptations of the same text.
To develop concepts of authorship, genre, and narration as a means of investigating differences (general and particular) between literary, filmic, and televisual texts.

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 language and narration and critically evaluate these in written work; will be achieved by assessments: 1,2
discuss literary, filmic, and televisual texts within a comparative framework and move beyond the fidelity debate in terms of critically engaging with adaptations; will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2
demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between literary, film, and television narrative; will be achieved by assessments: 1,2
demonstrate an understanding of relevant critical theories relevant to adaptation studies. will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2

Study hours

10 x 1-hour lectures (10 hours)
10 x 1-hour seminars (10 hours)
Film and television viewing (26 hours)
Reading and class preparation (54 hours)
Short Paper preparation (20 hours)
Essay preparation (30 hours)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 70%
2,500-word essay from a list of approved questions
2500-word essay on one or two adaptations studied on the course.

2: Short Paper weighted 30%
1500-word short paper
1500-word essay. Students will analyse two extracts of adaptation theory with reference to one adaptation not studied on the module.