No one likes revision. So what if some of your favourite TV shows could be considered educational? Most of us are guilty of watching too much telly, so it’s definitely an idea worth putting to the test (in the name of science, of course). After all, television can expand perspectives, challenge pre-disposed views and equip us with valuable knowledge. Even the idea justifies a few more hours of procrastination – it would be rude not to.
1. The Big Bang Theory
An absolute must watch for physics students, The Big Bang Theory features tonnes of scientific facts – and everyone loves a bit of scientific banter. There’s even been a number of cameos from famous scientists and Nobel Prize winners.
2. Any programme with David Attenborough in it
He’s a national treasure for a reason. Actually making us want to watch natural history programmes must be a big part of it. For all geographers, if there’s not a David Attenborough show on in your time of need, Art Attack is another equally suitable option.
3. Big Brother
The show appears to resemble a psychological experiment, so naturally, is an ideal resource for psychology students. The reality series involves housemates experiencing complete isolation from the outside world and living with a broad spectrum of personalities, all for a cash prize. If contestants had no form of mental disturbance before entering the Big Brother house, they will when they leave.
A classic show that will put your spelling and mental maths to the test. Whether or not you’re thinking of a career as a lexicographer or a maths wiz, word and number puzzles are a great way to improve your vocabulary and problem solving skills!
5. Keeping Up With The Kardashians
If you read business studies check out this show, they are entrepreneurs after all.
I know what you’re thinking, and we are not suggesting you watch Dexter to fulfil any serial killing tendencies you may have or to refine your murder skills. However it may be useful for criminology or forensics students…
7. Match of the Day
Rumour has it that football studies is one of the most difficult courses to revise for, so thank goodness for Match of the Day.
8. House of Cards
Whilst this Netflix political drama is fictional, it still provides an opportunity to learn about the political system in the USA. The main character’s ruthless quest for power may lead you to ponder if the lies, scandal, and blackmail featured are central to American politics in real life.
9. The Jump
Tune in to see the likes of Heather Mills, Louie Spence and a compulsory TOWIE celeb competing in winter sports (no joke). Featuring countless injuries the show also has a great element of competition and athleticism so can surely be considered revision for sports scientists. The fact that Joey Essex won the second series against the likes of Mike Tindall and Louise Hazel will teach us that anything is possible. ANYTHING.
Drama students should tune in to Glee for some performance inspiration. Students studying drama are fortunate that almost any TV show arguably acts as performance revision, so many hours spent glued to the television screen are justified.
11. 15 Kids & Counting
Documenting the lives of UK’s largest families (large in number, not weight) is educational in a numerous ways. Besides acting as the best form of contraception out there, those studying childcare related courses should also take note.
12. Game of Thrones
Although it is a fantasy series, certain aspects of the show and novel are based upon actual historical events. The main inspiration for the novel is the English War of the Roses, therefore, watching Game of Thrones can test the knowledge of History students. See if you can try and guess what era or event in history inspired a particular setting, plot or character (if any…).
13. Great British Bake Off
Ok, perhaps not the best for revision, but excellent for revision breaks.*
*Revision Break = a compulsory period of rest during revision which tends to be longer than the time spent revising.
14. Black Mirror
A lesson in creative writing from Charlie Brooker. It takes questionable morals and a vivid imagination to come up with a storyline as shocking as the Prime Minister having relations with a pig. As if something like that would happen in real life.
15. Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad is a chemistry masterclass (on how to produce and sell top quality Crystal Meth…). The scripts were checked for scientific accuracy - however, some have criticised the correctness of Walt’s meth making methods so DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Nonetheless you’re likely to learn some chemistry trivia watching the show, so it’s worth a watch.