Our course is perfect for the creative types. Upon graduation you’ll be ready to break into the world of cinema, the stage and behind the scenes – and a whole range of other graduate careers in the arts, media, education, and the creative industries. We don’t stop there though, we make sure you know the theory behind theatre and the screen too.
You study themes in drama such as gender, identity, tragedy, human rights, devising and playwriting. Your film modules explore directing, screenwriting, classic and contemporary texts and many aspects of screen media, from cinema to social media.
You also gain the skills in technical theatre and film production, like design and stage management, camerawork, editing and film-making. You’ll still write essays as in any other Humanities degree, but alongside honing your critical writing and thinking, you’ll also have the chance to be assessed on your creativity, performance and technical skills.
What makes us different? We also offer many modules which bring the disciplines of film and drama together. Our modules Directing Actors for Film and Introduction to Screenwriting give you a seamless mix of both film and drama so you can excel throughout the screen and the stage.
Our high-spec facilities mean you’ve always got somewhere to rehearse and edit. You’ll also be offered careers guidance and training, preparing you for the career you want upon graduation.
This course is based in our Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies. You’ll be taught by academics who are also practitioners in their field and have significant experience in the industry – from film-makers to award-winning theatre specialists.
We are ranked top 20 for dance, drama and cinematics in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021.
Your education extends beyond the university campus. We support you in expanding your education through offering the opportunity to spend a year or a term studying abroad at one of our partner universities. The four-year version of our degree allows you to spend the third year abroadwhile otherwise remaining identical to the three-year course.
Studying abroad allows you to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised.
If you spend a full year abroad you’ll only pay 15% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year. You won’t pay any tuition fees to your host university
Maximise the impact of your degree, build your CV and gain invaluable real-world experience. When you arrive at Essex, you can decide whether you would like to combine your course with a placement year.
Undertaking a placement can allow you to gain relevant work experience within an external organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the cultural industries.
You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and the placements team.
If you complete a placement year you’ll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
Our expert staff
Our staff have extensive experience in theatre and film and are actively directing, writing, producing and shooting. Core teaching staff on this course include:
- Dr Liam Jarvis has been Co-artistic Director of Analogue, an award-winning alt. theatre company with whom he has created devised work that has toured the UK/internationally since 2007. He is also a member of many organisations in the industry. Some of his research and teaching interests lie within immersive performance and participation and Experimental Neuroscience, Selfhood, Embodiment and Body Transfer Illusions in Performance. His new book explores the science behind inhabiting another’s body.
- Professor Jonathan Lichtenstein is a playwright who has written for Radio 4 and the National Theatre. His awards include a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival and his plays have been performed internationally. He is a recognised expert in teaching playwriting and dramatic form.
- Eirini Konstantinidou specialises in science fiction films about memory and technology. Her first feature film was released in 2019 and is called Mnemophrenia, a self-reflexive film exploring artificial memories and their close relation to the medium of film. Eirini has also directed and written four short films, two of which are award-winning and all of which have played in various international film festivals.
- Nic Blower is an industry specialist and has worked extensively for the BBC, producing and directing documentaries and drama documentaries. His critically acclaimed film Transplant followed both sides of the organ donation story, a first for UK television. He teaches and supervises students in fiction and documentary filmmaking.
- Mary Mazzilli is a renowned specialist in World Theatre and is also a practicing playwright and Creative Director of Lumenis Theatre company. As well as touring her work internationally, Mary has published on Chinese Theatre, dramaturgy, translation and digital theatre.
- Bevan Walsh‚s Love Does Grow on Trees, was nominated for a British Independent Film Award. It premiered in the US at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it was named one of New York Magazine’s “Top Five Shorts at Tribeca” and then went on to win numerous accolades at festivals internationally.
You have priority use of industry-standard editing facilities, two state-of-the-art studios, and a range of cameras and other filmmaking equipment. You also gain experience using professional film production software including Avid and Final Cut; everything you will need to produce films to an expert standard.
You also have access to our other departmental facilities:
- Show off your work on our Vimeo channel
- View classic films at weekly film screenings in our dedicated 120-seat film theatre, equipped with digital HD projection facilities and surround sound
- Our on-Campus, 200-seat Lakeside Theatre has been established as a major venue for good drama, staging both productions by professional touring companies and a wealth of new work written, produced and directed by our own staff and students
- Participate in regular workshops at the Lakeside Theatre which help you to improve your performance skills
- Our Research Laboratory allows you to collaborate with professionals, improvising and experimenting with new work which is being tried and tested
- Write for our student magazine Rebel or host a Red Radio show
Why we’re great
- Our 200-seat on campus Lakeside Theatre is the perfect place to watch professional theatre and devise your own projects and productions.
- Our Media Centre is fully equipped with industry standard filming and editing equipment, including a green screen room.
- Our campus cinema Cine 10 is available to all film students.
We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of core/compulsory modules, and optional modules chosen from lists.
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The course content is therefore reviewed on an annual basis to ensure our courses remain up-to-date so modules listed are subject to change.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
On a placement year you gain relevant work experience within an external business or organisation, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market and providing you with key contacts within the industry. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
On your year abroad, you have the opportunity to experience other cultures and languages, to broaden your degree socially and academically, and to demonstrate to employers that you are mature, adaptable, and organised. The rest of your course remains identical to the three-year degree.
- Teaching will take the form of lectures, seminars, practical workshops and skills-based training sessions
- We offer a unique combination of theoretical and creative approaches
- Hands-on experience of camerawork, film production, technical theatre and theatre
- Explore film theory through use of film and literature
- Coursework includes essays, exhibition reviews and virtual portfolios, coursework reports, individual and group presentations, book reviews, viva voce examinations, and an independent research project (a dissertation)
- Written examinations are also taken for the majority of modules at the end of each academic year