Our four-year BA Film Studies and Literature (including foundation year), will be suitable for you if your academic qualifications do not yet meet our entrance requirements for the three-year version of this course and you want a programme that increases your subject knowledge as well as improves your academic skills in order to support your academic performance.
This four-year course includes a foundation year (Year Zero), followed by a further three years of study. During your Year Zero, you study three academic subjects relevant to your chosen course as well as a compulsory academic skills module, with additional English language for non-English speakers.
You are an Essex student from day one, a member of our global community based at the most internationally diverse campus university in the UK.
After successful completion of Year Zero in our Essex Pathways Department, you progress to complete your course with our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies.
Refine your critical skills and nurture your thinking about film and literature. Explore cinema and other media through cultural analysis, the impact of changes in technology and aesthetics, and cinema as a creative outlet, to discover how film developed in the modern world.
Film at Essex equips you with the theoretical and background knowledge to understand the dynamics of global cinemas. Plus, combining your studies with Literature gives you an understanding of how to engage with media across comparative contexts. We introduce you to some of the most significant works of literature and film which have sparked movements or represented a crucial conceptual or aesthetic turn, giving you keen insights into the far-reaching influences of these media.
You’ll have a range of optional modules to choose from, and you could choose topics such as:
- American film authors
- Film and propaganda
- World cinema
- Narrative and film
- Documentary film
- Psychoanalytic theory
- British romanticism
- European literature
- Writing of the American South
- The Western in literature and film
You also have the opportunity to take practical options in the second year, to develop your production skills and knowledge of the filmmaking process. From initial concept to research methods, addressing legal and consent requirements, filming, and editing, these options can give you an insider knowledge of what it means to work behind the camera.
We are ranked top 20 for film studies in the UK (Dance, drama and cinematics, Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021).
Our expert staff
We have some of the best teachers across the University in our Essex Pathways Department, all of whom have strong subject backgrounds and are highly skilled in their areas.
The Centre for Film and Screen Media at Essex is part of a unique literary conservatoire that offers talented students the support and confidence to respond both critically and artistically to the study of film.
Our academic literature staff specialise in a range of areas including modernism, comparative and world literature, Shakespeare, the Renaissance, travel writing, nature writing, translated literature, cultural geography, Irish and Scottish writing, US and Caribbean literature, and the history of reading.
We are committed to unlocking creative personal responses to literature and film. Our distinctive environment is possible because we are a community of award-winning film-makers, scholars, media specialists, novelists, poets and playwrights, as well as leading literature specialists. Our staff over the years has also included Oscar winners and BAFTA winners.
By studying within our Essex Pathways Department for your foundation year, you will have access to all of the facilities that the University of Essex has to offer, as well as those provided by our department to support you:
- We provide computer labs for internet research; classrooms with access to PowerPoint facilities for student presentations; AV facilities for teaching and access to web-based learning materials.
- Our Student Services Hub will support you and provide information for all your needs as a student
- Our social space is stocked with hot magazines and newspapers, and provides an informal setting to meet with your lecturers, tutors and friends
Take advantage of our extensive learning resources to assist you in your studies:
- View classic films at weekly film screenings in our dedicated 120-seat film theatre, equipped with digital HD projection facilities and surround sound
- Join student film societies and the Centre for Film and Screen Media, which screen and discuss both recent blockbusters and less mainstream arthouse films
- Hear writers talk about their craft and learn from leading specialists at weekly research seminars
- Meet fellow readers at the student-run Literature Society or at the department’s Myth Reading Group
- Write for our student magazine Rebel or host a Red Radio show
Our graduates acquire key skills in writing close analysis, critical analysis, contextual research, time-management, and hands-on filmmaking.
In your third year, you can make your own short film – a calling card showcasing your individual, creative potential to add to a portfolio of practical work developed during your course to present to prospective employers. You can enter film production, TV, journalism, publishing and teaching professions, amongst a host of other careers.
Recent graduates have been employed as:
- A subtitle writing for Sky TV
- An assistant director for a music video for an internationally-acclaimed band
- An English teacher
- A media studies teacher
We also work with the university’s Student Development Team to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.
Why we’re great
- We equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed at Essex and beyond.
- Guarantee your place on your chosen degree upon successful completion of your foundation year
- Small class sizes allow you to work closely with your teachers and classmates.
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.
- Your teaching mainly takes the form of lectures and classes, the latter involving about 20 students
- A typical timetable includes a one-hour lecture and a one-hour class for each of your four modules every week
- Any language classes involve language laboratory sessions
- Our classes are run in small groups, so you receive a lot of individual attention
- Your assessed coursework will generally consist of essays, reports, in-class tests, book reviews, individual or group oral presentations, and small scale research projects