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).
Why we’re great
- We provide a global approach to the study of film in a distinctive and vibrant academic community.
- We are ranked number 1 in the UK for film studies (Dance, Drama and Cinematics, Times Good University Guide 2019).
- You have access to HD cameras, extensive editing facilities, a film library and a dedicated cinema.
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 abroad or employed on a placement abroad, while 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
When you arrive at Essex, you can decide whether you would like to combine your course with a placement year. You will be responsible for finding your placement, but with support and guidance provided by both your department and our Employability and Careers Centre.
If you complete a placement year you’ll only pay 20% of your usual tuition fee to Essex for that year.
Our expert staff
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.
- 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.
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.