Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

Drama and Theatre Studies

Venetian masks

Undergraduate courses

Christine Gomes loved the chance to perform and get involved in productions at the Lakeside Theatre.

Our students are empowered to be the creative artists of the future: our department ranks in the UK top 20 for student satisfaction (NSS 2016). Our lecturers are all active practitioners: our teaching and research is enhanced and informed by our professional work around the world. As industry professionals and reputed academics, we are committed to nurturing your talents and helping you establish your career.

Our courses

Studying theatre and drama at Essex enables you to examine some of the most influential play-texts ever written, and to be ready to take part in shaping the essential performances of tomorrow.

We closely combine theory and practice to give you the most contemporary teaching. You can study drama as a single honours degree, or in combination with literature or modern languages as a joint-honours degree. Courses are three years of full-time study and can also be taken as a four-year option including a year of study abroad.

  • BA Drama

    Our BA Drama provides you with a thorough grounding in key areas of theatre and performance, from the theory and practice of comedy and tragedy to physical theatre and live art, as well as classic texts, contemporary writing, and stage-management.

    You will benefit from our extensive theatre expertise as well as our department’s research specialisms across literature, film studies, and creative writing. You can choose from a wide range of modules according to your particular interests including the option of undertaking your own practical independent study project in your third year.

    • BA Drama (also available with year abroad)

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of undergraduate modules you can take.

  • BA Drama and Literature

    Our BA Drama and Literature encompasses the study of a broad range of drama and English literature, allowing you to benefit from the combined expertise of our department’s established theatre practitioners and leading literature specialists.

    Dedicated core modules in both drama and literature provide a comprehensive understanding of the development of European theatre within the context of literary history and theory, from Ancient Greece to the present. These are supplemented by optional modules, which you can choose according to your interests in each area.

    Read the full course description on our course finder:

    Our module directory allows you to see the range of undergraduate modules you can take.

Start your future

Our drama students come from a range of diverse backgrounds and bring with them a rich wealth of experience. Many of our students have come to the University of Essex to explore their passion for theatre and performance. A drama degree opens many doors. Creativity, communication and versatility are highly valued skills in our rapidly changing world. Our students have gone on to become actors, directors and playwrights, as well as youth workers, drama therapists, teachers and television broadcasters.

Our teaching methods

An undergraduate degree in drama offers a rich combination of practical workshops, critical seminars and lectures, and employability opportunities delivered by an experienced team of theatre specialists.

Staff and students have a close working relationship, and the academic staff bring expertise in a carefully chosen set of specialisms to ensure that you can chose to study a broad range of topics and areas. This teaching is further enhanced by a programme of visiting practitioners, artists and experts who deliver masterclasses to help you expand your horizons, build your skills and refine your technique.

On-campus theatre

Our teaching takes place across the whole of the campus! The centrepiece is our professional venue, the Lakeside Theatre. The Lakeside Theatre is a purpose-built 200-seat venue in the heart of the University campus. The Lakeside stages productions by leading touring companies and new work written, produced and directed by our own staff and students.

Undergraduate pathways

If you don’t meet our standard undergraduate entry requirements, our Essex Pathways Department offers undergraduate pathways that equip you with the necessary academic and English language skills to enable you to progress to an undergraduate course in our department.

Languages for All

Our Languages for All scheme allows you to study a language alongside your course at no extra cost.

Study abroad

Study abroad

Our courses give you a variety of options to study abroad, including spending a term or a whole year at one of our partner universities around the world.

Lakeside Theatre

Lakeside Theatre

Our University's Lakeside Theatre runs an exciting programme of plays, music, comedy and workshops, as well as offering voluntary and paid work experience opportunities to our students.

UG Open Days

Book a place at our undergraduate Open Day. Our department and admissions staff can answer any questions you have, and you can speak to current students about life at Essex while taking a campus tour.

How to apply

How to apply

Find out more about how to apply for a course in literature, creative writing, drama, film studies or journalism. We can provide help and advice, and guide you through the application process.