2020 applicants
Undergraduate Course

BA Film and Drama

BA Film and Drama

Overview

The details
Film and Drama
P400
October 2021
Full-time
3 years
Colchester Campus

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.

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.
THE Awards 2018 - Winner University of the Year

Study abroad

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

Placement year

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.

Specialist facilities

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

Entry requirements

UK entry requirements

A-levels: BBB, including one essay-based subject

BTEC: DDM, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

IB: 30 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555, including a Higher Level essay-based subject grade 5.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

Access to HE Diploma: 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.

Flexible offers
Eligible applicants that choose us as their firm choice by the relevant deadline will be able to take advantage of a flexible offer. This offer will specify alternative entry requirements than those published here so, if your final grades aren’t what you had hoped for, you could still secure a place with us. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.

International & EU entry requirements

We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.

Sorry, the entry requirements for the country that you have selected are not available here. Please select your country page where you'll find this information.

English language requirements

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK.

Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications

If you are an international student requiring a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.

Additional Notes

If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.

Structure

Example structure

We offer a flexible course structure with a mixture of compulsory and optional modules chosen from lists. Below is just one example structure from the current academic year of a combination of modules you could take. Your course structure could differ based on the modules you choose.

Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field, therefore all modules listed are subject to change. To view the compulsory modules and full list of optional modules currently on offer, please view the programme specification via the link below.

Approaches to Film and Media

How do we analyse moving images? What innovations have transformed the cinema experience? What moments and movements have been key to film history? Study the development of international cinema, looking at all aspects of the form, including analysis of theoretical issues, film language, and a variety of important directors and genres.

View Approaches to Film and Media on our Module Directory

Introduction to Theatre Studies

This is the foundational module for your BA Drama Degree. We enrich your existing knowledge of major theatre practitioners – Aristotle, Brecht, Artaud and Stanislavski – and complement these studies by introducing new theatre theorists, movements and styles. Examine plays from Ancient Greece to today, discussing issues like genre, representation, reception, modernism and postmodernism. This module blends together practical and theoretical classes to create the building blocks for an informed study of theatre practice.

View Introduction to Theatre Studies on our Module Directory

Models of Practice

What are the links and connections between texts? Do these exist even if the plays seem diverse? Explore a range of texts from the medieval period to the 1980s, analysing genre, dramatic form, language, narrative and dramatic debate. Through practical sessions, consider approaches like staging, verse-speaking, montage and character development.

View Models of Practice on our Module Directory

Documentary Filmmaking (optional)

Documentary film makers have been unveiling new and surprising truths to the masses since the 1920s, and the genre is as popular today as it has ever been. You examine different documentary forms through the work of practitioners such as John Grierson, Molly Dineen, and Agnes Varda, and gain key production skills, including the formulation of the idea, research methods, handling techniques, legal and consent issues, recording techniques and documentary editing. By the end of the module, you will have created your own individual documentary film.

View Documentary Filmmaking (optional) on our Module Directory

Tragedy (optional)

How are Aristotle’s theories about tragedy still useful? How have they been modified or rejected by playwrights since? And can you write a short tragedy? Examine tragedy in theatre, from classic Greek tragedy to now. Understand how playwrights adapt tragic forms and structures to speak more powerfully to their audience.

View Tragedy (optional) on our Module Directory

Directing Actors for Film (optional)

Focusing on a number of different approaches to directing, in this module you learn how to work creatively and collaboratively with actors for film. You take inspiration from famous film directors and critically analyse their directing style. You cover the process of directing from start to finish, from script analysis for casting, rehearsals and film production. It involves both theoretical and practice-based sessions, allowing you to study directing in a realistic environment.

View Directing Actors for Film (optional) on our Module Directory

Cultural Ideology and Film

How do films tackle the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? Or issues about surveillance and asylum? What about gender and violence? Explore the complex relationship between cinema and ideology through a diverse selection of international films. Analyse how cinema can be an ideological medium, both sustaining and interrogating our social and cultural values.

View Cultural Ideology and Film on our Module Directory

Possible Worlds: Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction, and Alternate Histories
Interactive Performance-making: Shaping Audience Participation

This new module allows you to explore a vital feature of contemporary trends in British and international interactive theatre and performance-making – namely, the shifting role of the audience. From the ethics of the face-to-face encounter to technologies that prompt interaction, this module cultivates a theoretical awareness of the politics of audience participation, agency and labour. You will explore key debates that have emerged in theatre, fine art and other related fields, develop your own artistic manifesto, and build confidence in shaping live experiences that are completed by the involvement of unrehearsed participants.

View Interactive Performance-making: Shaping Audience Participation on our Module Directory

Theatre and Human Rights

Nominated for module of the year, we examine here how theatre practitioners have approached the urgent political crises of the last century. We ask how theatre and human rights interact, and can they intervene in changing hearts and minds. You study a range of plays alongside the ideas of influential practitioners, plus political films and works of art. This module gives you the chance to make your original theatre pieces in response to social issues and world events.

View Theatre and Human Rights on our Module Directory

Writing for the Theatre

Taught by award-winning professional playwrights, this module takes you through the A-Z of writing full-length plays. In this laboratory environment we study the tools and techniques you need to write successfully for the theatre. The module examines the different approaches available to the playwright, and challenges ideas about form, structure and use of language. Studying a range of playscripts in depth, you will develop your skills through practical exercises and assignments. This module gives you the opportunity to enhance your own creative process and progress your professional career.

View Writing for the Theatre on our Module Directory

Placement

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.

Year abroad

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

  • 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

Assessment

  • 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

Fees and funding

Home/UK fee

£9,250

International fee

£16,850

EU students commencing their course in the 2021-22 academic year will be liable for the International fee.

Fees will increase for each academic year of study.

Home/UK fee information

International fee information

What's next

Open Days

Our events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex. We run a number of Open Days throughout the year which enable you to discover what our campus has to offer. You have the chance to:

  • tour our campus and accommodation
  • find out answers to your questions about our courses, student finance, graduate employability, student support and more
  • meet our students and staff

Check out our Visit Us pages to find out more information about booking onto one of our events. And if the dates aren’t suitable for you, feel free to book a campus tour here.

Applying

Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Applications are online at: www.ucas.com. Full details on this process can be obtained from the UCAS website in the how to apply section.

Our UK students, and some of our EU and international students, who are still at school or college, can apply through their school. Your school will be able to check and then submit your completed application to UCAS. Our other international applicants (EU or worldwide) or independent applicants in the UK can also apply online through UCAS Apply.

The UCAS code for our University of Essex is ESSEX E70. The individual campus codes for our Loughton and Southend Campuses are ‘L’ and ‘S’ respectively.

You can find further information on how to apply, including information on transferring from another university, applying if you are not currently at a school or college, and applying for readmission on our How to apply and entry requirements page.

Interview and tests

If you’re resident in the UK and apply before the UCAS deadline in January, you might be shortlisted for a workshop based on your application. During this workshop you’ll work in groups, responding to a stimulus to create a piece of theatre. It’s an ideal opportunity to experience how our courses are taught and also great fun. Offers for this course will only be made after attendance at a workshop. This will form part of your visit day where you’ll be able to explore the campus, meet our students and get a feel for life at Essex.

If you live outside the UK, we won’t invite you to a workshop, but you can still arrange a trip to see us. Feel free to email applicantdays@essex.ac.uk and we’ll help you arrange a suitable time for you to come and visit.

Colchester Campus

Visit Colchester Campus

Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.

The Campus is set within 200 acres of beautiful parkland, located two miles from the historic town centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded town. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.

 

Virtual tours

If you live too far away to come to Essex (or have a busy lifestyle), no problem. Our 360 degree virtual tours allows you to explore our University from the comfort of your home. Check out our Colchester virtual tour and Southend virtual tour to see accommodation options, facilities and social spaces.

Exhibitions

Our staff travel the world to speak to people about the courses on offer at Essex. Take a look at our list of exhibition dates to see if we’ll be near you in the future.

At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.


Find out more

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.

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