Our innovative History and Drama degree allows you to study both subjects in depth, focusing on the creative practice of the theatre and the uncovering of the past.
As a student of history, you also discover both the early modern and modern periods, and explore challenging questions concerning the impact of political, social and cultural change on individuals, social groups, and regions. At Essex, we teach you to find your own critical voice, and to view history through the eyes of ordinary people, giving them the voice they often lacked at the time.
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. This degree is a chance to unlock and explore your creativity. You will be performing and producing work in the professional context of our state-of-the-art Lakeside Theatre, and will be developing a wide range of creative, critical and practical skills that will open the door to a future in the theatre, cultural industries or a wide range of other graduate careers.
At Essex, we offer a rich combination of practical workshops, critical seminars and lectures, and employability opportunities delivered by an experienced team of playwrights, directors, and actors, as well as leading academic theatre specialists.
You will be able to choose from a wide range of modules, covering topics such as:
We are ranked third for drama in the Guardian University Guide 2021 and top 20 for dance, drama and cinematics (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021). Our history students love studying with us – 92% of our History students expressed overall satisfaction with their course (NSS 2020).
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.
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 history staff are among world leaders in their field, and our enthusiasm for our subject is infectious. Our flexible course is combined with a supportive structure which helps you to pursue the modules best-suited to your interests. We take the time to get to know you as an individual, welcome you into our scholarly community, and value your views. Our teaching and research concentrates on the period from 1500 to the present and covers a wide geographical area that includes British and European history, as well as Latin America, the USA, China, Russia and Africa.
Become part of the theatre industry by studying with people in the theatre industry. All staff in the Centre for Theatre Studies are professional theatre-makers as well as leading academics in our individual fields. We share a passion for creative and engaging teaching, bringing you ideas and practices informed by our global research interests.
The Lakeside Theatre is a purpose-built 200-seat venue in the heart of the University campus. We stage productions by leading touring companies and new work written, produced and directed by our own staff and students. Additionally, the Lakeside Studio is an intimate fully equipped black box theatre. Each year, we invite proposals from current and former Essex students to make work for this space as part of our Homegrown Shows programme.
The Lakeside Theatre also makes a connection to the cultural hubs of our country as a host of the prestigious National Theatre Live and Royal Shakespeare Company Live screenings.
We programme practical workshops by world-leading invited artists to help you develop new performance skills.
Our students have access to the University’s Media Centre, equipped with state-of-the-art studios, cameras, audio and lighting equipment, and an industry-standard editing suite.
When it comes to history, at Essex, you have the best of both worlds: on the one hand, you are part of a tight-knit, campus community with close ties to several small but excellent museums and heritage sites in the nearby town of Colchester (‘Britain’s First City’); on the other hand, you can travel from campus to London in an hour, which puts the world’s best museums, galleries, and heritage sites at your fingertips;
Our facilities enable you to gain curatorial experience, engage in object-based learning, and learn digital skills, a cornerstone of our approach to heritage and museums.
We have close links with many of cultural sites and institutions in Colchester, including the iconic Firstsite gallery, which support hands-on activities and your practical learning.
Our Essex Collection of Art from Latin America (ESCALA) is the most comprehensive Latin American art research resource in the UK and has a state-of-the-art teaching and research space. Many of our students gain work and research experience through our collection.
Our onsite gallery Art Exchange runs an ongoing programme of contemporary art exhibitions and talks by curators and artists, as well as exhibitions organised by our postgraduate curatorial students.
Our Centre for Curatorial Studies is home to staff who specialise in the history of exhibition design and curate high profile exhibitions.
The skillsets developed at Essex have seen our students find success in the performing arts and a range of creative and heritage industries including journalism, museum and archive services, librarianship, television production, broadcasting, radio presenting, gaming, magazine editing, copywriting, press relations and marketing, as well as in business, commerce and law. You will also be equipped to take on roles within government and the Civil Service, teaching, charitable organisations and finance.
A-levels: BBB - BBC or 120 – 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A-levels
BTEC: DDM – DMM or 120 – 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of the equivalent of 2 full A-levels. The acceptability of BTECs is dependent on subject studied and optional units taken - please email email@example.com for advice on acceptability
Other qualifications that hold UCAS tariff points, and combined qualifications: 120 – 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A levels or equivalent. Tariff point offers may be made if you are taking a qualification, or mixture of qualifications, from the list below:
If you are taking a qualification on the UCAS tariff that is not included in the list above and want to check whether we can accept it as part of a tariff-based offer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
IB: 30 - 29 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555-554.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme courses (formerly certificates) 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.
IB Career-related Programme: We can consider combinations of IB Diploma Programme courses with BTECs or other qualifications. Advice on acceptability can be provided, please contact Undergraduate Admissions for more information.
QAA-approved Access to HE Diploma: 6 level 3 credits at Distinction and 39 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided, please contact Undergraduate Admissions for more information.
T-levels: We can consider T-levels on a case-by-case basis, depending on subject studied and course applied for. If a T-level can be accepted, the offer for most of our undergraduate courses would be Distinction overall. Depending on the course applied for there may be additional requirements, which may include a specific grade in the Core. If you are worried about meeting our offer level, please contact our admissions team on email@example.com who will be happy to discuss your options.
We are committed to supporting students from underrepresented backgrounds to access the University of Essex, as outlined in our information for schools and colleges and our Access and Participation Plan.
That is why we may make contextual offers to applicants in the following categories:
Further information, and full eligibility criteria, can be found in our contextual offers policy.
Eligible applicants will be made a conditional offer up to two A-level grades, or equivalent, below our standard conditional offer. Contextual offers will be made to eligible applicants taking A-levels, a Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma, a combination of qualifications that hold UCAS tariff points (e.g., A-levels alongside a BTEC) and the International Baccalaureate. Where possible, we may make contextual offers to eligible applicants holding other qualifications. For further information about what a contextual offer may look like for your specific qualification profile, please contact our Admissions team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What else do I need to know about applying?
We will use all of the information on your application form when making a decision about your suitability for the course you have applied for. Where possible we will look to suggest an alternative course if we cannot accept you for the course that you have applied for. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.
What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?
If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.
What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.
You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here.
What if I am a mature student?
We recognise that students come from all backgrounds and embrace the different experiences that mature learners bring to our community. Our mature students pages will help to answer your questions.
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 for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.
Details of English language requirements, including UK Visas and Immigration minimum component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here
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 for the relevant countries.
Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications.
If you are an international student requiring a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
What if my IELTS does not meet your requirements?
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.
Do I need to have achieved an acceptable English language qualification before I apply?
You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.
What if the English language qualification I hold, or am taking, is not listed?
If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please contact Admissions on email@example.com for advice.
What are the requirements for second and final year entry?
Different requirements apply for second and final year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK. Details of English language requirements, including UK Visas and Immigration minimum component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here
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
Our research-led teaching is continually evolving to address the latest challenges and breakthroughs in the field. The following modules are based on the current course structure and may change in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.
We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.
Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
|Status||What this means|
||You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
|Core with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.|
||You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
|Compulsory with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
|The module number.||
The UK academic level of the module.
A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.
A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.
A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.
The term the module will be taught in.
COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONSTwo option(s) from TH142-4-SP, TH143-4-AU, TH145-4-SP
COMPONENT 04: OPTIONALHistory option from list
COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 02: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 03: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONSHistory option from list
COMPONENT 04: OPTIONALTheatre Studies option(s) from list
COMPONENT 05: OPTIONALHistory option from list
COMPONENT 06: COMPULSORY
COMPONENT 01: COMPULSORY WITH OPTIONSHR831-6-FY or TH831-6-FY or TH836-6-FY
COMPONENT 02: OPTIONALFinal year History option(s) from list
COMPONENT 03: OPTIONALFinal year Theatre Studies option(s) from list
COMPONENT 04: OPTIONALFinal year Theatre Studies or History option(s) from list
COMPONENT 05: COMPULSORY
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.
In your final year, you can choose to work on an independent History, Practical Theatre or Theatre Studies project.
The History project presents an opportunity to engage in independent research on a topic of your choice and to create a new piece of history. You can choose to write either a traditional 8,000-10,000 word dissertation, or design a public history output and 5,000 word report. This public history output could take the form of a series of museum exhibition boards, a podcast, web resources or a play or film script.
The Practical Theatre project offers you the chance to devise a piece of solo performance work, or in partnership with a group of other students. You will also write an essay supporting the piece. Members of the group may take on the following roles: directing, acting, costumes, set and sound design, producing, dramaturgy.
The Theatre Studies project is a 10,000 word dissertation on an area of particular interest to you. This may be the work of a specific playwright, or group of playwrights; a movement, mode or style of theatre; the work of a particular practitioner, theatre or theatre company; a theme within dramatic literature; or a period of theatre history.
£9,250 per year
£19,500 per year
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:
Applications for our full-time undergraduate courses should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full details on how to apply can be found on the filling in your UCAS undergraduate application web page.
Our UK students, and some of our EU 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. Independent applicants in the UK or EU 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.
If you are an undergraduate student residing in the UK who has received an offer to study with us in October 2024, you will receive an email invitation soon to book onto one of our Offer Holder Days. Our Colchester Campus Offer Holder Days run from February to May 2024 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays, and our Southend Campus Offer Holder Days run in April and May 2024 on various Wednesdays and Saturdays. Offer Holder Days provide the opportunity to meet your department, tour our campus and accommodation, and chat to current students. We appreciate that travelling to university events can be expensive, so we are offering an Offer Holder Day Travel Bursary, allowing you to claim up to £150 as reimbursement for travel expenses. For further information about Offer Holder Days, including terms and conditions and eligibility criteria for our Travel Bursary, please visit our Offer Holder Days webpage.
If you are an overseas offer-holder, you will be invited to attend one of our virtual events. However, you are more than welcome to join us at one of our in-person Offer Holder Days if you are able to - we will let you know in your invite email how you can do this.
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.
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.
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 University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
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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