Department

Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

4 students standing outside on the grass with 2 reading notes from books while a third writes

Specialists across literature, screen and stage

We are an interdisciplinary department with expertise in English literature, drama, creative writing, journalism, film and screen media. Our courses are taught by leading academics, writers, film makers and journalists, and allow you to follow specialised pathways or to combine your interests across our subject areas.

Literature was one of the founding subjects at the University of Essex and since our department's inception in the 1960s under the poet Donald Davie, we have nurtured a tradition of distinguished writers, who have shaped literature as we know it.

Although our department built its reputation on scholarly and critical achievements across English, comparative and world literature, the addition of centres for creative writing, theatre studies, and film and screen media further expanded our range, and combined with journalism, a new subject area, give our department its uniquely diverse and interdisciplinary character.

Our teaching draws on our internationally recognised expertise across a range of research specialisms. Our drama academics are all professional theatre practitioners; working in the theatre world as writers, directors, actors and theatre-makers. Our film specialists and professional filmmakers have extensive industry experience, and our journalists have held senior editorial and correspondent roles with national and international media organisations.

Explore our courses

Why
choose us?

Top 15 for creative writing (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020)
Top 5 for dance, drama and cinematics (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020)
100% of our English Literature students expressed overall satisfaction with their course (NSS 2019)
100% of our drama students expressed overall satisfaction with their course (NSS 2019)
93% of our film studies students expressed overall satisfaction with their course (NSS 2019)
Ranked 1st in the UK for drama (Guardian University Guide 2020)
University of the Year (Times Higher Education Awards 2018)
Three-quarters of our research is rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF 2014)
three creative writing students making notes in the field
Two men filming a sceen
Drama students rehearsing with script
Drama students rehearsing with script
Female student facing to the left adjusting the lens of a film camera on a tripod
two students acting in a studio
UoTY winners 2018
A row of old looking library books
Female student jumping on the back of male student in a drama class
Our drama students are the most satisfied in the UK

In the latest National Student Survey (NSS), Essex has been rated top in the UK for student satisfaction in drama, with 100% of students expressing overall satisfaction with their course.

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Dr Elizabeth Kuti
"Our students and staff share a love of creativity, critical enquiry, and story. Follow your passion – and discover new ones – as you learn from leading academics, writers, film-makers and journalists."
Dr Elizabeth Kuti Head of Department Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
A row of old looking library books
Our research

The Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies has internationally recognised expertise in the literatures of the British Isles, the Americas, and Europe, combined with strengths in world cinema, film theory and practice, contemporary theatre and poetry, as well as adaptation and translation studies. Three-quarters of our research was rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the REF 2014.

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Latest news
Colchester’s first fringe festival needs you
25 Oct 2019
Award-winning film to be screened and streamed
25 Oct 2019
Essex ranked in top 250 in the world for humanities
02 Oct 2019
Contact the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Contact the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
5NW.6.16
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: +44 (0)1206 872626