Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

Masters study

Person reading a book taken from a box of books

Mastering the art of story

Our Masters courses offer a variety of distinctive options for in-depth and interdisciplinary study across subject areas.

Our intensive modules are taught in small groups by expert academics, professional film specialists, award-winning dramatists, and published writers, to provide a thorough preparation for independent research and PhD study, as well as equipping you with skills for developing a professional career in your field.

Throughout the year you can expand your experience beyond what you study on your course by attending our weekly research seminars and film screenings as well as writers' talks as part of our Writers at Essex series and plays at our University’s Lakeside Theatre.

We also hold major conferences and symposia and as a postgraduate student, you will have the opportunity to be involved in organising and presenting at our annual MA conference.


Explore our Masters courses

Alumni spotlight

Recent MA Scriptwriting (Theatre and Digital Media) graduate, Alison Parkes has written a fascinating television series, which she has recently adapted into a five-part audio series. It's a period drama which tells the story of Dublin-born May Abraham, who became the first ever woman HM Inspector of Factories in the late 19th century. Alison was inspired by how May fought against injustices and she championed women's rights, and how her story relates to the challenges that modern women face.


Listen to the audio
make your mark- tips to be unique
Applications for 2023 entry are officially open!

Impatient to study a Masters degree? Choose Essex and you'll work with world-leading researchers who are determined to make a change. You'll have the chance to grasp opportunities that will help you make your mark on the world, and stand out in a competitive graduate jobs market. Ready? Applications for 2023 are officially open.

Explore Masters study at Essex
Why choose us?
  • Learn from leading academics, writers, film makers and journalists
  • Small class sizes to facilitate discussion with your peers
  • Use our state-of-the-art Lakeside Theatre, dedicated film screening and editing facilities, and media centre

So, what do we have to offer?

Creative writing study

Our creative writing students explore a variety of different kinds of writing. We create new and exciting work, exploring hybrid forms such as magic realism and psychogeography. Published writers help you progress in your writing and understanding of your chosen form, including poetry, literary and genre fiction, creative non-fiction, playwriting and performance art.

Drama and theatre study

Our playwriting students focus on key aspects of the playwright’s craft, such as dramatic structure, poetic drama, radio writing, and playwriting in the community, developing their unique dramatic voice while creating a varied portfolio of works. You are taught by award-winning dramatists, whose plays have been produced in London, Edinburgh and Dublin, as well as for broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4.

English and comparative literature study

Our literature students choose from a range of specially focused modules drawing on our internationally recognised research expertise in areas such as Shakespeare, Romanticism, and Modernism, as well as European, American, and Caribbean literature, taught by our expert academic staff.

Film study

Our film students explore film analysis and practice, combining a range of specialisms from Hollywood, world and independent cinema, to documentaries, experimental practice, and female filmmakers. You are taught in small groups by expert academic film specialists and professional filmmakers.

Thorunn Bjornsdottir Bacon
“Since graduating with an MA in Creative Writing from Essex, I've concentrated on developing as a novel writer, and I use every opportunity to learn more about the craft of novel writing by attending courses and talking to other writers, but the main thing is to just keep writing. The MA course gave me the opportunity to think about what kind of a writer I am. It introduced me to genres and ideas that I mightn't have come across otherwise. It's a fertile environment and I thrived there.”
Thorunn Bjornsdottir Bacon MA Creative Writing