Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

Undergraduate study

Female student jumping on the back of male student in a drama class

Empowering the creative artists of the future

Our undergraduate degrees offer a rich combination of practical workshops, critical seminars and lectures, and employability opportunities delivered by an experienced team of specialists.

Staff and students have a close working relationship, and the academic staff bring both expertise and innovation 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.

Whether your chosen subject area involves novels, scripts, plays or news articles, we teach you to develop a deeper understanding of texts through an emphasis on close reading combined with the exploration of a variety of theoretical approaches, as well as the historical and cultural contexts in which these works are produced.


Explore our Undergraduate courses
Why choose us?
  • We’re 4th in the UK for Drama and Dance in the Guardian University Guide 2024
  • Top 40 in UK for overall student satisfaction for Media Studies (National Student Survey 2022)
  • 88% of our Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies UG graduates are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2023) 
Dr Liam Jarvis wearing a black bow tie, white shirt and black jacket and holding his Times Higher Education award
We're home to the UK's most innovative teacher

Dr Jarvis, who was one of eight UK lecturers shortlisted for the national award, was recognised for his quick thinking and imaginative response to the COVID-19 2020 lockdown. Dr Jarvis, from the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies and co-director of the Centre for Theatre Research was recognised for transforming his intensive creative theatre workshop into a unique online learning experience in a matter of weeks, ensuring his students didn’t miss the chance of a lifetime to work with actor and director Mella Faye.

Read the article

So, what do we have to offer?

Facilities for success

Our University’s Lakeside Theatre runs a diverse programme of plays, live art, and comedy and has a fully-equipped 200 seat auditorium and an experimental studio laboratory.

We also have a dedicated 120-seat film theatre where we hold weekly film screenings introduced by our academic staff as well as talks by visiting filmmakers and showcases of students' work.

Our students have access to our University’s Media Centre which is equipped with state-of-the-art studios, cameras, audio and lighting equipment, as well as professional editing facilities and a purpose-built newsroom with access to television and radio studios.

We also own a substantial DVD collection for students to use alongside extensive film holdings in our University's Albert Sloman Library.

Opportunities to study abroad

All of our undergraduate courses have the option of spending a term or a full year studying abroad. As well as being a fantastic opportunity to experience a different country and its culture, this gives you the opportunity to add a valuable dimension to your studies by engaging with worldwide perspectives on creative writing, drama, literature, film and journalism.

Preparation for life after graduation

At Essex you gain relevant practical experience in your field. Our journalism students publish their own material on our dedicated Essexjournalism website. Our drama students hold their own shows in our purpose-built, 200-seat Lakeside Theatre. Our film students showcase their work at our dedicated 120-seat film theatre.

Our courses teach the critical and practical skills that are widely transferable and highly valued by employers across a variety of sectors. Our graduates are therefore ideally prepared for careers in the media, education, publishing, film and theatre industries, or as writers, and we encourage and support you to explore a full range of future options.

Kate Whiting
“Studying drama at the University of Essex has allowed me to achieve something I thought was lost to me forever. I thought I had no more to give the world when I became a single parent, but this amazing place gave me the tools to progress into teaching. My biggest admiration were the University staff, who were an outstanding support network for me, and who kept me going when I needed them through the tough times. I will NEVER forget this place, the best three years of my life.”
Kate Whiting BA Drama