The study of drama is a true marriage of intellect and emotion.


Performance is in your DNA

You’re an extrovert. There’s no such thing as OTT. You’ll stay late in to the night to make sure your production is perfect. You’re proud. You’re fierce. You’re emotional. Theatre is a culture and you’re firmly in it, whether you’re behind the lights in technical, or in the spotlight on stage.

Learn about our teaching and assessment plans, in light of the pandemic, for the 2020/21 academic year on the department pages.

Our courses

We offer BA Drama as a single honours. If joint honours are more your thing check out BA Drama and Literature and BA Film and Drama.

Why study here?
  • We have a thriving Theatre Arts Society and student company - students regularly produce their own shows.
  • Our lecturers are respected, working theatre professionals and our Lakeside Theatre is a vibrant creative hub with an international reputation.
  • We are ranked 3rd for Drama in the Complete University Guide 2022.
Screen grab, showing a number of students taking part in an online theatre workshop with Mella Faye via Zoom technology
Teaching theatre in COVID lockdown

When lockdown struck it looked like theatre students might miss the chance of a lifetime to be part of a new piece of theatre, but thanks to the ingenuity of one lecturer, virtual reality headsets shipping around the world, they got a unique virtual learning experience instead.

Read more

Theatre at Essex is revolutionary

We believe drama should never be less than truthful, inspirational and life-changing.

Our courses will refine your approach to theatre-making. Through research and practice you'll explore and critique traditional and contemporary dramatists and practitioners from across the globe. Your studies will develop your understanding of the purpose and impact of performance.

We offer MA Theatre Practice and MA Scriptwriting. Both are based in our Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies.

MA Acting is based at East 15.

Learn about our teaching and assessment plans, in light of the pandemic, for the 2020/21 academic year on the department pages.

Why study here?
  • Our industry links offer you access to distinguished visiting actors and directors from UK theatres.
  • We're ranked 3rd in the UK for drama (Guardian University Guide 2021 and the Complete University Guide 2022).
  • We give our actors and directors the chance to work together on collaborative projects.
Lakeside theatre seats
Facilities for success

As a student in the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, you will have access to our incredible facilities such as the Media Centre and the Lakeside Theatre, including access to state-of-the-art equipment.

Find out more

Create your masterpiece

Theatre Studies and Drama at Essex is a unique conservatoire of practitioners who offer talented research students supervision in a number of specialisms.

We're here to guide and nurture you to become directors, writers, artistic directors, theatre practitioners and performers. 

Our campus theatre, the Lakeside Theatre, is a major venue for professional touring companies, and it also plays host to new theatre brought to the stage by our students. 

Expertise and supervision

To find out more about us read our biographies and then use our research finder to find a supervisor.

Why study here?
  • We offer a uniquely interdisciplinary environment for undertaking a PhD in theatre studies either as a critical thesis or based on creative practice.
  • Access to a range of exceptional facilities to enhance your learning and research, including our Lakeside Theatre.
  • You benefit from expert supervision from leading theatre practitioners and theorists and are part of a department with internationally recognised research specialisms.
Grace standing outside the Lakeside Theatre on our Colchester Campus
"My practical piece is called Thirteen Reasons Why Not. It's a comedic take on ways to keep yourself happy but is also designed to get feedback from the audience."
Grace Durbin MAD 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.

Find out more
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undergraduate prospectus pack
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Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.

The teaching and assessment methods listed on each course page show what is currently planned for 2021 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.