Film studies

At Essex, we offer a truly global approach to the study of film within a distinctive and vibrant academic community. Balancing academic theory with practical production experience aims to shape students into well-rounded filmmakers. Students have access to state-of-the-art HD cameras, extensive editing facilities, a film library, and a dedicated cinema. 

Film studies

Undergraduate degrees

Our approach combines the study of film theory with practical production, allowing you to develop well-rounded film scholar skills and a deeper knowledge of film. Our production modules empower you to apply academic knowledge, refining and enriching your own practical work.

Our academics and filmmakers provide you with the analytic, technical, and creative skills needed to understand and create films. You'll have the opportunity to collaborate with professionals like Nic Blower, who boasts over 20 years of experience producing and directing documentaries and dramas for the BBC. Explore film's historical roots and digital futures, including Hollywood blockbusters, experimental film, and international cinemas, alongside related media. We cover documentary, video game theory, creative media practice, and television studies, giving you the chance to script, shoot, edit, and exhibit films. We encourage exploration across genres, time periods, and regions—from Hollywood, world, and independent cinema to documentaries and television. By the end of your degree, you'll possess an insider's understanding of why visual media are central to our experience of the modern world.

Why study here?
  • Get hands on experience using our HD cameras,extensive editing facilities, a film library and a dedicated cinema for showcasing your work.
  • At the Centre for Film and Screen Media, we screen and discuss both recent blockbusters and less mainstream arthouse films
  • 88% of our Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies Undergraduate graduates are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2023)

Career prospects

Our graduates are well-equipped for diverse career paths, including film production, television, journalism, publishing, and teaching. Recent alumni have gone on to the following roles:

  • Celebrity Booker at Cactus TV
  • Writer for Sky
  • BBC Television Editor

Find out more about careers and employability, and the support we provide within the Departments of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies.

Masters degrees

As part of our MA in Film, you will have the opportunity to examine the formal, social, cultural and political dimensions of films. Our MA program allows you to explore:

  • Formal, social, cultural, and political dimensions of films within and beyond Hollywood
  • Fiction film production, covering pre-production, camera work, lighting, and sound
  • Documentary classics, docufictions, mockumentaries
  • Collective and individual filmmaking projects
  • Storyboarding and editing

Additionally, masterclasses led by industry professionals enhance your technical skills in cinematography, directing, and editing/postproduction.

Why study here?
  • Attend enriching masterclasses facilitated by industry professionals.
  • Engage in collaborative projects within our Research Laboratory, connecting with creative professionals fostering original works.
  • Enjoy weekly screenings of classic films at Cine10, our dedicated 120-seat cinema situated at the heart of the campus.

Our research degrees

Pursue a PhD in Film Studies, delving into our diverse staff's extensive research expertise, which spans global film and media through various approaches. Explore a wide array of subjects, including world cinemas, film history, theory, comparative and new media, festivals, media platforms, and the contexts of film and media production and reception. Benefit from our staff's interdisciplinary expertise, fostering innovative research, and receive consistent support from your supervisor and advisory board throughout your studies.

Start your application with us

Explore our film studies research by theme or your area of interest and find a supervisor that can support your through your studies. More information can be found about research degrees on our school pages. Our courses below will help guide you through the various research degree programmes we offer.

Explore funding opportunities Ready to apply? Start your application today
Why study here?
  • Be part of an active and collaborative research community.
  • We run weekly research seminars with speakers invited from the UK and abroad.
  • Our research students organise and present at our annual PhD conference.
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