Contextual Studies II

The details
East 15 Acting School
Southend Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
21 April 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA W412 Acting and Fight Performance

Module description

Term One – History of Fights on Film

In this unit you will study the history of combat in theatre and film. As you view and document performances from the past century, you will continue to develop your research skills. These skills will be combined with your growing knowledge of stage combat, as you will also be asked to analyse choreographic logic, film techniques, commitment to character, text and movement, and an actor’s ability to ‘sell a fight’.  The unit will develop alternative research methods, as you will be called upon to resource films, film scripts, interviews and, when possible, notes from a director and/or a fight director

Term Two and Three – 20th Century Performance

This course will introduce you to some of the major theories and practitioners of the 20th century.  It is designed to take you past the theories of Stanislavski and explore other contemporary forms of theatre and staging.  The guiding aims are to widen your knowledge of a range of theatre styles and further develop your analytical skills.  By studying various theatrical movements, you will be more prepared to analyse any number of forms of contemporary performances.  This will involve creative thinking, decision-making and clearly expressing self-formulated views.  You will come away from the ability to apply a wide range of theories to performance practices.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

History of Fights on Film

  • To widen knowledge of the history of combat performance

  • To encourage students to explore different periods, styles and methods of presenting combat performance

  • To give the students a sense of the social, philosophical and cultural background to conflicts and their presentation in performance media

  • To develop skills so that they can express themselves objectively, either in oral or written form

20th Century Performance

  • To widen students knowledge about contemporary developments in theatre

  • To examine key theoretical and contextual issues and debates

  • To develop critical analysis and reflection

  • To develop an understanding between performance and cultural theory

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to have the ability to:

History of Fights on Film

  1. Produce a range of research materials collected for use in presenting written and verbal analysis

  2. Understand different theories, methods and styles of presenting acted combat for the screen

  3. Analyse and present a detailed analysis of a filmed scene

20th Century Performance

  1. Demonstrate competence and confidence in presenting information and academic conventions

  2. Demonstrate understanding of contemporary theatre practice

  3. Demonstrate skills in critical analysis and reflection

  4. Identify the key theoretical movements of twentieth century theatre practice

Module information

- History of Fights on Film (Weighting 70%)
The students will be asked to give a presentation of their evaluation of filmed fight sequences in a group seminar format, with a record of research undertaken and materials collected in relation to the unit and a written outline of their presentation.
- 20th Century Theatre (Weighting 30%)
Students are assessed through:
o one presentation with accompanying written documentation
o the Personal Record of Analysis and Reflection

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures, Seminars, Presentations, Tutorials, Research.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   History of Fights on Film    70% 
Coursework   20th Century Theatre    30% 
Coursework   Red Book     

Additional coursework information

The overall pass mark for this module is 40.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Chris Main, email: cmain@essex.ac.uk.
Chris Main, Zois Pigadas
For further information please email cmain@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
East 15 Acting School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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