(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Film Studies and Literature
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies
A-levels: ABB, including one essay based subject
BTEC: DDD, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
IB: 32 points or three Higher Level certificates with 655, either must include a Higher Level essay based subject grade 5.
We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programme Courses (formerly certificates) at both Higher and Standard Level. Exact offer levels will vary depending on the range of subjects being taken at higher and standard level, and the course applied for.
We can also consider combinations with BTECs or other qualifications in the Career-related programme – the acceptability of BTECs and other qualifications depends on the subject studied, advice on acceptability can be provided. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.
Access to HE Diploma:15 level 3 credits at Distinction and 30 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
T-levels: Distinction, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided.
What if I don’t achieve the grades I hoped?
If your final grades are not as high as you had hoped, the good news is you may still be able to secure a place with us on a course which includes a foundation year. Visit our undergraduate application information page for more details.
What if I have a non-traditional academic background?
Don’t worry. To gain a deeper knowledge of your course suitability, we will look at your educational and employment history, together with your personal statement and reference.
You may be considered for entry into Year 1 of your chosen course. Alternatively, some UK and EU applicants may be considered for Essex Pathways, an additional year of study (known as a foundation year/year 0) helping students gain the necessary skills and knowledge in order to succeed on their chosen course. You can find a list of Essex Pathways courses and entry requirements here
If you are a mature student, further information is here
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall. Different requirements apply for second year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK.
Other English language qualifications may be acceptable so please contact us for further details. If we accept the English component of an international qualification then it will be included in the information given about the academic levels listed above. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.
If you do not meet our IELTS requirements then you may be able to complete a pre-sessional English pathway that enables you to start your course without retaking IELTS.
If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to this degree, you could prepare and gain entry through a pathway course. Find out more about opportunities available to you at the University of Essex International College here.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
Dr Andrew Birtwistle
Reader in Film and Sound Canterbury Christ Church University
External Examiners provide an independent overview of our courses, offering their expertise and help towards our continual improvement of course content, teaching, learning, and assessment.
External Examiners are normally academics from other higher education institutions, but may be from the industry, business or the profession as appropriate for the course.
They comment on how well courses align with national standards, and on how well the teaching, learning and assessment methods allow students to develop and demonstrate the relevant knowledge and skills needed to achieve their awards.
External Examiners who are responsible for awards are key members of Boards of Examiners. These boards make decisions about student progression within their course and about whether students can receive their final award.
To offer a varied, flexible and distinctive curriculum across the fields of Literature and Film Studies (including a variety of English and other literatures in translation, encompassing several genres and periods, as well as a variety of films, encompassing a number of different genres, periods, and national cinemas).
To provide a framework for students to think critically about both written and visual texts, and to explore the links between literature and film.
To encourage students to exercise their own judgements in the examination of both primary and secondary literary/visual texts.
To acquaint students with a range of contextual, conceptual and comparative frameworks.
To provide the knowledge and skills (critical inquiry and argument, imaginative understanding, written and spoken communication and presentation) that will not only stand students in good stead for more specialised academic study, but will also enhance their graduate careers.
Learning outcomes and learning, teaching and assessment methods
On successful completion of the programme a graduate should demonstrate knowledge and skills as follows:
A: Knowledge and understanding
A1: A range of literatures in English and in translation, including knowledge of a variety of genres (poetry, fiction, and drama)
A2: A range of cinema from the late-nineteenth century to the present day, including knowledge of a variety of cinemas from different regions and genres
A3: Some major figures in literature and film, and the major social, theoretical, cultural tendencies or movements influencing the fields covered by the degree scheme
A4: The complex relationship between film, literature and culture (an appreciation of the way in which literary and visual texts are embedded in their cultural and historical milieux, and an awareness of their role in creating cultural change)
A5: Certain key formal and theoretical links between film and literature
A6: The key critical debates that have informed the fields of literary studies and film studies (and some familiarity with the most recent critical interventions)
A7: Methods of critical analysis and argument
A8: Specialised study in the final year in areas students have identified as being of particular interest
1-8 are acquired through lectures, classes and assessed coursework (with regular feedback, both oral and written, from tutors).
Literature lectures on the first and second year offer surveys of the major periods of literature covered in the course and address the major approaches and issues (mainly 1 and literary aspects of 3, 4, 6 and 7).
Film lectures and film screenings on the first and second year cover major periods and address major approaches and issues in the field (2 and film aspects of 3, 4, 6 and 7).
Year 1 and 2 classes in literature focus in more detail on textual examples, and give emphasis to student discussion and/ or presentation, preparing their argumentative skills for formal assessment (7).
Film classes are similar in format, but focus on close viewing of examples of cinematic texts, while film teaching in all 3 years emphasises the relevance of key critical movements that apply to both film and literary studies.
A range of Year 2 and 3 classes bridge the two fields and address the intermedial relations between the visual and the written (5, but also enhancing 1-3, 4, 6 and 7).
In Year 3, the format changes to a two-hour seminars, which may include informal lectures/ presentations by the teacher and gives further scope for students to practise their oral communication skills as well as to pursue more specialised areas of interest (7, 8).
In addition, students are expected to extend and enhance the knowledge and understanding they acquire from classes and lectures by regularly consulting texts and IT materials related to the course. This independent research is then consolidated in essay work.
Formal assessment of students' knowledge and understanding (1-8) takes place through coursework essays, written examinations, and in some cases oral presentation mark.
Students are expected to analyse written and cinematic texts in the light of the contextual, conceptual and comparative frameworks offered to them during the scheme, whilst also formulating their own arguments and displaying critical competence.
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Hone skills in analysis and interpretation of texts
B2: Read complex written texts and view complex visual texts and comment cogently on them
B3: Reason critically and argue coherently
B4: Identify critical literary positions and interrogate them
B5: Make and account for connections between texts and their contexts
B6: To think independently and to make connections between familiar and new ideas
Intellectual and cognitive skills are initiated through lectures in Year 1 and 2, and further developed in seminars, as well as one-to-one tutorials where appropriate.
The seminar- based work of Year 3, like that of Years 1 and 2, encourages critical discussion arising from the analysis and interpretation of texts with an emphasis on being able to reason cogently, argue coherently and present one's own viewpoint persuasively.
Year 3 students are guided towards the acquisition of a reflective understanding of the arguments they and others propose, the analyses they and others offer, and the critical positions they and others employ.
This is done through in situ feedback (formally and informally, as appropriate) in oral and written presentations, group based critical discussions and the analysis and interpretation of texts and critical positions.
Year 3 further develops and hones skills 1-5, but it is also where cumulatively 6 comes into its own (see also Independent Study), and where we seek evidence of the successful deployment of skill 6 in the assessment.
The seminars are intended as part of a process of acquiring skills 1-6.
Students apply the skills used there in individually assessed essays.
In turn, the essays prepare students for the exam.
As the summative assessment for any given course, the exam tests their ability both to demonstrate and to sustain these skills in controlled conditions.
C: Practical skills
C1: A vocabulary and a critical terminology for the analysis of literary and cinematic texts
C2: A capacity for working independently and under guidance
C3: The use of accepted conventions of presenting essays, references and bibliographies, and an ability to challenge these
C4: The utilisation of a knowledge of literary, cinematic, and generic conventions
C5: The use of a critical methodology in written work, employing reasoned argument to appreciate and evaluate literary and cinematic texts
C6: An effective style of writing to convey a range of responses as readers of literary and cinematic texts
C7: A range of methods to perform a bibliographical search.
Skills 1 and 4 are introduced in lectures and developed through classes (first and second years) and through seminars (third year).
Guidance on skills 2, 3, and 5-7 is given in teaching, in supervision of essays, and in Departmental Handbooks.
The strategy ensures that, having acquired a basic command of them, students exercise these skills in the third year in more specialised courses.
Assessment is by essays, examinations, and in some cases oral presentation.
Provision is made for students to be assessed on an Independent Study project in the third year.
There is a presentation element to the project which consists of 20% of the final mark.
Essay questions are designed to test all skills.
Examination questions test skills 1 and 4-6.
D: Key skills
D1: Clear, focused, relevant and effective written expression and oral communication
D2: Use appropriate IT to research and present materials
D3: Management of projects and timetables. Finding, understanding and organising information.
D4: Ability to "read" an argument in seminar discussion; ability to respond effectively; ability to work in a variety of group contexts
D5: Receptivity to feedback in the form of written comments on coursework and oral communications.
The relevant key skills are implicit throughout the degree, and are supported in their development by seminar work, feedback on essays and one-to-one discussion in office hours.
Communication, IT, working with others, and self-improvement are assessed through coursework and in some cases the optional Independent Study.
Communication (with aspects of problem solving, working with others, and self-improvement) is assessed through a module participation mark.