Drama and Literature (Including Year Abroad)

Staff member? Login here

Academic Year of Entry: 2024/25
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Drama and Literature (Including Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Dance, Drama and Performance


Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

  • A-levels: BBB - BBC or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A-levels, including B in one essay based subject.
  • BTEC: DDM - DMM or 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of the equivalent of 2 full A-levels. The acceptability of BTECs is dependent on subject studied and optional units taken - email ugquery@essex.ac.uk for advice.
  • Combined qualifications on the UCAS tariff: 120 - 112 UCAS tariff points from a minimum of 2 full A levels or equivalent. Tariff point offers may be made if you are taking a qualification, or mixture of qualifications, from the list on our undergraduate application information page.
  • IB: 30 - 29 points or three Higher Level certificates with 555-554.
  • IB Career-related Programme: We consider combinations of IB Diploma Programme courses with BTECs or other qualifications. Advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • QAA-approved Access to HE Diploma: 6 level 3 credits at Distinction and 39 level 3 credits at Merit, depending on subject studied - advice on acceptability can be provided, email Undergraduate Admissions.
  • T-levels: We consider T-levels on a case-by-case basis, depending on subject studied. The offer for most courses is Distinction overall. Depending on the course applied for there may be additional requirements, which may include a specific grade in the Core.

Contextual Offers:

We are committed to ensuring that all students with the merit and potential to benefit from an Essex education are supported to do so. For October 2024 entry, if you are a home fee paying student residing in the UK you may be eligible for a Contextual Offer of up to two A-level grades, or equivalent, below our standard conditional offer.
Factors we consider:

  • Applicants from underrepresented groups
  • Applicants progressing from University of Essex Schools Membership schools/colleges
  • Applicants who attend a compulsory admissions interview
  • Applicants who attend an Offer Holder Day at our Colchester or Southend campus

Our contextual offers policy outlines additional circumstances and eligibility criteria.

For further information about what a contextual offer may look like for your specific qualification profile, email ugquery@essex.ac.uk.

If you haven't got the grades you hoped for, have a non-traditional academic background, are a mature student, or have any questions about eligibility for your course, more information can be found on our undergraduate application information page. or get in touch with our Undergraduate Admissions Team.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 6.0 overall, or specified score in another equivalent test that we accept.

Details of English language requirements, including component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

If we accept the English component of an international qualification it will be included in the academic levels listed above for the relevant countries.

English language shelf-life

Most English language qualifications have a validity period of 5 years. The validity period of Pearson Test of English, TOEFL and CBSE or CISCE English is 2 years.

If you require a Student visa to study in the UK please see our immigration webpages for the latest Home Office guidance on English language qualifications.

Pre-sessional English courses

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.

Pending English language qualifications

You don’t need to achieve the required level before making your application, but it will be one of the conditions of your offer.

If you cannot find the qualification that you have achieved or are pending, then please email ugquery@essex.ac.uk .

Requirements for second and final year entry

Different requirements apply for second and final year entry, and specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a visa to study in the UK. Details of English language requirements, including UK Visas and Immigration minimum component scores, and the tests we accept for applicants who require a Student visa (excluding Nationals of Majority English Speaking Countries) can be found here

Additional Notes

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

Course qualifiers

A course qualifier is a bracketed addition to your course title to denote a specialisation or pathway that you have achieved via the completion of specific modules during your course. The specific module requirements for each qualifier title are noted below. Eligibility for any selected qualifier will be determined by the department and confirmed by the final year Board of Examiners. If the required modules are not successfully completed, your course title will remain as described above without any bracketed addition. Selection of a course qualifier is optional and student can register preferences or opt-out via Online Module Enrolment (eNROL).


Rules of assessment

Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.

Additional notes


External examiners

Staff photo
Dr Christina Papagiannouli

Research Fellow

University of South Wales

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.

eNROL, the module enrolment system, is now open until Monday 21 October 2024 8:59AM, for students wishing to make changes to their module options.


Core You must take this module.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Core with Options You can choose which module to study.
You must pass this module. No failure can be permitted.
Compulsory You must take this module.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Compulsory with Options You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.
Optional You can choose which module to study.
There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the degree if you fail.

Year 1 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  TH141-4-FY-CO  Introduction to Theatre Studies  Compulsory  30  30 
02  LT111-4-FY-CO  Origins and Transformations in Literature and Drama  Compulsory  30  30 
03  LT705-4-SP-CO  The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways  Compulsory  15  15 
04    TH142-4-AU or TH145-4-AU  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
05    LT182-4-AU or LT161-4-AU or LT191-4-AU  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
06    TH143-4-SP or Spring option from list  Optional  15  15 

Year 2 - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  TH241-5-FY-CO  Theatre and Performance Makers  Compulsory  30  30 
02  LT204-5-FY-CO  Criticism: Practice and Theory  Compulsory  30  30 
03    2nd year Literature option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
04    2nd year Theatre Studies option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  AW121-6-FY-CO  Abroad Module 120 Credits  Compulsory  120  120 

Year 3 - 2027/28

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    Final year Theatre Studies option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
02    Final year Theatre Studies or Literature option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
03    Final year Literature or Film Studies option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
04    LT831-6-FY or TH831-6-FY  Compulsory with Options  30  30 

Exit awards

A module is given one of the following statuses: 'core' – meaning it must be taken and passed; 'compulsory' – meaning it must be taken; or 'optional' – meaning that students can choose the module from a designated list. The rules of assessment may allow for limited condonement of fails in 'compulsory' or 'optional' modules, but 'core' modules cannot be failed. The status of the module may be different in any exit awards which are available for the course. Exam Boards will consider students' eligibility for an exit award if they fail the main award or do not complete their studies.

Programme aims

  • To offer a varied, flexible and distinctive curriculum focused on the study of English literature and encompassing several genres and periods.
  • Understand the methodology necessary for undertaking a close analysis of a text passage or film extract.
  • Acquire the critical terminology to identify and name the literary devices at work in a text.
  • Work in a small group to prepare a presentation that demonstrates the skills involved in the close reading of an unseen text.
  • Appreciate the relationship between the written and the spoken language.
  • To encourage students to exercise their own judgements in the reading of both primary and secondary 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.
  • To enable study of a wide range of dramatic texts, from Ancient Greek to the present day .
  • To provide students with an understanding of the principal developments in European Theatre .
  • To encourage understanding (both theoretical and practical) of the performance logic of dramatic texts.

  • 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 English literature from the early modern period to present-day, including knowledge of a variety of genres (poetry, fiction, and drama)

    A2: A range of Western theatre theorists, which might include: Aristotle, Brecht, Artaud, Grotowski, and Stanislavski

    A3: The theatrical or performance logic contained within any text written for performance on the stage

    A4: The major figures in the field, and the major literary tendencies or movements covered by the degree scheme

    A5: The complex relationship between literature and culture (an appreciation of the way in which literary texts are embedded in their cultural and historical milieux, and an awareness of their role in creating cultural change)

    A6: The key critical debates that have informed the field (and some familiarity with the most recent critical interventions)

    A7: The basic methods of critical analysis and argument

    A8: Specialised study in the final year in areas students have identified as being of particular interest

    A9: A range of English and European drama and theatre, from classical Greek to the present-day

    A10: The complex relationship between drama and theatre (an appreciation of the way in which dramatic texts are embedded in particular theatre cultures)

    A11: Major theatre genres which might include: Didactic theatre, Expressionism, Naturalism, Surrealism, Epic, Theatre of the Absurd

    A12: Develop intercultural skills

    Learning methods

    1-10 are acquired through lectures, classes and continuously assessed coursework (with regular feedback, both oral and written, from tutors).

    The lectures offer surveys of the major periods of literature covered in the scheme and address the major approaches and issues (mainly 1-4, but also 7-10).

    The classes, on the other hand, tend to focus in more detail on textual examples, and give emphasis to student discussion and/ or presentation, preparing their argumentative skills for formal assessment.

    Classes and workshops are particularly pertinent to 8 and 11.

    Drama workshops allow a practical grasp of 11.
    In Year 3, the format for LT courses changes to a two-hour seminar, 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 (5, 6).

    In addition, students are expected to extend and enhance the knowledge and understanding they acquire from classes and lectures by regularly consulting archival materials related to the course.

    This independent research is then consolidated in essay work.

    In TH subjects which include a workshop, students are encouraged to work both independently and as a group in preparation of end-of-course presentations.

    Assessment methods

    Formal assessment of students' knowledge and understanding (1-4, 6, 7-10) takes place through coursework essays and unseen written examinations.

    Students are expected to analyse 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 (5).

    Outcome 11 is assessed formally in drama workshop presentations.

    In LT units, class contribution is assessed, a process which gives formal weight to preparation, comprehension, and oral communication and argumentation.

    B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

    B1: Analyse and interpret

    B2: Read complex 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

    B7: Think on their feet, grasping complex issues of dramatic structure and relating these to the fashioning of a performance

    Learning methods

    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.

    Therefore, 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.

    Skill 7 is addressed in the course of drama workshops.

    Assessment methods

    The seminars are intended as practice sessions for skills 1-6.

    Students translate the skills acquired there collectively into 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 the same skills in controlled conditions.

    Drama workshop presentations (skill 7) are formally assessed.

    C: Practical skills

    C1: A vocabulary and a critical terminology for the analysis of literary 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 and generic conventions

    C5: The use of a critical methodology in written work, employing reasoned argument to appreciate and evaluate a literary text

    C6: An effective style or range of styles to convey a range of responses as readers of literary texts

    C7: A range of methods to perform a bibliographical search.

    C8: The ability to present effective practical theatre projects

    C9: The ability to plan, manage and conduct a group activity

    Learning methods

    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 modules.

    Skills 8 and 9 are addressed in practical workshops.

    Assessment methods

    Assessment is by essays and examinations.

    Provision is made for selected students to be assessed on an Independent Study project in the third year in lieu of a taught module.

    The project has a presentation element which consists of 20% of the final mark.

    Essay questions are designed to test all skills.
    Examination questions test skills 1 and 4-6.

    Skills 8 and 9 are assessed in the course of a formal presentation before examiners.

    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.

    Learning methods

    The five relevant key skills are implicit throughout the degree, and are supported in their development by seminar work, feedback on essays, and key skills packages.

    Assessment methods

    D1-2, 3-5 are assessed through coursework and dissertations; D4 is assessed through a participation mark.


    The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its programme specification is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

    The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.


    If you are thinking of studying at Essex and have questions about the course, please contact Undergraduate Admissions by emailing admit@essex.ac.uk, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing pgadmit@essex.ac.uk.

    If you're a current student and have questions about your course or specific modules, please contact your department.

    If you think there might be an error on this page, please contact the Course Records Team by emailing crt@essex.ac.uk.