(MA) Master of Arts
Film and Literature
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
A 2.2 degree in Creative Writing, Theatre/Drama Studies, Literature, Film and Media Studies, Modern Languages , Art History, Music, Philosophy, History, American Studies, Performance studies, Journalism, Law, Politics and Sociology.
You may be asked to provide a piece of creative writing if you do not hold a degree in a relevant field.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5 except for 6.5 in writing
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.
The University uses academic selection criteria to determine an applicant’s ability to successfully complete a course at the University of Essex. Where appropriate, we may ask for specific information relating to previous modules studied or work experience.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
Please refer to the full time version of this course for information on Core and Compulsory modules.
Dr Agnieszka Elzbieta Piotrowska
Reader University of Bedfordshire
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.
1. To provide courses opening paths to areas of current scholarly and critical specialisation
2. To deepen the knowledge and to refine the skills which students bring with them from their first degrees
3. To give students a structured introduction to advanced material and advanced perspectives in their fields of specialisation
4. To encourage students to work independently as scholars in specific fields of investigation and to formulate and present a coherent and reflective view of their findings
5. To provide a choice of courses to suit individual interests and needs
6. To enhance students' career prospects
7. To prepare qualified students for progression to doctoral research with a view to entering the academic profession
8. To enhance (deepen and extend) students' acquaintance with literary texts, film texts and their ability to make comparisons between literature and film
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 literature and film in special subject areas
A2: Critical opinion and significant critical debates in literary and film studies, as well as recent critical interventions
A3: The interrelation of relevant literary texts and literary critical thinking
A4: The interrelation of relevant films and film criticism
A5: Complex issues in the 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)
A6: Advanced methods of critical analysis and argument
A7: Appropriate research techniques and methodologies
1-7 are addressed in seminars and oral and written comments on essays and draft dissertations. 6 is additionally addressed in special seminars.
Students are expected to pursue their understanding of course content and special topics through independent study and wide reading.
Tutors are available to offer advice in the adaptation of generic research techniques (6) to individual needs.
Formal assessment is by written coursework (four 4000-5000 word essays over four 10-week seminars) and dissertation.
Students produce a written dissertation project of 20,000 words (honing expertise in outcomes 1-7).
B: Intellectual and cognitive skills
B1: Question received thinking
B2: To think independently and to make connections between familiar and new ideas
B3: Analyse and evaluate data at advanced levels
B4: Reason critically in an environment of complex ideas
B5: Argue coherently and persuasively
B6: Adopt critical positions in reading complex texts and in writing on them
B7: Analyse and evaluate theoretical concepts at advanced levels
B8: Develop and sustain a critical argument over a sustained period of research
These skills are developed in: seminar discussions; class presentations (which may form the basis of essays) followed by questions and answers; guided instruction of primary and secondary sources in seminars; guided analysis of visual material in seminars; oral and written feedback on essays.
Individual guidance (in addition to that available in formal seminars), is available in posted office hours during the preparation of essays and presentations in seminar.
Individual guidance is available in advance of the deadline for the dissertation proposal, and detailed oral feedback is given on the proposal in advance of dissertation writing
Essays and dissertation.
While the former are assessed in their own right, they are also regarded as a form of progressive assessment leading to the writing of the dissertation.
C: Practical skills
C1: Organise, structure and present an argument in writing, putting forward clear critical positions
C2: Analyse literary and cinematic texts employing advanced theoretical terms
C3: Deploy a vocabulary of literary, cinematic, and critical terms
C4: Compile and present extended bibliographies
C5: Provide complex references according to accepted conventions
C6: Use libraries and IT to gain access to a variety of scholarly sources
C7: Write in a scholarly manner
This range of practical skills (1-7) is taught in seminars and developed through tutors' comments on essays, and in supervision of written work.
Guidance on skills 4-7 is provided in special seminars on techniques and methodology.
Advice on writing essays and dissertations is given in the MA guide
Essays and dissertations are assessed for all these skills
D: Key skills
D1: Clear, focused, relevant and effective written expression and oral communication
D2: Typing and word-processing skills; use of electronic library catalogues and email
D4: Management of projects and timetables. Finding, understanding and organising information.
D5: Ability to interpret and construct an argument, and to grasp other points of view
D6: Finding, understanding and organising information
The relevant key skills are progressively encouraged throughout the degree. 1, 2 & 4 are employed in essays, and verbal and written feedback is given to encourage progress.
Essays and dissertations are assessed for qualities that incorporate all these skills.