Film and Creative Writing (Including Placement Year)

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Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Film and Creative Writing (Including Placement Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies

Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

A-levels: BBB, including one essay-based subject

IB: 30 points, including a Higher Level essay-based subject grade 5. We are also happy to consider a combination of separate IB Diploma Programmes 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. Please contact the Undergraduate Admissions Office for more information.

BTEC Extended Diploma: DDM (in relevant subject)

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 Tier 4 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 Tier 4 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.

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 here.

Course qualifiers


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

Dr Mikel Koven

Senior Lecturer - Film Studies

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 27 January 2020 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 - 2019/20

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01    CS220-4-SP or LT171-4-SP or LT109-4-SP  Compulsory with Options  15 
02  LT146-4-AU  Writing for the Radio  Compulsory  15 
03  LT191-4-AU  The Writer's Toolkit  Core  15 
04  LT121-4-FY  Approaches to Film and Media  Core  30 
05  LT122-4-FY  Introduction to Film Production  Core  30 
06  LT705-4-SP  The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways  Compulsory  15 

Year 2 - 2020/21

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01    Film Studies option(s)  Optional  30 
02  LT221-5-FY  Introduction to Screenwriting  Core  30 
03  LT209-5-FY  Writing Structures  Compulsory  30 
04  LT225-5-AU  Documentary Filmmaking  Compulsory  15 
05  LT226-5-SP  Fiction Filmmaking  Compulsory  15 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2021/22

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01  LT702-6-FY  Placement Year  Compulsory  120 

Year 3 - 2022/23

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits
01    Film option(s) from list  Optional  30 
02    Film or Creative Writing option(s) from list  Optional  30 
03    Literature option(s) from list or outside option(s)  Optional  30 
04    LT832-6-FY or LT833-6-FY or LT834-6-FY or LT322-6-FY  Compulsory with Options  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 in Film and Creative Writing, informed by the study of literary and filmic texts and social, theoretical and formal perspectives.

To familiarise students with essential concepts in literary and filmic form, and to enable students to exercise their own choices in creative composition across a range of genres.

To acquaint students with a range of contextual and comparative frameworks.

To provide students with some experience of film/digital production techniques.

To enable students to think critically about their own creative writing and filmmaking, and to make conceptual links between theory and practice.

To provide the knowledge and skills (creative development, critical inquiry and argument, imaginative understanding, written and spoken communication and presentation) to encourage students to engage in scholarly investigation of specific fields of interest and to stand them in good stead for more specialised creative and academic study.

To enhance students graduate careers and prospects.

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 from different periods, genres and cultural origins

A2: A range of approaches to creative writing as practised across a diversity of genres

A3: Aspects of the significant theoretical and formal approaches to film and literature, some major figures in the field, and the major tendencies or movements covered by the course

A4: The relationship between creative practice and culture and an awareness of the writers or filmmakers role in creating cultural change

A5: The basic methods of critical analysis and research

A6: The basic functions of audience and marketplace as constraints on writing

A7: Specialised study in the final year in areas students have identified as being of particular interest

A8: Hands-on film/digital production techniques

A9: To provide the opportunity to apply academic learning outcomes in a work-related context

A10: To develop essential work-based skills throughout the placement

Learning methods

A1-7 are acquired through lectures, classes, workshops and continuously assessed coursework (with regular feedback, both oral and written, from tutors).

Lectures, classes, and screenings offer surveys of significant areas and address the major approaches and issues.

Classes focus on textual examples and give emphasis to student discussion and / or presentation, preparing their argumentative skills for formal assessment.

Workshops focus on writing exercises, oral presentation, and peer review.

In year 3, the format changes to two-hour seminars, which may include informal lectures / presentations by the tutor and give scope for students to practise their oral communication skills as well as to pursue specialist interests.

In addition, students are expected to extend and enhance the knowledge and understanding they acquire from classes by independent research.

A8 Practical video production is learned in practical courses in the 1st and 2nd years, and can be continued in the 3rd year.

Knowledge and understanding of practical production techniques is complemented by the teaching of film theory and history.

This allows students to put acquired terms and concepts into practice.

Close supervision takes place in the Media Centre and at Signals Media with instruction tutorials on equipment and observation of textual examples.

Weekly practical exercises break down the filmmaking process into components of technique, writing, acting, etc.

Student projects are assessed, but unassessed ongoing practical exercises enhance the learning process.

Assessment methods

Formal assessment of students skills, knowledge and understanding (A1-8) takes place through coursework essays, practical assignments, portfolios, group projects, critical commentaries, unseen written examinations and, in some cases, an oral presentation mark.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1: Show an ability to engage in the practice and analysis of creative writing and film

B2: Show an ability to reflect critically on ones own work and that of others

B3: Read complex texts and comment cogently on them

B4: Reason critically and argue coherently

B5: Make and account for connections, and show some ability to apply theoretical concepts to a practical context

B6: Think independently and creatively

Learning methods

Intellectual and cognitive skills are initiated through lectures, classes and workshops in Year 1 and 2, as well as through individual consultations 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 set texts and student creative practice 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 their own writing, 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 student exercises

Assessment methods

Assessment is by coursework essays, practical assignments, portfolios, group projects, critical commentaries, written examinations and, in some cases, oral presentations.

C: Practical skills

C1: An ability to perform an analysis of films and creative writing, deploying a critical vocabulary and specialist terminology

C2: An ability to write in a variety of styles and genres

C3: A capacity for working independently and under guidance

C4: Critical analysis of ones own work in order to develop creative writing skills through a number of drafts

C5: An ability to use accepted conventions of presenting manuscripts, references and bibliographies

C6: Utilisation of a knowledge of literary and generic conventions in ones own creative work, and an ability to comprehend and produce the language and conventions of film

C7: An ability to present an argument in writing, conveying a range of responses as both a practitioner and decoder of creative practice

C8: An ability to plan and execute basic practical film/digital projects.

C9: To provide the opportunity to apply academic learning outcomes in a work-related context

C10: To develop essential work-based skills throughout the placement

Learning methods

Practical skills are developed through classes, workshops, and group activities and the development of writing skills through peer review and reflective practice and research, as well as oral and written feedback from tutors.

Guidance on skill 5 is provided in the LiFTS student handbooks.

Practical filmmaking skills are developed on specific units on pre-production, production, and post-production techniques in the practical modules and in the process of putting together practical projects for these modules.

Assessment methods

Assessment is by coursework essays, practical assignments, portfolios, group projects, critical commentaries and written examinations.

Students are assessed on an Independent Study project in the third year.

This could include a portfolio of creative work or a film project.

D: Key skills

D1: Clear, focussed, relevant and effective written expression and oral communication

D2: Use appropriate IT to research and present materials

D3: Basic grasp of numeracy as it relates to literary form or project management

D4: Management of projects and timetables. Finding, understanding, organising and creatively processing information. Applying knowledge and understanding to make judgements and offer solutions in a range of scholarly and practical contexts.

D5: Ability to advance and effectively respond to an argument in a seminar discussion; ability to engage in workshopping; ability to engage in collaborative writing and editing activities; ability to work co-operatively in a variety of group contexts, including practical production.

D6: Ability to take responsibility for one's own work in individual and collective contexts, reflect on one's own performance and make constructive use of feedback in class and written comments on coursework and oral communication.

Learning methods

The six relevant key skills are implicit throughout the degree, and are supported in their development by classes, workshops, seminar discussions, oral presentations, practical assignments, feedback on essays, and library-sponsored information sessions.
Students are given the opportunity to work constructively and productively in groups, particularly as part of the practical components of the degree.

Assessment methods

Key skills are assessed through coursework, the participation mark, and, to some extent, in written examinations as well.

Practical projects address and assess skills in D5.


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