Film and Creative Writing (Including Placement Year)

Staff member? Login here

Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24 - 2024/25
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: 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.

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

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 Andrew Birtwistle

Reader in Film and Sound

Canterbury Christ Church University

Dr Eleanor Perry

Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry)

University of Kent

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 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    LT146-4-SP or LT109-4-SP  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
02    LT143-4-AU or LT151-4-AU  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
03  LT191-4-AU-CO  The Writer's Toolkit  Compulsory  15  15 
04  LT121-4-FY-CO  Approaches to Film and Media  Compulsory  30  30 
05    Film studies option(s)  Optional  30  30 
06  LT705-4-SP-CO  The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways  Compulsory  15  15 

Year 2 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  LT221-5-FY-CO  Introduction to Screenwriting  Compulsory  30  30 
02  LT209-5-AU-CO  Writing Structures  Compulsory  15  15 
03    Film Studies option(s)  Optional  30  30 
04    Creative Writing option(s)  Optional  30  30 
05    LT219-5-SP or LT269-5-SP  Compulsory with Options  15  15 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2025/26

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

Year 3 - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    Capstone module from list  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
02    Film option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
03    Film or Creative Writing option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
04    Literature option(s) from list or outside option(s)  Optional  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 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 their 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.


    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, or Postgraduate Admissions by emailing

    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