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Course overview
(MA) Master of Arts
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies
MA Q23E24

Professional accreditation


Admission criteria

We will consider applications with an overall grade of 2:2 and above, in a relevant discipline.

IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code

IELTS 7.0 overall with a minimum component score of 5.5, except 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.

Additional Notes

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.

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

Please refer to the full time version of this course for information on Core and Compulsory modules.

External examiners

Dr Rebecca Katherine Tillett

Senior Lecturer

The University of East Anglia

Dr Celia Brayfield

Senior Lecturer

Bath Spa 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.


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

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 LT901-7-FY/Choose options from list Optional 0 Optional Optional

Year 2 - 2020/21

Exit Award Status
Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Credits PG Diploma PG Certificate
01 LT981-7-FY Dissertation Core 80 Core
02 LT901-7-FY/Choose options from list Optional 0 Optional Optional

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 enhance acquaintance with practice and theory of creative production across genres and disciplines

To provide courses that open paths to fertile areas of interdisciplinary work

To provide students with a structured introduction to advanced material and advanced perspectives in their fields of specialisation

To encourage students to work independently as writers and scholars in specific fields of investigation and to formulate and present a reflective and critical view of their work

To enhance student career prospects

To prepare qualified students for progression to doctoral research, with a view to entering the literary or academic professions

To provide students with an introduction to advanced creative and critical material

To encourage students to work independently

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, film and art work in special subject areas
A2 Context for the study of the writers and artists taught
A3 Critical opinion and significant debates on specialist areas
A4 The interrelation of the writing studied with literary/critical thinking about it
A5 Advanced methods of critical and/or creative practice
A6 Appropriate research techniques and methodologies
A7 Major cultural domains, literary contexts, & theoretical parameters
Learning Methods: Principal methods of delivery of A1-7 is through practical workshops and seminars, which will include: reflection on work-in-progress; visiting lecturers; analysis of key texts, films and art works; writing workshops and exercises; field trips.
Assessment Methods: Formal assessment is by coursework (four pieces) and dissertation. Assignments are 5000 words, normally an essay, or creative writing with a commentary or accompanying essay. Dissertations are normally 20,000 words.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1 Question received thinking and practice
B2 Develop their own thinking and writing
B3 Analyse and evaluate creative and critical work at advanced levels
B4 Argue coherently and persuasively
B5 Reason critically and creatively in an environment of complex ideas
B6 Adopt critical positions in reading texts
B7 Analyse and evaluate creative methodologies at advanced levels
Learning Methods: B1-B7 are developed through seminars and workshops.
Assessment Methods: B1-7 are assessed through essays, or creative writing with a commentary or accompanying essay, and a dissertation.

C: Practical skills

C1 Organise and structure an extended work, advancing clear critical positions
C2 Use advanced theoretical terms
C3 Compile and present extended bibliographies
C4 Provide references according to accepted conventions
C5 Use libraries and IT to gain access to a variety of creative and critical sources
C6 Work in a creative and professional manner
Learning Methods: Students develop C1-7 through independent research, lecturer feedback, peer feedback, and their own critical reflection.
Assessment Methods: C1 is assessed through the submission of an original dissertation.
C2-7 are assessed through essays, creative assignments and commentaries.

D: Key skills

D1 The ability to communicate information, arguments and ideas cogently and effectively in a range of different contexts, both orally and in writing
D2 Typing and word-processing skills; use of electronic library catalogues and email
D3 Management of projects and timetables. Researching, understanding and organising information
D4 Ability to interact with others and to understand and grasp different perspectives
D5 Developing independent time management skills and initiative, working autonomously and making use of feedback from others to improve own work
Learning Methods: Students develop D1-6 in class discussion and workshops and class preparation, as well as writing and interaction outside the classroom.
Assessment Methods: Key skills are assessed through essays, creative writing accompanied by a commentary and a dissertation.


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.

Should you have any questions about programme specifications, please contact Course Records, Quality and Academic Development; email: crt@essex.ac.uk.