(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Film and Creative Writing (Including Foundation Year)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Communication, Media, Film and Cultural Studies
UK and EU applicants:
All applications for degree courses with a foundation year (Year Zero) will be considered individually, whether you
- think you might not have the grades to enter the first year of a degree course;
- have non-traditional qualifications or experience (e.g. you haven’t studied A-levels or a BTEC);
- are returning to university after some time away from education; or
- are looking for more support during the transition into university study.
Our standard offer is 72 UCAS tariff points from at least two full A-levels, or equivalent.
Examples of the above tariff may include:
- A-levels: DDD
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma: MMP
- T-levels: Pass with E in core
If you are unsure whether you meet the entry criteria, please get in touch for advice.
Mature applicants and non-traditional academic backgrounds:
We welcome applications from mature students (over 21) and students with non-traditional academic backgrounds (might not have gone on from school to take level 3 qualifications). We will consider your educational and employment history, along with your personal statement and reference, to gain a rounded view of your suitability for the course.
Essex Pathways Department is unable to accept applications from international students. Foundation pathways for international students are available at the University of Essex International College and are delivered and awarded by Kaplan, in partnership with the University of Essex. Successful completion will enable you to progress to the relevant degree course at the University of Essex.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System) code
English language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English: IELTS 5.5 overall. Specified component grades are also required for applicants who require a Student 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 required. Please note that date restrictions may apply to some English language qualifications
If you are an international student requiring a Student 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.
Our Year 0 courses are only open to UK and EU applicants. If you’re an international student, but do not meet the English language or academic requirements for direct admission to your chosen 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.
Rules of assessment
Rules of assessment are the rules, principles and frameworks which the University uses to calculate your course progression and final results.
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.
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
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.
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
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.