Film and Drama (Including Year Abroad)

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Academic Year of Entry: 2023/24
Course overview
(BA) Bachelor of Arts
Film and Drama (Including Year Abroad)
University of Essex
University of Essex
Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Colchester Campus
Honours Degree
BA P401


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

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 - 2023/24

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  LT121-4-FY-CO  Approaches to Film and Media  Compulsory  30  30 
02  TH141-4-FY-CO  Introduction to Theatre Studies  Compulsory  30  30 
03  LT705-4-SP-CO  The Humanities Graduate: Future Pathways  Compulsory  15  15 
04    TH142-4-SP and/or Film option from list  Optional  30  30 
05    TH143-4-AU or TH145-4-SP  Compulsory with Options  15  15 

Year 2 - 2024/25

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  TH241-5-FY-CO  Theatre and Performance Makers  Compulsory  30  30 
02    TH245-5-FY or TH243-5-FY or (TH207-5-AU and TH205-5-SP)  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
03    LT227-5-SP or film option from list  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
04    Film option from list  Compulsory with Options  15  15 
05    LT221-5-FY or Film option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 

Year Abroad/Placement - 2025/26

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01  AW121-6-FY-CO  Abroad Module 120 Credits  Compulsory  120  120 

Year 3 - 2026/27

Component Number Module Code Module Title Status Min Credits Max Credits
01    Capstone Project  Compulsory with Options  30  30 
02    Theatre Option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
03    Film option(s) from list  Optional  30  30 
04    Film, Theatre or other LiFTS option(s) from list  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 Drama.
  • To provide students with an opportunity to study a wide range of dramatic texts, ranging from classic to contemporary texts .
  • To explore concepts and practices of performance and theatre from around the world.
  • To study and analyse themes in drama such as gender, identity, tragedy, human rights, immersive theatre, interculturalism, devising and playwriting .
  • To foster skills in technical theatre, design and stage management, and voice and movement .
  • To acquire critical terminology and understand the methodology necessary for undertaking a close analysis of a text passage or film extract.
  • To work in small groups and to prepare their own group and/or solo performance projects.
  • To study the history and theory of film, and to provide the opportunity to study directing and screenwriting
  • To explore many aspects of screen media, from cinema to television and social media.
  • To understand the conceptual links between theoretical and practical work in film.
  • To provide an opportunity to gain technical skills in camerawork, editing and film-making
  • To acquire transferable skills in research and scholarly writing .
  • To develop skills of analysis, argument and critical thinking to equip students for a wide variety of careers and/or further study.

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 critical understanding of a selection of dramatic texts

A2: Knowledge of performance art, theatre genres and contemporary theatre writing

A3: Concepts, themes and practices of performance and theatre

A4: A range of films from different genres and national cinemas

A5: Aspects of the significant theoretical, thematic, and formal approaches to Film Studies and the social contexts in which films are made

A6: Standard terms, concepts and methods employed in film analysis

Learning methods

The principal methods of delivery for A1 to A6 are lectures and seminars, and for A1 to A3 via practice-based theatre seminars, including a programme of workshops as appropriate. A4 to A6 are also delivered through weekly film screenings and supervised group discussions.

Understanding is reinforced by a combination of formative and summative written and oral class assignments, group project work, and continually assessed course work with regular feedback.

Students are expected to extend and enhance the knowledge and understanding they acquire from seminars, classes and lectures by regularly consulting texts and materials in various formats related to the course.

Assessment methods

Knowledge and understanding are assessed through examinations, written course work, group and/or solo practical projects, and oral presentations.

Collective and individual practical filmmaking projects (normally in the form of digital filming and editing) are assessed for quality, range, complexity, and technical competence.

B: Intellectual and cognitive skills

B1: Integrate and evaluate information and data obtained from a variety of sources including books, journal papers, the Internet and theatre performances.

B2: Analyse and evaluate a wide range of dramatic texts and the connections between filmic texts and their contexts

B3: Synthesise relevant information in order to develop a rational, coherent argument

B4: Show some ability to apply theoretical concepts in a practical context

B5: Reflect in a critical manner on the creative film-making process

Learning methods

Intellectual and cognitive skills are developed through seminars, including practice-based seminars, presentations, guided instructions and analysis of visual material, and workshops.

Pre-production preparatory assignments are offered for the practical course components.

Individual guidance, in addition to formal seminars, is available through academic support hours.

Final year projects allow students to apply these skills.

Assessment methods

Assessment methods are written examinations, presentations, and written or practical coursework, including individual and/or group performances or film projects.

C: Practical skills

C1: Apply a critical methodology to the analysis of playtexts

C2: The ability to present effective practical theatre projects

C3: The ability to plan, manage and conduct an individual or group project

C4: The ability to perform a basic analysis of film images, deploying a vocabulary of cinematic terms

C5: Organise, structure and present an argument in writing, having had guidance in putting forward critical positions

C6: Use accepted conventions of presenting references and bibliographies in writing

Learning methods

Students develop their creative practice and production skills through a cycle of practice, feedback and critical reflection (C1 - C3).

Practical skills are developed during workshops or through specific units on pre-production, production, and post-production techniques.

C4 - C6 are developed through coursework and discussion in classes and seminars, and through individual consultation in academic support hours.

Assessment methods

The main assessment method for practical skills is marked practical theatre course work and/or individual or group projects.

C3 will also involve peer group assessment as appropriate.

C4 – C6 are assessed through written coursework and examinations.

D: Key skills

D1: The ability to communicate information, arguments and ideas with a degree of effectiveness in a range of different contexts; the ability to be a good listener; some ability to both comprehend and produce the visual language of film.

D2: Use appropriate IT to research and present materials.

D3: Management of a production budget as appropriate

D4: Analyse relevant materials, identifying problems and creatively proposing solutions

D5: Participate effectively as a member of a group. Contribute to the management of practice-based projects

D6: Under guidance, working independently, demonstrating self-organisation and time-management, and being receptive to feedback in the form of written comments on coursework and oral communication; an ability to reflect on their own work and to respond constructively to the comments of others.

Learning methods

Communication skills are developed through seminar discussions and project-based work.

Visual media skills of analysis are developed through guided analysis and discussion of visual material in seminars.

The development of communication skills may also be enhanced through more formal oral presentations in seminars, with further information supplied through subsequent questions and answers.

Students are expected to acquire IT skills based on initial guidance and support.

Students are given the opportunity to work constructively and productively in groups, particularly as part of the practical components of the degree.

Assessment methods

Written and oral assignments and assessed coursework, including practical projects.


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.

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