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Film and Literature - MA


Course Description

Explore the relationship between literature and film in an exceptionally broad array of contemporary and historical contexts, and from a variety of different perspectives. You discover cutting-edge approaches to cinematic and literary aesthetics, adaptation, and relationships between different media, reception contexts, ethics, and interfaces between theory and practice.

On our course you gain a deep understanding of the theoretical and practical interactions between literature and film, choosing specific areas of literary and cinema studies to complement your preparation for a creative practice or theoretical dissertation project of your choice. You will forge and develop connections between audio-visual and textual media. Focusing a variety of cultural productions and diverse forms of enlightenment, and entertainment, you will encounter parallel and sometimes more densely intertwined media histories, discovering the complex ways in which media anticipate, interfere with, and draw on one other.

Through weekly seminars, screenings and discussions of key cinematic and literary texts, you consider different ways that texts create their meanings. You study topics including:
-Areas such as modernism, poetic practice, American prose, Caribbean literature, and African American literature
-Documentary and fiction film production including screenwriting, pre-production, camera, lighting, sound, storyboarding and editing
-Landmark directors and movements such as Expressionism and the avant-garde
-Film theory including feminism, psychoanalysis, queer theory, haptic cinema
-Adaptation and comparative media

You also benefit from a series of masterclasses conducted by invited industry professionals which focus on the craft of filmmaking: developing your technical understanding of cinematography, directing and editing/postproduction.

These also introduce you to potential employment routes and industry career pathways, from setting up your own production company, to identifying and tapping into distribution networks and preparing and marketing your completed films.

We are ranked Top 20 in the UK (Times Good University Guide 2015), and three-quarters of our research is rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (REF 2014).

This course is also available on a part-time basis.

Our expert staff

Our intensive modules are taught in small groups by expert academic film specialists and professional filmmakers .

The Centre for Film and Screen Media at Essex is part of a vital departmental unit that offers talented students the support and confidence to respond both critically and artistically to the study of film. This distinctive environment is possible because we are a community of award-winning film-makers, scholars, and media specialists; our staff over the years have included Oscar winners and BAFTA winners.

Our academic staff specialise in a wide range of production and critical areas including producing, screenwriting, documentary, , film theory, Soviet cinema, US cinema, films of Asia and Pacific regions, modernism and the avant-garde, adaptation, and silent cinema.

Our Department has a distinguished history of combining critical and creative work, and we have long been home to poets, novelists, translators, dramatists and actors, alongside literary critics, drama scholars, filmmakers and film theorists.

Specialist facilities

For your film production modules, you have priority use of industry-standard editing facilities, two state-of-the-art studios, and a range of cameras and other filmmaking equipment. You also gain experience using professional film production software including Avid and Final Cut; everything you will need to produce films to an expert standard.

You also have access to our other departmental facilities:
-Show off your work on our Vimeo channel
-View classic films at weekly film screenings in our dedicated 120-seat film theatre, equipped with digital HD projection facilities and surround sound
-Borrow DVDs from our substantial departmental collection
-Join student film societies and the Centre for Film and Screen Media film series, which screen and discuss both recent blockbusters and less mainstream arthouse films
-Hear writers talk about their craft and learn from leading specialists at weekly research seminars
-Our on-campus Lakeside Theatre has been established as a major venue for good drama, staging both productions by professional touring companies and a wealth of new work written, produced and directed by our own staff and students
-Improve your playwriting skills at our Lakeside Theatre Writers workshops
-Our Research Laboratory allows you to collaborate with professionals, improvising and experimenting with new work which is being tried and tested
-Write for our student magazine Albert or host a Red Radio show

Your future

We actively encourage and assist you to find appropriate internship and work placement opportunities during your studies, allowing you to practice and develop your skills and experience as well as enhancing your graduate employment prospects.

A number of our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies graduates have gone on to undertake successful careers as scholars, university lecturers, teachers, publishers, journalists, arts administrators, theatre artistic directors, drama advisers, filmmakers, film editors, and translators.

We also offer supervision for PhD, MPhil and MA by Dissertation in different literatures and various approaches to literature, covering most aspects of early modern and modern writing in English, plus a number of other languages.

Our University is one of only 11 AHRC-accredited Doctoral Training Centres in the UK. This means that we offer funded PhD studentships which also provide a range of research and training opportunities.

We work with our Employability and Careers Centre to help you find out about further work experience, internships, placements, and voluntary opportunities.

Visit the Film and Literature - MA page on the University of Essex website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Wendy McMahon

“I have always had a passion for literature which led me to doing my Phd in LIterature. was I really enjoyed my time at Essex when I was completing my undergraduate degree and I chose to return to complete my PhD study because of the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies’ comparative and interdisciplinary nature.

What I enjoyed most was the independence I had whilst completing my research. The Department houses a wide range of expertise and provides a lively intellectual space within which to engender your own research.

The University of Essex has such a strong sense of community. Whilst at Essex I took every opportunity that the Department offered, whether it be training, the opportunity to present work, or social engagements. I would always advise others to do the same as I gained so much from these experiences.

My best memory of my time at Essex has to be when I presented my first research paper at a departmental seminar, it gave me a real sense of achievement.

Since completing my PhD I have been appointed as a Lecturer in American Studies within the School of American Studies at the University of East Anglia. My PhD study provided me with the fundamental training required for me to forge and pursue my desired academic career.


Scholarships

Entry Requirements

We will consider applications with an overall grade of 2:2 and above. We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Email for further details about the qualifications we accept. Include information in your email about the undergraduate qualification you have already completed or are currently taking.

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Recipient: University of Essex
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