Our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies offers supervision for PhD Film Studies in all areas of our wide-ranging staff research expertise, including an exceptional variety of approaches to global film and media. You can explore different world cinemas and research the history of film, film theory, comparative and new media, festivals and media platforms, as well as contexts of film and media production and reception. The breadth of our staff expertise will enable you to undertake research which is interdisciplinary and innovative in nature, and you will be supported throughout your studies by regular contact with your supervisor and advisory board.
We also offer an MPhil in this subject.
Within our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, you will be allocated a supervisor whose role it is to guide you through the different stages of your research degree. In some cases, you may have joint supervision by two members of our staff.
The support provided by your supervisor is a key feature of your research student experience and you will have regular one-to-one meetings to discuss progress on your research. Initially, your supervisor will help you develop your research topic and plan.
Twice a year, you will have a supervisory board meeting, which provides a more formal opportunity to discuss your progress and agree your plans for the next six months.
Studying within our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies will give you access to a range of exceptional resources and facilities to enhance your learning and research, including a dedicated 120-seat film theatre, fitted with a digital HD projection facilities.
Our Department houses a substantial collection of videos and DVDs, which are available for student borrowing, and complemented by the extensive audio-visual holdings in the University’s Albert Sloman Library.
Our library has been acquiring exceptional holdings in film and media studies, as well as the literature, culture, history, politics and society of the US, the Soviet Union, Russia and Eastern Europe, and Latin America, since our university was founded in the early 1960s, and has continued to expand both the volume and the global scope of these resources ever since. You will also find in the library a number of special collections, which are available for students as unique and invaluable resources to support your research.
Our Centre for Film and Screen Media co-ordinates a series of weekly screenings, along with a variety of other film and media related activities. We organise conferences, sponsor special screenings, and host speakers, attracting leading scholars and filmmakers from the UK and around the world. In addition, our University has a number of excellent film societies, which screen and discuss both recent blockbusters and less mainstream, arthouse films.
The Department also benefits from our Lakeside Theatre which, over the past three decades, has been established as a major venue for high quality drama. Not only do many professional touring companies bring their productions of new plays here, but there has also been a wealth of original work produced by our own staff and students, including a new production of Pantomime written and directed by Derek Walcott and the UK premiere of his play Moon-Child. An essential element of our Lakeside Theatre’s programme has been the opportunity it has given our students to write or direct new plays, as well as re-define classics and re-discover neglected masterpieces.
Our graduates have gone on to undertake successful careers in production and academia, as well as other careers.. Other past students in the Department are now established as university lecturers, teachers, publishers, publishers’ editors, journalists, arts administrators, theatre artistic directors, and translators.
You will need a good Masters degree, or equivalent, in a related subject. Some applicants may be accepted on the basis of an outstanding honours degree. A well-developed research proposal is also essential.
You will normally be required to attend an interview/Skype interview for acceptance, and acceptance is subject to research expertise in the department.
We accept a wide range of qualifications from applicants studying in the EU and other countries. Get in touch with any questions you may have about the qualifications we accept. Remember to tell us about the qualifications you have already completed or are currently taking.
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A research degree doesn't have a taught structure, giving you the chance to investigate your chosen topic in real depth and reach a profound understanding. In communicating that understanding, through a thesis or other means, you have a rare opportunity to generate knowledge. A research degree allows you to develop new high-level skills, enhance your professional development and build new networks. It can open doors to many careers.
We understand that deciding where and what to study is a very important decision for you. We’ll make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the courses, services and facilities as described on our website. However, if we need to make material changes, for example due to significant disruption, or in response to COVID-19, we’ll let our applicants and students know as soon as possible.
Components are the blocks of study that make up your course. A component may have a set module which you must study, or a number of modules from which you can choose.
Each component has a status and carries a certain number of credits towards your qualification.
|Status||What this means|
||You must take the set module for this component and you must pass. No failure can be permitted.
|Core with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component but you must pass. No failure can be permitted.|
||You must take the set module for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
|Compulsory with Options
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.
||You can choose which module to study from the available options for this component. There may be limited opportunities to continue on the course/be eligible for the qualification if you fail.|
The modules that are available for you to choose for each component will depend on several factors, including which modules you have chosen for other components, which modules you have completed in previous years of your course, and which term the module is taught in.
Modules are the individual units of study for your course. Each module has its own set of learning outcomes and assessment criteria and also carries a certain number of credits.
In most cases you will study one module per component, but in some cases you may need to study more than one module. For example, a 30-credit component may comprise of either one 30-credit module, or two 15-credit modules, depending on the options available.
Modules may be taught at different times of the year and by a different department or school to the one your course is primarily based in. You can find this information from the module code. For example, the module code HR100-4-FY means:
The department or school the module will be taught by.
In this example, the module would be taught by the Department of History.
|The module number.||
The UK academic level of the module.
A standard undergraduate course will comprise of level 4, 5 and 6 modules - increasing as you progress through the course.
A standard postgraduate taught course will comprise of level 7 modules.
A postgraduate research degree is a level 8 qualification.
The term the module will be taught in.
From the first day of your research within our Department, we encourage you to plan your work so that you can expect to submit your thesis for examination by the end of three years. A typical first year of undertaking research within our Department would involve developing a statement in which you will define the aims, theories and methods proposed for the thesis, an indicative bibliography and a timetable for the thesis completion. During this year, you will start collecting your primary and secondary research material according to your chosen topic and timeline.
Your typical second year should involve continuing to investigate and write. In this second year (or the end of your third year, if studying part-time), your first supervisory board of the year will be your Confirmation Board. This will review the evidence to confirm whether or not you should progress and whether your work is at PhD level. After confirmation of your status, you should undertake further substantial research and writing over the next 12 months.
In a typical third year, you should complete the writing of your chapters and revise your work into a final version ready for submission.
Within our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies, your PhD thesis is generally completed within three and has a length of 80,000 words.
Your PhD is awarded after your successful defence of your thesis in an oral examination, in which you are interviewed about your research by two examiners, including one specialist in the field based at an external institution.
We hold open days for all our applicants throughout the year. Our Colchester Campus events are a great way to find out more about studying at Essex, and give you the chance to:
If the dates of our organised events aren’t suitable for you, feel free to get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange an individual campus tour for you.
We encourage you to make a preliminary enquiry directly to a potential supervisor or the Graduate Administrator within your chosen Department or School. We encourage the consideration of a brief research proposal prior to the submission of a full application.
We aim to respond to applications within four weeks. If we are able to offer you a place, you will be contacted via email.
For information on our deadline to apply for this course, please see our ‘how to apply’ information.
Home to 15,000 students from more than 130 countries, our Colchester Campus is the largest of our three sites, making us one of the most internationally diverse campuses on the planet - we like to think of ourselves as the world in one place.
Set within the 200-acre award-winning beautiful parkland - Wivenhoe Park and located two miles from the historic city centre of Colchester – England's oldest recorded development. Our Colchester Campus is also easily reached from London and Stansted Airport in under one hour.
Whether you are planning to visit us at one of our Open Days, or coming to an Applicant day. Our campus conveniently located and easy to reach by car, train or bus.
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At Essex we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive student community. We offer a wide range of support to individuals and groups of student members who may have specific requirements, interests or responsibilities.
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, but are not limited to: strikes, other industrial action, staff illness, severe weather, fire, civil commotion, riot, invasion, terrorist attack or threat of terrorist attack (whether declared or not), natural disaster, restrictions imposed by government or public authorities, epidemic or pandemic disease, failure of public utilities or transport systems or the 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 University would inform and engage with you if your course was to be discontinued, and would provide you with options, where appropriate, in line with our Compensation and Refund Policy.
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.
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