Drama and Film Studies (with a study abroad year) BA

Drama, Theatre and Performance

Key information

Duration:
4 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
AAB-ABB
UCAS code:
W403
Start date:
September 2018

If you're interested in both theatre and film, you can combine them in this degreeYou also have the opportunity to apply for a year studying abroad.

Our Drama Studies and Film Studies (with a study abroad year) BA gives you the chance to explore theatre through theory and practice, and study the art of cinema from filmmakers across the globe.

Drama at Sussex has been an enlightening experience and has expanded my knowledge and understanding.”Elizabeth Fenn-Tye
Drama Studies and English BA 

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

AAB-ABB

GCSEs

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.   

Extended Project Qualification

We take the EPQ into account when considering your application and it can be useful in the summer when your results are released if you have narrowly missed the conditions of your offer. We do not routinely include the EPQ in the conditions of your offer but we sometimes offer alternative conditions that include the EPQ. If you wish to discuss this further please contact Admissions at ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits at Merit or above, including 24 at Distinction.

Subjects

The Access to HE Diploma should be in the humanities or social sciences.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.      

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Typical offer

DDD

Subjects

The BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma would normally be in Performing Arts.

GCSEs

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.   

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

AABBB

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced

Typical offer

Grade B and AB in two A-levels.

GCSEs

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.   

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

32 points overall from the full IB Diploma.      

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of at least 77%

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually do not accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses. However, we do consider applicants who have studied 1 or more years of Higher Education in China at a recognised degree awarding institution or who are following a recognised International Foundation Year.

If you are interested in applying for a business related course which requires an academic ability in Mathematics, you will normally also need a grade B in Mathematics from the Huikao or a score of 90 in Mathematics from the Gaokao.

Applicants who have the Senior High School Graduation may be eligible to apply to our International Foundation Year, which if you complete successfully you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. You can find more information about the qualifications which are accepted by our International Study Centre at  http://isc.sussex.ac.uk/entry-requirements/international-foundation-year .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 6.0.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of at least 13/20.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 2.0 or better.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at H1,H2,H2,H3,H3.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 81/100.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole - Pass with an overall average of at least 4.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 8.0.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

Transfers into Year 2

No

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • Ranked 8th in the UK for Drama, Dance and Cinematics (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018).
  • Ranked 9th in the UK in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (2014 REF) and in the top 100 in the world for English (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017).
  • Access to dedicated media laboratories, film and sound studios, and an in-house DVD library of over 5,000 films and TV programmes.

Course information

How will I study?

You learn through lectures, seminars, film screenings, workshops and tutorials.

You study how we approach, make and perform theatre, and theatre’s theory and practice from Ancient Greece to the present day.

You gain the core skills required for studying film and learn about key critical approaches to cinema. This includes using the video essay as a tool of audio-visual analysis. You may take practical options from outside Film Studies.

Assessment is through essays, portfolios, group presentations and performances.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

How will I study?

You explore the developments and debates in modern theatre and performance. You study the historical and cultural shift from modern to post-modern drama. You learn how to write for theatre, directing and composition.

You also extend your knowledge of Film Studies, covering the major traditions in film theory and the workings of the Hollywood industry.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Options


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you.

Studying abroad – John Giannini, Drama, Theatre and Performance BA

Please note

Programs with a study abroad year are not eligible for USA federal Direct Loan funds. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

How will I study?

You combine in-depth specialist study with the chance to pursue your own interests in a dissertation or a piece of performance. You also develop a final-year performance project.

You can shape your year based on what you enjoy the most – from Hollywood cinema to activist filmmaking.

For your dissertation or final project, you’ll be supported through workshops and individual tutorials.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Options

“For me, teaching is a chance to engage in a collective conversation, and that is renewed with every student I encounter.” Sara Jane BailesLecturer in Contemporary Theatre and Performance

Fees

UK/EU students:
Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. The University intends to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.

The UK Government has confirmed that if you’re an EU student applying for entry in September 2018, you’ll pay the same fee rate as UK students for the duration of your course, even if the UK leaves the EU before the end of your course. You’ll also continue to have access to student loans and grants. Find out more on the UK Government website

Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
The University aligns fees for Channel Islands and Isle of Man students with fees for UK/EU students. These fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. We intend to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.
International students:
£15,500 per year
Study abroad:
Find out about grants and funding, tuition fees and insurance costs for studying abroad

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Our focus is personal development and social mobility. To help you meet your ambitions to study at Sussex, we deliver one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university.

Careers

Graduate destinations

97% of Department of English students were in work or further study six months after graduating. Recent graduates from our Department have started jobs as:

  • producer, Dragonfly
  • invigilator, Hauser & Wirth
  • film publicist, Way To Blue.

(HESA EPI, The Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

Our graduates are intellectually agile, critically rigorous, highly skilled communicators with a flair for independent thought and a creative approach to problem-solving.

You can attend tailored careers events, including workshops, talks and drop-in sessions, throughout your time at Sussex. You continue to receive careers support after graduation.

After graduation, you can go on to postgraduate-level study, or use your Drama Studies and Film Studies degree for a career in:

  • theatre and performance
  • media and publishing
  • business and teaching.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

“Sussex has taken me on a journey that includes teaching Drama in Budapest, and working as a film researcher.” Rosa SaundersDrama Studies graduate

Career ambitions – John Giannini, Drama, Theatre and Performance BA

Film Analysis: Hollywood Narrative and Style

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module explores the diverse ways that filmmakers use key techniques of cinematic expression, such as narrative, cinematography, mise-en-scene, editing, sound, performance and special effects.

You explore how such techniques are accomplished (i.e. the creative choices available to filmmakers) but also the potential they have for generating meaning and pleasure when combined together to produce filmic texts.

The module is based around a series of reading assignments, which will be discussed in seminars along with the week's set film and extracts from other films. In particular, we examine one of the most influential and most pervasive models of cinema: the classical narrative film produced during the era of the Hollywood studio system (from approximately 1915 to 1960).

You will consider several films from this era, as well as films produced subsequently, in the light of influential propositions by David Bordwell and other film scholars regarding the systematic organisation of stylistic and narrative norms within classical Hollywood storytelling.

Issues in European Cinema B

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module explores key critical inquiries which have become central to Film Studies as a discipline (realism, national cinema, popular genres, authorship, and ‘alternative’ or experimental film styles), through an engagement with examples of European cinema from the 1920s to the early 1960s. Using a series of case studies, you will learn to situate film texts according to their historical, cultural, and social contexts, in addition to relevant theoretical debates. Topics may include: German expressionism, surrealism, Soviet montage, the ‘enhanced’ realisms of Italian and British film movements in the post-war years, the French New Wave, and popular genres in European cinema.

Thinking Through Theatre

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

Thinking Through Theatre will introduce you to a range of analytical, critical and practical issues and approaches that have an impact on how theatre is thought about and constructed. The module will broaden your understanding of what theatre is and how it can be made. In seminars you will discuss some of the important key terms, debates and ideas that inform and delimit theatre-making as a political, social and ideological arena of aesthetic practice. In parallel workshops you will explore and extend those ideas practically. Throughout the module you will be encouraged to develop a critical attitude to viewing, experiencing and making theatre and will be introduced to skills and techniques for developing socially responsible studio practices. Alongside seminars and workshops you will attend performances (inside and outside of class), which will inform weekly discussions. By working collaboratively to think through issues and develop material throughout the term you will gain relevant critical and practical skills necessary for working together effectively and generously for the duration of your degree.

The module aims to embed a fundamental idea that permeates the rest of the degree as a whole: that theatre 'thinks', that it processes concepts and issues in a way in which essays, for example, do not. Over the the course of the module you will be introduced to the different ways in which theatre 'thinks' about the world and the means it has at its disposal for effecting this.

Issues in Global Cinema A

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

Issues in Global Cinemas extends your understanding of critical issues associated with the study of film. We will introduce you to the global history of the medium from the 1950s to the present.

The module focuses on critical analysis of distinct modes of global film culture, from the emergence of "world cinema" as a category of “foreign” cinema in the 1950s to today’s global blockbusters.

We examine the ways films relate to social and political change, including struggles associated with post-colonialism. And study the ways popular modes – such as melodrama – explore the relationship between gender, national history and identity. We will also look at how films function as commodities in a global marketplace.

The module introduces you to a broad range of cinema, and we cover films from India, Brazil, Senegal, Argentina, Tunisia, Iran, China, South Korea and Australia.

Reading and Staging Theatre Texts

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module will introduce you to approaches to reading and staging theatre texts taken from a range of historical periods.The module will interrogate the structure of dramatic texts, their cultural and historical frame and question the impact of performance and its material conditions on the chosen works. Furthermore it will introduce you to practical techniques for translating a text from page to stage.

Weekly seminars will explore the issues, historical and cultural contexts of these plays while accompanying workshops will focus on exploring the status of the text in relation to performance asking whether it is a blueprint, a set of instructions, a springboard or a resource for performance. In workshops you will also explore different staging practices from original practices to the stylised, from radical, postmodern approaches to ones that draw on the techniques of theatre practitioners such as Brecht, Bogart and Stanislavsky.

The module will help you to understand how you may prepare a text for performance and how practical approaches to the text bring new ways of understanding its composition, form and meaning. The overall aim is to broaden the your understanding of the complexity of the text's relationship with performance and encourage you to think about practice as a form of embodied theory: experiential, critical, evolving and dynamic.

Approaches to Contemporary Performance

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module will introduce you to a range of approaches that have developed in contemporary performance practice since the post-war period and considers some of the issues and challenges these new approaches raise. In particular, we will pay attention to the opportunities afforded by theatre and theatricality in an increasingly uncertain world where destabilization has become a motif and way of life, and where intermediality and cross-disciplinarity have become habitual in the approach to making/performing theatre. We will consider how this is reflected in a range of approaches to performance. Through readings and discussion focused on a number of groups and artists who will be used as case studies, we will investigate the ways theatre performance has responded to and accommodated (or else resisted) certain cultural, social, ideological and artistic shifts.

Throughout the term, you will engage with issues that arise in contemporary stagecraft on a practical and theoretical level. Seminars and workshops will be informed by a range of contexts and theoretical positions, and we will compare and contrast the working practices and productions of specific internationally acclaimed groups and artists from the late 70s to the present day, from the US, Britain and Europe.

Your understanding of contemporary performance will develop through a combination of reading, researching and attending performances. You will discuss and workshop a range of issues, methods and approaches relevant to the module. Topics will include new strategies in composition and devising; the treatment of character (acting, non-acting, performing); "decentering" and development of the non-linear or "multiplicity" plot; the role of the spectator/audience; task and process; durational vs. fictional time; collaborative methodologies; the use of "off-stage" and low-fi aesthetic strategies.

Your continued participation and punctuality is key to the success of the module (especially since the module relies on group work) and you will be expected to rehearse and prepare (readings for discussion, seminar and performance presentations) outside of class time. The module culminates in a group presentation in which short pieces that have been collectively devised will be performed. These draw upon strategies, methods, ideas and materials covered by the module. This will take place in week 10 in order to allow ample time for you to work on your essay for this module, due in week 12.

Film Theory

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you examine a range of theoretical approaches that have shaped (and continue to shape) Film Studies including classical film theory, debates about realism and the cinematic apparatus, psychoanalysis, ideology, and representations of difference.

As well as providing a grounding in major theoretical debates in Film Studies, you learn how to think and write about film using sophisticated critical models.

British Cinema A

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module provides a historical survey of British cinema as well as an introduction to critical and theoretical debates associated with national cinema. Specifically, we cover the relationship between British cinema and British culture, history and identity.

 You examine how British cinema has represented other dimensions of identity such as class, ethnicity and sexuality. You consider a range of films in order to explore how British cinema:

  • responded to the Second World War and the decline of the British Empire
  • has reflected transformations of society associated with multiculturalism
  • functions in a transnational or even post-national era
  • and how specific genres such as the crime film and the period drama have functioned in the national and international marketplace.

 Films to be studied include Submarine, Brief Encounter, Fires Were Started, Black Narcissus, Performance, A Room With A View, Bend It Like Beckham and Red Road.

British Cinema B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The module begins by examining critical approaches to a history of British cinema and the dominant ways this cinema and its characteristics have been understood. We then examine British cinema from the 1920s to the contemporary era beginning with the factors which shaped it, in particular the debates about the social and cultural importance of a specific British cinema against the background of the massive influence of Hollywood, and the representations of ‘Britishness’ this produced. The later weeks of the module examine in more detail British cinema’s attempts to deal with the various forms of ‘otherness’, which it has sought both to define and to contain in the changing cultural and political climate of the post-war years and with the different ‘British cinemas’ this produced.

Debates in Screen Documentary A

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module will introduce you to the major debates in documentary film studies, a burgeoning field within the discipline of film studies. The documentary is notoriously difficult to categorize or define, but John Grierson’s provisional definition as ‘the creative treatment of actuality’ is as good a place as any to start the investigation of this shapeshifting form.

Gaining in popularity and expanding in form well beyond its traditional televisual format, documentary studies has become an exciting area of research with a literature that is expanding exponentially. A survey of the field will include (but is not limited to) interrogations into questions of:

  • representation of reality
  • documentary authorship
  • objectivity and subjectivity
  • the essayistic and experimental modes
  • other key themes.

Movements and trends in documentary will be covered including a range of practices that have spurred heated debate, such as the mockumentary, the interactive documentary, and the incursion of documentary into the art world. Case studies from international documentary will be integrated into the module, depending on the specialism of the convenor.

Debates in Screen Documentary B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module will introduce you to the major debates in documentary film studies, a burgeoning field within the discipline of film studies. The documentary is notoriously difficult to categorize or define, but John Grierson’s provisional definition as ‘the creative treatment of actuality’ is as good a place as any to start the investigation of this shapeshifting form.

Gaining in popularity and expanding in form well beyond its traditional televisual format, documentary studies has become an exciting area of research with a literature that is expanding exponentially. A survey of the field will include (but is not limited to) interrogations into questions of:

  • representation of reality
  • documentary authorship
  • objectivity and subjectivity
  • the essayistic and experimental modes
  • other key themes.

Movements and trends in documentary will be covered including a range of practices that have spurred heated debate, such as the mockumentary, the interactive documentary, and the incursion of documentary into the art world. Case studies from international documentary will be integrated into the module, depending on the specialism of the convenor.

French Cinema B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module provides a historical, critical, and theoretical survey of developments in French cinema. It focuses on key historical issues (aesthetic, social, political) that have shaped French cinema over the last century, examining the intersections of film with French politics, culture and identities. A range of directors (possible examples: Godard, Franju, Denis) and types of film (popular genres, art cinema, avant-garde) will be studied, with films ranging from the 1920s to the present day. The module will combine close attention to textual analysis with contextual study of the period in which films were produced, and with comparative readings of critical approaches to films.

Performance: Directing and Composition

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module introduces you to a range of historically situated practices, approaches and methods that have become established (to greater and lesser degrees) and are commonly applied in directing and composing performance today. Through seminar, focused dialogue, presentations and collaborative workshops you will focus upon a number of distinctive styles and approaches to making theatre works that have dominated and shaped the development of performance-making and theatre production since the middle of the 20th century to the present day. You will investigate methods and strategies (visual, critical, written, practical) through case-studies of a range of productions and/or directors and theatre-makers in order to gain a deeper understanding of some of the concerns that determine and shape contemporary practice. You will be encouraged to evaluate how such approaches have both advanced and constrained the way we think about directing and composition (collaboration versus director-led work, for example) and the implications facing theatre-makers and writers in the current cultural climate.

From the most traditional plays that take place in main stream theatres to outdoor, immersive spectacles, small installation works and interdisciplinary performances, from plays to newly-devised versions of classical works to the generation of new material by ensembles from initial idea and workshop through to production, the aim of Directing and Composition is to help deepen both your knowledge in this area of study as well as your creative practice.

Writing for Theatre

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you focus on writing for theatre from critical, creative and performative perspectives.

You explore the work of contemporary playwrights, practitioners and performance companies from a number of critical and practical perspectives, through texts, AV material and interaction with practitioners in the field.

You examine the process and techniques by which writing is generated for theatre, through critical analysis via close readings, workshop experimentation (writing exercises and guided practical workshop activities) and creative writing developed on the page and via performance.

You think critically about the creative process, and apply those skills to your own writing for performance.

You use a range of methods to generate your own performative writing, which you then workshop and present in a final rehearsed reading/performance context.

Issues and Perspectives in Contemporary Performance

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 4

This module enables you to deepen your understanding of performance as a way of thinking and the implications of theory for performance. You will engage with three distinct fields of study that address, explore and interrogate important aspects of contemporary performance. The module is taught in three distinct three-week sections, one for each field of study. They are diverse topics that will expand your understanding of issues and questions relevant to contemporary practices in and/or theoretical approaches to theatre, theatre-making and performance. The module will expose you to perspectives and ideas at a more advanced-level and engage you with areas of staff research specialism. Due to the concentrated nature of the three-week sessions, teaching will focus on particular examples taken from the field of study under discussion that will, in turn, expose larger issues and questions. We will negotiate fields of study that address ethical, political, social and aesthetic issues surrounding ongoing debates in modern and contemporary theatre.

The module deals with advanced material. Yet while the content of the module will develop your understanding of and relationships to contemporary theatre and performance, the methods through which the material have been processed will also form a part of the teaching, so that you will be introduced to varieties of research methodologies, as well. While you will be assessed on the material taught, you are encouraged to take up and develop particular aspects suggested by the module, in terms of subject matter and research approaches to subject matter, in the independent research project module in the following term.

Hollywood Industry and Imaginary

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 4

This module examines one of the world's most commercially and culturally significant media institutions. It addresses Hollywood as a set of interconnected practices, industrial and symbolic.

 The module develops points of contact between two ways of envisaging films – as commodities within a moving image economy, and as symbolic forms – by situating film texts in historical contexts. It focuses in particular on the period from the late 1960s to the present day.

 As this is a final year module, you will draw on the range of methods, skills and approaches that you have encountered in your earlier work.

 You will also develop an account of the political economy of Hollywood. You look for ways of understanding why and how films are produced, and how these commercial imperatives shape the form and nature of Hollywood movies. Hollywood will be examined as a system of publicity encompassing marketing procedures, journalistic commentary, etc. 

Of course, you’ll also look at the films themselves. Their narrative structures, systems of representation, cinematographic properties, thematic concerns and the pleasures they offer – all in the specific historical and institutional contexts of the 'heavy industry of dreams’.

Viewing Women

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 4

Early work on the relation of women to film considered woman's 'to-be-looked-at-ness', examining representations of women as objects of the male gaze, constructions 'cut to the measure of [male] desire' (Laura Mulvey). You will consider the female spectator, positioned by particular film and television genres (melodrama, the 'woman's film', and soap opera). More recently, attention has shifted to women as social audiences and producers of meanings, differing from one another and constructing from texts their own meanings and pleasures. This module traces these developing and interacting strands of research, considering questions around the location of meaning, the relationship between text and context, and the usefulness of different strands of feminist research in enabling us to understand film texts and their representations and positioning of women. It considers a range of popular and feminist film texts and their viewers.

Film Studies Dissertation

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 4

The dissertation module allows you to work on a sustained Film Studies project of your choosing that builds on appropriate critical, theoretical or historical approaches encountered in your study of the subject.

It functions both as a summary experience, enabling you to draw together and reflect on skills and knowledge acquired earlier in the course, and as a self-directed project that allows you to focus on material you have chosen and planned.

Introductory lectures, tutorials, research workshops and peer review will guide you through the process of choosing the subject, devising research questions, and preparing and refining the proposal and dissertation.

Independent Research Project: Dissertation

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 4

You will independently develop an advanced and in-depth research project within a subject, topic or area of your own choice. The work you undertake should expand and deepen an area you have become interested in as a result of degree work already completed. There are two modes of research at this level: through practical or academic enquiry, that is, through the creation of a substantial practical presentation (up to 20-30 minutes long, individually or in pairs/groups dependent on student cohort and preference) or through an extended dissertation (6,000-7,000 words). This module offers the dissertation route.

All the work undertaken in the module will be supervised by an appropriate tutor (ie with relevant expertise in the chosen area). Research study skills seminars will take place in weeks one and three with the entire cohort. You will receive two hours total supervision (divided as they prefer, eg four half hour sessions). The first six weeks of the module are engaged with developing a research topic and plan in collaboration with the allocated supervisor, at the end of which you will submit a proposed 200-word abstract for the project and a suggested bibliography. In week seven you will give a presentation to the group outlining the independent research project. By week 10 you will be expected to submit up to 2,000 words of your final dissertation for informal feedback and to ensure progress. Final supervising sessions will take place in week 12. All final dissertations will be 6,000-7,000 words and will include an abstract, bibliography and any other resources referred to with appropriate appendices.

Independent Research Project: Practical

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 4

This module enables you to develop an advanced and in-depth research project independently and to define a subject, topic or area of your own choice for practical exploration. The work you undertake should expand and deepen an area they have become interested in as a result of degree work already completed. There are two modes of research at this level: through practical or academic enquiry, that is, through the creation of a substantial practical presentation of (up to 20-30 minutes long, individually, in pairs or in groups dependent on student cohort and preference) or through an extended dissertation (6,000-7,000 words). This module offers the practical route. If you are engaged in this work will be allocated a technical role in each other's projects.

All the work undertaken on the module is supervised by an appropriate tutor (ie with relevant expertise in the identified area). The first six weeks of the module are engaged with developing a research topic and plan in collaboration with the peer group and supervisor at the end of which you will submit a proposed 200-word abstract for the project and an appropriate bibliography/set of resources. In week seven you will give a presentation to the group outlining the independent research project. All practical work will be scheduled to be performed during weeks 11 and 12 and will be accompanied by an oral examination about the process and the critical concerns encountered in making and delivering the work.

Sexualities and the Cinema

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 4

This module centres on the critical study of sexualities and how they are represented in a range of film texts. Through screenings, lectures, seminars and self-directed study, you will be introduced to the various ways in which sexualities have been both theorised and represented in a range of film texts.

Debates considered in the module may include:

  • the politics of sexual identification
  • the idea of sexual ‘perversity’
  • sexual stereotyping (especially of lesbians and gays)
  • and the critical concept of ‘queer’ in theory
  • identity politics and cinematic genre (queer cinema).
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