Drama and Film Studies BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)


September 2016

code: WP4H

The entry requirements below are for students starting in September 2016.


Combine your love of film and drama. Use our industry-standard equipment and fantastic studio spaces to create high-quality film and live performance work – and get the practical skills you need to work in the film and theatre industries.

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Full description


Our course will equip you with the practical skills required by institutions and employers in the film, drama, theatre and performance industries. You’ll receive work experience through self-organised placements, and our career-focused modules will encourage you to reflect on what you’ve learnt.

All our students create a Personal Development Planning portfolio, which we'll asses during your studies. It will be an invaluable tool throughout your career.

Our recent graduates enjoy successful careers in film, theatre and video production, directing, performing and technical theatre roles, film criticism, festival and events administration and management, film and theatre education and teaching, broadcasting, journalism, publishing, advertising and public relations.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Performance Contexts
    You’ll look at the development of Western performance through an examination of both practice and critical material. By considering significant moments, key movements and practitioners in the history of Western performance, you'll question the nature and function of performance, theatre and music and consider their interdisciplinarity. Within this context, you'll be introduced to a range of performance texts as examples for a practical exploration. You will focus on performance processes rather than end product, being introduced to working methodologies and practices from the full history of Western performance, and addressing their political, cultural and socio-economic significance. By relating theoretical and practical approaches, you'll examine changes in form and conventions in performance practices.
  • Studio Performance
    In this module, you'll take part in a collaborative, studio-based live performance based on a selected text or combination of texts, often involving active deconstruction or reinvention of the piece. This 'text' might be a play-text, music theatre text, other devised performance works or live/recorded music. You'll analyse the text's significant actions and meanings, and explore the ways in which they could be realised in performance. You'll be encouraged to develop lighting and sound designs for the performance, documenting them for use by back-stage technicians, and explore effective set or costume design. Throughout the rehearsals, you'll investigate ideas of postmodern performance in practice and consider how the production of such work might differ from traditional techniques in theatre-making.
  • Introduction to Film and Cinema
    You’ll gain an analytic and creative approach to the study of films and film practices, and become familiar with some of the key features of film language and theory. In addition to contemporary and classical Hollywood, you'll study experimental practices and products, and films and film-making contexts from a range of cultures. You'll learn how the medium of film is acknowledged as a distinctive language, art form and industry that has developed dramatically since its novelty beginnings, and investigate the use of film as an ideological tool. Visits to cinema venues and film festivals will give you first-hand experience of the issues faced by the film industry, while seminar activities such as shot analyses and oral presentations will give you an appreciation of the links between conceptual and practical approaches. You'll also be introduced to research skills, including literature searches, film diaries and referencing techniques, and begin producing a portfolio of work that will contribute to your Personal Development Planning.
  • Introduction to Video 1
    Through a series of briefs and exercises that investigate the principles of filmic conventions, this module will introduce you to the language of film and video from the point of view of a practitioner. The projects will encompass the investigation of principles such as: composition and lighting, shot/reverse-shot sequences, matching on action and the rhythmic editing of picture and sound. The aim is not necessarily for you to perfect conventions, rather to experiment and gain an understanding of how they work. No prior technical experience of film and video is required - you'll receive inductions into camera operation, sound recording and editing. Your work will be regularly screened in a critical forum, allowing you to gain invaluable feedback from your peers and tutors.

Year one, optional modules

  • Introduction to Global Cinema
    Traditionally, the concept of 'world cinema' has been used for national cinemas outside Hollywood. By contrast, this module will introduce you to a global and transnational approach, in which Hollywood forms one part of the globalised commercial and artistic film landscape of the last fifty years. You'll study a range of films in order to explore topics which may include Bollywood, Nollywood, Hollywood as global cinema, the cinema of small countries and other emergent cinema. You'll address the aesthetic, economic, linguistic and political contexts of different film cultures, with a focus on how they situate themselves in a global market.
  • Introduction to Video 2
    This module will introduce you to creative, practical and theoretical issues concerning self-directed video projects. Working in small production teams, you'll produce a number of short videos in response to a series of briefs set by the tutor. You’ll engage conceptually with the medium, by focusing on an investigation of a series of formal characteristics such as framing, duration, editing, and relationships between sound and image. To support your work, you'll be shown a number of short films and extracts related to the project briefs, which will encompass a range of different types of film-making. Your work will be regularly screened and discussed in a critical forum, so you can benefit from the feedback of your peers and tutors, and you'll have the chance to attend technical workshops to supplement the inductions provided in previous modules.

Year two, core modules

  • Making Performance
    You’ll design, direct and perform in a large-scale public performance, created from a selected source text. As a group, you must agree effective methods of decision-making, show full commitment to rehearsals and production meetings, and demonstrate a willingness to participate in all aspects of work on the production. If you're a Performing Arts student at Cambridge, you can also be assessed as a musician or singer within the rehearsal process and performance. If you take Performing Arts at University Centre Peterborough, you may be assessed on your physical theatre work. Collaborative production modules require professional conduct from all students. Your conduct will be measured on reliable attendance, punctual arrival at rehearsals, maintaining high levels of concentration within sessions and your willingness to take direction from others. You will be assessed on both the live performance and your research, as well as your attendance and contribution to the production process. This module includes content and assessment relating to the Employability component of Personal Development Planning.
  • The Body in Performance
    On this module, you'll explore the use of the body in contemporary performance and theatre practice, and the ways in which it can challenge dominant political, cultural and artistic ideologies. You'll consider how the body is subject to ideological and social forces that restrain it, and interrogate performance's potential to resist these forces. By critiquing structures of power and knowledge, you'll examine the place of the body in contemporary culture, while posing questions about the political efficacy of performance and the ethical implications of the work. This work could include live art practice, dance theatre, digital performance, activism and bio-art. Each week, you'll concentrate on a particular set of themes, developing theoretical and critical approaches to examining performance in relation to the body. In seminars, you'll look at performance texts, web material, videos, reviews, interviews and critical essays from major theorists in the field. Where possible, you'll be encouraged to attend appropriate performances, exhibitions and installations as part of the course. Your assessment will focus on your ability to articulate research findings through oral presentations, along with a final research essay at the end of the module.
  • Theorising the Specular and Classical Hollywood Cinema
    You'll address issues of spectatorship and representation through a range of theoretical approaches including psychoanalytic theory. You'll also explore the intersection of pleasure and terror in our encounters with the image, considering the ways in which film taps into our unconscious, and the role of the body, the senses, and emotion in shaping our responses to moving image culture. You'll look at the future of film studies by addressing the changing conditions of spectatorship in the age of digital cinema. In the second part of the module, you'll focus particularly on the practices, products and institutional frameworks of the classical Hollywood period, exploring the narrative conventions that continue to shape the majority of mainstream commercial cinema. This will include a consideration of the formal and stylistic features of the 'realist' text, its ideals and ideologies.

Year two, optional modules

  • Performance Practitioners
    This module will introduce you to the work of key theatre practitioners. You'll examine a range of major practitioners and explore different modes and approaches to their work through both critical and practical engagement with their ideas, methodologies and creative strategies. You'll explore methodologies through a mixture of theoretical seminars and practical sessions, with the classes providing space for student-led explorations of rehearsal techniques. The practitioners covered might include, indicatively: Artaud, Brook, Meyerhold, LeCompte and Kantor. You'll be assessed through a workshop demonstration and an oral presentation at the end of the module.
  • New Media Performance
    This module will introduce you to recent innovations in contemporary theatre and performance through a practical and theoretical consideration of new technologies available to theatre-makers at the start of the 21st century. You'll examine the technological interventions that gave rise to mediatised performance as well as the new methods of its dissemination, and explore this in practice by using technologies of sound, music and video to produce a piece of mediatised performance. You'll be expected to engage with the interfaces between live performance, digital technologies, social networking sites, mass participatory sites of video performance, online arts marketing and experimental film-making. You'll be assessed through the production of a short performance piece designed for dissemination through digital technologies. You'll also learn about the production of mediatised performances that can be used as a multi-media element within live theatre practice, studying selected multi-media practitioners as you produce, react to and question the value of such technologies in performance.
  • Design for Performance
    On this module, you'll examine the processes by which the designer and director/deviser work from a 'text' towards the physical manifestations of a performance: venue, sets, costumes, and props. You'll be introduced to a variety of research methods that can be used to investigate a text, as well as the history and theory of stage design in addition to basic techniques of design and production. Working with a set text, you'll undertake a series of group exercises to explore aspects of the design process. You'll be assessed by a portfolio that demonstrates your research into primary sources (text and visual), and annotations showing analysis, development and appraisal of design ideas, as well as a 1,000 word essay that will reflect critically on this work.
  • Documentary Film Theory
    On this module you'll explore the world of contemporary documentary film. How do we watch documentary films in the digital age? What is behind the recent documentary boom? Through a close analysis of contemporary documentaries such as Standard Operating Procedure (2008), Waltz with Bashir (2008) and 5 Broken Cameras (2011), you'll consider a range of critical discussions and debates surrounding the historical, technological, aesthetic and socio-political developments of the documentary approach to film and video-making. You'll also address the historical and theoretical contexts of the study of documentary film, and engage with topical debates regarding the relationship between reality and representation, documentary ethics, structured reality TV programmes, and the role of the internet in disseminating documentaries.
  • Non-Fiction Filmmaking
    To take this module you must already have taken Introduction to Video. You'll explore the nature and practice of documentary filmmaking, addressing the aesthetics of documentary in relation to expository, poetic, observational, performative, and reflexive modes of practice. You'll consider, reflect and implement appropriate responses to the range of issues that might arise in your work, including the ethical, creative, methodological, theoretical, and technical concerns relating to documentary. To rationalise the subject of non-fiction film and video in terms of forms and conventions of documentary language, you'll examine in detail various examples of contemporary, historical, independent, and mainstream documentary.
  • Independent Cinema: US and Beyond
    You’ll focus on the development, features and impact of independent cinema in the US and beyond. Alongside close examination of a number of key films, you'll consider areas such as the financing and promotion of independent film-making, and investigate how and why certain directors choose to work outside the protective infrastructures and high budgets provided by a studio system. You’ll also look at US-based film-makers starting out in the late 1970s and early 1980s, such as John Sayles, Jim Jarmusch and Joel Coen, and how they influenced later international filmmakers, such as Quentin Tarantino, Gregg Araki, Vincent Gallo and Lukas Moodysson. You’ll explore how Awards ceremonies and Film Festivals can showcase 'peripheral' cinema, and critically examine the role of independent distribution companies. Your assessment will take the form of a critical essay and an oral seminar presentation on the work of an independent film-maker of your choice.
  • Cinema and Sound
    On this module you'll explore the role played by sound in the development and appreciation of cinema, including: the impact of the introduction of sound, the influence of sound on the perception and experience of the film spectator and the evolving terminology in the field. You'll examine the aesthetics of sound in the cinema with reference to films from the earliest experiments in sound recording, such as W.K.L. Dickson's Experimental Sound Film (1894/5), to early sound films by directors such as Alfred Hitchcock, René Clair and Fritz Lang, and all the way to contemporary cinema, by way of auteurs such as Robert Bresson, Jacques Tati and Andrei Tarkovsky. The theoretical framework for your study will include key texts by a range of critics and theorists who have sought to redress the balance in Film Studies (and culture at large), which often tends to privilege the image.
  • Animation
    To study this module you must have already taken the Introduction to Video module. You’ll become more familiar with the discipline of animation, emphasising the creative possibilities of the frame-by-frame manipulation of time. You'll be introduced to a range of conventional and experimental works that will develop your understanding and practice of animation. You'll watch a series of screenings covering a range of key figures and movements in animation, from the geometric abstraction of Hans Richter and Viking Eggeling to the early films of the Disney studio, the camera-less films of Len Lye and Stan Brakhage, the reflexive strategies of Chuck Jones and Robert Breer, and the pioneering work of Lotte Reiniger. You'll take part in a number of practical workshop projects that will develop various skills, from camera-less filmmaking to collage and pixilation, encouraging you to take an idea-driven and experimental approach to the medium. Your final project can be completed individually or in a pair.

Year three, core modules

  • Devising Performance
    On this module, you'll explore the processes and practice of devising work for the theatre. In the first part, you'll undertake a practical exploration of the various approaches to, and the methodologies of, devising performance through workshops and exercises. You'll also be introduced to the work of various performance and theatre practitioners/companies who utilise devising in their creative process, in order to examine strategies and potentials for performance. As a group, you'll then engage in a production process, led by a member of staff, to develop, rehearse, design, market and realise a piece of devised performance to be presented to an external audience. Prior to the final performance, you'll submit an essay that critically investigates the processes of devising, with specific reference to your artistic, historical and theoretical contexts.
  • Major Project
    The individual Major Project will allow you to undertake a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to your specific course. Your topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The project will require you to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct research, evaluate information, process data, and critically appraise and present your findings/creative work. You should arrange and attend regular meetings with your project supervisor, to ensure that your project is closely monitored and steered in the right direction.

Year three, optional modules

  • Performance and Identity
    You'll interrogate the relationship between identity and performance and the ways in which performance might be deployed strategically in the service of specific political, ethical and cultural agendas. In the course of this, you'll consider the ways in which dramatists, companies and performers have used performance as a vehicle for expressing identity positions that are often marginalised or alienated by dominant cultural practices, such as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, disabled, and marginalised class/ethnic identities. Each week you'll concentrate on a particular set of themes, examining them through selected texts, artists and companies. In seminars, you'll explore relationships between performance and identity through a mixture of performance texts, web material, videos, reviews, interviews and critical essays from major theorists in the field. You'll be assessed through a presentation of your initial findings and a final essay.
  • Principles of Music Therapy and Dramatherapy
    This module will provide you with an intensive introduction to the theory and practice of music therapy or dramatherapy, as practised by registered professionals in the UK. It will not train you to be a therapists, but equip you with knowledge of the clinical field and some introductory skills that are useful in considering music therapy or dramatherapy as a vocation. You'll attend experiential workshops that are linked to theoretical lectures, and possibly a field trip, as well as giving audio-visual presentations. Through these activities you'll be able to evaluate, develop and analyse your musical/dramatic potential and explore the application of different media to therapeutic situations. Your assessment will consist of a written essay, and musical/dramatic improvisations (as appropriate) in small groups, in which you'll actively demonstrate an understanding of the use of music/drama as a therapeutic tool.
  • Contemporary Texts
    On this module, you'll focus on contemporary drama, theatre and performance produced since the 1990s. You'll explore, in practice, the potential stagings of the pieces selected, debate their original reception and assess their impact on subsequent works. You'll compare the production of authored texts and some of the techniques used by contemporary devising, dance theatre, music theatre and 'physical' theatre companies. For your assessment, you'll produce a live performance using a sequence from any work studied on the module. You'll also complete an oral presentation and an open question session based on your creative work in your performance, explaining your decisions as director and how this relates to the original staging and/or critical context of the piece chosen.
  • Avant-garde Film and Experimental Video
    On this module, you'll take an historical approach to the various movements and themes associated with avant-garde film and experimental video. You'll consider these in aesthetic and socio-political contexts, but you’ll also study the work of a number of key film and video-makers in close detail. Throughout the module, you'll consider and reflect upon the history of experimental film and video and its association with other artistic forms, as well as its rebellious relationship with the mainstream. In addition, you'll examine the movement of the avant-garde film between cinema and modern art, while still focusing on it as an independent form of art practice with its own internal logic and aesthetic discourse.
  • Film Art
    On this module, you'll examine film as an art form and the relationship of film to other forms of art. You'll consider the peculiarities of cinema's formal languages, focusing on those visual practices and strategies specific to narrative film and considering the aesthetic singularities associated with the moving image. You'll study the dialectic relationship between film and other forms of art and visual and textual culture, such as painting, comics, videogames and literature, as well as diverse narrative and non-narrative rhetorical devices and modes of address. In particular, you'll consider non-Western filmic codes of representation, such as those in Japanese and Indian cinemas. You'll look at the role of the moving image in the context of the art gallery, critically examine selected theorists of art and film form and study seminal moments of European aesthetics and art criticism, critically applying them to film - particularly the writings of Aristotle and Immanuel Kant.
  • Film, Modernity and Postmodernity
    On this module, you'll examine the emergence of film as one of the key technologies of modernity, and hence consider the role of film in helping to express and consolidate ways of thinking and feeling about modern times. You’ll look at cinema’s impact on memory identity and subjectivity and also contemplate to what extent cinema is bound up with the nature of reality, and our attempts to know and understand it. Defining modernity and postmodernity as a period of history, but also as a set of ideologies and representational strategies, and as a set of epistemological conditions and ontological concerns, you'll look at problematic distinctions between modernity and postmodernity, and consider ways in which they intersect, overlap, or bleed into one another. You'll also study a range of theorists associated with modernity and postmodernity, including Tom Gunning, Bela Balasz, Antonin Artaud, Anne Friedberg, Jean Baudrillard, Fredric Jameson, and Gilles Deleuze, amongst others.
  • Multiplexed: Contemporary Popular Cinema
    On this module you'll explore trends in the aesthetics and production practices of Hollywood movies, and their contexts of distribution and reception, based on a representative selection from the last four decades. You'll discover how the style and output of American popular cinema in this period has responded to changing socio-political, economic and cultural circumstances. Alongside close readings of a number of films (bookended by the box-office record breakers Jaws and Avatar), you'll consider some of the broader tendencies they represent: What lies behind the so-called 'blockbuster syndrome' supposedly initiated by Spielberg's monster movie? What is the impact of new locations or technologies for viewing on the aesthetics of popular cinema? Did the blockbuster destroy or save Hollywood? These are just some of the questions you'll answer over the course of the module.
  • Working in English, Communication, Film and Media
    This module, with a focus on work experience, will help prepare you for targeted entry into the world of multimedia, film, television, cinema, radio, video, teaching, publishing, arts administration and related creative and cultural industries. You'll identify, negotiate and carry out a work placement, or produce a commissioned product, in a chosen area, with guidance from the relevant Course Leader and Module Leader, who will provide ongoing consultation, supervision and support in association with the University's Careers Service. You'll develop a portfolio and write a critical essay, both of which you'll submit at the end of the semester. Your portfolio should include: your CV; copies of a range of academic work (including a DVD showreel, where appropriate); evidence of extra-curricular activities; evidence of work experience. Presentation is crucial to your portfolio, and you should make use of all available multi-media when refining your work. This module will form part of your ongoing programme of Personal Development Planning.
  • Special Subject (Drama)
    This module will allow you to interrogate a specialist area of contemporary research in the subject area, particularly those with ongoing research being produced by staff members in the Department. Some topics may allow you to explore in greater depth matters covered in other modules; others will introduce material not otherwise covered in the existing provision. The choice will vary from year to year. An indicative list of topics might include a selection of the following: stage adaptation; performance & science; operatic and musical theatre production, multimedia performance, Samuel Beckett's plays, applied theatre practices and reviewing new drama. The method of your assessment will vary according to the option, but may be an essay, a practical essay and/or a performance, both supported by appropriate documentation. You will only undertake one method of assessment.
  • Independent Film Practice 1
    This module will allow you to develop your own mode of creative film practice. Whether your projects are informed by considerations associated with drama, documentary, animation or experimental work, you will be expected to show a critical and reflective attitude towards your practice. Early in the module, you'll present your project proposal to tutors and the rest of the group, then, at a later stage, show and discuss your work in progress in the context of individual tutorials and class seminars. To develop your proposed project, you'll undertake preliminary practical projects, conduct research, begin pre-production and openly discuss your ideas, with advanced technical workshops being organised as required. You can work individually or in small groups. After completing the module, you'll attend a screening and a crit, at which every student will show at least one finished piece of work. The film that you show in the crit constitutes the first element of your assessment. You'll also submit a commentary and evaluation, discussing the intentions behind your project and the formative features of your work.

Optional modules available all years

  • Anglia Language Programme
    The Anglia Language Programme allows you to study a foreign language as part of your course. You'll take one language module in the second semester of your first year in order to experience the learning of a new language. You must select a language you've never learnt before from the following: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.


You’ll demonstrate your learning through essays, reports, critical reflections, presentations, studio and public performances and a major project, which may include practical work.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

The Department of Music and Performing Arts is a community of over 400 students and staff, working together in a supportive environment to create new and challenging compositions and performances. Our lecturers are research-active practitioners and recognised experts in their field, so our students always have access to the latest theories and practice, as well as invaluable career guidance.

We organise many activities to help our students prepare for the future, like concerts, theatre performances, work placements, study abroad opportunities, talks by acclaimed guest speakers, and research conferences.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

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Work placements

Our previous students have undertaken work placements and commissions with regional and local television, radio and newspapers, MTV and the Cambridge Film Festival, often as part of their assessed work. For many, this has led directly to a paid position with the company.

You’ll have the chance to experience the production side of running a professional touring theatre company on one of our internships, such as award-winning theatre company NIE.

Study abroad options

You can apply to spend one semester in either years 2 or 3 studying abroad at universities in Italy and the USA.


You’ll get to work in our two dedicated drama studios, complete with flexible black-box performance space, an additional rehearsal space, and the Mumford Theatre, a full-size venue for professional touring companies. You’ll also have access to industry-standard film equipment, including Super 8 Nizo cameras, 16mm Bolex film cameras, and a number of rostrums for traditional animation. Our digital facilities feature Panasonic and JVC HD cameras, and Macs with Final Cut Pro software for editing and post-production. In addition, our Cambridge campus houses film and television studios, multimedia studios and screening theatres.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2015/16 (per year)


International students, 2015/16 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)


International students, 2016/17 (per year)


How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements


Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email admissions@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

Entry requirements are for September 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

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International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

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English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.

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Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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Get more information

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International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

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