Drama and Film Studies BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

Cambridge

September 2018

Overview

Explore many different modes of performance, and film theory and practice from all over the world, then use them to create your own innovative projects. If you hope to become a producer, director or practitioner on the stage or screen, this course will prepare you perfectly, as well as opening avenues in many related careers.

Full description

Careers

Our BA (Hons) Drama and Film course will give you a solid understanding of the work of film and drama practitioners, in historical, contemporary and technical contexts. Having used this knowledge to develop your own projects, you’ll possess both the theoretical understanding and practical skills required by institutions and employers in the film, drama, theatre and performance industries.

Many of our previous graduates have taken up roles in film and theatre production, directing, film criticism, festival/events administration and management, film and theatre education, broadcasting, journalism, publishing, advertising and public relations.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Studio Performance
    This module will introduce you to effective working methodologies in both performance and production. This will be tested through the production of a studio-based collaborative live performance, which will also explore selected key moments in theatre and performance history through practice. We will begin by considering the historical context of the text chosen for performance, its genre and performance conventions. Your tutors’ expectations of professional discipline in practical work will be set in this introductory module. While they will direct performance and production work, you will be expected to develop your own independence and initiative. You will contribute creatively to performance and production work, to appreciate the importance of collaborative practice on your degree. You may take a variety of roles as a performer or choose to concentrate on the production processes that are essential to effective live performance. You may help to design lighting, sound, projection or video for the performance, working with professional technical staff. You may alternatively work on creating effective set design, choreography, or costume and make-up. One or more student stage-managers will be needed for the whole performance, working in collaboration with all other performance and production roles. You will be expected to actively participate in all the aspects of the rehearsal and production processes that are relevant to your role. You must demonstrate reliability as collaborative performers and production staff by full attendance, punctual arrival at rehearsals and high levels of concentration within sessions. These factors and your creative contribution will inform your mark for the process of rehearsals week by week. This will be 30% of the module mark. The remaining 70% of your mark will be based on the quality of the live performance, whether you appear as a performer or make your contribution in a production role.
  • Introduction to Film Studies
    This introductory module will show you an analytic and creative approach to the study of films and film practices, introducing you to some of the key features of film language and theory. As well as contemporary and classical Hollywood, you'll study experimental practices and products, films and film-making contexts from a range of cultures. You’ll look at film as an ideological tool and learn to identify and debate the relative merits of different films, developing the critical judgement skills crucial to the subject. You’ll visit cinemas and film festivals and seminar activities such as shot analyses and oral presentations will help you understand the links between conceptual and practical approaches.
  • 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.
  • Staging and Production
    This module will involve you in staging a directed public performance. You will form a company and take on a performance and/or significant backstage role to work alongside your director in the realisation of a contemporary performance text. You will engage in a full rehearsal process, in which you will analyse and explore your chosen text within the context of your wider studies of C20th to contemporary performance and associated theories. Your rehearsal process will involve active participation in the interpreting and staging of your text, requiring you to engage with post dramatic practices such as the adaptation and deconstruction of course materials. This module requires professional discipline, including a willingness to take direction from others and to contribute ideas and work positively towards creative solutions. You will be assessed on the final ensemble performance piece in the moment of live delivery for 70% of your mark. The remaining 30% will reflect your conduct, attendance, contribution and participation in the creative process throughout rehearsals.
  • Introduction to Film Theory
    On this module you will focus on theoretical approaches to an understanding of how film works and the relationship between cinema and society, and between cinema and the individual. Through weekly lectures and seminars, you will study a number of key texts and concepts by influential writers who have helped to shape Film Studies as a subject in its own right, and who have contributed to the development of new ways of thinking about cinema. You will discuss the key points raised in each article, debate the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and apply these to clips and films screened throughout the module. You will explore some of the following questions: How does cinema mediate our understanding of reality and of social issues? How can a realist film style help to raise our awareness of aspects of reality that might otherwise go unnoticed? How have semiotic concepts been applied to the study of cinema as a language? How can we appreciate the role of the filmmaker as an auteur? What is the relationship between cinema, politics, and ideology? What is the relationship between cinema and the unconscious mind? How have ideas about gender, ethnicity, race, and sexuality been debated within film theory? Lectures will give you an overview of a particular theory, positioning it within a broader topic. The seminars will give you time to get to grips with the nuances, merits, and limitations of different methods of film theory, to ask questions, and above all to test out theories through a discussion of the films screened. They will also offer you essay writing workshops, to continue the development of your critical and analytic skills, and refine your essay-writing skills. You will be assessed through a 3000-word critical essay, due at the end of the module.

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.
  • Screenwriting: Introduction to the Screen
    This module will equip you with the skillbase needed to make an entry-level submission in the industry, both in schemes for new writers and relevant competitions. You'll analyse a range of television dramas, learning how story ideas are generated and developed into a workable template. You'll then progress to developing your own original idea, producing a short treatment and the first few pages of a television script as well as some supporting material. Your final submission will be divided between a short critical essay as well as the creative practice component.

Year two, core modules

  • Making Performance
    This module offers you the opportunity to perform in, design and produce a large-scale public performance, created from a selected source text. While production work will be led by a tutor, students also 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. This module is designed to develop your skills in performance and production work to a high level; there will be a variety of roles on-stage and back-stage for your group to manage and deliver effectively. Collaborative production modules require professional conduct from all students; measurements of such conduct will include reliable attendance, punctual arrival at rehearsals, high levels of concentration within sessions and a willingness to take direction from others. You will liaise closely with professional staff at the theatre venue during intensive technical rehearsals and your own developing professionalism will be tested during this time. For assessment, 70% of the mark will be based on the quality of the live performance and 30% on a consideration of attendance, professional discipline and your creative contribution throughout the production process.
  • Classical Hollywood Cinema
    On this module you will focus on the practices, products and institutional frameworks of the classical Hollywood period. You will explore the narrative conventions that continue to shape the majority of mainstream commercial cinema and study the formal and stylistic features of the 'realist' text, the ideologies that inform it and its ideals of normative identities and lifestyles. You will explore coupling and heterosexual romance as a motor of plot development and as an intensely ideological aspect of films made in this period. Similarly, you will consider the significance of the ‘happy ending’ in maintaining or challenging key ideological norms and values. Drawing from some of the theoretical approaches encountered on earlier compulsory modules (Theorizing Spectatorship), you will think about classical Hollywood cinema’s positioning of the spectator, and the implications for the construction of gender and racial identities. Finally, you will also consider the style conventions of different classical Hollywood film genres and debate their significance in helping to align spectators ideologically and emotionally in the narrative action.
  • Practice as Research
    This module will introduce you to a research methodology that treats the live, spatial and embodied nature of performance as a means of generating knowledge and understanding. You'll explore how performance can be designed to test or demonstrate ideas that are not amenable to library research alone, but are practice-led. 'Practice as Research' is a methodology that expands the concept of ‘knowledge derived through doing’ into a research strategy; as such, this module is particularly valuable if you are planning any kind of practical work for your Major Project. Discussion of PAR and more traditional research strategies for the Major Project will be an important aspect of this module. Practice as research will also be useful for all additional performance-based explorations of ideas that you'll encounter at levels 5 and 6. The purpose of this module is to give you strategies that will underpin the research credentials of your future practical work. It will cover both practice-led research and research-led practice. You'll explore how an understanding of ideas can be derived from existing live performance work and how such work can also generate new knowledge. These examples may encompass live art, activist performance, installations and exhibitions, workshops and performance laboratories in acting training. You'll be assessed through your own design of a practical project informed by practice as research principles, which will be performed live, with an introductory (or concluding) rationale for its design, alongside an outline of the ideas with which the performance engages.
  • Theorising Spectatorship
    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.

Year two, optional modules

  • Documentary Film Theory
    This module acts as a co-requisite for the Level 5 practical Video Documentary module for Film Studies students. Students on other courses may choose to take the practical module as a free standing module. The module will introduce you to many of the critical discussions and debates surrounding the historical, technological, aesthetic and socio-political developments of the documentary approach to film and video-making. As well as paying full regard to the key trends and film-makers to have contributed to the history of this important genre, you will consider the renewed public interest in documentary film and its crossover into the mainstream with recent commercial and critical hits such as "When We Were Kings" (Leon Gast 1996) and "Bowling for Columbine" (Michael Moore 2002). You will focus on the nature, specificity and evolution of the documentary form, and its relationship to cinematic realism, and address the historical and theoretical contexts of the study of documentary film, as well as an engaging with topical debates regarding the relationship between reality and representation, documentary ethics, and the role of cross-cultural documentary and ethnographic film. You will also discuss different modes of address in documentary film-making, the role of the documentary film- maker, and the relationship between film-maker and subject(s), and explore current and future modes of distribution and exhibition for the documentary film, including specialist festivals devoted to documentary. Throughout the module there are opportunities for you to critically analyse key film texts. Your assessment will take the form of a 3000-word critical essay.
  • 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.
  • Principles of Dramatherapy
    This module is an introduction to the theory and practice of dramatherapy, as practised by registered professionals in the UK. It will not train you to be a therapist, but will equip you with knowledge of the field and some introductory skills that will be useful if you are considering dramatherapy as a vocation. You'll be introduced to the clinical field and will learn about the principles of dramatherapy and other related professions, such as work in applied theatre, teaching and nursing. You'll be taught through experiential workshops linked to theoretical seminars, and also a possible field trip. Audio-visual presentations will enable you to view clinical work in process. Through these activities you'll be able to evaluate, develop and analyse your potential in this discipline and explore the application of arts media to therapeutic situations. Your assessment will comprise small group practical work in which you will actively demonstrate an understanding of the use of drama as a therapeutic tool. You'll be individually marked during this task, according to the specified learning outcomes. The knowledge you gain on this module can be applied to other modules. It may involve improvisation, role-play or performance, and can contribute to a basic understanding of groups and how they function.
  • 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.
  • Animation
    To study this module you must have already taken the Introduction to Video module. This module will equip you with critical and practical skills in the field of Animation, with an emphasis on the possibilities of the frame-by-frame manipulation of time. You will be introduced to a range of conventional and experimental work that helps to inform practical and conceptual study. You will work in a number of ways, from camera-less film projects to working with the digital image. This broad base will encourage an ideas-driven and experimental approach to the medium. You will also explore key movements in Animation, including the geometric abstraction of Hans Richter and Viking Eggling, the rise of Disney and realism (the animation technique of roto-scoping is a particular focus here), the camera-less films of Lye and Brakhage, the reflexive strategies of Chuck Jones's Duck Amuck and Robert Breers Fuji. You will consider the role animation has played in the development of motion graphics for films. Screening of your work will be contextualised by theoretical and historic referencing. You will also develop skills in research, giving a presentation on an animator of your choice as well as a presentation on your final idea. For assessment, you will submit a 3-minute video animation piece and a 1000-word critical commentary and evaluation.
  • 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.
  • 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 and forms of information exchange available to theatre-makers at the start of the 21st century. You'll examine the technological interventions that give rise to mediatised performance as well as the new methods of its dissemination, and explore these 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, and experimental film-making. 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.Your final assessment will be the production of a short mediatised performance piece designed for dissemination through digital technologies.
  • Scenes and Shorts
    This module will give you an opportunity to perform in short plays and scene studies that will combine into a substantial themed production. The short play demands intensive work in understanding its variety of forms and often experimental nature, and the technical aspects of such works can also be exacting. Therefore, there are many roles you can take up on this module, including performer, technician, or stage manager, with each team working to facilitate efficient turn-arounds between separate works. You will focus on works that are typically for small casts and of short duration, such as the short plays of Samuel Beckett, Bertolt Brecht, Caryl Churchill, Harold Pinter or Martin Crimp. Alternatively, you might focus on scene extracts from companies such as Forced Entertainment, Complicité, DV8 or Vincent Dance Theatre. You might also use a a performance style such as naturalism, Dadaism, physical theatre, postmodernism, the post-dramatic or performance art to pull together sequences on the module. The nature of scenes and shorts will allow you to work intensively and independently in small groups in rehearsals before coming together to produce a single show featuring all of your work. Your small-group rehearsals will be self-managed, requiring professional discipline and full participation to drive work forward. If you choose a production role, management of the whole show will be a substantial responsibility. You may choose to be assessed in the capacity of performer, producer, technical staff or a combination of these roles. In each weekly rehearsal session you will receive feedback on your developing work, culminating in assessment based on your process work week-by-week as reflected in the final performance.
  • Community Theatre
    This project-based module will give you direct experience of working as a performer and facilitator within the local community, developing your awareness of employability contexts, your ability to work with and for vulnerable groups, and a wide range of transferable skills. Working as an applied theatre company, you'll be set a brief to design and deliver a performance project for an outside organisation, such as a local charity, museum, Sheltered Housing Unit, school or health care provider. Practical workshops and seminar style teaching will introduce you to the given context, the ethical and practical challenges related to it, and a range of performance styles and methodologies appropriate to successfully meeting the project brief. You'll then engage in a collaborative process to devise and deliver a performance off-site. Your project will be assessed through a formative proposal outlining your performance ideas, then summatively through group performance. The module will offer you direct engagement with the local arts community, such as children’s theatre companies at Cambridge Junction theatre, primary or secondary schools, or local charities. The preparation of your project will develop your awareness of the ethical, practical and creative issues that must be considered when making performance for specific target audiences and in off-site locations. It will also enable you to form meaningful links with local arts venues, service providers and community groups, allowing you to explore the diverse career opportunities within this field while gaining real-world experience of community theatre.
  • Professional Theatre Practice 1
    Entry to this module requires Course Leader approval. Please be aware that the roles available for professional supervision will vary; you must pick a reserve module in case the role you wish to pursue cannot be offered. This module is designed to accommodate specialist training under professional supervision in defined area of theatre production. The type of work undertaken will be driven by the staffing requirements of a particular theatre or studio placement. Indicative areas of work may include developing technical skills in lighting, sound, video or specialist software, stage design, stage management, wardrobe and make-up, theatre management or marketing. You will work under the supervision of professional staff to understand the demands of each role and to gain practical skills specific to your defined aspect of theatre production. This is a module dependent on experiential learning and you must demonstrate a professional attitude to co-operation with the theatre staff under whose supervision you will work. You will be expected to be flexible in adapting to the jobs assigned to you and be willing to work during the particular hours that may be necessary in your role. Your hours will increase during production weeks; you must demonstrate your professionalism as a responsible, reliable and competent member of the production team at this time. You will be assessed by the quality of your work as visible during a performance event. Where your work is less evident during a performance, such as marketing or theatre administration, a portfolio of work covering your role will be presented. This will be followed by an oral examination, where you will be expected to bring critical thinking to bear on the work experience gained.

Year three, core modules

  • 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.
  • Performance Showcase
    This module will offer you a creative, project-based opportunity to synthesise and develop skills and understandings acquired elsewhere on the programme. Beginning with pre-existing musical theatre productions, performances or play-texts, , you will start by adapting, reinterpreting, creatively reworking and retelling this material. Supported by a staff director in first part of the module, you'll work towards the creation of increasingly new and devised work for public performance. The first part of the course will involve workshops and exercises in which you will explore practically various methodologies of devising. You'll also be introduced to the work of various performance and theatre practitioners and companies who use devising in their creative process, to examine strategies for inventing your own original devised performance. You'll then begin the production process, developing, rehearsing, designing, marketing and realising a piece of devised performance drawn from the initial stimuli. This work will be created as a whole group to be presented to an external audience, the ensemble taking increasing control of their own creative decisions throughout the rehearsal process. At this stage, you will need to demonstrate self-discipline, professionalism and full commitment to additional rehearsal sessions as your show moves towards production. Your learning outcomes for the module will be assessed at the end of the semester through a set of public live performances in a commercial venue.

Year three, optional modules

  • Contemporary Texts
    On this module, you'll focus on contemporary drama, theatre and/or performance produced in the 21st century. You'll explore, in practice, potential new stagings of the pieces selected, while considering their original reception and production. In the absence of substantial critical evaluation of such recent performances, you'll be expected to develop and defend your own independent and evidence-based judgements concerning this work. You'll also conduct internet searches to access available review notices in newspapers or periodicals and to research any relevant recent scholarly articles or chapters. You'll encounter a range of performance pieces, such as authored play-texts, and techniques used by contemporary devising, dance theatre, music theatre and physical theatre companies, as appropriate. For your assessment, you'll produce a live performance adapting a sequence from any work studied on the module. As formative assessment prior to your performance, you’ll be asked to present a rationale of your creative ideas for this adaptation, an edited script or some work in progress for review. This work should be considered in relation to the original staging of the piece, with your rationale explaining your decisions as directors in creating a new staging and an adapted script. A good explanation of your ideas at this point will clarify your purposes in the live performance assessment, which carries 100% of your mark for this module.
  • Provocations
    On this module you'll explore a range of contemporary performance and live art practices that are challenging, often controversial and sometimes disturbing. You'll examine how the body can be explicitly staged in performance art and the ways in which it can be a vehicle for expressing identity positions that are marginalised within dominant western culture. As such, you'll encounter contemporary performance practices that articulate racial, gender, transgender, queer, disabled and refugee identity positions. You'll consider the ethical implications of this practice, its relationship to its audience and its effectiveness as a strategy of resistance to mainstream stereotypes. Content may include the extremism of live art by Franko B, Ron Athey, Kira O’Reilly and Marina Abramovic; activist interventions by Richard Dedemonici and Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping; representations of race in Brett Bailey’s Exhibit B; queer identities in Split Britches’ Belle Reprieve; transgender performance by Heather Cassils and the representation of disability in dance works by Bill Shannon. In seminars, you'll explore the relationships between performance, the body and identity through a combination of videos, web material, reviews, interviews and critical essays from major theorists in the field. Your assessment will comprise a 3,000-word essay, with advance formative assessment by tutorial appointments to discuss your plans, arguments and case-studies. The practitioners that you'll study may deploy shock-tactics in the delivery of their work - you'll be expected to be intellectually curious, ask questions about this work and be open to new ideas, practices and processes.
  • 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.
  • Acting for Camera
    On this module you will your skills in acting for the camera by producing short dramatic works adapted for video. The videos produced may form part of a showreel for use after completing your degree. You'll explore the preparation of video material for a variety of new media and develop basic video production skills accordingly. Regular video playback will allow you to critically reflect on the work produced and highlight where improvements may be made in performances, choice of shots or editing. You'll be expected to participate fully and professionally in all the practical work for this module. For your assessment, you'll work independently to develop a shooting-script that adapts a short stage scene to film, and be assessed by the quality of your acting performance as captured on video.
  • Site Specific and Immersive Theatre
    On this module you'll focus on significant developments in contemporary theatre through detailed analysis and exploration of site-specific and immersive practices. You'll be asked to consider place and space as theoretical concepts and explore the influence of performance space on audience reception and on your own creative practices. You'll engage with a range of theoretical perspectives from theatre historians, performance scholars, philosophers and cultural geographers, and with a range of performance practices such as site-specific, promenade, immersive, digital and applied theatre. You'll take part in seminar discussions and reading group sessions, and a number of practice based workshops, off-site visits and theatre trips. These activities will allow you to develop a sophisticated understanding of the contemporary theatre context that you'll be entering after graduation, and working towards the assessment will allow you to imagine your own creative input to that context. You'll be asked to develop and thoroughly research your own idea for a new site-specific or immersive theatre performance. This will be assessed through an oral presentation in which you'll ‘pitch’ your creative idea, demonstrating its originality, thoughtful relationship to place, creative use of space and practical viability. This will allow you to be ambitious and work on a larger budget/scale production than you would usually be able to at this stage in your career. It will also develop a range of highly important transferable skills, such as presenting, budgeting, researching, exploring creative partnerships and fitting your work into the contemporary scene.
  • Narrative in Global Cinema
    On this module you will explore the way stories are told in films from around the world. You will study key aspects of cinematic narrative structure, including order, duration, cause-and-effect patterns, and the distinction between fabula (story) and syuzhet (plot). You will also examine how character and voice are handled in film, the function of 'point of view', focalisation, and internal vs external characterisation. You will address theoretical aspects such as narrator and narratee, reception theory, suspense vs surprise, the key 'seven' narrative functions, narrative and genre, and the ideology of 'show vs tell'. You will analyse non-narrative (and anti-narrative) aspects of narratives, such as description, iconic shots, music, and other disruptive elements. You will also be thinking about the different roles of words (dialogue, text, sub-titles) and imagery. You will study all of these narrative topics with regard to global cinemas. You will compare and contrast mainstream commercial Hollywood movies with non-American examples, ask to what extent continuity narrative has become the dominant pattern across the globe, examine narrative structures that do not fit the mainstream model, and analyse the intersection of global narratives with diverse identity formations. You will view films and clips from various European countries and non-Western regions, in addition to co-productions and transnational examples. Your assessment will comprise a narrative analysis (1000 words) and a critical (2000 words).
  • Special Topics in Film Studies
    This module gives you the opportunity to study a topic taught by a member of staff whose particular academic interests and/or research is reflected in the area. You will extend your knowledge and understanding of a specific subject area that you may have encountered earlier in your studies, and in which there is deemed to be scope for more reading, critical commentary, analysis and discussion. Alternatively, this module may be used to introduce you to a topic which is not found elsewhere in the existing degree provision. A topic may be the study of a single filmmaker (e.g. Charlie Chaplin; Claire Denis) or cognate group of filmmakers (e.g. the French New Wave; New Queer Cinema), a genre (e.g. Global Horror; the Teen Movie), or a topic that allows for in-depth discussion and consideration of a defined area in film theory (Cinema & Sexuality; Digital Aesthetics in Contemporary Cinema; Film-Philosophy). The designated topics vary from year to year, you will be told what is available before making your module choice. You will not attend formal lectures - the module is taught in seminars in which group discussion is encouraged.
  • 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.
  • Working in English 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Optional modules available in years two and three

  • 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.

Assessment

For a full breakdown of module options and credits, please view the module structure.

You’ll show your progress on the course through a combination of 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 School of Performance 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?

Cambridge
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

Work placements

You’ll take part in self-arranged work placements, and our career-focused modules will encourage you to reflect on what you have learned from them. Our previous students have undertaken 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.

PDP portfolio

During the course of your studies, you’ll also create a Personal Development Planning portfolio, which will be an invaluable tool throughout your career.

Study abroad options

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

Facilities

For all of your practical work, you’ll have access to our industry-standard facilities, including:

  • Two dedicated drama studios with flexible black-box performance space
  • Super 8 Nizo cameras, 16mm Bolex film cameras, Panasonic and JVC HD cameras
  • Rostrums for traditional animation
  • Macs with Final Cut Pro software for editing and post-production
  • On-campus film and television studios, multimedia studios and screening theatres

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year)

£9,250

International students, 2018/19 (per year)

£12,500

Fee information

For more information about tuition fees, including the UK Government's commitment to EU students, please see our UK/EU funding pages

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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

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

Funding for UK & EU students

Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.

We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

From September 2018, EU students starting an undergraduate degree with us can access an £800 bursary.

Meanwhile, our £400 Books Plus scheme helps with the costs of study. There's no need to apply for this: if you're eligible you can simply collect a Books Plus card when you start your course.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Interview

You will be interviewed for 15-20 minutes by one of our lecturers and will have the opportunity to ask your own questions about the course and university.

Audition

The audition will last for 10-15 minutes and you will be asked to prepare a monologue from a selection in our audition performance pack.

This will be a practical session, so it would be a good idea to wear clothes in which you are able to move freely.

You are invited to bring any other examples of creative or written work to the audition, or to provide links to online media.

For more guidance visit our auditions page or download our drama audition information guide.

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 answers@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.

International students

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

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.

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

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online