Research course

Film Studies (Creative Practices)

University of Essex · Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies

Entry requirements

Good first degree or equivalent in relevant subject area.

PhD, MPhil

Months of entry

January, October, April

Course content

Our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies offers supervision for PhD Film Studies (Creative Practices) in all fields of our staff research expertise within this area. This includes a wide range of expertise in different genres and in various approaches to film and literature.

As this PhD involves creative practice, you will work on an original screenplay or equivalent short screenplays (80-120 pages, equivalent to 80-100+ minutes of screen time and roughly 30,000 words) plus a critical commentary of 40,000 words. Alternatively you can work on a full-length film or equivalent short films (80-120 minutes screen time), a sample screenplay excerpt (10,000+ words) and critical commentary (30,000-40,000 words).

A number of our graduates have gone on to undertake successful careers as writers. Other past students are now established as scholars, university lecturers, teachers, publishers, publishers? editors, journalists, arts administrators, theatre artistic directors, drama advisers, and translators.

We also offer an MPhil in this subject, and part-time research study is also available.

Our Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies is distinctive in the breadth of our cultural interests, combining expertise in literature, film, and theatre studies to provide a strong and supportive environment for your studies.

Many of our academic staff are scholars of international reputation including our professors, John Gillies, Richard Gray, Peter Hulme and Marina Warner, who are recognised experts in the fields respectively of Shakespeare, US literature, postcolonial studies, and cultural history. Richard Gray was the first specialist in US literature to be appointed to the British Academy, while Marina Warner is a distinguished novelist who has been appointed to the British Academy. Since 2009, internationally acclaimed poet and Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott has worked annually with our students as our Professor of Poetry. In January 2011, he was awarded the prestigious TS Eliot Prize for his latest collection, White Egrets.

Department specialisms

Supervision is available in all areas of staff expertise in different literatures, film and theatre studies. This includes different approaches to the subject, covering most aspects of early modern and modern writing in English and a number of other languages.

Information for international students

IELTS 7.0, to include 6.5 in writing

Fees and funding

We offer many funding opportunities to support talented postgraduates, ranging from research council studentships and University scholarships to awards funded by charities and other external organisations. For more information, see:

Qualification and course duration


full time
36 months
part time
72 months


full time
24 months
part time
48 months

Course contact details

Graduate Administrator
+44 (0)1206 872 624