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Film Studies and Drama

WW46 BA (Hons) 3 years


For full information about life in the School and the programmes we offer, please see the School of English and Drama Website.

Studying Drama and Film Studies offers an exciting opportunity for you to study the dramatisation of our world across live and recorded media, and to explore inter-related concepts such as production, mise-en-scène, and spectatorship. 

You will be introduced to theories of performance and representation, and to the key critical practices of twentieth-century theatre and film. The practices you encounter will stimulate questions about the issues involved in the historical and theoretical study of film and drama. You will be encouraged to pursue your own practical projects alongside formal teaching. There is also an extensive library collection of videos and DVDs to which you have full access throughout your studies, in addition to London’s many specialist film and theatre venues and events.

Why study Film Studies and Drama at Queen Mary?

Queen Mary offers you the opportunity to study Drama and Film in one of the world’s greatest theatre cities and one of the world’s most important cultural hubs. We have well-established links with key national institutions - such as Shakespeare’s Globe, the Barbican, and Tate Modern - and with community groups in London’s East End. This means you will work with active practitioners and arts professionals. As well as enhancing your studies, these links will increase your employability through networking and work placement opportunities.

You will also be studying alongside academics who are leaders in their field; the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) ranked QMUL's Drama Department as first in the country for the quality of our research. Our academics are committed to using this world-leading theoretical and practical research to inform their teaching, which is highly valued by students (in the last National Student Survey, 100% of students agreed that staff made the subject interesting, and 96% of students were satisfied overall). Our diverse faculty offers a wide range of modules so you can pursue the varieties of performance that most interest you.


This list gives some general guidance on which modules you will study during your degree, although these may vary from year to year.

Year 1

  • Concepts and History (FLM4200)
  • Approaches and Analysis (FLM401)
  • Cultural Histories of Theatre (DRA115)
  • London/Culture/Performance (DRA114)
  • Practices (DRA117)
  • Performance Texts in Practice (DRA118)

Year 2

In your second and third years, you will continue to develop your understanding of both stage and screen. In the second year all students on the programme take one compulsory Film Studies module:

  • What is Cinema? Critical Approaches (FLM003)

This is a module designed to introduce you to a broad range of theoretical and critical ideas pertinent to the academic study of film. You will also typically take a further 30 credits of Film Studies modules.

In Drama, you will take sixty credits including at least one of:

  • Cultural Politics and Performance (DRA259)
  • London/Archives/Resources (DRA260)
  • Group Practical Project (DRA242)

Year Three

You will select at least one research project, from a list including:

  • Written Research Project (DRA329)
  • Practice-based Research Project (DRA344)
  • Performance Company Research Project (DRA353)
  • Film Studies Research Project (FLM304)

You will also take the compulsory, but non-assessed, module Livelihoods (DRA346)

Optional Modules

In your second and third year, you can select from a wide range of optional modules. For possible Drama modules we offer, please see our website.

Entry requirements


General Information
We welcome applicants whose first language is not English; you must obtain a grade B in GCSE English language or equivalent, or will be required to have IELTS 7 (with grade 7 in writing).

Typical tariff or grades required: 320-340 points from 3 A-levels with an A in Drama/Theatre Studies/English Literature and B in Film/Media or relevant subject.

Excluded subjects: General Studies and Critical Thinking

International Baccalaureate:

Subjects and grades:34 points overall. Must include at least 6 points in HL arts/humanities/social sciences subject and 5 in HL Film/Media or relevant subject. 

Vocational and other qualifications:

The College accepts a wide range of qualifications such as; Access and Foundation programmes, vocational awards, Irish Leaving Certificate, Scottish Highers and other Baccalaureates. Please visit our further information page below.

Further information on our entry requirements

Admission is based on academic merit and on the proven ability of the applicant to achieve success on their chosen programme of study. Every application to Queen Mary is considered on its individual merits with personal statement and reference taken into consideration. 

Information for applicants from outside the United Kingdom, including English language qualifications


Learning and teaching

Learning and Teaching:

Drama teaching happens in small seminars, workshops, small lectures, field work, tutorials and some workshop activities outside Queen Mary (for example, in local schools). You will do group work and work independently. Theory and practice are integrated across the curriculum so that in seminars you will also do some practice-based learning and in workshops you will also discuss critical reading. As well as working with Drama staff, you will also have the opportunity to work with experts and theatre professionals from outside the College. You can expect to be in taught classes eight hours per week but also to do additional unsupervised practice in dedicated studio time four hours per week. You will sometimes dedicate additional time to preparing performance work and extra studio space is bookable for you to do this. You will also be responsible for preparing assigned reading, doing independent research and attending theatre and other cultural events across London as well as preparing work for assessment.

Within Film Studies, teaching takes a number of forms. Lectures are used to convey information, to introduce students to the basic concepts of the discipline and to develop sustained interpretation and argument. Seminars and workshops allow students to put into practice the concepts and approaches presented in lectures. There are workshop sessions for many practice-based modules, as well as group work in the studios or on location.

Independent Study:

For every hour spent in classes you will be expected to complete a further 2-3 hours of independent study.  Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; producing written work; completing projects; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study sessions you attend, along with your reading lists and assignments.  However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area.  This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.


In Drama, Assessment includes written and practical assignments, which might include lecture-demonstrations, essays, critical reviews, funding applications and performances. As Drama frequently involves working with others, so some assessment is based around group work. However, we always try to find means of assessment that suit the subject matter being studied. We offer a wide range of practical and seminar-based module options, as well as required core modules, including, in the final year, either a written research project or an independent practical project. Drama modules involve a high level of commitment to the collective work done in practical classes and with other students outside of usual working hours.

In Film Studies, most modules combine assessed coursework and an end-of-module exam, though the proportion may vary. Some modules, including the practical ones, are assessed by coursework only. Final-year students have the opportunity to pursue a sustained piece of research or to develop an extended film production project or long script. 


Fees and finance

Tuition fees

Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676


Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate Employment

Graduates from Queen Mary go on to work in a wide variety of roles in a range of sectors including the arts, publishing, the media, charity and education.

The national 2014 destination survey confirmed that 92% of graduates from the School were in employment or study six months after graduation, with 71% of graduates already working or studying at graduate level. 

The broad range of skills gained through undergraduate courses in the School, coupled with multiple opportunities for extra-curricular activities and work experience, have enabled students to move into careers such as:

  • Junior Producer - ITN
  • Actor - Self employed
  • Script Reader - Writers Avenue
  • Fundraiser - Amnesty International
  • Editorial Assistant - Dazed & Confused Magazine
  • Associate Producer - Idle Motion
  • PR Assistant - Proud Gallery
  • Research Assistant - Tatler
  • Programme Compiler - Channel 4
  • Global Mobility Project Assistant - Diageo
  • Marketing Coordinator - News Quest Ltd

Drama students can build work experience via the department’s student run Queen Mary Theatre Company or with one of Queen Mary’s creative agencies such as People’s Palace Projects. Drama students also work with for QMSU media (which produces QMTV, The Print newspaper, and CUB Magazine from the Students’ Union). 

Throughout the course, students also have access to an annual QM Careers and Enterprise Centre programme, to prepare them for internships and graduate level work. This includes employer led workshops on job applications and interviews as well as over 90 employer events to facilitate networks and help students to explore their options. Recent events include an Experience Journalism workshop run by News Associates, Experience Teaching with TeachFirst, Careers in Law for non-law students and Start Up Stand up for those aspiring to start their own social enterprise or business.

Opportunities for work experience are substantial given Queen Mary’s location between Canary Wharf, the City and the Olympic Village. Students are encouraged to build their work experience throughout their period of study. Opportunities can be found through QProjects, a local work experience scheme, QRecruit, which advertises internships and temporary work, Experience Works, a part time work fair, and volunteering with QMSU Provide. Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities ranging from Student Journalist to Library Assistant and from Society President to School Mentor. There are also over 1400 vacancies to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.

Read more about our careers programmes and range of work experience opportunities on the QM Careers and Enterprise Centre pages.



Name: Kathatine Rosser
Studied: BA Drama
Currently: Katharine is currently a Project Manager at Phakama, a resident arts organisation at Queen Mary.

When did you graduate, and what was your final-year undergraduate research project on?
I graduated from Queen Mary with a BA in Drama in June 2012. In my final year of university, I chose to incorporate my interest in Latin America with my research project, titled ‘Translating Shakespeare for a Spanish-Speaking audience: A case study from contemporary Argentina’. It examined the challenges of translating Shakespeare into Spanish for the stage and the ways it can be can interpreted in international contexts, specifically Argentina.

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?
Originally, I had wanted to study History and French, but was persuaded otherwise on reading about the Drama programme at QMUL, and the opportunities it offered to further my experience in theatre and prepare me for a future career in the arts, which was my ultimate aim. The lure of London and the sheer quantity and diversity of opportunities and theatre on offer cemented my decision. The location of the campus in East London truly enriches the university experience for young people studying Drama, exposing them to a wealth of arts practices that undoubtedly influence and inform their artistic and academic development.

What was the highlight of your time at Queen Mary?
Although first and second year provided a solid and varied framework with which to explore my interests in the different aspects of Drama, it was my final year that I found the most fruitful, challenging and rewarding. I relished the vast scope for creativity and structured practical modules such as Managing Theatre, in which I and four other students launched a new theatre company, Wasteland. It was the module Applied Performance however that proved to be the most eye-opening module, demonstrating to me the social impact of the arts across different groups, and allowed me the opportunity to do a placement with Project Phakama UK, the youth arts organisation I now work for on a full time basis.

What have you been doing since graduating, and how did studying at Queen Mary prepare you for it?
On graduating from QMUL I took up the position of Project Manager at Phakama, an arts organisation in residence at Queen Mary. During this past year I have been managing Spotlight- a year long training programme in the creative and cultural industries for 18-24 year olds not in employment, education or training. It has been very inspiring to work with a theatre company producing such a high calibre of creative performance through shared experiences, and that does so democratically. It has also allowed me to retain strong links with the Drama department at QMUL, with whom in June 2013 we co-produced the Spotlight Symposium. The symposium ‘How to Feed Creativity’ looked at youth employment in the arts and the ways in which young people can access opportunities in the arts, and what we can do collectively to combat the obstacles young people might face when trying to enter this notoriously competitive industry. My time at QMUL proved to be an invaluable experience that, particularly in my final year encouraged more practice based research which continues to inform my current work at Project Phakama.


Please visit the School of English and Drama website to see more student and alumni profiles.

David Wilkinson

BA English

Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

“I chose Queen Mary because I live in East London and because I was aware of its good reputation for English. I was impressed by the open day where I was made to feel welcome as a mature student and where I saw how much choice there is within the course; in the first year we covered areas from medieval literature to contemporary theory; this year I am learning about post- colonialism, 18th Century satire and literature after the First World War. There are dozens of interesting modules to choose from.

How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?

“The university is located in a nice part of London. It’s a lovely campus on the Regent’s canal with lots of good coffee shops and places to study. It's within walking distance of places like Victoria Park and Brick Lane.

“The teaching staff are very helpful and everything is well planned, we are set interesting and challenging work every week. I’m being trained to become a better thinker and I feel like I've learned a lot in the last year. I think the course is great and would highly recommend it.”

Emmanuel Avdijan


Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary?

“I decided to study at Queen Mary because it was based in the heart of London, one of the most diverse, experimental and culturally packed cities in Europe. Everything from theatre shows, to late night comedy clubs is on your doorstep.

How did you find your academic and social experience at QMUL?

“I love the way our lecturers approach teaching. In one session we may start by looking at the reasons people visited the original 1599 Globe theatre, and finish with a discussion of how contemporary live art performances have pushed the boundaries of theatre to offend, judge and perhaps even reconfigure modern day theatre goers.

“I live at home but try to get involved in the social side as much as I can. There is always something taking place on campus and all societies are very open to recruiting new members.”


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