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English and Film Studies

QW36 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.

This degree offers a detailed investigation of the range of theoretical and critical approaches that have shaped English and Film Studies in recent years. The programme combines a mixture of close textual and visual analysis with an exploration of the critical theories that are applied to film and literature. You will also be encouraged to reflect on how the two disciplines – film and literature – can overlap.

As a student of English you will look at imaginative writings in their cultural and historical contexts. It may mean walking through the London of Defoe, Dickens, Virginia Woolf or Monica Ali. It may mean discovering the impact of the French Revolution on English art or the impact of the colonial experience on colonisers and colonised.   You will also learn about the history of critical and theoretical approaches to literary texts and question the notion of ‘literature’ itself. You’ll discover how history, philosophy and psychology shape literary criticism and theory and how literature itself is taken on board by those disciplines.

Film Studies is a genuinely interdisciplinary academic field. An encounter with films of different genres, styles, periods and national industries is the core of the subject, and as a film student you will naturally devote a lot of time to viewing films, reading and writing about them, and discussing their meaning and importance. However, this is just the beginning. Film Studies is a ‘gateway subject’ that inevitably fosters an understanding of visual aesthetics, narrative forms and technological ability, but that also leads students into areas of study as diverse as history, politics, philosophy, technology and performance.


Year 1
Compulsory modules:

  • Introduction to Film Studies
  • Approaches and Analysis
  • Reading, Theory and Interpretation
  • English in Practice


  • Poetry: A Basic Course, AND Narrative, OR
  • Literatures in Time: Texts and Contexts from the Eighth to the Sixteenth Century, OR
  • Shakespeare

Year 2

In Year 2, there is one compulsory film module

  • What is Cinema? Critical Approaches

In your second year in English, you will select one module from Lists 1 and 2 below, and another module or modules from Lists 3 and 4.

List 1

Arthurian Literature: From Geoffrey of Monmouth to Game of Thrones (ESH283) [30 credits]

Renaissance Literary Culture (ESH267) [30 credits]

Renaissance Drama (ESH280) [30 credits]

List 2

Representing London: Writing the Eighteenth Century City (ESH288) [30 credits]

Romantics and Revolutionaries (ESH286) [30 credits]

Victorian Fictions (ESH279) [30 credits]

List 3

Architexts (ESH243) [30 credits]

Modernism (ESH213) [30 credits]

Postcolonial and Global Literatures (ESH285) [30 credits]

List 4

List 4 comprises of a wide range of optional modules. You can get a sense of what might be on offer by viewing our English module directory.

Optional Modules

The remainder of the modules in your second and final years are optional, and you can choose from a list of optional modules which reflect your own particular interests.

For optional English modules, see the Department's website. For optional Film modules, see the School of Languages, Linguistics, and Film site.

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).

Excluded subjects: General Studies, Critical Thinking.

Typical tariff or grades required: 320-340 points from 3 A-levels with an A in English Literature, or combined English Language and Literature and a B in Film/media Studies or another relevant subject..

International Baccalaureate:
Subjects and grades: 34 points overall, with at least 6 points in HL English and 5 in HL Film/media or a 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:
We teach our programmes in a variety of ways, some traditional, some new. In your first year you will spend some of your time in lectures, which are always followed by smaller seminar groups. Increasingly, we are making lectures available by video podcast so that you can refresh your memory of what was said and shown. All your teachers have weekly office hours and you are encouraged to make use of these for advice. We try to vary our teaching as much as possible so that you learn by encountering different situations and points of view. Many of our modules feature guest lecturers (professional writers and publishers, for example). Others make use of the unrivalled resources that London offers by taking you out of the classroom.

As you progress, you’ll spend more time in smaller classes where you’ll be expected to take more responsibility for your learning as you develop confidence and skills. But whatever the format, you’ll be taught by experts in their field who are passionate about their subject and committed to good teaching.

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 5-6 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.

You will be assessed in a variety of ways. Some modules will be assessed by traditional exams, but the majority are assessed by coursework.  Coursework can mean essays, projects, individual or group presentations, log books, oral or memorisation tests. All coursework is compulsory because each piece of coursework contributes towards the final mark for a module. 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

Our graduates go on to work in a wide variety of roles in a range of sectors including the arts, publishing, the media, heritage and charity.

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 this group already working or studying at graduate level. Queen Mary undergraduates have an average earning power of £23,000 six months after graduation.

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
  • Editorial Assistant - Dazed & Confused Magazine
  • Associate Producer - Idle Motion
  • PR Assistant - Proud Gallery
  • Research Assistant - Tatler
  • Programme Compiler - Channel 4
  • Market Researcher - Maritz
  • Global Mobility Project Assistant - Diageo
  • Marketing Coordinator - News Quest Ltd

Throughout the course, students 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. There are also over 1400 vacancies to browse on the QM JobOnline vacancy site.

Queen Mary’s extensive campus also provides over 1200 on-campus job and volunteer opportunities, including a chance to volunteer for QMedia (which produces QMTV, The Print newspaper and CUB Magazine from the Students’ Union).

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



Name: Daniel Sawyer
Studied: BA English
Currently: After graduating I got a job as an E-Learning Assistant at the School of Medicine, Southampton University. I have now taken up a funded postgraduate place at Oxford University on an MSt in English (650-1550).

Why did you choose Queen Mary?
The size and reputation of the English department and the degree of choice offered by the course structure.

How did your time at Queen Mary prepare you for work?
I learned how to write rapidly and well, and how to research a subject methodically. The English course also made me more confident about speaking to a group. And from student life in general I learned a lot of interpersonal skills.

What are your most and least favourite aspects of your job?
When I was working in medical e-learning, I loved the mixture of disciplines it involved: I got the chance to work with doctors, medical students, graphic designers, web developers and learning design experts, all trying to create something together. And my least favourite part of the job was definitely whenever some piece of tech refused to work!

At present my favourite part of my postgrad course is probably handling medieval manuscripts, which is quite a thrill. As for the part I like least, I suppose, surprisingly enough, I am rather missing the discipline of a fixed nine-to-five working day.


Please visit the School of English and Drama website for 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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