Drama and Creative Writing
BA (Hons)

Overseas study available
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Drama and Creative Writing at Salford

1.

Learn from award winning published writers and established theatre practitioners

2.

A unique integrated course designed to help you develop your creative process

3.

Excellent contacts in the cultural industries, including the BBC, regional theatres and publishers

Course Summary

Literature and theatre speak to us about the world we live in; the social and cultural issues that affect our lives. In this course you will have the opportunity to find your own voice and build a strong creative methodology.

Creative writers and performance practitioners need to be skilled in the art of imaginative expression, but they also need to understand how literature and performance works and to learn from what has been done before. You will study writers, performance practitioners and theatre companies who have contributed new perspectives and innovations in form or methodology and apply this learning to your own creative processes.

This course teaches professional presentation, editing, research, genre specific techniques and contemporary approaches to making performance, such as devising. You will build knowledge and understanding of scriptwriting, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, devising, directing and performance methodologies.

Working with innovative and enthusiastic lecturers who are also practising writers and theatre-makers, you will be inspired to break new ground as a creative writer or practitioner, whether it be writing for theatre to working with creative graffiti. We encourage you to develop creative independence, to discuss your own work and that of others, and to develop and express a critical understanding of the intentions and achievements of your creative projects.

Watch our video

BA (Hons) Drama and Creative Writing student Rob talks about the unique appeal of studying this course at Salford.

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Course Details

You will build knowledge and understanding of scriptwriting, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, devising, directing and performance methodologies. Working with innovative and enthusiastic lecturers who are also practising writers and theatremakers, you will be inspired to break new ground as a creative writer or practitioner, whether it be writing for theatre or working with creative graffiti.

You will also study a range of works from modern literature and performance which will feed and inspire your creative process, making it strong, rigorous and exciting.

You will learn how to present creative work to a professional standard, as well as editing techniques, how to research a story and how to turn life experiences into exciting reading or performance.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1 serves as an introduction to the study of drama and creative writing at University level. You will be taught about key critical and theoretical concepts, creative methodologies and techniques across writing and performance and to discuss and reflect critically upon your creative products and processes.

Year 2

In year 2 you will study three core and three option modules. The core modules focus on creative process and on adaptation and for your option modules you select three creative writing modules or one performance and two creative writing modules. You will have the opportunity to work more independently and develop your understanding of the relationship between creative practice and theories of writing culture and performance.

Year 3

In year 3 through three core modules (two Creative Writing and one Drama) and three optional modules (one Creative Writing and two Drama) you will develop your knowledge of texts, practitioners and approaches to practice with a stronger emphasis on the 20th and 21st Centuries. Modules at this level encourage you to develop creative independence, to discuss your own work and that of others, and to develop and express a critical understanding of the intentions and achievements of your creative projects.

Year 1 modules

In year 1 modules provide a thorough grounding in key ideas and approaches to literary and drama study at University level.

You will learn to write and respond to simple poems. You will learn to create and respond to scripts for stage, radio TV and film.
You will be introduced to different genres and forms of drama, analyzing key features of dramatic texts from Shakespeare to 21st century theatre.
You will be introduced to performance, reflecting upon your performance, and building your performance skills in a practical workshop.
This builds upon the work in the Intro to Performance workshop. You further enhance your understanding of dram and your performance skills.
You will be introduced to a range of theoretical approaches to literary and cultural practice. You will gain an understanding of how both literary and cultural texts can be read and analysed, and how different theories can be productively applied to them.
You will learn to learn to write and respond to autobiography and short fiction. You will learn the basics of creating a sound story, convincing characters and setting and effective dialogue.

Year 2 modules

In year 2 you will study three core and three option modules. The core modules focus on adaptation. You will have the opportunity to work more independently and develop your understanding of the relationship between theory, text and practice.

The module begins with the question 'What is the place of the writer/creative practitioner in society?' We then address a series of topics including the pleasure of spectatorship, voice and identity, and engaging the personal and political
You will develop a practical and theoretical understanding of a range of 20th/21st Century theatre texts in translation and the ability to interpret dramatic texts, whilst fostering an understanding of the particular ideological and cultural implications of staging plays in translation.
You will engage with a range of performance material that draws upon both European and American performance traditions and develop a knowledge of a range of theatre practices associated with performed adaptations including cultural and temporal transposition, appropriation and deconstruction. You will develop the ability to generate and present your own ideas as prospective writers, directors or performers.

Year 2 Optional Modules may include:

This module explores different forms and sub-genres of creative non-fiction, a genre which Lee Gutkind describes as ‘the most important and popular genre in the literary world today.’ You will cover a wide range of creative non-fiction forms, including memoir, biography, literary journalism, autobiographical poetry, travel writing, music writing and nature writing. Practical techniques including voice, structure, dialogue and imagery will be taught via guided writing exercises; reading and discussion of the technique and interpretation of selected texts; and peer and tutor feedback on work produced in workshop.
This module aims to explore dramatic texts other than Shakespeare’s from the period encompassing the late Medieval to the Jacobean period, roughly 1500-1630. In particular, it investigates how issues of sexuality, politics, religion, and identity are treated during this period. The module also asks you to consider a range of different theatrical traditions, particularly of staging and stagecraft, which were used during the period in order to encourage an appreciation of how those traditions were kept alive on the stage.
You look at the development of literature for children since 1744. We examine how child development determines what texts written for children become. You scrutinize the texts form many angles and you may even produce texts for children.
This module explores how journalists, poets, true-life crime writers and novelists respond to the challenge of writing about ‘evil’ via the detailed consideration of three case studies, namely The Moors Murders; the Yorkshire Ripper and Jamie Bulger. As such the module will require students to consider the cultural logic and politics of representing evil, and to explore for themselves the difficulties of writing about highly charged, hence culturally over-determined and emotionally draining subject matter.
Playwriting is a form of scriptwriting which is very open to new writers and actors and directors - many writers who begin writing for the theatre go on to write for radio, film and television and/or also work as actors and directors. You will have the opportunity to work with professional playwrights.
You explore Shakespeare’s plays through performing them and through deconstructing performances of them. You also enjoy the opportunity here of working with students on other degree programmes.
This module will equip you with an overview of the state of contemporary fiction. You will  meet a broad range of contemporary practice, from literary fiction to experimental fiction and genre fiction, including ‘chick lit’, historical fiction, crime/thrillers, science fiction, and supernatural/fantasy fiction. You will continue to develop your ‘writer’s tool-kit’, adding  techniques such as point of view, narrative drive, setting, character and dialogue. You will also receive tuition in how the publishing industry works, and the skills that a professional writer needs to acquire.
This module looks at the particular features of the Young Adult Novel, as dictated by the nature of the young adult, looking at the theories of Jean Piaget, Nicola Morgan and Laura Berk, and by looking at some contemporary and classic Young Adult Novels. You will extend your skills in story-writing, character-building, prose-fiction writing and will also learn how to approach writing a full novel. You will learn how to write an effective synopsis and how to present their work to industry standard.
This module revisits some traditional forms. The first part of the module involves creative exploration of the Japanese tanka (a relative of the haiku), the sonnet and the sestina and invites you to invent your own original poetic form. In the second part of the module you will encounter a range of innovative approaches to poetry: using sound, collage, found text and visual elements in your writing. The format will be largely workshop-based with writing exercises, sharing work with your tutor.

Year 3 modules

In year 3 you will choose six modules, equally mixing drama and creative writing from a range of optional modules which may include:

This is a double creative writing module that runs throughout your final year. Here you can undertake a self-directed project in the genre(s) of your choosing, while giving and receiving feedback in a supportive workshop environment. By the end of the module you should have 6,000 words (or equivalent) of highly polished creative work.
You examine contemporary experimental performance theory and practice and have the chance to create a short original solo piece drawing on the techniques and ideas learnt in the module.

Optional modules may include:

This module puts theory into practice as we examine the literary history of biography, consider the issues and tensions raised by the post-modern context, and explore them in our own biographical writing. Subsequent sessions will address these questions via a number of themes, including: the history of biography as a literary practice; historical biography; literary biography; celebrity biography through the ages; theoretical approaches to the practice of biography; and innovations within the genre. The researching and writing of your own biographical work will be a key element of the classes.
This module contextualises post-war British theatre in terms of naturalism, the avant-garde and the epic mode. A range of play texts will be explored in relation to form, narrative, action and character while exploring the ways in which they engage with issues of class, sexuality, gender and national identity.
This is an opportunity to explore in depth an area that interests you, combining research with practice in an extended creative project. You can create original work or submit a research portfolio.
This module combines critical and creative study of some of the most exciting poetry written in the last fifty years. You Each seminar-workshop will offer practical exercises in composition in order to aid understanding of the aesthetic and political decisions being made.
This module explores the various ways in which cultural intertextuality informs and shapes Shakespeare's approach to character and action. To gain a broader understanding of how Shakespearean drama can be seen as “the play of thought,” we will analyse Shakespeare’s work in terms of literary theories including New Historicism, Cognitive Linguistics, and Gender Studies.
All text is visual but both readers and critics often have difficulty sustaining their awareness of its dual nature. You are encouraged throughout to think in terms of close textual analysis and the creative decisions behind a wide variety of different types of texts. They may explore graffiti, site-specific writing – on a mountain, on the side of a building, a bill board; illustrated and illustrative writing; graphic novels; concrete and shaped text; text-based animations. You can pursue critical or creative paths in their final submission.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
UCAS tariff points 260-300 points
GCE A level A2 to include either creative writing, English language, English literature, English language/literature or performance/drama (performing arts/theatre studies). General studies accepted
BTEC National Diploma DMM
BTEC Higher National Diploma Applicants will be considered for entry into year 2.
Foundation Degree Applicants may be considered for entry into year 2 or 3. Applicants are normally invited to bring a portfolio of work to an interview.
Scottish Highers 260-300 points, preferably with a grade B in English
Irish Leaving Certificate 260-300 points, preferably with a grade B or above in English Language/Literature or English Language
International Baccalaureate 26 points

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

English Language Requirements

The English language requirement for this course is an IELTS average score of 6 or above, and for each component, 5 or above.

Applicant profile

We are looking for creative, enthusiastic and highly motivated students who are genuinely interested in creative writing and drama. You should be comfortable working with others, have good communication skills and read widely.

You do not need to be a published writer or experienced performer, but you should have some experience of theatre or drama and your interest in and passion for the written word should be evident.

Teaching

Teaching on the course is through:

  • Lectures: a formal method of teaching, with one lecturer addressing a large group of students from different courses
  • Tutorials: an informal method of small-group teaching that is student-oriented and often student-led
  • Seminars: an informal teaching situation which tends to be a mixture of tutor-led and student-led discussion
  • Practical workshops
  • Creative writing workshops
  • Individual supervision; which allows us to critique your work and give feedback
  • Practice-based creative projects
  • Student-directed study where projects are assigned and deadlines given.

We place emphasis on students acquiring individual transferable skills as well as developing knowledge and skills important to analytical processes.

Assessment

We employ a variety of different assessment methods depending on the modules you choose. These include:

  • Creative portfolios
  • Creative assignments
  • Essays
  • Exams
  • Group practical projects
  • Individual projects
  • Presentations
  • Reflective and critical journals
  • Reviews

Most modules incorporate some form of assessment as the course progresses in order to allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses prior to undertaking your final essay/creative project.

Employability

After graduation, students can go into teaching, publishing, journalism, advertising, PR, or events as well as a wide range of graduate jobs. This course would also provide an ideal platform for postgraduate study.

The creative and media industries value skills gained on this course so you may progress on a number of career paths within the cultural industries such as arts/theatre administration, television or radio researcher or theatre maker. Salford graduates have, in the past, set up their own theatre companies or joined already established ones, and have had work placements at regional theatres.

Our students have also gone on to study drama or English at Masters level, or to train as teachers. This course would also provide an ideal platform to gain further qualifications for a career in youth work or drama therapy.

This course is designed to support your personal development and skills to enhance your employability. Modules on the course enhance the development of subject-specific skills and knowledge, but also enhance skills in research, written and verbal communication, IT skills, organisation and decision making which open up a wide range of careers.

Alumni Profile

Several alumni have secured positions in the publishing industry after working as interns whilst students or recent graduates. Many students become published or take part in professional productions whilst still at the university or shortly after graduation. Our contacts include: Erbacce Press, Knives Forks and Spoons, The Red Telephone, CafeLit, the BBC, The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester, The Octagon Theatre Bolton, The Everyman Theatre Liverpool and the Contact Theatre Manchester.

Links with Industry

This course responds to the needs of industry in developing subject expertise and transferable skills appropriate to a wide range of careers. We have close associations with industry and professional bodies such as:

  • BBC TV and Radio
  • Granada TV
  • Legend Press
  • Erbacce Press
  • The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
  • The Theatre Royal, Hyde
  • Octagon Theatre, Bolton
  • British Isles North West section of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
  • Old Vic Theatre New Voices Company
  • The Biographers' Club
  • North West Branch of Antelopes Group of Professional Playwrights
  • National Association of Writers in Education

This provides you with a number of benefits such as theatre visits, networking opportunities, guest speakers, master classes, workshops and work experience opportunities. You are encouraged to enter competitions on a regular basis.

Further Study

Fees and Funding

Fees 2016-17

Type of StudyFee
Full-time£9,000
Part-timeYour annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying
Full-time International£11,500

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Financial support for this course