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Drama and Creative Writing

BA (Hons)

School - School of Arts & Media

Subject area - English and Creative Writing

UCAS Code: WW48

Start Date(s): September


Three years full-time


UK - £9,250 per year

International - £14,820 per year

In Brief:

  • Learn from award winning published writers and established theatre practitioners
  • A unique integrated course designed to help you develop your creative process
  • Excellent contacts in the cultural industries, including the BBC, regional theatres and publishers
  • Overall satisfaction with this course is 100% (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS data)
  • Overseas study available
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

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.

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.

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.

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

This degree programme integrates the study of Drama (50%) and Creative Writing (50%) into one degree. You will work on drama projects designed to deepen your understanding of different kinds of play texts and theatre practitioners, and you will explore contemporary approaches to 'making' performance, such as devising.

The study of drama involves both a critical reading of scripts and practical performance work. There is also an opportunity for students to produce scripts for stage and screen. You will learn creative writing skills in scriptwriting, fiction, poetry, and life writing, and you will learn to analyse and criticise various forms of literary and performance texts.

The programme has a unique emphasis upon reflective and critical praxis across Creative Writing and Drama and is designed to present an integrated experience, focusing on creative processes for the 21st century. Well established, published writers will teach you how to present creative work to a professional standard, editing techniques, how to research a story or play and how to turn life experiences into exciting reading.

Experienced theatre professionals will teach you how to communicate ideas creatively for the stage, and to make links between literature and screen and stage performance.

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.            
In this module, you will be introduced to a number of dramatic texts that have been selected to enable effective exploration of the changing nature of Realism. (Stanislavsky, Strasberg, Meisner ) As the module progresses, we focus in on ONE text in order to explore both the nature of Realism as a theatrical        form        and the ways in which we might construct ‘character’ as performers. For the last section of the module we will consider the ways in which Realism (and naturalism) developed during the twentieth century, and will apply some of these methodological ideas to an appropriate text.  This        work        will form the basis for the performed assignment which takes place in the penultimate teaching week.   At its core this a highly practical, workshop led module that requires outside class time group rehearsals.            
Responses to Realism The module will be taught through a combination of guided reading and analysis of both non naturalistic performance texts and associated critical materials with a particular emphasis on Brechtian theatre and the Theatre of The Absurd ; practical experimentation in workshops; and        an        extended workshop ‘laboratory’ period culminating in a performance presentation.Practical sessions will explore the working methods of major non naturalistic theatre practitioners and authors such as Brecht, Beckett and Artaud. Students will be expected to share research material through        seminar        presentations.            
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.                

This module introduces you to various forms of professional writing, and current debates in theatre and the arts industry today. You will review shows, write articles or blogs on current trends in theatre, and discuss the issues that interest you most in a series of panel discussions.      
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:

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.            
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.            
The module examines fundamental aspects of fictional storytelling: narrative structure, character development, character types, relation of character to plot, and the use of subplots. The module goes on to explore differing conceptual and technical approaches used in scriptwriting for theatre, TV and        film.        Students will workshop their screenplays in class. They can write in any genre or style appropriate to screen work and produce a finished script that is a whole linear narrative.            
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.            
The module provides students with a practical knowledge and theoretical understanding of the uses, applications and value of drama and theatre as an aspect of social engagment and personal empowerment outside of the conventional theatre environment. The module explores the history of the 'form', and key practitioners and areas of contemporary practice. Practitioners/companies may include Cardboard Citizens, 7.84, TiPP, Geese Theatre UK, and Clean Break        

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.            

Year 3 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.            
This builds on the work in Level 5 on Intro to Scriptwriting. You will be producing industry- standard scripts and being taught how to work in a professional manner. You will cover dramatic story telling, step outlines, treatments, text analysis of character, story, structure, text analysis of story,        structure,        and theme.            
Writing for Performance will develop your ability and voice as a writer for any area of performance. We will look at some of the most exciting new writing for television, radio and theatre and you will be encouraged to voice your critical insights. You will be encouraged to try writing in a variety        of        media and to match what you have to say with the correct medium to transmit it. Students on this course will have the chance to see their work performed at the University's Create Festival and to submit it to local competitions with the support of the tutor.            
The subject of this module is ‘disobedience’: how it was defined, represented, condemned and, on occasions, celebrated in the sixteenth and seventeenth-century English literature. In particular we will study the many ways in which authors structure specific discourses around socially marginal        characters and outcasts (villains, malcontents, prostitutes whose distinctive qualities can include a disruptive and sarcastic verbal idiom) as key figures in the contemporary cultural and historical discourse.      
A series of workshop/seminar classes will initially explore the role of the director, employing a range of contemporary and historical scripts.  Thereafter, the students will, under close tutor guidance, consider and apply appropriate theatrical vocabularies in order to develop their own directorial approaches. All students will be given the opportunity to lead small group work in terms of exploring and experimenting with a range of directorial approaches to both script and to performers.      
You work with a range of texts, including Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Restoration works. In practical workshops you are encouraged to experiment with rhythm and language, and to apply characterisation and physicalisation techniques within the context of both naturalistic and non-naturalistic performance styles.

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.

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Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English and Maths GCSE grade C
UCAS tariff points 104-120 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 102-120 points, preferably with a grade B in English
Irish Leaving Certificate 104-120 points, preferably with a grade B or above in English Language/Literature or English Language
International Baccalaureate 30-31 points
Access to HE QAA Approved - Merit in majority of components at Level 3(English and/or Performance/Drama, Performing Arts/Theatre Studies)

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.

A good personal statement for English might include experience of writing creatively or performing for our Drama/Creative degrees, or a description of reading interests for our Literature degrees. We like extra-curricular activities that involve writing or public speaking, and always look favourably on students who've done some work experience in a classroom or in the media. We like experience of working in a team as well as alone, and an open mind to new ideas and books.

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

Personal Statement

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.

Fees and Funding


Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Full-time International £14,820 per year

Fees 2018-19

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Additional costs

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


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.


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.


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.

Career Prospects

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.

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