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English and Creative Writing

BA (Hons)

School - School of Arts & Media

Subject area - English and Creative Writing

UCAS Code: QW38

Start Date(s): September

Duration:

Three years full-time

Fees:

UK - £9,250 per year

International - £12,660 per year

In Brief:

  • Join a close community of award winning professional writers who are experts in diverse fields: from poetry and fiction, to playwriting and screenplay.
  • Participate in masterclasses with writers, literary agents, publishers, commissioners, and directors,  with excellent connections to the BBC and National theatres
  • Students were 95% satisfied with their course (NSS, 2017)
  • Overseas study available
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This degree will teach you how to write stories, novels, screenplays and poetry. You will study and practice writing in all its forms, from genre fiction and film, to performance poetry and experimental art. Our philosophy is to discover the best writer you can possibly be, and to support you on the first steps in a writing life.

At Salford, you will become part of a community of writers, makers, artists, performers and musicians, all studying together in The New Adelphi, our purpose built arts centre and theatre on the green park of Peel Campus, and at our Media City UK building.   

Your teachers will be practising poets, novelists, screenwriters and artists. You will have opportunities to see your work performed, to enjoy the community of open mic nights, and to publish your work in our online journal and class blogs.

This degree will prepare you for a life as a writer. Graduates progress onto careers in publishing, journalism, teaching, community arts, marketing and freelance writing.

“English and Creative Writing at Salford is forward-looking and contemporary. The teachers are incredibly supportive and the University feels less like an institution than a creative family. I’m loving it.”
Nathan Williams, Level 5 BA English and Creative Writing

https://vimeo.com/148215705

Course Details

This degree gives you the opportunity to produce your own creative writing while studying challenging works of literature.

Guided by published experts, you will discover your talents in poetry, prose fiction, screenplay, playwriting and more. You can choose your focus and specialize in the area of most interest to you – with fields as diverse as children’s fiction, contemporary poetry, fantasy fiction, or conceptual art.

Creative Writing is combined with the study of English Literature, where an understanding of literary history and contemporary cultural issues will feed your creative practice.

Your study will take place in the creative environment of Peel Park, a green campus close to Manchester city centre, with special events programmed at our Media City UK campus, next door to the BBC.

Course Structure

In the first year of study, you will develop your own creative processes while gaining an understanding of key principles in prose fiction, poetry, drama, cultural theory and philosophy.

In the second and third year of study, you will have the opportunity to specialize in a medium of your choice by combining modules in screenplay, writing for stage and performance, poetry or prose fiction. You will also have the opportunity to choose English Literature modules that deepen your knowledge of particular periods in literary history and which raise challenging concepts around politics, gender and identity.  

In the third year of study you have the freedom to complete a year-long creative project, which might be the beginning of a novel, a poetry portfolio, a collection of journalism or any writing project you can imagine.

Year 1            

This year serves as an introduction to the study of English literature and creative writing at university level. You will discover your talents in writing and we will encourage you to follow them. You will be exposed to new techniques of writing. To support your creative work, you will read challenging works of literature, and be taught to analyze texts from a variety of genres, while developing a sound understanding of the history of literary production

You will learn about the art and craft of poetry and consider your own talents as a poet. You will also learn how to tell your own story effectively, by writing memoir.        

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 read a variety of novels spanning the history, genre and forms of British fiction, from Pre-Realist to Postmodernist, and study how the subjects of fiction have changed and developed over time.      
You will learn the art and craft of writing a short story, and transfer skills developed in prose fiction, to the writing of a script for stage.      
You will enjoy a broad survey of historical periods and genres, which prepares you for the study of poetry at degree level, from Shakespearean sonnets to linguistically innovative twenty-first century poetry and many points in-between.      
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.      

Year 2  

In this year you will develop your writing skills through more focused engagement in particular forms of writing supported by a wide range of reading in contemporary and earlier literature. If your first year study suggests a talent in playwriting, you can develop this aspect of your craft in the second year. If you have discovered a love for poetry, you can deepen your skills and knowledge with further modules in poetry. If you want to start writing a novel, you can opt to produce chapters for assessment. There is no form of writing we cannot teach. You also have the opportunity to participate in European exchanges.

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 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 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.      
Learn to understand the complex relationship between utopian projections and the material world, and study a variety of utopian and dystopian texts by authors such as Anthony Burgess, Philip K. Dick, George Orwell and H. G. Wells.      
This module examines constructions of gender, race and empire in fictional and non- fictional texts from the last thirty years of the nineteenth century. We will consider how scientific, literary, political and other texts construct and reimagine the roles of men and women, colonisers and colonised        peoples,        animals and the environment during this transitional period between the Victorian and the Modern.      
You are introduced to Irish literature in English from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. You examine the main texts produced in this period and to relate them to the political, social and historical circumstances in which they were produced. The module will focus in particular on poetry and        the        drama of the Irish National Theatre, plays by Lady Gregory, J.M. Synge and Sean O’Casey, artistic manifestos, and on Irish fiction produced in this period.      
The module begins with the question 'What is the place of the writer/creative practitioner in society?' We then addresses 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      

Year 3  

Year 3 modules encourage you to develop independence of mind by focusing on a piece of creative work which will be supervised across the entire year. In English modules you will further develop your study and presentational skills, researching topics independently and presenting work professionally. You will be able to write confidently in your chosen areas with a developed ability to discuss your own work and that of others, and to develop and express a critical understanding of the intentions and achievements of your written projects.

This is a double creative writing module that runs throughout your final year. 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 have to choose one more Creative Writing module and three English Literature modules.      

Optional modules may include:

Names are all around us, and this module explores the linguistic structure, history, development and political significance of names and naming, focusing on the UK but with reference to other countries as well. You will have an opportunity to examine the names of people and places in real life and in        literary        and other creative contexts.      
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.      
A chance to explore in detail a topic of your choice in an extended piece of critical writing. You can choose to write a dissertation on drama or literature.      
This module combines critical and creative study of some of the most exciting poetry written in the last fifty years. The main areas for consideration include: Beat poetry, the New York School and the Language Poets in the USA and Linguistically Innovative Poetry in the UK. Each workshop offers practical exercises        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 module will discuss literature written during the period known as the Northern Irish ‘troubles’, the Peace Process and after. It will consider poetry, prose, drama and film produced in this period, as well as other visual sources (mural, video and performance art) to consider a plurality of ways of representing the conflict. While a historical narrative will be presented in the first lectures and seminars, the focus will be on considering how form and content intersect in these fictive representations.      
This module will explore the challenges faced by survivors when representing their own personal Holocaust experience. It will include consideration of the aesthetic and formal strategies used by survivors and provide knowledge of a range of first-hand stories. The module will therefore require students to explore the difficulty of witnessing (writing and reading about) the Holocaust.
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.
This module will analyse a selection of African literatures of the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries, exploring range of aesthetic, theoretical and political questions relating to a variety of literary forms, including poetry, novels and graphic narratives.

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
GCSE
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). 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 104-120 points, preferably with a grade B in English Language/Literature or English Language
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 Language, English Literature, English Language/Literature.

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.

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.

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (with no element below 5.5) is proof of this. If you need to improve your written and spoken English, you might be interested in our English language courses.

Applicant profile

We are looking for highly motivated students with a genuine interest in writing and literature, good communication skills, who are also proactive and willing to take advantage of the many opportunities that we offer.

You do not need to be a published writer, but your interest in and passion for the written word should be evident. We are looking for enthusiasm, wide reading, and a willingness to respond to feedback.

This degree is also offered with a foundation year specifically designed for international students.

Fees and Funding

Fees

Fees 2019-20

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Full-time International £12,660 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 £12,300 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

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; where new skills will be demonstrated and which could include a talk from someone in industry
  • 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

On creative writing modules, you will be assessed through portfolios and other creative assignments. For the English element, you will be assessed through a combination of exams and coursework such as essays and presentations. Most modules incorporate some form of diagnostic assessment in order to allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses prior to undertaking your final exam or essay. Exact proportions will vary according to your option module choices: some modules are assessed entirely by coursework, others are a combination of coursework and exam. You may also choose to do a dissertation.

Employability

You may be able to follow a career as a professional writer, or a career in publishing, journalism, creative media, advertising or teaching. This course can lead to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), or progression to an MA course, such as the MA in Creative Writing: Innovation and Experiment; the MA in Literature, Culture and Modernity; and the MA in Scriptwriting at Salford.

Career Prospects

Practical modules on the course enhance the development of subject-specific key skills and are designed to reflect the contexts and practices of the professional writer. Graduates from this course have progressed on to a number of career paths including banking and finance, in schools (librarian/ teacher), retail and commerce, web design, community arts work, freelance writing and further qualifications. This course is designed to support your personal development and foster skills to enhance your employability.

Alumni Profile

Lee Cobaj, BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing

Studying English and Creative Writing at Salford has been a life-changing experience for me. I came to University as a mature student who wanted to change careers and my degree endowed me with the skills and confidence I needed to do this. There was a fantastic range of modules on the course which not only allowed me to study subjects I was passionate about but also gave me a sound understanding of literature and academic practices. I enjoyed this side of my course so much that I carried on studying for my Masters. The creative writing side of the course also inspired me enormously and through studying a wide variety of different writing styles I was able to find my strengths and weaknesses. One of my strengths turned out to be travel writing and with the help and encouragement of my teachers I started to pitch my articles. My first article was published on the travel website, Simonseeks and encouraged by this I sent off more and more work until I landed the job as resident travel blogger for Hellomagazine.com. I can honestly say that none of this would have been possible without the support and superior teaching that I received at Salford and I would encourage anyone to study this course.

Links with Industry

This course responds to the needs of industry in developing both creative talent and subject expertise. We have close associations with literary, academic and professional bodies such as

  • The BBC
  • Red Telephone Press
  • Legend Press
  • Erbacce Press
  • If not P then Q Press
  • Knives Forks and Spoons Press
  • The Theatre Royal, Hyde
  • British Isles North West section of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
  • Old Vic Theatre New Voices Company
  • The Biographers' Club
  • National Association of Writers in Education
  • Carcanet Press
  • HOME Manchester

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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