English and Creative Writing
BA (Hons)

Overseas study available
Work placement opportunity
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study English and Creative Writing at Salford

1.

Learn from award winning professional writers who are experts in their field

2.

Participate in masterclasses with writers, literary agents, publishers, commissioners, directors

3.

Students were 95% satisfied with their course (NSS, 2015)

Course Summary

The written word enters every part of our lives, from novels to text messages. Worldwide, multi-billion pound industries depend upon new voices and fresh perspectives to form the books and films of tomorrow.

Creative writers need to be skilled in the art of imaginative expression, but they also need to understand how literature works and to learn from what has been done before. The creative writing portion of your course will teach you how to present creative work to a professional standard. You will learn editing techniques, how to research a story and how to turn life experiences into gripping reading. You will have the opportunity to specialise in genres including writing for young adults, visual text, innovative poetry, and writing for theatre or TV.

The English portion will equip you with the key skills and analytical tools needed for literary study. It will encourage you to explore social and cultural issues raised in a range of literary works, serving to feed and inspire your creative writing and make it strong, rigorous and exciting.

We have strong links with industry professionals and a history of student success in publishing their work. Graduates from this course have progressed on to a number of career paths including publishing, journalism, teaching, community arts work and freelance writing as well as further postgraduate study.

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Course Details

You will learn creative writing skills in scriptwriting, fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Working with innovative and enthusiastic lecturers who are also practising writers, you will be inspired to break new ground as a writer, whether it be writing for theatre or working with creative graffiti. You will also study a range of works from modern literature which will feed and inspire your creative writing making it strong, rigorous and exciting.

The creative writing portion of your course will teach you 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 gripping reading with the opportunity to specialise in genres including writing for young adults, visual text, innovative poetry, and writing for theatre or TV.

The English portion will equip you with the key skills and analytical tools needed for literary study and will also encourage you to explore social and cultural issues raised as you study a range of literary works.

Course Structure

Year 1

This year serves as an introduction to the study of English literature and creative writing at university level. You will be taught to analyse texts from a variety of genres and to use a range of literary and theoretical concepts, and to discuss and reflect critically upon your creative products and processes.

Year 2

In this year you will develop your writing skills through more focused engagement in particular specialisms supported by a wide range of reading in contemporary and earlier literature. You also have the opportunity to participate in European exchanges. All modules are optional, meaning that there are no compulsory choices, but you must choose three Creative Writing modules and three English Literature ones.

Year 3

Year 3 modules encourage you to develop independence of mind in critically assessing secondary and theoretical sources. You will further develop your study and presentational skills, researching topics independently and presenting work professionally. Creative writing modules encourage a higher degree of independence and specialisation in one or two chosen areas. You will be able to write confidently in these 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.

Year 1

This year serves as an introduction to the study of English Literature and Creative Writing at university level. You will be taught to analyse texts from a variety of genres and to use a range of literary and theoretical concepts, and to discuss and reflect critically upon your creative products and processes.

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 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 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.
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 year 2 you will develop your writing skills through more focused engagement in particular specialisms supported by a wide range of reading in contemporary and earlier literature. You also have the opportunity to participate in European exchanges. All modules are optional, meaning that there are no compulsory choices, but in Semester 1 you will choose ONE Creative Writing module plus TWO English modules. In Semester 2 you will take TWO Creative Writing modules plus ONE English module. This is a representative list.

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.
This module will give you the opportunity to explore and analyse a range of Dickens’s fictional and non-fictional writing, as well as the relevant secondary reading. Throughout the module, we will concentrate on the following key issues: class, gender, identity and selfhood, the family, criminality and childhood. At the same time, we will question traditional constructions of Dickens as the quintessential Victorian defender of ‘the hearth and home.’
You will explore the significance of various features such as: the uncanny, the absent/dead mother, convents, excess, the heroine, etc. Particular attention will be given to the historical and cultural context of the texts and you will be encouraged to consider how and why the Female Gothic evolved in the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
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

Third Year modules encourage you to develop independence of mind in critically assessing secondary and theoretical sources. You will further develop your study and presentational skills, researching topics independently and presenting work professionally. You will take ONE core Creative Writing module through the two Semesters, which will encourage a higher degree of independence and specialisation. You will be able to write confidently 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. Modules studied during this year:

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 include:

Some of the key themes to be explored will include the impact of virtual realities on questions of body politics, representations of violence and death in contemporary women’s fiction, futurist landscapes and how new feminist utopias and dystopias feed into established traditions of the form.
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 give you the opportunity to explore a range of social, aesthetic and theoretical questions concerning the representation of women, crime and deviance in nineteenth-century fictional and non-fictional texts. We will consider the complexities and contradictions inherent within constructions of femininity and deviance and how such constructions were shaped by the fields of medicine and the law.

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). 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 Language/Literature or English Language
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

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.

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
  • The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
  • If not P then Q Press
  • Knives Forks and Spoons Press
  • 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.