English and Drama
BA (Hons)

Overseas study available
Work placement opportunity
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study English and Drama at Salford

1.

Dynamic teaching plus masterclasses with visiting industry professionals

2.

An innovative course linking literature, theatre and performance

3.

Excellent contacts, including the BBC and regional theatres

Course Summary

Literature and theatre speak to us about the world we live in and about social and cultural issues that affect our lives. In this course you will have the opportunity to study intellectually and creatively, and to explore the relationship between literature, theatre and society.

You will learn to research and analyse literary and performance texts, and work on drama projects designed to deepen your understanding of different kinds of plays and theatre practitioners. This course has a unique emphasis upon adaptation of novels, short stories, poetry and popular forms such as rock music and cartoons for performance both on stage and screen..

The drama portion of your course will teach you how to communicate ideas creatively, and to make links between literature and screen and stage performance. The optional structure of the course means that you can choose whether to emphasise drama ‘in theory’ or drama ‘in practice’ or a combination of the two.

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 by literary texts. After graduation, you could go into theatre, publishing, education, journalism, advertising, PR and events. The course also provides an ideal platform for postgraduate study.

Watch our video

BA (Hons) English and Drama student Aiden talks about his course and the challenges of working on his final directing project.

Watch our video

BA (Hons) English and Drama student Sally Anglesea talks about her course and working on her final directing project.

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Course Details

You will learn to analyse and criticise various forms of literary text, most particularly plays and novels. In addition, you will work on drama projects designed to deepen your understanding of different kinds of play texts and theatre practitioners. You will also explore contemporary approaches to 'making' performance.

Further, the course has a unique emphasis upon the adaptation of novels, short stories, poetry and 'popular' forms (such as folk and rock music, cartoons) for performance both on stage and screen.

The Drama portion of your course will teach you how to communicate ideas creatively, and to make links between literature and screen and stage performance. The optional structure of the course means that you can choose whether to emphasise drama 'in theory' or drama 'in practice' or a combination of the two.

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 by literary texts.

Course Structure

Year 1

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

Year 2

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.

Year 3

In year 3 you will have one core module and five optional modules. You will develop your knowledge of texts, practitioners and approaches to practice with a stronger emphasis on the 20th and 21st Centuries. Modules in year 3 encourage you to develop independence of mind, critically assessing secondary and theoretical sources, and expect a high level of analytic skill.

Year 1

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

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 be introduced to different genres and forms of drama, analyzing key features of dramatic texts from Shakespeare to 21st century theatre.
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 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.
 

Year 2

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 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.
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.
 

Optional modules may include:

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.

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 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.
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.

Year 3

In year 3 you will have one core and five optional modules. You will develop your knowledge of texts, practitioners and approaches to practice with a stronger emphasis on the 20th and 21st Centuries. Modules in year 3 encourage you to develop independence of mind, critically assessing secondary and theoretical sources, and expect a high level of analytic skill.

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:

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 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.
You 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.
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 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 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 creative, enthusiastic and highly motivated students who are genuinely interested in literature, theatre and performance. You should be comfortable working with others and have good communication skills.

You do not need to be an experienced performer, but you should have some experience of theatre and drama, wide reading and theatre attendance.


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
  • Individual supervision; which allows us to critique your work and give feedback
  • 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

You will be assessed through a combination of exams and coursework such as essays, presentations and portfolios. 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 exam/essay/project.

Employability

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.

Other students have 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

After graduation, students can go into theatre, publishing, education, 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.

Alumni Profile

Drew Forsyth

This course allowed me to flourish, not only academically, but creatively. The course helped me develop my confidence through teaching and presentation opportunities, and I was able to combine my own interests with the rigours of academic study. I was given the opportunity to study in a friendly environment, and the small class sizes on the course helped a great deal when working collaboratively. I went on to study for a Masters in Arts Administration, and supplement this study with paid work at a number of national theatres.

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

  • BBC TV and Radio
  • Granada TV
  • The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
  • The Theatre Royal, Hyde
  • Octagon Theatre, Bolton
  • The Everyman Theatre Liverpool

This provides you with a number of benefits such as theatre visits, networking opportunities, guest speakers, masterclasses, workshops and work experience opportunities.

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

Additional costs

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