Skip to main content

English Language and Creative Writing

BA (Hons)

School - School of Arts & Media

Subject area - English and Creative Writing

UCAS Code: QW39

Start Dates(s): September

Duration:

Three years full-time
Four years full-time with International Foundation Year

Fees:

UK - £9,250 per year

International - £12,000 per year

In Brief:

  • This course engages with the creative media industries to give you the transferable knowledge and skills most valued by employers in today’s job market
  • Learn from a dedicated team of internationally recognised researchers and award-winning professional writers and take part in masterclasses with writers, literary agents, publishers, commissioners and directors
  • A wide and exciting range of introductory and advanced modules allows you to follow your own interests in the study of English language and creative writing
  • Overseas study available
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

This exciting course combines the study of English language and creative writing, enabling you to discover more about the nature, acquisition, origins and use of the language alongside the opportunity for you to be inspired to break new ground as a writer. You will embark on a modern and innovative curriculum in which you are tasked with exploring the intricate synergies between the structure of language and the written word. You will emerge as a confident specialist both in terms of presenting your work to a professional standard and in the workings of language, with a particular focus on English.

This course provides a link between the rigorous study of the humanities and a serious engagement with the creative process, enabling you as the student to become an expert in the emerging dynamic synergies between these disciplines. More than ever before, the Creative Industries are looking for practitioners who can go beyond their specialism to engage with stakeholders beyond the Arts. Similarly, employers value highly graduates who can demonstrate serious engagement with rigorous academic study in the humanities, and English and Creative Writing at Salford encompasses the best of both worlds in a dynamic and ever-changing job market.

Course Details

This exciting course combines the study of English language and creative writing, enabling you to discover more about the nature, acquisition, origins and use of the language alongside the opportunity for you to be inspired to break new ground as a writer. You will embark on a modern and innovative curriculum in which you are tasked with exploring the intricate synergies between the structure of language and the written word. You will emerge as a confident specialist both in terms of presenting your work to a professional standard and in the workings of language, with a particular focus on English.

You can also choose to study a modern foreign language as part of your degree programme. This can be an excellent opportunity to develop a broad range of skills that will further enhance your employability.

If you are interested in travelling and broadening your experience, this course also offers you the opportunity to complete part of your programme of study at one of our European partner institutions under an ERASMUS European exchange.

Course Structure

The focus in your first year is on providing you with the knowledge and key skills necessary for you to engage in more independent study and creative writing later in your degree programme. Modules in your second year encourage you to improve your critical abilities and creative writing skills, as well as your independent thinking. Final-year modules help you to develop an independent critical engagement with current research in English language and with your own creative practice.

Year 1

This year serves as an introduction to the study of English language and creative writing at university level. You will be taught how to analyse language from different perspectives, and to discuss and reflect critically upon your creative products and processes.

This module is a basic introduction to the grammatical properties and sound patterns of English. It starts with the description of speech sounds, it moves to the study of word structure, and it ends with a description of the basic architecture of sentences in the language.
You will be introduced to the social and cultural history of the English language and explore the ways in which linguistic theories can inform textual interpretation. You will examine historical and ongoing changes in the uses of English words and develop the ability to discuss language in relation to its historical and social contexts.
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.
Communication is possible because languages are meaningful. This module offers a general introduction to the concepts and methods in the study of meaning and its role in human communication. You will examine how meaning is conveyed in language and how context affects the way in which sentences are understood.
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 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

In this year you will develop your writing skills through more focused engagement in particular specialisms supported by a wide range of modules in English Language. You will choose three English language modules and three creative writing ones.

You will be introduced to key periods in the history of the English language and characteristic features of the language in these periods. You will explore language change with reference to the different levels of language and regional variation and change in English dialects.
The sound system of English is organised by subconscious principles that shape the content of speech sounds and their patterns of occurrence. This module introduces you to the sounds of speech, syllable structure and word stress in English. You will learn how to describe and classify consonants and vowels, transcribe speech sounds, and identify and analyse syllable structure and word stress.
Starting from an investigation of a wide range of grammatical phenomena and constructions in modern Standard English, you will develop a firm grounding in the analysis of the structure of English sentences. You will learn how to analyse and think critically about data, how to formulate rules and hypotheses, and how to test them.
How can we understand the meaning of sentences we have never heard before? You will examine the role that truth plays in the study of meaning, and learn how to analyse the meaning of English words and sentences. The module will also prepare you to seek answers to further questions about meaning in English.
This module will trace the origins and development of prescriptive attitudes and linguistic insecurity, and the extent to which these ideas are relevant to contemporary users of English. Topics include received pronunciation, grammar and ‘morality’, and politically correct language.
The British National Corpus is a vast collection of over 4,000 English texts, providing a unique record of contemporary spoken and written English. In this module you will gain hands-on experience in using this and other computer-based corpora of English to answer questions about language structure and use.
Children master the basics of their first language without formal instruction from a very early age. How do they do it? What exactly do they learn? What stages do they go through? You will examine the answers to questions like these by studying the cognitive mechanisms behind the acquisition process.
This module will introduce you to the intricate relationship between language use and aspects of social structure. Building on the work done in Varieties of English, you will examine the role of linguistic variation in the negotiation and construction of individual and group identity. Topics studied include multilingualism, bilingualism, language contact and language change.
This module introduces you to key concepts underlying TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) methodology. You will become familiar with the basic approaches, materials and procedures and the principles of lesson planning and classroom management.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This module will equip you with an overview of the state of contemporary fiction. You will meet a broad range of contemporary practice, from literary fiction to experimental fiction and genre fiction, including ‘chick lit’, historical fiction, crime/thrillers, science fiction, and supernatural/fantasy fiction. You will continue to develop your ‘writer’s tool-kit’, adding techniques such as point of view, narrative drive, setting, character and dialogue. You will also receive tuition in how the publishing industry works, and the skills that a professional writer needs to acquire.
This module looks at the particular features of the Young Adult Novel, as dictated by the nature of the young adult, looking at the theories of Jean Piaget, Nicola Morgan and Laura Berk, and by looking at some contemporary and classic Young Adult Novels. You will extend your skills in story-writing, character-building, prose-fiction writing and will also learn how to approach writing a full novel. You will learn how to write an effective synopsis and how to present their work to industry standard.
This module revisits some traditional forms. The first part of the module involves creative exploration of the Japanese ‘tanka’ (a relative of the haiku), the sonnet and the sestina and invites you to invent your own original poetic form. In the second part of the module you will encounter a range of innovative approaches to poetry: using sound, collage, found text and visual elements in your writing. The format will be largely workshop-based with writing exercises, sharing work with your tutor.

Year 3

Third year modules allow you to specialise or to study the full breadth of the subject. You will 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 (‘Final Portfolio’), 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. You will choose one more creative writing module and three English language modules.

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 will examine issues of current relevance in the study of language use from the interdisciplinary perspective of psychology, linguistics and the philosophy of language, such as the relationship between explicit and implicit aspects of communication or the interpretation of figurative language.
How does communication work? In this module you will examine key aspects of communication which result from the interaction of linguistic meaning, context, and principles of human cognition. You will study how language is used in context by analyzing data drawn from your own experience in communication.
What does it mean to be ‘northern’? Where is the north and where does it begin and end? Using both archive and contemporary recordings of northern speech, this research-based module will enable you to carry out a project on an aspect of northern identity as expressed through language in the interactional and media domains.
Words play an integral part in our ability to use language creatively. This module is a detailed introduction to the study of words. You will explore the processes of word formation in the language, and the rules governing the internal structure of English words.
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.
You will gain an in-depth understanding of selected topics of current interest in English language. The module will build on the concepts, theories and methods you have studied in your degree programme, further developing your knowledge of the latest research in your discipline area.
How does the brain transform thoughts into speech? How can we process the language we hear so effortlessly? You will examine the psycholinguistic models that aim to explain our unique ability to produce and understand speech, and to communicate through language.
You will develop an understanding of the global context of English language teaching and of the approaches, materials, and techniques of English language teaching to non-native speakers. You will be introduced to language learning needs analysis and develop the ability to plan and manage sequences of English language lessons.
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 English language or drama.
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 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.
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.
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 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.

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
GCSE Maths and English at Grade C
UCAS tariff points 104-120 points
GCE A level No specific subjects required. General Studies and AS levels are also considered.
BTEC National Diploma DMM
International Baccalaureate 30-31 points

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education. Students who do not have the traditional entry requirements may be able to apply through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme. Support in preparing for the written assessment is available from the University.

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

This course is ideal for anyone who is interested in combining the rigorous academic study of the English language with the opportunity to become a skilled writer. The course will enable you to not only understand all the stages of the writing process but it will put you in the enviable position of being a writer who really understands how language works.

We positively welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to successfully pursue a programme of study in higher education.

Fees and Funding

Fees

Tuition fees for Home/EU students beginning their course in September 2018 will be announced as soon as they are confirmed by the UK Government. Tuition fees for 2017 were £9,250 per annum for Home/EU students; we expect this figure to rise slightly for 2018.

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9,250 per year
Full-time International £12,000 per year

Scholarships & Bursaries

We offer awards to help you study including:

  • Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Scholarship
  • Salford Student Bursary

For more information please see our funding section.

Teaching

This course is delivered through a combination of:

  • Lectures: presentations or talks on a particular topic
  • Seminars: discussions or classroom sessions focusing on a particular topic or project
  • Tutorials: meetings involving one-to-one or small group supervision, feedback or detailed discussion on a particular topic or project
  • Project supervisions: meetings with a supervisor to discuss a particular piece of work
  • Practical classes and creative writing workshops: sessions involving the development and practical application of a particular skill or technique
  • External visits: visits to a location outside of the usual learning spaces, to experience a particular environment, event, or exhibition relevant to the course of study

Assessment

You will be assessed through a combination of:
Coursework exercises
Essays and reports
Group presentations
Writing projects
Portfolios of work
Written examinations

Employability

Career Prospects

Our graduates can be found in the fields of education, the creative industries, community arts work, freelance writing, postgraduate study and in more specialised areas such as counselling, speech and language therapy, library and information management, journalism, lexicography, publishing, advertising, marketing, media, PR and communications.

At Salford we are passionate about developing both your creative talent and subject expertise. We also have close associations with literary, academic and professional bodies such as the Red Telephone Press, Legend Press, Erbacce Press, Knives Forks and Spoons Press, The Biographers' Club, North West Branch of Antelopes Group of Professional Playwrights, and the National Association of Writers in Education.

The English subject group also has strong relationships with industry and professional bodies such as the BBC and ITV, the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, the Working Class Library Museum, the Imperial War Museum North, Oxford University Press, the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, the British Library and the National Library of Scotland.

Alumni Profile

“I chose to study English Language at university because I had really enjoyed studying it at A level. I decided to study at Salford as they had a wide range of modules available for me to study, with the added ability to combine topics from English language, literature, and linguistics.

One of the biggest advantages of studying at Salford was the close contact and support I had from both academic and professional staff. I had regular detailed feedback on my assignments, and was actively invited to discuss my work with my tutors. Most lecturers followed an open door policy, meaning that if you had a query about your work you just had to send an email and arrange to meet. Talking to my friends from other universities, it seems that this kind of support is unique to studying at Salford.

Throughout the course we were actively encouraged to think about our employability. The skills I developed enabled me to successfully gain employment on a graduate training scheme a week after graduating.

I am currently one of 16 graduates across the country on the Higher Education Graduate Training Programme. The scheme was designed to equip graduates with the skills and experience to enable effective leadership and management within the Higher Education sector, and Salford is one of only eight universities involved in the scheme - demonstrating the institution's distinctive commitment to graduate employment

In all, I thoroughly enjoyed my three years at Salford. As a student at Salford you are encouraged to succeed and develop yourself academically and outside of your studies, and for me that is what going to university is all about.”
Jessica Clark studied English Language at the University of Salford and graduated in 2012.

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.
The English Subject Group has close associations with industry and professional bodies such as:

  • The BBC and ITV
  • The International Anthony Burgess Foundation
  • The Working Class Library Museum
  • The Imperial War Museum North
  • Oxford University Press
  • The Linguistics Association of Great Britain
  • The Linguistic Society of America
  • The British Library
  • The National Library of Scotland
  • Scottish Language Dictionaries
  • The Scottish Parliament

Further Study

Facilities

New Adelphi is the home of the School of Arts & Media and contains state-of-the-art facilities including a theatre, performance and rehearsal spaces, photography and recording studios, café areas, computer suites and a roof terrace.

Not the course you're looking for?

If this course isn't for you then please retry our course finder below.

Or

Visit our A-Z list of courses.

A-Z courses