English Literature
BA (Hons)

Overseas study available
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study English Literature at Salford

1.

Learn from internationally-renowned researchers who are also committed and enthusiastic teachers

2.

Benefit from dynamic teaching and assessment that incorporates both innovative and traditional approaches to the study of English Literature

3.

Gain valuable skills and knowledge which open up careers in areas such as teaching, media,  publishing, marketing, administration and the civil service

Course Summary

As technology continues to make the written word available in increasingly diverse formats to ever-wider audiences, those who are skilled at reaching informed judgements about literature, from novels to haikus, are well-placed to participate in the global economy.

This course offers you the opportunity to study English literature in considerable depth and breadth, including a wide range of texts and genres ranging from Shakespearean drama to Irish literature and contemporary poetry. In your modules you will learn to analyse and criticise prose, poetry and plays, and work independently to research your areas of interest. In addition to the range of literature-based options, you will also have the opportunity to choose others that complement your study but range further afield in the areas of languages, film adaptation and creative writing.

English literature graduates make excellent communicators, adept at understanding and analysing literature, with strong skills in critical and independent thinking, and a sophisticated knowledge of how texts interact with their historical and social contexts. Graduates of this course have gone on to work for a variety of organisations and companies, including ITV Yorkshire, the NHS, the Department for Environment, Lloyds TSB, the AA, WH Smith, the Museum of Science and Industry and Nationwide.

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Course Details

This course offers you the opportunity to study English literature in considerable depth and breadth, including a wide range of texts and genres ranging from Shakespearean drama to American literature and contemporary poetry. In your modules you will learn to analyse and criticise prose, poetry and plays and work independently to research areas of interest. In addition to the range of literature-based options, you will also have the opportunity to choose others that complement your study but range further afield in the areas of languages, film adaptation and creative writing.

Course Structure

Year 1

Year 1 serves as an introduction to the study of English Literature at University level. You will be taught to analyse texts from a variety of genres and use a range of literary and theoretical concepts.

Year 2

Year 2 modules include two core and four optional modules. The two core modules focus on Romantic and Victorian Literature and in these you will develop your analysis of aesthetic strategies, style and form, and examine texts in relation to social and historical context. Both modules emphasise close reading and you will be able to work with a variety of genres. You will also be able to choose four other modules from the range of options across the year or if you prefer, replace one with a foreign language option, through the University-wide Language Programme.

Year 3

Year 3 modules more advanced specialist modules and again there are two core modules and four options. At this level, we encourage you to develop independence of mind in critically assessing secondary and theoretical sources. The core modules continue to emphasise close analysis, but encourage an advanced engagement with theoretical concepts and their relevance to the literature. You also have the opportunity to write a dissertation at this level.

Year 1

Year 1 serves as an introduction to the study of English Literature at University level. You will be taught to analyse texts from a variety of genres and use a range of literary and theoretical concepts.

Core modules

This module examines the history of narrative, from early texts such as Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe, to postmodern writers such as Jeanette Winterson. You will explore the development of narrative strategies, and cultural themes such as gender and class.
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 be introduced to a broad range of different genres and forms of drama, analysing key texts throughout the history of English, from Shakespeare’s plays to 21st century contemporary theatre and performance.
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 21st 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.
You will be introduced to the key concepts relating to the study of popular fiction and develop a knowledge of the main genres and forms of popular literature. You will study of a number of representative texts from key phases in the development of popular forms, including critical attitudes towards them.

Year 2

Year 2 modules include two core and four optional modules. The two core modules focus on Romantic and Victorian Literature and in these you will develop your analysis of aesthetic strategies, style and form, and examine texts in relation to social and historical context. Both modules emphasise close reading and you will be able to work with a variety of genres. You will also be able to choose four other modules from the range of options across the year or if you prefer, replace one with a foreign language option, through the University-wide Language Programme.

Core modules

Study literature emerging in a time of revolution and consider themes such as the rights of man, woman and slaves, the sublime, childhood, empire, the self, and the gothic. This was a time of formal and stylistic experimentation, so this module explores language and form in detail in relation to key themes within their historical and cultural contexts.
You will enhance your skills in close analysis, studying 19th Century writing within a range of historical and theoretical contexts. Texts include novels, poetry, and non-fiction and the module covers a range of issues including class, culture, urban experience, women's writing, decadence and identity.

Optional modules may include:

This module offers the opportunity to develop your creative skills, and to deepen your understanding of various genres of writing. Via workshops we will explore genres such as the haiku, short fiction and creative themes such as 'the city'. You will then have the opportunity to practise these genres in your own work.
You will become acquainted with the history of children's literature and 21st and 20th Century texts produced for children from pre-reading infants up to early teens. You will be given the opportunity to analyse such texts.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.

Year 3

Year 3 modules more advanced specialist modules and again there are two core modules and four options. At this level, we encourage you to develop independence of mind in critically assessing secondary and theoretical sources. The core modules continue to emphasise close analysis, but encourage an advanced engagement with theoretical concepts and their relevance to the literature. You also have the opportunity to write a dissertation at this level.

Core modules

You will explore the formal, conceptual and ideological complexities of the modernist period and addresses themes such as the decentred self, the city, and the interaction of national identity and cosmopolitanism.
This module explores a range of recent and contemporary texts in relation to critical issues such as authorship, narrative structure, linear progression, and identity. Selected texts will include films as well as novels, short stories, plays and poetry.

Optional modules may include:

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.
The term ‘visual text’ usefully reminds us that text is visually-recorded language, designed to be perceived through sight. All text is therefore visual but both readers and critics often have difficulty sustaining their awareness of its dual nature. This module is devoted to engaging more fully with the visual delivery of text, its possibilities and its potential to alter and influence meaning, storytelling and criticism. Students taking the module will engage in close textual analysis and are encouraged throughout to question the creative decisions behind the presentation of 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. The practice of visual text writing techniques and general writing skills (editing, audience awareness etc.) will be considered in all submissions.
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 combines critical and creative study of some of the most exciting poetry written in the last 50 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.
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 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 language or literature.

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 literature and language. 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
Irish Leaving Certificate 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 the study of literature. You should be someone who enjoys reading widely and has an active analytical mind. You should be able to demonstrate concise and accurate written English and a good knowledge of grammar; you should be able to work and research independently and have excellent organisational skills.

Teaching

Teaching on the course takes place in:

  • 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
  • Interactive computer resources
  • Individual supervision
  • 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.

Watch our video

BA (Hons) English Literature student Rhian Nicholas discusses one of her final assessments and her experience of studying English at Salford.

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 at a relatively early stage of the course in order to allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses prior to undertaking your final exam/essay/project.

Employability

English literature is valued by employers who recognise that graduates are very well equipped for a range of career paths requiring good communication, clear presentation of arguments and ideas, and the ability to understand and evaluate complex information. With a strong set of transferable skills, you will be extremely well prepared for a professional career in a wide range of working environments. The degree is also excellent preparation for further study at MA level, including the MA in Literature, Culture and Modernity at Salford.

Our graduates have also gone on to pursue careers with arts and culture organisations (including the Museum of Science and Industry); publishing; local government and the Civil Service (including the Department for Work and Pensions); Teaching (primary, secondary, further and higher education); management in the commercial and business sector (including the TSB, the AA, WH Smith and Nationwide); administration (including the NHS); teaching English overseas; journalism; broadcasting (including ITV Yorkshire) and the law (including the Citizens’ Advice Bureau).

Graduates of this course have gone on to work for a variety of organisations and companies, including the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Lloyds TSB, the AA, WH Smith, Citizens Advice Bureau, ITV Yorkshire, MANCAT, Museum of Science and Industry and Nationwide.

Our graduates have also gone on to pursue careers in literary research and postgraduate work; publishing; local government and the Civil Service; teaching (secondary and further education); management in the commercial and business sector; teaching English overseas; journalism; broadcasting and the law. The degree is excellent preparation for further study at MA level in Literature, or for further qualifications leading to a career in teaching.

Alumni Profile

Daniel Hey, BA (Hons) English Literature (2013), First Class

"For me, studying English at Salford was a challenging, enlightening, and rewarding experience. Having the opportunity to work with friendly, engaging, and knowledgeable tutors across a range of exciting and unique modules was pivotal to my success at undergraduate level. Coming into higher education from twelve years of working in the private sector, I managed to graduate with a high-scoring first class degree. The fact that I was able to achieve so highly under the tutelage of Salford’s English department staff is no coincidence."

Daniel is currently studying for an MA at the University of Manchester and working-part time in the English Directorate at Salford University as a Seminar Tutor.

Links with Industry

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

  • BBC TV and Radio
  • Granada TV
  • Knives Forks and Spoons Press
  • Erbacce Press
  • The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
  • Octagon Theatre, Bolton
  • The British Library
  • The National Library of Scotland
  • Scottish Language Dictionaries
  • The Scottish Parliament

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.