Critical Thinking Skills
English Literature with Foundation Year
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Do you know your Austen from your Orwell? Your Rowling from your Woolf? Whether you’re a self-proclaimed bookworm, practising poet or budding academic, this English literature degree provides the tools you need to take the first step in your literary career.
Over the course of three years, you’ll delve into the world of words, studying literature through the lens of diverse theoretical perspectives, including Marxism, feminism and structuralism. You’ll critically analyse literature from a wide range of genres – from Elizabethan and Jacobean drama to Irish literature and contemporary poetry.
Looking for a course with an interdisciplinary focus? Studying English literature at Salford means you’ll also have the chance to choose from modules specialising in language, film adaptation and creative writing, giving you the opportunity to tailor your studies to the areas of literature that interest you most.
What’s more, this course also received 100% overall student satisfaction in the latest National Student Survey (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2020 data).
- Learn from internationally renowned researchers who are also committed and enthusiastic teachers
- Develop your ability to critically analyse pieces of literature and present written arguments with clarity and persuasion
- Gain the skillsets and knowledge needed to take the first step in your professional literary career
Want to find out more about English literature courses at Salford? Why not sign up to our upcoming Open Day?
This is for you if...
You have a passion for literature and want to develop a thorough knowledge of literary history, theory and criticism.
You read widely and can critically analyse the themes, plots and language used in texts.
You are creative, enthusiastic and highly motivated.
All about the course
Throughout the course of your studies, you’ll explore innovative approaches to English literature, spanning across a range of periods and genres. Your core modules will cover key literary periods, equipping you with the skills you need to place texts within their cultural and historical context.
As your studies progress, you’ll select optional modules that will enable you to focus on the areas of literature that best align with your academic interests and career aspirations. Whether you’re interested in children’s literature, postcolonial African writing or Early Modern drama, you’ll be developing skills of textual analysis and critical thinking while studying a subject that you love.
What’s more, you’ll be learning from leading academic staff who actively research and publish within the field and potentially studying work from Salford’s current Chancellor, Jackie Kay MBE FRSE.
Sound interesting? Find out more about what each module involves in our full course breakdown below.
This module will help students to develop a broad range of critical thinking skills which are necessary to engage successfully with the complex intellectual tasks typically encountered in a university undergraduate programme.
Introduction to Literary Theory
This module is designed to introduce a student to a range of literary theories which they will encounter as they explore the historical and critical contexts of literary history; it will provide a student with a range of theoretical tools which can be implemented for the analysis and interpretation of literary texts and will acquaint them with the types of theoretical debates which they will encounter during an undergraduate degree in English studies.
Language and Communication
This module will introduce students to the academic study of language and its relationship to communication across various media. Learners will be encouraged to take an interest in texts of all types and to develop a curiosity as to language use in various contexts. A particular focus of the module will be a detailed examination of language use in speech and writing and how audience and context play central roles in the creation, comprehension and dissemination of different text types. Students will also be introduced to the concept of linguistic prescriptivism by considering the diversity of speakers' attitudes towards variety in language use; they will be enabled to place linguistic prescriptivism within its wider sociocultural context, not least its synergies with the issues of social class, discrimination and cultural diversity.
Reading Management Skills
This module will help students to develop the reading skills necessary to undertake successfully the sophisticated reading demands of a university undergraduate programme.
Study and Group Work Skills
This module is designed to equip a student with an appropriate set of study skills and study habits to ensure that they will be able to transition successfully to their chosen route of academic study for a university undergraduate programme.
Narrative, Fiction and the Novel
From early texts such as Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe to postmodern writers such as Jeanette Winterson, this module examines the history of narrative by tracing the development of narrative strategies and cultural themes such as gender and class.
Introduction to Drama
You will be introduced to different orms and genres of drama, analyzing plays from Shakespeare to 21st century theatre. You will be introduced to university level research skills which will help you throughout your degree.
Introduction to Poetry
You will study a broad survey of historical periods and genres to prepare you for the study of poetry at degree level, enjoying works from Shakespeare’s sonnets to linguistically innovative twenty-first century poetry and many points in-between.
Language Through Literature
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.
Theory and Practice
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 applied to them.
You will be introduced to key concepts relating to the study of popular fiction as well as develop a knowledge of the main genres and forms of popular literature. You will study a number of representative texts from key phases in the development of popular forms, including critical attitudes towards them.
The Romantic Period
Study literature emerging in a time of revolution and consider themes such as the rights of man, of woman, and of slaves, the sublime, childhood, empire, the self, and the gothic. This literary period refines and develops literary forms and styles from previous eras, as well as pursuing artistic experimentation, so this module explores language and form in detail in relation to key themes within their historical and cultural context.
Victorian Literature: Progress and Panic
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:
Utopias and Dystopias
Learn to understand the complex relationship between utopian ‘thinking’ and ‘real-world’ thinking by studying and debating representations of utopian societies; you will also study a variety of dystopian texts by authors such as Anthony Burgess, Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, and Ray Bradbury.
Literature, Adaptation and the Screen
In this module, you will study a range of literary texts and their screen counterpart(s) including Oliver Twist, Psycho and The Great Gatsby. The distinctiveness of each cultural form will be considered, as well as the comparative roles of author, screenwriter and director. There will be opportunities to explore the role of technical and digital arts such as scenography, music, and sound production.
Revival and Revolution
You are introduced to Irish literature in English from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You'll 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.
21st Century Women’s Writing
This module will explore a range of contemporary texts written by women and will include novels, short stories, poetry and other forms of writing including memoirs, creative non-fiction, and journalism. As a consequence, you will learn about the socio-political and cultural climate of today’s society as it affects and is shaped by women.
Introduction to Children’s Literature
You will look at the development of literature for children since 1744. We will learn how a child develops and how to create children’s literature, from picture books to young adult novels.
Attitudes to 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.
From Salvation to Damnation: Religion, Sex, and Identity in English Drama 1500-1630
In this module you will look at dramatic texts other than Shakespeare’s from the late Medieval to the Jacobean period, roughly 1500-1630. In particular, you will investigate 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 of staging and stagecraft from the period, in order to encourage an appreciation of how those traditions were kept alive on the stage.
Gender, Race and Empire
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.
Reptiles of Genius
This module studies the most characteristic mode of writing in the eighteenth century: satire. It will allow you to gain an appreciation of the complexities of satire as a mode of writing: you will learn to recognise what it is, what it tries to do, and who writes satire and why. Satire was practised in a wide variety of genres, ranging from drama through poetry to fictional and non-fictional prose. These written forms will be explored, as will visual satire and how to read it.
The Female Gothic
You will analyse a selection of Gothic novels and novellas by women, and learn about the themes of Gothic writing as well as explore the significance of various recurrent tropes and features such as: the uncanny, Gothic spaces and places, the absent/dead mother, voyeurism and surveillance.
Page to Stage: Drama Texts in Translation
In Page to Stage you will focus on two main areas: how to approach dramatic texts in translation, and the significance of the relationship between actor, director and dramaturg in moving a theatre text from page to stage. In our studies, we will examine the ideological and cultural implications of staging plays in translation, however, you do not need to speak an additional language for this module.
University Wide Language Programme
This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.
This module explores the formal, conceptual and ideological complexities of the modernist period and addresses themes such as the decentred self, the city, the role of tradition, the relationship between gender and writing, the use of myth, and the interaction of national identity and cosmopolitanism.
This module explores recent and contemporary texts in relation to critical issues such as authorship, narrative structure, linear progression, and identity. Selected texts will include novels, films and short stories.
Optional modules may include:
The Dissertation is a key feature of the course and provides you with an opportunity to undertake an independent and challenging research project under the guidance of a member of academic staff. Your research topic is defined in second year and in third year you focus on analysis and interpretation in preparation for the written submission. The dissertation expands and hones your research skills, strengthening your ability to engage with complex materials in a productive way and preparing you for further study or a career in the workplace.
Biography: Tradition and Innovation
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.
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; and text-based animations. You can pursue critical or creative paths in your final submission.
Rebels, Villains and Discontented Minds
The subject of this module is ‘disobedience’: how it was defined, represented, condemned and, on occasions, celebrated in the 16th and 17th century English literature. In particular we will study the many ways in which authors structure specific discourses around socially marginal characters and outcasts (villains, malcontents, prostitutes whose distinctive qualities can include a disruptive and sarcastic verbal idiom) as key figures in the contemporary cultural and historical discourse.
Post/Colonial African Literature
This module will analyse a selection of African literature of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, exploring a range of aesthetic, theoretical and political questions relating to a variety of literary forms, including poetry, novels and graphic narratives.
British Theatre Post-1950
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.
The Language of Names
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.
Shakespeare and the Play of Thought
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.
This module will discuss literature written during the period known as the Northern Irish ‘troubles’, the Peace Process and after. It will consider poetry, prose, drama and film produced in this period, as well as other visual sources (mural, video and performance art) to consider a variety of ways of representing the conflict. While a historical narrative will be presented in the first lectures and seminars, the focus will be on considering how form and content intersect in these fictive representations.
University Wide Language Programme
This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.
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.
What will I be doing?
As part of your English literature degree, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to be able to explore your independent research interest.
Your classes will be based at our Fredrick Road campus. Teaching and learning on the course can involve a range of methods and resources.
Lectures will deliver a formal method of teaching, with one lecturer addressing a large group of students from different courses, while tutorials offer an informal method of small-group teaching that is student-oriented and often student-led. Seminars are another informal teaching situation which tends to be a mixture of tutor-led and student-led discussion
In addition to these sessions, you will have access to interactive computer resources available for you to use during your studies. You’ll also take part in student-directed study, which is where projects and deadlines are assigned.
You’ll be assessed through a combination of exams and coursework such as essays, presentations, or portfolios. Most modules incorporate some form of assessment at a relatively early stage of the course to allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses prior to undertaking your final exam, essay or project.
BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
All our English courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media, and Creative Technology. Our focus is to ensure that you have the skills you need to pursue your dreams, and we encourage our students, past and present, to collaborate with each other and achieve great things.
Each year - through the Create Awards – our School rewards the incredible achievements and successes of our final year and postgraduate students.
Whatever you choose to study with us, you’ll be mentored and supported by experts. And once you graduate, it won’t end there. You’ll join a thriving alumni network across Greater Manchester and beyond, meaning you’ll be supported professionally and personally whenever you need it.
What about after uni?
Wondering where a degree in English literature can take your career?
Many of our recent graduates have gone on to pursue careers in literary research and postgraduate work, specialising in the area of literature they feel most passionate about. Others have established successful careers in related industries, including publishing, teaching, journalism and broadcasting.
Many of our students have also landed roles in local government and the civil service, as well as working within the business and law sector. With the transferable skillsets you develop throughout you degree in English literature, the possibilities really are endless.
Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.
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
- ITV Granada
- 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
Associations such as those ones listed above provide you with a number of benefits such as theatre visits, networking opportunities, guest speakers, masterclasses, workshops, and work experience opportunities.
What you need to know
Do you love getting lost in a good book? Are you looking for the opportunity to share your literary ideas with likeminded people? If so, you’re the kind of applicant we’re looking for.
To gain a place on this English literature degree, you’ll need to be creative, enthusiastic and highly-motivated. You should be comfortable working with others, have good communication skills and, most importantly, read widely. You don’t need to be a published author or poet, but your passion for the written word should be evident in your application.
Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2020/2021 academic year. If you’re interested in a future intake year, please check the course entry on UCAS.
English Language and Maths at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
64 points. General Studies accepted.
Diploma = MM
Extended Diploma = MPP
Access to HE
Pass Level 3 Access to HE Diploma with 64 points
Irish Leaving Certificate
Pass Diploma with 60% overall
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.
|Type of study||Year||Fees|
|Full-time home||2020/21||£8,250per year|
|Full-time home||2021/22||£8,250per year|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
Scholarships for international students
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.
We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.
See the full range of our International Scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID Q330
Interested in starting university in September 2021? Book your place on our next Open Day.