Undergraduate BA (Hons)

Creative Writing (Multidiscipline)

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

Attendance

Full-time

Course

Three year

Next enrolment

September 2020

Introduction

In a nutshell

Please note: This course is for September 2020 entry

Creative writing at Salford is multi-discipline and contemporary. This course will help you develop your writing while learning practical production skills.

You will study prose, poetry, script and screen writing in the first year, while learning basic skills in how to make film, record audio and write online content. You will have the option to explore writing for the games industry, comics, children’s literature, experimental visual texts, journalism and even more in years two and three.

As a student of both storytelling and production, you will study at MediaCityUK, and on our green campus Peel Park in the heart of Manchester.

You will be taught by practicing professionals in every field and become a part of a vibrant creative community in written, multi-media and performance arts. Your creative work is the assessed content of the degree and will form a professional portfolio on graduation.

This course is just one of our English and Creative Writing programmes, which have risen ten places in the 2020 Guardian university league tables. 

You will: 
  • Learn storytelling, writing and production skills at our state-of-the art campuses in MediaCityUK and Peel Park 

  • Choose a degree pathway through diverse forms: playwriting, screenwriting, journalism, writing for games, poetry and prose fiction, or choose to experiment in every form 

  • Study in a collaborative creative environment alongside artists in film, music and drama 

Find out more by signing up to our upcoming Open Day, or if you have any generic questions please contact course enquiries.     

You find helpful FAQs, learn more about student life at Salford or explore all our English courses. Continue reading to understand more about this BA (Hons) Creative Writing (Multidiscipline) course. 

International

students accepted

Course details

All about the course

In year one, you will study six core modules designed to inspire and nurture your writing talent while introducing you to key skills in multi-media production and multi-media journalism. Your subsequent years will allow you to choose from a range of modules so you can focus on the areas of creative writing and production which interest you most.

Year one

Creative Practice: Observation, Imagination and Representation

You will learn to write and respond to poetry. You will learn how to write stage scripts for presentation to producers, learning the fundamentals of good dramatic writing.

Working the Text

You will learn to learn to write and respond to memoir and short fiction. You will learn the basics of creating story, convincing characters, setting and effective dialogue.

Reading for Writers

Re-discover your passion for reading. Explore and articulate what you love about your favourite books and expand your reading horizons to new authors. In this module we look at contemporary writing across a range of genres, share our reading interests, and learn how to write about the books we love.

Multimedia Reporting

You will develop as a networked journalist by developing your own blog and exploring the multitude of digital platforms available to source and output journalistic content. You will also learn techniques of immersive storytelling

Theory and Practice

You will be introduced to a range of literary and cultural theories to develop a better understanding of how literature and drama can be read and analysed from different perspectives and how different theories can be applied to them.

Production Skills

The module combines both technical and creative aspects of media production as you develop a broad awareness of the range of skills required for a video drama production, including camera, lighting, editing and sound.

Year two - you will choose six of the following modules:

Radio Podcasting and Features

Podcast and Radio Feature Production develops and critically reflects upon the creative, technical, and production skills required to record features and short documentaries. The module builds on the student‘s existing recording and editing skills in aiming to deliver broadcast standard audio and enhances the student’s knowledge of subject and contributor research, production planning, scripting and interviewing techniques in order to construct longer form speech based features.

Feature Writing

You will learn how to write different types of features for newspapers and magazines in various markets. By the end of this module, you will have gained practical skills in the art of feature writing as well as enhanced your ability to formulate and pitch story ideas to commissioning editors.

Theatre Industry: Critical Writing and Contemporary Debates

This module introduces you to various forms of professional writing, and current debates in theatre and the arts industry today. You will review shows, write articles or blogs on current trends in theatre, and discuss the issues that interest you most in a series of panel discussions.

Radio Drama

This module enables you to work on a range of exercises designed to develop your characterisation, vocal expression and tonal variety in performing audio. You are introduced to studio equipment for recording and editing and contribute to studio management for the assignment. .

Television Genres

The module explores the idea of genre as a key critical concept within television studies and enables students to identify the codes and conventions of key television genres such as news, sitcom, reality TV, Soap Operas, heritage TV and talk shows whilst gaining an understanding of genre in relation to television production and audiences.

Comedy Writing and Performance

You will discuss examples of a range of radio and TV comedy before working in a small group to create an original comedy idea and to develop your own characters within it. You will be encouraged to develop range and flexibility in your vocal, facial and physical skills in order to produce a range of comic personas. You will then perform, record and edit the resultant TV/radio sitcom or sketch show. The module also examines aspects of storytelling‚ theme, narrative structure, character development, comic types, the relationship of character to plot, use of subplots - in relation to the writing of comedy drama and situation comedy. The module explores the writing and devising of comedy for recorded media.

Introduction to Media Production Skills

Digital Narrative Technologies

Within this module you will learn the theory of storytelling and narrative and apply this knowledge through creative practice to a digital artifact. This process of understanding, applying and bridging traditional narrative from myth and legend, script and screen, to a contemporary immersive manifestation is designed to give you a broader understanding of narrative from a cultural perspective. The themes covered in the module will typically include: The Power, Importance and Origin of Story, Story Structures, The Hero’s Journey, The Power of Myth, Narration and Focalisation, The Art of Characterisation, Environmental Storytelling, Writing a Treatment, Storyboarding Techniques, Narrative and Emergent technologies, Immersion & Interactivity and Spatial Narratives.

Creative Non-Fiction

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, feedback and discussion.

Researching and Planning a Novel

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.

Writing Poetry in the 21st Century

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.

Introduction to Children’s Literature

You will look at the development of literature for children since 1744 and  examine how child development determines the content within texts written for children. You will scrutinise the texts from many angles and you may even produce texts for children.

Playwriting

You will learn skills of analysing and writing plays for the stage. The module covers history of playwriting, an introduction to the playwriting industry and the development of skills in areas such as concept, story, structure, characterisation and dialogue. You will have the chance to work with professional playwrights in this course and write a play for your assessment.

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.

Introduction to Screenwriting

You will examine fundamental aspects of storytelling: narrative structure, character development, character types, relation of character to plot, the use of subplots. You explore differing conceptual and technical approaches in scriptwriting for theatre, TV and film.

Year three

Final Portfolio

This is a double creative writing module that runs throughout your final year. Here 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 choose five of the following optional modules:

Sequential Art (Comics and Graphic Novels)

You will study important examples of international comic strips, series and ‘graphic novels’. At a time of proliferating texts inspired by material introduced in comics, a section of the module will look at film and TV adaptations, evaluating the importance of comic-derived material to the modern media landscape. The unique ways in which comics can be said to create meanings will be highlighted, and you will experience designing a narrative with expert guidance. Themes studied may include: Comics and Childhood; The Graphic Novel Era: Comics ‘come of age’; Alan Moore; Comics, Ideology and Form: Case Study of 1970s British Comics; Fandom; Comics and Other Media.

Teaching Writing

You will study how to teach Creative Writing in classroom and therapeutic contexts. You will gain practical teaching skills, learn how to put together lesson plans and facilitate work by Creative Writing students. You will learn how to supplement your writing career with teaching opportunities.

Journalism and Public Relations

This module will examine the role of the PR industry and its link to journalism and the media. Through a number of practical workshops, you will gain a strong understanding of the principles and practices behind successful PR strategies and campaigns.

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.

New Departures: Reading and Writing Innovative Poetry

This module combines critical and creative study of some of the most exciting poetry written in the last fifty years. Each seminar-workshop will offer practical exercises in composition in order to aid understanding of the aesthetic and political decisions being made.

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.

Writing for Performance

The module offers you the chance to explore the theory and practice of playwriting and writing for performance, covering concept, story, structure, characterisation, dialogue, theatricality, rewriting and revising.

Visual Text

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.  

Transmedia Storyworlds

The module explores the socio-cultural histories of transmedia franchises and their fictional storyworlds across TV, radio, films, comic books and videogames. Transmedia Storyworlds equips students with an advanced understanding of how industrial forces shape productions of storyworld content across a given transmedia franchise, and explores how adaptations of fictional storyworlds exploit the narrative affordances of a range of different media. The module equips students with an advanced understanding of transnational flows whereby cultures from around the world reimagine globally famous characters and storyworlds so as to establish locally specific meanings, and critically examine the ideological positions of transmedia franchises and their storyworlds.

Stand-up Comedy

Through class interaction, individual research and tutor supervision, you are encouraged to develop your own comic voice and persona and to devise and write original ideas toward solo live performance. A visiting professional comedian will be invited in to give feedback on the work before it is performed and/or recorded.

Scriptwriting for TV and Film

Through a professionally geared script development programme, you will create first a premise, then treatment, step outline and first draft for a complete screenplay of at least fifty minutes. In seminars you will discuss ideas for story, character and theme within the group. Treatments, step outlines and the first draft are developed in one-to-one tutorials.

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?

TEACHING 

  • Lectures: a formal method of teaching, with one lecturer addressing a large group of students from different courses
  • Tutorials: an informal method of small-group teaching that is student-oriented and often student-led
  • Seminars: an informal teaching situation which tends to be a mixture of tutor-led and student-led discussion
  • Practical workshops; where new skills will be demonstrated and which could include a talk from someone in industry
  • Creative writing workshops
  • Individual supervision; which allows us to critique your work and give feedback
  • Practice-based creative projects
  • Student-directed study where projects are assigned and deadlines given
  • Throughout this course you will develop both transferable and analytical skills

Your course includes modules in production skills, writing and theory.

Production and Creative Writing modules are usually assessed through creative work. Some modules are assessed through essays. In your first year, you will be required to take an exam.

The exact proportion of assessment types will depend on the module options you take.

SALFORD SCHOOL OF ARTS, MEDIA AND CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY 

All our English courses are delivered by the Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology.  

Our School and University have strong and long-lasting relationships with local and national industry.  

Once you graduate with us, you’ll join a thriving alumni community in Greater Manchester and beyond. 

Facilities

The production elements of this course will be enhanced by media and performance facilities. These include a 350-seat theatre, recording studios and other performance spaces at our £55 million New Adelphi building, and industry-standard TV studios at MediaCityUK. 

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

This course will equip you with the skills to pursue a career in any aspect of creative writing and production which interests you, whether for the page, stage or screen.

You will also be well placed to enter related industries such as publishing, editing or teaching.

FURTHER STUDY

MA Creative Writing: Innovation and Experiment

MA Literature and Culture

MA Public Relations and Digital Communications

A taste of what you could become

A screenwriter

A novelist

A poet

A teacher

A publishing agent

And more...

Career Links

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

  • The BBC
  • Red Telephone Press
  • Conville&Walsh Literary Agency
  • Legend Press
  • Erbacce Press
  • If not P then Q Press
  • Knives Forks and Spoons Press
  • The Theatre Royal, Hyde
  • British Isles North West section of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
  • Old Vic Theatre New Voices Company
  • The Biographers' Club
  • National Association of Writers in Education
  • Carcanet Press
  • HOME Manchester
Requirements

What you need to know

APPLICANT PROFILE 

This degree will suit students who love to read and write and want to expand their creative skills through production and advanced writing classes. The degree is designed to offer you the choice of focusing on a particular discipline in writing (screenwriting, fiction, poetry, journalism), or to try out a variety of creative media. In doing so you will be learning how to use some of the key technologies available to creatives in audio and visual digital equipment. This means that, as well as being a committed writer, you should have the confidence to undertake practical and logistical challenges.

The degree is discipline relevant to writing in film, radio, television and for printed media. It also gives students a grounding in production techniques for some of those media, a skill increasingly required of individuals in a broad range of communications and creative industries. While you are writing your masterpiece, you will have the skills to compete for creative and challenging professional work.

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.

Standard entry requirements

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.

GCSE

English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent). 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.

UCAS Tariff Points

104-120 points

A level

104-120 points. Creative writing, English language, English literature, English language/literature preferred but not essential. General studies accepted.

BTEC National Diploma

DMM

Scottish Highers

104-120 points. Creative writing, English language, English literature, English language/literature preferred but not essential. General studies accepted.

Irish Leaving Certificate

104-120 points. Creative writing, English language, English literature, English language/literature preferred but not essential. General studies accepted.

International Baccalaureate

30-31 points

European Baccalaureate

Pass Diploma with 71% overall.

Alternative entry requirements

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.

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2020/21 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2020/21 £12,960per year
Full-time home 2021/22 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £14400per year
Additional costs

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

Scholarships for international students 2020/21

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.

For more information go to International Scholarships.

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID Q321

Institution S03

Interested in starting university in September 2021? Book your place on our next Open Day.