Study and Group Work Skills
Drama and Creative Writing with Foundation Year
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Do you want to experience the richness of theatre past and present while incorporating your passion for creative writing? If so, our drama and creative writing degree is the right choice for you. Designed to equip you with the tools and training you need to take the first step in your professional career, you’ll have the opportunity to explore two creative disciplines in one three-year programme.
You’ll learn how to make and perform theatre, as well as creating your own stories, novels, scripts and poetry. Exploring writing and theatre-making in all its forms – from performance poetry to experimental productions – you’ll be gaining hands-on industry experience while refining your academic skills. What’s more, as your course progresses, you’ll be given the chance to shape your studies by choosing the modules that most appeal to you, whether they relate to creative graffiti or writing the first chapter of your novel.
While studying creative writing and drama at Salford, you’ll work in cutting edge studio and theatre spaces with the support of experienced theatre-makers, writers and technicians. In addition to your regular classes, you’ll also benefit from masterclasses and advice from some of the most exciting theatre companies and practitioners from around the country.
- Learn from award-winning published writers and established theatre practitioners
- Develop and shape your creative processes and find your own unique voice
- Deepen your understanding of scriptwriting, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, devising, directing and performance
Want to learn more about our drama and creative writing courses? Why not sign up to our upcoming Open Day?
This is for you if...
You have a genuine passion for both drama and creative writing.
You have some experience in writing, performing, or both
You would like to forge an exciting and fulfilling career in the creative industries.
All about the course
This creative writing and drama degree will develop your ability in two intertwined disciplines. The creative writing aspects of the course are designed to improve your mastery of the written word. You’ll learn to write concise and engaging creative pieces, from short stories and scripts to poetry and comedy sketches. You’ll be exposed to a wide range of writing styles and genres, expanding your skillset and experience of the creative landscape.
As part of your drama training, you’ll nurture your abilities as a theatrical performer. You will take part in practical performance sessions, as well as delving into the social and historical contexts surrounding theatre past and present. You’ll study a range of works from modern literature and performance, which will feed into and inspire your creative process.
Your creative writing and drama degree will also mean you have access to Peel Park, a green campus close to Manchester city centre. Practical teaching takes place in rehearsal rooms in New Adelphi, our purpose built Arts Centre, and from second year, performance assessments are conducted in state-of-the-art professional theatres and studios.
What’s more, you’ll be learning from established writers and theatre makers, joining a community who are enthusiastic and passionate about what they do. These leading experts are on hand to share their experiences and to teach you how to present your creative work with clarity and professionalism.
Want to find out more? Take a look at our full course breakdown below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Critical Thinking Skills
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.
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.
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.
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.
Performance Workshop I
In this module, you will work practically with plays that have been selected to help you explore the changing nature of Realism (Stanislavsky, Strasberg, Meisner). As the module progresses, we focus in on one text in order to work in depth on how we might construct ‘character’ as performers. This is a highly practical, workshop-led module and like all practical classes, requires group rehearsals outside class time.
Performance Workshop II
The second performance module explores responses to realism and is taught through a combination of guided reading, analysis, and an extended workshop ‘laboratory’ period which leads to a performance. Practical sessions will explore the working methods of major non naturalistic theatre practitioners and authors such as Brecht, Beckett and Artaud and you will study non naturalistic performance texts and associated critical materials to support your understanding.
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.
Theatre Adaptation: Writers and Devisers
In this module, you will study a range of performances which have been adapted to stage from other forms e.g. myths, short stories, music, poetry or novels and you will create your own. We’ll help you develop your knowledge of adaptation methodologies including cultural and temporal transposition, appropriation and deconstruction. You will use this knowledge along with close analysis of the original texts to help you write, devise and perform your own adaptation.
Year two optional modules may include:
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.
Researching and Planning The 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 write the first chapters of a novel, and learn how to pitch and present your work to a literary agent.
Literature, Adaptation and the Screen
On this module, you will study a range of literary texts and their screen counterparts, including Sherlock, Psycho, and Gone Girl. Topics for seminar discussion may include: theories of adaptation and genre; issues of authorship/ auteurship; the integral role of technical arts such as scenography, music, sound production; the importance of context. Students will also be introduced to the writing techniques associated with adaptation: treatments, synopses, step outlines and script writing.
Comedy Writing and Performance
In this core module 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 Screenwriting
You will examine fundamental aspects of fictional storytelling: narrative structure, character development, character types, relation of character to plot, and the use of subplots. You will explore differing conceptual and technical approaches used in screenwriting for theatre, TV and film; you will workshop your screenplays in class and produce a finished script by the end of the module.
Introduction to Children's Literature
You will look at the development of literature for children since 1744. We examine how child development determines what texts written for children become. You scrutinise the texts from many angles and you may even produce texts for children.
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.
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.
Shakespeare In Performance
You explore Shakespeare’s plays through performing them and through deconstructing performances of them. You also enjoy the opportunity here of working with students on other degree programmes.
Page to Stage: Drama Texts in Translation
You will develop a practical and theoretical understanding of a range of 20th/21st century theatre texts in translation and the ability to interpret dramatic texts, whilst fostering an understanding of the particular ideological and cultural implications of staging plays in translation. You will be able to direct and perform in extracts of the translated plays studied.
Theatre and Communities
The module provides students with a practical knowledge and theoretical understanding of the uses, applications and value of drama and theatre as an aspect of social engagement and personal empowerment outside of the conventional theatre environment. The module explores the history of the 'form', and key practitioners and areas of contemporary practice. Practitioners/companies may include Cardboard Citizens, 7.84, TiPP, Geese Theatre UK, and Clean Break
Introduction to Theatre Directing
In the first part of the module, a series of workshop/seminars will introduce you to the role of the director, using a range of contemporary and historical play texts. We will explore and apply appropriate theatrical vocabularies in order to help you develop your own directorial approach. You will also lead small group work in terms of exploring and experimenting with a range of directorial approaches to both script and to performers. Consideration will also be given to the relationship between the director and other key members of the production team (eg set designer, lighting & sound designers and stage manager).
The middle section of the module offers interpretation and adaptation workshops, which will provide strategies for thinking creatively about how to approach a text for performance. Particular reference will be made to mise-en-scene and aspects of production design.
The final block comprises practical student-led project work (with tutor guidance) focusing upon: ‘text’ analysis and/or stimuli; research methods; rehearsal preparation and scheduling; interpersonal/communication skills; rehearsal procedure.
University Wide Language Programme
This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.
Performance and the Postdramatic
You will examine contemporary experimental performance theory and practice and have the chance to create a short original solo piece drawing on the techniques and ideas learnt in the module.
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.
Year three optional modules may include:
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.
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
Writing for Performance will develop your ability and voice as a writer for any area of performance. We will look at some of the most exciting new writing for television, radio and theatre and you will be encouraged to voice your critical insights. You will be encouraged to try writing in a variety of media and to match what you have to say with the correct medium to transmit it. You will have the chance to see your work performed at the University's Create Festival and to submit it to local competitions with the support of your tutor.
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.
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.
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.
Drama Research Project
This is an opportunity to explore in depth an area that interests you, combining research with practice in an extended creative project. You might choose to devise a piece of performance work; to work on the staging of a short play text (or scenes from a longer text); or to create a performance installation. The practical work will be backed up by a detailed research portfolio, charting the course of your project.
Renaissance Theatre Acting
You will work with a range of texts, including Elizabethan, Jacobean, and Restoration works. In practical workshops you are encouraged to experiment with rhythm and language, and to apply characterisation and physicalisation techniques within the context of both naturalistic and non-naturalistic performance styles.
This module begins with series of classes exploring the role of the director in relation to a range of contemporary and historical scripts. Under close tutor guidance, you will then consider and apply appropriate theatrical methodologies in order to develop your own directorial approach. All students will be given the opportunity to lead small group work in terms of exploring and experimenting with a range of directorial approaches to both script and to performers.
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 creative writing and drama degree, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests.
Your classes will be based at our Peel Park campus.
Lectures are a formal method of teaching, with one lecturer addressing a large group of students, sometimes from different courses; or a talk from someone in the industry, in which you will have an opportunity to ask questions.
Seminars are an informal teaching situation. They tend to be a mixture of tutor-led and student-led discussion and will be a much smaller group of students than in lectures.
Underpinning both of these learning opportunities are tutorials. These sessions are often one-to-one or attended by a small group, in which you will be able to discuss topics and projects with your tutors.
Practical workshops and creative writing workshops are where you can experiment with new skills or techniques. They are where you can work creatively with your tutors on your practice, whether that be performance or creative writing. In addition to this, you will also work on practice-based creative projects outside of your scheduled hours.
Individual supervision allows us to critique your work and give feedback. This will be important when it comes to making improvements to your work.
Finally, student-directed study is where you will be assigned a project, given a deadline and then it will be up to you to go and do the work required within the agreed timeframe.
Assessments play a vital role in studying drama and creative writing with us. You will be able to gauge how well you are understanding the subject, as well as putting new skills into practice. Throughout your degree, you’ll be assessed on creative portfolios, creative assignments, essays, exams, group practical projects, individual projects, presentations, reflective and critical journals, as well as reviews.
Be a part of a creative, supportive community
All our English and Performance 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.
- Excellent live performance spaces, including a 350-seat theatre.
- Broadcast standard TV acting and presenting studios (including green screen);
- A radio drama studio;
- Post production video and audio facilities.
Our students, staff and industry regularly perform shows using the New Adelphi Theatre to public audiences.
You'll have access to our library which is equipped with a vast collection of books and computers suites you can use during your studies.
What about after uni?
Drama and creative writing courses prepare you for a whole range of careers, both inside and outside of the creative industries. You’ll graduate from this degree with a range of vital skillsets, including being able to present ideas effectively, organise your time and carry out research skills. These attributes provide instant valued to employers across almost every sector.
Our recent graduates have gone on to work in teaching, publishing, journalism, advertising, PR and events, to name a few. We’ve also seen students successfully create their own theatre companies or join arts organisations that are already well-established. Do you want to develop your academic skills even further? If so, pursuing postgraduate study is also an option.
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 Drama and Creative Writing course responds to the needs of industry in developing creative talent, subject expertise and transferable skills appropriate to a wide range of careers. We have close associations with arts organisations, industry and professional bodies such as:
- BBC TV and Radio
- Granada TV
- Legend Press
- Knives Forks and Spoons Press
- Erbacce Press
- The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
- The Theatre Royal, Hyde
- Octagon Theatre, Bolton
- British Isles North West section of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators
- Old Vic Theatre New Voices Company
- The Biographers' Club
- North West Branch of Antelopes Group of Professional Playwrights
- National Association of Writers in Education
This provides you with a number of benefits such as theatre visits, networking opportunities, guest speakers, master classes, workshops and work experience opportunities
What you need to know
Are you as passionate about performance as you are poetry and prose? Do you want to learn how to write compelling scripts, as well as act them out on stage? Our drama and creative writing degree will give you the chance to experience all of this and more.
To gain a place on this course, you should be able to demonstrate your interest in theatre and creative writing – but that doesn’t mean you need to be a published writer or experienced performer. We’re looking for individuals who are innovative, enthusiastic and dedicated to starting a career within the creative industries. This drama and creative writing course will require you to work with others, so you will also need strong communication skills.
English Language at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/level 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||2021/22||£8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.|
|Full-time home||2022/23||£8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.|
You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID WW50
Interested in starting this course in September 2021? Find out how to apply through Clearing.