Introduction to Drama
English and Drama
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
If you’re as passionate about prose and poetry as you are performance, our English and drama degree will give you a unique opportunity to study literature alongside theatre. You will study as an intellectual and a creative, exploring these two arts and their relationship with society.
While one module may require you to research and analyse literary and performance texts, the next may ask you to construct a drama piece. The English elements of the course will equip you with the key skills and analytical tools needed for literary study, while the drama portion will teach you how to communicate ideas creatively – both of which will equip you with vital skillsets that you can carry over into your future career.
Our drama and English degree course will allow you to work in cutting-edge studios and theatre spaces with the support of experienced theatre-makers, writers, and technicians. In addition to your regular classes, you’ll also have access to masterclasses and advice from some of the most exciting theatre companies and practitioners from around the country.
- Learn to research and analyse literary and performance texts
- Deepen your understanding of different kinds of plays and theatre practitioners
- Communicate your ideas creatively, making links between literature, screen and stage performance
- Acquire industry-relevant knowledge and skills and experience that will be invaluable in almost any career
Want to learn more about what it’s like to study for a BA English and Drama course at the University of Salford? Why not sign up to our upcoming Open Day.
This is for you if...
Your passion for English literature is matched by your desire to deepen your knowledge of theatre and the performing arts.
You have a sense of creativity, as well as being enthusiastic and highly motivated.
You have some experience of theatre and drama, read widely and enjoy attending theatre productions.
All about the course
The worlds of literature and theatre are intertwined on this drama and English degree course, giving you an exciting opportunity to explore both alongside one another. From adapting novels, short stories, and poetry for stage or screen, to learning the theory behind traditional literature and drama subjects, you’ll be given both thought-provoking and practical insights into these two art forms.
In your study of literature, you’ll learn to analyse plays, poetry and novels. Optional modules give you the opportunity to learn about a diverse range of subjects, from postcolonial African literature to the Romantic period and Victorian fiction.
During your drama studies, you’ll work on projects designed to deepen your understanding of playwriting and the production of theatre shows. Core modules will cover contemporary approaches to performance such as writing, devising, performing and directing. Your optional modules will also give you the opportunity to expand into areas like scriptwriting for TV and film, Shakespeare in performance and method acting.
Explore what you’ll be covering in each module by reading the full course breakdown below.
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.
Narrative, Fiction and the Novel
From Jane Austen 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 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.
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.
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.
Optional modules may include:
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.
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 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 will learn how a child develops and how to create children’s literature, from picture books to young adult novels.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Optional modules may include:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 drama or literature.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 this English and drama degree, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to explore your independent research interests.
You'll be taught in several ways on this course. Your lectures will be formal teaching sessions, with one lecturer addressing a large group of students from different courses. Tutorials more informal, and take place with a smaller group. They're student-oriented and often student-led. Seminars are similar to tutorials but tend to be a mixture of tutor-led and student-led discussion.
You'll also benefit from hands-on workshop sessions. Practical workshops are where new skills will be demonstrated. They're also where you are likely to sit in on a talk from an industry professional. Additionally, creative writing workshops will equip you with the tools to improve your mastery over the written word.
You'll work on a combination of practice-based creative projects, and student-directed study, where projects will be assigned and you will work to a deadline.
Finally, you'll benefit from individual supervision, which allows us to critique your work and give feedback on how the project can be developed and improved.
We want you to leave this degree with a range of transferrable skills, as well as with a refined approach to analytical processes.
You'll be assessed through a combination of exams and coursework such as essays, presentations and portfolios. Most modules incorporate some form of assessment as the course progresses, in order to allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses prior to undertaking your final assessment. Some of the optional modules include exam as an assessment method.
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.
What about after uni?
Studying an English and drama university course will open up a wide range of exciting career opportunities, including roles within fields as diverse as theatre, publishing, education, journalism, advertising, PR and events. Many of our recent graduates have also pursued career paths in arts administration, researching for television and radio, and theatre-making. What’s more, an English and drama degree is also a good choice for anyone interested in setting up their own theatre company.
Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can also pursue a further postgraduate path on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.
This course responds to the needs of industry in developing both creative talent and subject expertise. All lecturers in theatre are established and well-connected industry professionals and literature lecturers are leading researchers who regularly publish in their areas of expertise. This means we have close associations with arts organisations and literary, academic and professional bodies such as:
- BBC TV and Radio
- Granada TV
- The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
- The Theatre Royal, Hyde
- Octagon Theatre, Bolton
- The Everyman Theatre, Liverpool
- North West Branch of Antelopes Group of Professional Playwrights
- The British Library
- The National Library of Scotland
- Knives Forks and Spoons Press
- Erbacce Press
- National Association of Writers in Education
This provides 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
If you’re passionate about theatre and performance and the study of English literature, we want to hear from you.
Applicants to our BA (Hons) English and Drama degree need to be creative, forward-thinking and dynamic. You’ll ideally be someone who reads widely, as well as holding some experience in a drama capacity – both as someone who performs and someone who watches performances. With that said, you do not need to be an experienced performer or an expert to apply for this course.
Please note: The entry criteria below are related to entry onto this course in the 2021/22 academic year.
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.
English Language 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.
Grade C or above in any subject.
UCAS tariff points
BTEC National Diploma
DMM including a humanities subejct area
BTEC Higher National Diploma
Applicants will be considered for entry into year 2
Applicants may be considered for entry into year 2 or 3. Applicants are normally invited to bring a portfolio of work to an interview.
Access to HE
Pass Level 3 Access to HE Diploma with 104–120 points in a humanities subject area
104-120 points including a humanities subject area
Irish Leaving Certificate
104-120 points including a humanities subject area
Pass Diploma with 71% 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||£9,250per 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 QW34
Interested in starting university in September 2021? Book your place on our next Open Day.