Critical Thinking Skills
English Language with Foundation Year
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
The exploration of any English subject area—Literature, Language, Drama, Creative Writing, and Film—will offer the means for a student to develop interesting and fulfilling careers in the twenty-first century. As a result of rapid technological change in all fields of cultural life, and particularly in the proliferation of online content, the ability to think critically, communicate clearly, and research thoroughly provide essential skills in both our day-to-day lives and in our workplaces.
For that reason, this shared Foundation Year, which brings together students from English, Drama, Creative Writing, and Film, focuses on an introduction to the critical skills that you will need to engage with culture and society in the twenty-first century. The programme will provide a collaborative environment which facilitates the exploration of ideas, the interrogation of texts, and the development of a range of theoretical approaches. These practical skills will provide a firm foundation for your future study: they will help to ensure that you can progress through your chosen course with confidence.
- Learn to read and think critically in order to meet the variable problem-solving challenges set by academic study
- Develop skills in recognising and choosing the study tools and skills necessary to complete set tasks
- Prepare to study on one of our BA (Hons) degree programmes
This is for you if...
You are passionate about the study of English
You read widely and have a desire to deepen your skills in critical analysis
You are creative, enthusiastic, and highly motivated
All about the course
Designed to prepare students for entry to an undergraduate programme in English, this Foundation Year will introduce you to a range of study tools and critical skills which provide the best foundation upon which to explore or create a variety of literary and cultural texts.
You will be taught within a group of students who have a shared interest in the English subject area and who will progress onto programmes in Literature, Language, Drama, Creative Writing, and Film.
Together, you will complete a series of modules which provide a range of learning experiences that help you to develop the knowledge and understanding of how to engage successfully with study at an undergraduate level.
Following the Foundation Year, you will study the three years of BA (Hons) English Language.
Over the course of three years, our English Language degree will deepen your understanding of the fundamentals of language, its historical development, and its role in constructing identities, social relations, and practices.
As you move into the second and third year of your degree, you will be given the chance to specialise in the areas of language that interest you most, tailoring your studies to your personal aspirations and career goals. You will study language in a unique range of contexts, asking questions from how children acquire language to how the media manipulates us. You will also broaden your learning experiences with modules in related subjects like English Literature, Creative Writing, and Politics.
Do you want to expand your academic experience even further? If so, the degree course also offers the opportunity to undertake language study as part of the University-Wide Language Programme (UWLP). Languages currently on offer include Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and British Sign Language.
If you want to find out more about what each of our modules involves, take a look at 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.
Critical Skills in the 21st Century
In this module, you will be introduced to the skills required for life in contemporary society. The module covers skills such as the following: argumentation, critical thinking, and clarity in written expression. Critical skills are practiced through the filter of “big ideas,” ranging from artificial intelligence to ecocriticism.
This module will introduce you to the systematic study of language, with a focus on how English is organised in terms of its sounds, structures, meaning, and mental representations. We also explore how language study can be applied in the real-world.
Introduction to Stylistics
In this module you will be introduced to stylistics, which is a sub-discipline of linguistics. You will investigate style in language and how the formal linguistic aspects of texts contribute to how we interpret them. We examine how texts are memorable to us or cause us to react in particular ways. Over the course of the module, we will analyse a range of text types from prose fiction and poetry to advertisements and song lyrics.
Language, Mind and Society
Language is a phenomenon that touches on every aspect of the human experience. In this module, you will examine how language interfaces with both wider society and the human brain. You will be introduced to the study of language variation in the form of accents and dialects and, importantly, how listeners react to this sort of linguistic variation. You will also explore the basics and language acquisition and how we produce and comprehend language.
History and Diversity in English
You will be introduced to key periods in the history of the English language and characteristic features of the language in these periods. You will explore language change with reference to the different levels of language and regional variation and change in English dialects.
Structure of English
Starting from an investigation of a wide range of grammatical phenomena and constructions in modern standard English, you will develop a firm grounding in the analysis of the structure of English sentences. You will learn how to analyse and think critically about data, how to formulate rules and hypotheses, and how to test them.
Sounds of English
The sound system of English is organised by subconscious principles that shape the content of speech sounds and their patterns of occurrence. This module introduces you to the sounds of speech, syllable structure and word stress in English. You will learn how to describe and classify consonants and vowels, transcribe speech sounds, and identify and analyse syllable structure and word stress.
Truth and Meaning
How can we understand the meaning of sentences we have never heard before? You will examine the role that truth plays in the study of meaning, and learn how to analyse the meaning of English words and sentences. The module will also prepare you to seek answers to further questions about meaning in English.
You will also choose optional modules from the below:
Language and Big Data
The British National Corpus is a vast collection of over 4,000 English texts, providing a unique record of contemporary spoken and written English. In this module you will gain hands-on experience in using this and other computer-based corpora of English to answer questions about language structure and use.
Children master the basics of their first language without formal instruction from a very early age. How do they do it? What exactly do they learn? What stages do they go through? You will examine the answers to questions like these by studying the cognitive mechanisms behind the acquisition process.
Analysing Media Texts
In this module, you will explore what constitutes a media text in the 21st century. You will learn how to deconstruct media texts using tools from linguistics in order to explore ideology and manipulation in texts. You will analyse a variety of media texts ranging from news reports and advertisements to political speeches and social media by using qualitative and quantitative methods from discourse analysis.
Political Communication: Media and Democracy
This module explores the relationship between the media and politics in liberal democracies. You will focus on the nature of political media and reporting, the media's influence on politics, and how political actors use the media. You will also study the rise of the internet and new media technologies and what this means for democracy.
University Wide Language Programme
This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.
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.
The Romantic Period: the Sublime and the Gothic
The Romantic Period was a time of revolution when radical writers began to argue for the natural rights of mankind. On this module, you will study the literature that emerged in a time of revolution while exploring how a range of writers experimented with new literary forms and styles, including the Gothic mode: a form of writing that captured contemporaneous anxieties in monstrous, terrifying, and horrific forms. By exploring ideas relating to nature, childhood, empire, and the self, you will study the ways in which the “spirit of the age” was expressed through the revolutionary compositions of Romantic writers.
Work Placement Module (English)
On the work placement module, you will have the opportunity to fulfil a module of study by finding and completing an internship or work placement related to your degree. While on your placement, you will be assigned an academic tutor from the English discipline. The tutor will meet with you to discuss the progress of your placement, help you think about what you are learning, and establish goals.
Language Project (core module)
As a core part of the third year, you will conduct an advanced research project on a topic related to English Language and Linguistics. On the module, you will be provided with in-depth training in a range of linguistic and scientific methods, which you will apply to a topic of your choice. You will be supervised by an expert in your chosen field from the English Language team. The language project expands and hones your research skills, strengthening your ability to engage with complex materials and consider real-world applications of linguistic research. You will develop your ideas and skills as an independent researcher, providing you with an excellent foundation for further study or for your chosen career.
What does it mean to be ‘northern’? Where is the north and where does it begin and end? Using both archive and contemporary recordings of northern speech, this research-based module will enable you to carry out a project on an aspect of northern identity as expressed through language in the interactional and media domains.
Critical Issues in TESOL
You will develop an understanding of the global context of English language teaching and of the approaches, materials, and techniques of English language teaching to non-native speakers. You will be introduced to language learning needs analysis and develop the ability to plan and manage sequences of English language lessons.
Biography: Tradition and Innovation
This module introduces you to the rich, innovative, and subversive traditions of biography as well as ground-breaking contemporary practice. The module will explore the following issues: biography as autobiography; biography as fiction; biography as poetry; biography as visual text; biography as political critique; and biography as a way of understanding our world. Postmodern concerns about what we understand by “reality,” “life,” representation, subjectivity, and “truth” will underpin our explorations, and you will be guided through a range of key research and writing techniques as you embark upon your own biographical project.
Language and Communication
How does communication work? In this module you will examine key aspects of communication which result from the interaction of linguistic meaning, context and principles of human cognition. You will study how language is used in context by analysing data drawn from your own experience in communication.
In this module, you will explore healthcare communication using a range of theories and methods in linguistics ranging from corpus linguistics to conversation analysis. You will analyse language data from a diverse range of healthcare settings, such as clinical consultations, online discussions, public health campaigns and press reports. In the module, you will learn about the role that language plays in influencing our experiences and beliefs about health and illness, as well as the importance of effective healthcare communication.
Contemporary Trends in the Study of Language
This is a ‘hybrid’ module that builds on concepts, theories and methods you have studied in your degree programme, further developing your knowledge of the latest research in English language and linguistic inquiry. Some of the themes you will study are the following: The relation between language and thought; language and its relation to other systems of the mind; atypical language development. You will also be introduced some of the most important theoretical debates in the study of language in the 20th and 21st century such as the contrast between Chomskyan linguistics and earlier Structuralist and Behaviourist approaches, and the contrast between formalism and functionalism.
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.
Child Language Development
This module will develop your knowledge of how children learn language, from sounds, words and grammar, to the complexities of human communication. You will explore data from real children to increase your understanding and test out the theories discussed in class.
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 language course, 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.
You will learn in a variety of ways when studying for this degree.
Lectures are formal teaching sessions that consist of one lecturer addressing a large group of students across a variety of courses.
Seminars are smaller discussions or classroom sessions focused on a particular topic or project. They give you a fantastic opportunity to explore ideas and issues with other students on your course.
Tutorials are one-to-one or small group meetings. During these sessions, you’ll receive feedback and take part in a detailed discussion on a particular topic or project.
In project supervisions, you will meet with you project supervisor to discuss a piece of your work and to get a better idea of how you’re progressing.
Practical classes and workshops are sessions involving the development and practical application of a particular skill or technique.
And finally, you will take part in external visits. These will consist of going to a location outside of the usual learning spaces, to experience a particular environment, event, or exhibition relevant to the course.
An important part of your academic journey is being able to demonstrate where you are in your learning. As part of our English language university courses, you’ll be assessed through a combination of coursework exercises, essays and reports, group presentations, portfolios of work, and written examinations.
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 Student 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?
So, what will studying English language at university mean when you graduate? Simply put, the possibilities are endless. Equipped with a range of transferable skillsets, our recent graduates have pursued roles in counselling, speech and language therapy and lexicography. And it doesn’t end there. Previous students have also gone on to establish successful careers in areas as diverse as teaching, business management, HR, finance, journalism, marketing and PR and communications.
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 subject expertise and transferable skills appropriate to a wide range of careers.
The English Subject Group has close associations with industry and professional bodies such as:
- The BBC and ITV
- The International Anthony Burgess Foundation
- The Working Class Library Museum
- The Imperial War Museum North
- The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
- The Octagon Theatre, Bolton
- Oxford University Press
- The Linguistics Association of Great Britain
- The Linguistic Society of America
- The British Library
- The National Library of Scotland
- Scottish Language Dictionaries
- The Scottish Parliament
- The Salford Institute of Dementia
- The Stroke Association
There are also employability-linked opportunities with a large number of primary and secondary schools, enabling vital experience for would-be teachers.
What you need to know
Do you have an analytical mind? Would you like to explore the building blocks of the English language? To gain a place on this BA (Hons) English Language with Foundation Year course, we’re looking for you to be inquisitive and self-motivated, with a real thirst for knowledge. You should be comfortable working with others and have good written and verbal English skills. English language degree courses require you to manage your own studies and carry out independent research, so it’s essential that you’re well-organised. It will also be advantageous if you read widely.
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.
Pass: D or E in core subject
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||2024/25||£8,250.00 for Foundation Year and £9,250.00 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 Q306