Undergraduate BA (Hons)

English Literature with Foundation Year

Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology




Four year

Next enrolment

September 2023


In a nutshell

Do you know your Austen from your Orwell? Your Rowling from your Woolf? Whether you’re a self-proclaimed bookworm, practising poet or budding academic, this English literature degree provides the tools you need to take the first step in your literary career.

Over the course of three years, you’ll delve into the world of words, studying literature through the lens of diverse theoretical perspectives, including Marxism, feminism and structuralism. You’ll critically analyse literature from a wide range of genres – from Elizabethan and Jacobean drama to Irish literature and contemporary poetry.

Looking for a course with an interdisciplinary focus? Studying English literature at Salford means you’ll also have the chance to choose from modules specialising in language, film adaptation and creative writing, giving you the opportunity to tailor your studies to the areas of literature that interest you most.

You can follow our #EnglishatSalford InstagramTwitter and Facebook accounts, which are led by our English teaching staff so you can find out how we tell our story through English, Creative Writing and Drama.

You will:

  • Learn from internationally renowned researchers who are also committed and enthusiastic teachers
  • Develop your ability to critically analyse pieces of literature and present written arguments with clarity and persuasion
  • Gain the skillsets and knowledge needed to take the first step in your professional literary career

This is for you if...


You have a passion for literature and want to develop a thorough knowledge of literary history, theory and criticism.


You read widely and can critically analyse the themes, plots and language used in texts.


You are creative, enthusiastic and highly motivated.

Course details

All about the course

Throughout the course of your studies, you’ll explore innovative approaches to English literature, spanning across a range of periods and genres. Your core modules will cover key literary periods, equipping you with the skills you need to place texts within their cultural and historical context.

As your studies progress, you’ll select optional modules that will enable you to focus on the areas of literature that best align with your academic interests and career aspirations. Whether you’re interested in children’s literature, postcolonial African writing or Early Modern drama, you’ll be developing skills of textual analysis and critical thinking while studying a subject that you love.

What’s more, you’ll be learning from leading academic staff who actively research and publish within the field and potentially studying work from Salford’s current Chancellor, Jackie Kay MBE FRSE.

Sound interesting? Find out more about what each module involves in our full course breakdown below.

Foundation Year

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.

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.

Year one

Critical Skills in the Twenty-First 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.

Discovering Literature

Writing and storytelling are as vital now as they have been since history began to be recorded by writers and storytellers. In this module, you will explore and learn about the importance of these fundamentals of literature from different approaches, different forms, and different periods in their use in various media across time.

Narrative, Fiction, and the Novel

Ranging from nineteenth-century novelists such as Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy to postmodern writers such as Graham Swift and Jeanette Winterson, this module examines the history of narrative by tracing the development of narrative strategies and cultural themes, including gender and class.

Popular Fictions

You will be introduced to key concepts fundamental to the study of popular fiction, including those critical attitudes which mediate attitudes towards it. The module develops knowledge of the publishing industry and literary genres and provides a focus on crime literature spanning from Conan Doyle’s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes to The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.

Year two

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. 

Victorian Literature: Progress and Panic

On this module, you will analyse novels, poetry, plays, and autobiography from the beginning of the Victorian era to the late nineteenth-century fin de siècle. The module covers a range of issues, including class, crime, sexuality, empire, urban experience, women’s writing, and identity. It encourages an appreciation of the diversity of nineteenth-century literary, social, intellectual, and political activities and invites a reassessment of received ideas about the Victorians.

Optional modules may include:

Utopias and Dystopias

Idealised human societies—utopias—have played an important role in the development of literature, sociology, and politics. These Brave New Worlds have envisaged societies where economic and gender divisions are largely eliminated and where science and a moral approach to economic resources is the norm. Authors have also been interested in what happens when a society follows opposite aims to produce social order: when, that is, a dystopian nightmare dominates social life. On this module, you will learn to understand utopian and dystopian texts by studying authors such as Thomas More, William Morris, H. G. Wells, E. M. Forster, Katherine Burdekin, Philip K. Dick , George Orwell, and Ray Bradbury.

Literature, Adaptation and the Screen

On this module, you will study a range of literary texts and their screen counterparts, including SherlockPsycho, and Gone Girl. By encouraging you to consider and explore the relationships between literature and screen adaptations, the module will explore the distinctiveness of both cultural forms while investigating the problems of generating visual and dialogic substitutes for psychological and narrative complexity. You will learn about theories of adaptation and the integral role of technical arts such as scenography, music, and sound production; further, you will also learn about techniques associated with writing film and TV synopses, treatments, and step outlines.

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 explores a range of contemporary texts written by women and includes novels and other forms of writing such as manifestos, graphic novels, feminist history writing, and TV shows and music. As a consequence, you will learn about the socio-political and cultural climate of today’s society as it affects and is shaped by women.

Introduction to Children’s Literature

You will look at the development of literature for children since 1744 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.

Attitudes to English

This module will trace the origins and development of prescriptive attitudes and linguistic insecurity, and the extent to which these ideas are relevant to contemporary users of English. Topics include received pronunciation, grammar and ‘morality’, and politically correct language.

From Salvation to Damnation: Religion, Sex, and Identity in English Drama 1500-1630

On this module, you will look at dramatic texts other than Shakespeare’s from the late Medieval to the Jacobean period, investigating 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

This module explores a selection of Gothic novels, novellas, short stories, and films, working to trace the development of the Female Gothic in fiction from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. By exploring the significance and the effects of various recurrent tropes—including the uncanny, Gothic spaces, the absent/dead mother, abjection, and the monstrous feminine—you will be introduced to the themes of Gothic writing and to the specialised vocabulary of and theoretical approaches to the Female Gothic.

Page to Stage: Drama Texts in Translation

On this module, you will learn how to approach dramatic texts in translation in addition to interrogating the relationships between actor, director, and dramaturg as the central means of moving a theatre text from page to stage. In your studies, you will examine naturalistic performance systems and key aspects of the director’s function through the practical exploration of selected texts in translation.

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

Year three


This module explores the formal, conceptual, and ideological complexities of the Modernist Period, analysing different and often contrasting traditions within the period. You will examine a number of the most significant formal features and thematic issues within modernist theory and practice: fragmentation, interior monologue, the decentred self, the experience of the metropolis, the relation between gender and writing, technological transformation, and modernist cinema. Movements such as Futurism and Cubism and stylistic innovations in a range of cultural forms will also be discussed and linked to the above issues.


This module explores a range of post-war and 21st-century texts and links them with debates around the nature of postmodernism. These texts will be used to reflect on central literary critical issues such as authorship, narrative structure, linear progression, and identity which are problematised by postmodern theories. The selected texts include films, novels, novellas, short stories, and are not confined to British sources.

Optional modules may include: 


The Dissertation module provides you with an opportunity to undertake an independent and challenging research project under the guidance of a member of academic staff. The dissertation expands and hones your research skills, strengthening your ability to engage with complex materials in a productive way and preparing you for further study or a career in the workplace.


Biography: Tradition and Innovation

This module 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.

Visual Text

The term “visual text” usefully reminds us that text is visually-recorded language, designed to be perceived through sight. All text is therefore visual but readers and critics often have difficulty sustaining their awareness of its dual nature. This module is devoted to engaging with the visual delivery of text, its possibilities, and its potential to alter and influence meaning, storytelling, and criticism. You will engage in close textual analysis, and you will be encouraged to question the creative decisions behind the presentation of a wide variety of texts, including graffiti, site-specific writing, illustrated and illustrative writing, graphic novels, concrete and shaped text, and text-based animations.

Rebels, Villains and Discontented Minds

The subject of this module is ‘disobedience’: how it was defined, represented, condemned, and (on occasions) celebrated in sixteenth and seventeenth-century English literature. In particular, you will study the many ways in which authors structure specific discourses around socially marginal characters and outcasts (villains, malcontents, and 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 explores how postcolonial theory can be used to analyse a range of nineteenth- to twenty-first century African literatures, including novels, short stories, and graphic narratives. You will develop the theoretical grounding to aid your analysis of African literature in relation to ideas of race, empire, national identity, language, conflict, and the environment. Collectively, we will consider literature from diverse locations, including South Africa, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe, in ways attuned to cultural, historical, linguistic, and local contexts.

British Theatre Post-1950

This module contextualises post-war British theatre in terms of naturalism, the avant-garde, political contexts, and the epic mode. Examining a varied range of play texts, you will consider the ways in which British theatre since the Second World War has engaged with issues of class, sexuality, gender, and national identity and how form, narrative, action, and character have evolved in different contexts.

The Language of Names

Names are all around us, and this module explores the linguistic structure, history, development and political significance of names and naming, focusing on the UK but with reference to other countries as well. You will have an opportunity to examine the names of people and places in real life and in literary and other creative contexts.

Shakespeare and the Play of Thought

This module explores the various ways in which cultural intertextuality informs and shapes Shakespeare's approach to character and action. To gain a broader understanding of how Shakespearean drama can be seen as 'the play of thought,' we will analyse Shakespeare's work in terms of literary theories, including new historicism, cognitive linguistics, and gender studies.

Alternative Ulster

This module will discuss literature written during the period known as the Northern Irish ‘troubles’, the Peace Process and after. It will consider poetry, prose, drama, and film produced in this period, as well as other visual sources (mural, video, and performance art) to consider a variety of ways of representing the conflict. While a historical narrative will be presented in the first lectures and seminars, the focus will be on considering how form and content intersect in these fictive representations.

University Wide Language Programme

This module provides the opportunity to learn or develop a language with the University-wide language programme.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


As part of your English literature degree, your timetable will include a breakdown of your scheduled lessons with timeslots for you to be able to explore your independent research interest.

Your classes will be based at our Fredrick Road campus. Teaching and learning on the course can involve a range of methods and resources.

Lectures will deliver a formal method of teaching, with one lecturer addressing a large group of students from different courses, while tutorials offer an informal method of small-group teaching that is student-oriented and often student-led. Seminars are another informal teaching situation which tends to be a mixture of tutor-led and student-led discussion

In addition to these sessions, you will have access to interactive computer resources available for you to use during your studies. You’ll also take part in student-directed study, which is where projects and deadlines are assigned.


You’ll be assessed through a combination of exams and coursework such as essays, presentations, or portfolios. Most modules incorporate some form of assessment at a relatively early stage of the course to allow you to identify your strengths and weaknesses prior to undertaking your final exam, essay or project.


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.


Fancy learning your craft using the same type of equipment you’ll use when you’re working? Study with us, and you’ll become confident and comfortable with industry-standard kits and facilities. You won’t just be left to work it out on your own – our experienced tutors and technicians will show you how to master everything we have on offer.

Explore our English facilities at the University of Salford.


Are you looking to learn more about the background of our English tutors and demonstrators, or put a face to a name?

Find out who'll work with you throughout your academic journey at the University of Salford.

Explore the English faculty at the University of Salford

Employment and stats

What about after uni?


Wondering where a degree in English literature can take your career?

Many of our recent graduates have gone on to pursue careers in literary research and postgraduate work, specialising in the area of literature they feel most passionate about. Others have established successful careers in related industries, including publishing, teaching, journalism and broadcasting.

Many of our students have also landed roles in local government and the civil service, as well as working within the business and law sector. With the transferable skillsets you develop throughout you degree in English literature, the possibilities really are endless.


Graduates showing strong academic and research skills can pursue a further postgraduate path through our Postgraduate programmes on a full-time or part-time basis subject to a satisfactory proposal.

A taste of what you could become

A writer

A teacher

A journalist

A publisher

And more...

Career Links

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

  • BBC TV and Radio
  • ITV Granada
  • Knives, Forks and Spoons Press
  • Erbacce Press
  • The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
  • Octagon Theatre, Bolton
  • The British Library
  • The National Library of Scotland
  • Scottish Language Dictionaries
  • The Scottish Parliament

Associations such as those ones listed above provide you with a number of benefits such as theatre visits, networking opportunities, guest speakers, masterclasses, workshops, and work experience opportunities.


What you need to know


Do you love getting lost in a good book? Are you looking for the opportunity to share your literary ideas with likeminded people? If so, you’re the kind of applicant we’re looking for.

To gain a place on this English literature degree, you’ll need to be creative, enthusiastic and highly-motivated. You should be comfortable working with others, have good communication skills and, most importantly, read widely. You don’t need to be a published author or poet, but your passion for the written word should be evident in your application.



Want to find out more about English literature courses at Salford? Why not sign up to our upcoming Open Day?

In the meantime, if you have any general questions you can contact course enquiries or explore all of our English courses.

You can also follow our #EnglishatSalford InstagramTwitter and Facebook accounts, which are led by our English teaching staff so you can find out how we tell our story through English, Creative Writing and Drama.

Standard entry requirements


English Language and Maths at grade C/level 4 or above (or equivalent) is required. Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.

You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

A Level

64 points. General Studies accepted.

T Levels

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

Scottish Highers

64 points

Irish Leaving Certificate

64 points

International Baccalaureate

24 points

European Baccalaureate

Pass Diploma with 60% 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 2023/24 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,250 for Foundation Year and £9,250 for subsequent years.

Additional costs

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

Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Enrolment dates

September 2023

September 2024

UCAS information

Course ID Q330

Institution S03