Critical and Textual Studies
Media and Performance
Salford School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology
In a nutshell
Do you dream of working with actors, screenwriters and directors to bring a production to life? Or perhaps you’re looking to star in your own radio show? Whatever your professional media goals, our performance and media degree is designed to give you the tools you need to achieve them.
As you progress through your studies, you’ll have the chance to explore performance and media within a unique range of contexts, from radio production and performance, to scriptwriting, directing, producing and screen acting. You’ll also take part in video and drama projects led by professional directors and industry leaders.
What’s more, your final year project will give you the opportunity to specialise in the area of media or performance that interests you most. So, whether your interests lie behind the camera or in front of the microphone, you’ll be creating cutting-edge media and live performance while building a portfolio of work to establish yourself as a professional.
- Study with highly skilled professional practitioners to create cutting-edge media and live performance in a vibrant city with a fantastic theatre, arts and music scene
- Study a course which has produced household names such as Jason Manford, Steve Edge, Emma Atkins, Warren Brown, Erin Shannagher and Peter Kay
- Have the opportunity to engage with the industry through networking, masterclasses and a suite of professional development opportunities
This is for you if...
You dream of performing in front of the camera, microphone, or directing from behind it.
You have a passion for media and are keen to explore live and recorded performance in a range of contexts to improve your knowledge of the industry.
You want to launch a professional career as a creative practitioner.
All about the course
Do you have a passion for storytelling? Are you interested in how different platforms can be used to engage different audiences? At Salford, you’ll be given the chance to study a variety of modules that examine the development of performance in the context of television and radio drama. You’ll also gain an awareness of the technical aspects of media production, including camera work, editing, lighting and sound.
In the first year of your studies, you’ll cover the fundamentals of media and performance, from acting for TV and radio to production skills. As your media and performance course progresses, you’ll choose from a variety of optional modules that will allow you to tailor your Performance and Media degree programme to your interests. For example, our Acting for the Camera course will give you the experience of working with ex-broadcast drama scripts which you will rehearse and record for camera under conditions mirroring industry practice.
You’ll learn through a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshop and performance projects, led by industry professionals with a wealth of past and current experience working in media. Your assessments will include essays, presentations and performances, all designed to enable you to develop a strong portfolio of work in your chosen area.
Want to find out more? Read our course breakdown to learn what you’ll be exploring in each module.
This lecture and seminar based module focuses on textual analysis and critical approaches to live and mediated performance texts. It also considers key theories and practitioners who influenced the development of particular disciplines within performance.
Performance in Context
Provides the historical framework to examine the development of performance from the late 19th century onward. Movements like Realism, Expressionism, Surrealism and Dada are examined in relation to other movements and across performance disciplines. Small group seminars will support the lectures.
Acting for Recorded Media
This module will acquaint you with the range and scope of television and radio drama and involves an exploration of a range of techniques for performing on camera or for the microphone, as well as providing knowledge of fundamental procedures and skills of studio operation.
Acting Methods 1
This primarily practical module focuses on the creative practices essential to build characterisations for live performance in a naturalistic context, drawing on Stanislavsky's System.
The module combines both technical and creative aspects of media production as you develop a broad awareness of the range of skills required for video production, including camera, lighting, editing and sound – imperative to contemporary theatre technology.
You will learn how to produce from script to screen a short video drama. Working to health and safety guidelines, students develop group-working skills appropriate to a professional drama production.
In lectures, screenings and seminars the approaches to textual critical analysis introduced in the first year are further developed, as are your academic writing skills.
A range of optional modules are offered, including:
Radio Performance and Production
This module enables you to work on a range of exercises designed to develop your characterisation, vocal expression and tonal variety in performing audio drama. You are introduced to studio equipment for recording and editing and contribute to studio management for the assignment. You are assessed on the performance and production of a recorded radio drama script.
Directing and Producing
Emphasises the aesthetic aspects of directing for screen along with the practical decision-making and problem-solving aspects of camera and lighting, sound recording, video editing, artistic resources and time management. You will be introduced to the role of the producer with regard to budgeting, scheduling and contingency planning.
Integrated Production Skills
This module develops the skills and approaches introduced in first year production modules, offering the opportunity to further explore camera, editing, lighting and sound recording.
Programme Production Techniques
This offers you the chance to explore the practical and creative challenges in planning and producing a studio-based TV show. This module is one of two that are based in our professional quality TV studio on our MediaCityUK campus.
You will explore performing pieces to camera, engaging with the audience, interview technique, the importance of asking pertinent questions, listening and putting an interviewee at ease, working with green screen, autocue and using studio talkback, the importance of performing with energy, clarity and correct intonation. You will produce a five - eight-minute showreel containing an intro, a walk and talk piece to camera, practical exercise or short demonstration, autocue read, researched interview and a vlog, targeted at a specific audience and presented in an appropriate style.
The module centres on building confidence in singing and developing your vocal agility through a range of exercises and songs performed in solo and group situations. The module introduces basic musical notation, sight singing, and harmony work and you will also experiment practically with microphone techniques.
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.
Acting for the Camera
This module gives you experience of working with ex-broadcast drama scripts, which you will rehearse and record for camera under conditions mirroring industry practice.
Voice and Text
Through exercises and reflective analysis, you will develop vocal techniques and learn to apply interpretative skills to the performance of dramatic texts.
Comedy Improvisation Techniques
Following on from the Comedy Acting Methods module in your first year, you will explore areas of 'Shortform' and 'Longform' Improv. techniques following the teachings of Keith Johnstone, Viola Spolin, Del Close and other. The module explores the skills needed to be able to act 'on the spot' with confidence, to create characters and perform them with strength and consistency. The module wraps up with performing improvised scenes, games, and Longform formats and building on core knowledge of Improvisation in performance.
Introduction to Screenwriting
You will examine fundamental aspects of storytelling: narrative structure, character development, character types, relation of character to plot, the use of subplots. You explore differing conceptual and technical approaches in scriptwriting for theatre, TV and film.
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.
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.
Introduction to Multimedia Performance
This module is designed to develop skills in and approaches to the making of multimedia performance, through practical workshops, which are underpinned by reference to key theories and practitioners in the field. You will focus on a number of different aspects of multimedia performance and in sessions, will develop skills in these areas, through practical experimentation and collaborative creative work. Sessions will also offer examples of practices and concepts relevant to each area, which will be discussed in relation to your developing work.
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.
You will also choose either a Video Project or a Radio Comedy Project:
The project is run as a full time industry aligned film shoot, with each student taking on a production and performance role. This may be filmed on location and simulates a real TV or film experience.
Radio Comedy Project
This project is led by a member of staff or a visiting practitioner. You will work in an ensemble to create original comedy sketch ideas and develop your own characters within them. The performance, recording and editing of selected sketches before a live studio audience constitutes the practical element of the assignment.
This module aids you in beginning to research and develop ideas for your Dissertation or Practical Research Project for semester two. You will learn key research skills and be supervised in developing your ideas in order to create a strong base for the Dissertation or practical project.
The project is run as a full time industry aligned film shoot, with each student taking on a production and performance role. This may be filmed on location and simulates a real TV or film experience.
You will choose either a Dissertation or Practical Research Project:
Dissertation - Media and Performance
You will complete a major piece of independent written work which results from extensive research supervised by a dissertation supervisor. You will undertake your own research and while this will draw on other sources it is expected that the study will display a central thesis of your own construction.
Practical Research Project
You will develop your own topic or area of practice and method of investigation. It may represent a vocational or career-focused endeavour or act as a springboard for postgraduate study. Project outcomes could include: a devised performance; an original script – comic or dramatic - a physical theatre piece, a live art installation, multi-media performance or a directing project.
You will choose two of the following options:
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.
Creative Techniques for Video Drama Production
You will examine specific approaches and processes in direction and production for professional broadcast media. This includes pre-production planning, directing actors, and effective decision-making to ensure fluidity and continuity in editing. You will then develop your knowledge and skills as director, lighting camera-operator/director of cinematography, sound recordist or editor.
Gender, Sexuality and Performance
The module examines the importance of gender in the development of contemporary drama and performance. Gender as a social construction is investigated through a series of key movements that reflects a cultural shift in attitudes to heterosexuality and increased awareness of alternative gendered choices in Western culture.
New Trends in Theatre and Performance
The module explores the spectrum of new trends in performance. Practices may include Live Art, multimedia/digital performance; immersive theatre; headphone performance; pervasive gaming; one-to-one performance; You will examine the work of current practitioners and will focus on how relations of space and place and audience and performer are being reconfigured and redefined in the 21st century. You will then choose an area of practice to explore through the creation of a solo or collaborative performance piece.
This module comprises sessions on production technique, including researching for television, producing and directing actors/presenters, producing and directing camera crew (studio and location), managing contributors, televisual grammar, programme structure, copyright issues, health and safety considerations, leading to the team production of weekly programmes, either in studio or on location, researching programmes and briefing studio guests.
You will work on a range of exercises and texts, which are aimed at both extending your range of characterisation for radio and developing detail and complexity in vocal performance delivery. Technical workshops examine studio operation including recording levels, mixing, spot and pre-recorded effects, and you work in teams to record and produce radio drama pieces.
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.
Through class interaction, individual research and tutor supervision, you are encouraged to develop your own comic voice and persona and to devise and write original ideas toward solo live performance. A visiting professional comedian will be invited in to give feedback on the work before it is performed and/or recorded.
You will analyse, research, rehearse and perform a number of television drama scripts – and work in depth on a specific character from one of them. Rehearsals of the extracts are videotaped and critically reviewed in seminar sessions. Particular attention is paid to the layering of subtext, psychological details and technical skills.
You will explore the key elements that characterise comedy performance and the specific cultural and political contexts that influence scripting and “persona”. Intensive practical workshops, to develop comedy characters (personas) and short routines culminate in recorded in-house performances. Each workshop contains elements of scripting work and improvisation, including performance skills to develop vocal diction, range, expression and tone.
Documentary to Mockumentary
This module aims to investigate the historical, social and industrial changes in Documentary production. The module is concerned with the development of competing theories around documentary. It will address conflicting definitions of documentary and mockumentary within a global marketplace and will compare and contrast the range of production strategies adopted within mainstream TV and cinematic documentary modes. It will build on the existing production skills from your second year, providing students with the opportunity to produce and direct a short documentary or mockumentary film.
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.
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 Media and Performance 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 New Adelphi building.
Practical classes will develop your approaches to performance creation, while also strengthening your production skills.
Lectures and seminars will apply critical theory to live and mediated performance forms and methodologies.
Project-based work is where you can bring your skills to life, and will include major performance projects.
Workshops provide the opportunity for professional practitioners to share their experiences and give advice.
An important part of your Media and Performance degree is the opportunity to demonstrate your academic strengths in a variety of different ways. Your modules will be assessed using a range of methods, including essays, presentations, in-class performance presentations and publicly performed video projects.
BE A PART OF A CREATIVE, SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
All our 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..
This Media and Performance degree is based at our £55 million New Adelphi building, the home of performance and creativity on campus.
Our range of performance facilities include:
New Adelphi Theatre – this 350-seat venue provides an opportunity for you to stage shows in front of live audiences. It also regularly hosts professionals shows and performances.
Studio theatre - this classic black-box performance space offers a more intimate venue than the New Adelphi Theatre. It features flexible seating and staging, so you can shape the space to meet your creative needs.
Voice acting studio - from podcasting and video game dialogue to radio drama and foley sound effects, this facility gives you the flexibility to produce a range of audio for your projects.
Screen acting studio – are you passionate about a career on the screen? You’ll learn to hone new skills using our two-screen acting studios. featuring fixed and flexible sets,
Take a 360 tour of our New Adelphi building.
What about after uni?
With the increasing popularity of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon and the rise of podcasting platforms like Spotify, there’s never been a better time to study Performance and Media. As people are watching, listening, making and broadcasting media in more ways than ever before, there’s never been more appetite and opportunity for new productions.
Many of our graduates have progressed to employment in an impressive range of arts, entertainment and media organisations, working as writers, researchers, production managers, producers, directors, actors and presenters. And with our reputation for providing the industry with highly skilled and dynamic graduates, you’ll also be equipped to secure roles in teaching, community work or as creative workshop leaders.
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.
As part of your media and performance degree course, you’ll learn from practitioners who have worked with, and have active links to, leading film and TV companies, including BBC TV and Radio Drama, ITV, Channel 4 and Red Productions.
Our performance teaching staff have also worked with traditional and experimental theatre companies of many kinds including the Royal Exchange, the Young Vic, the UK's leading contemporary performance companies Blast Theory, Imitating the Dog, Plane Performance and Reckless Sleepers.
What you need to know
To gain a place on this performance and media degree, you’ll have to submit a personal statement and meet our entry requirements when you apply.
Within your media and performance personal statement (up to 4000 characters), we’ll want to understand:
- what motivates you and what current experiences do you have in terms of theatre, TV or comedy?
- how have you been involved and what did you do?
- have you had active involvement in the arts and what did you do?
- what theatre, performances, or live productions inspire you?
- why do you want to work in the media and performance sector?
- and why the University of Salford and this performance and media degree is the right choice for your future goals.
For some applicants, you’ll be asked to provide us with a portfolio of work and potentially take part in an informal group seminar discussion or audition - either live or on camera – to demonstrate your skills.
Normally we'd invite you to attend a face-to-face interview. At the moment though, we’re reducing the number of people we have on our campus. Once you’ve made your application to study with us, we’ll contact you and let you know the next steps.
Want to find out more about our performance and media degree? Sign-up to an Open Day or attend a campus tour.
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). Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
UCAS tariff points
BTEC National Diploma
DMM including Performing Arts or similar subject
Access to HE
112 UCAS Tariff Points from a Level 3 QAA approved Access programme. Must include Media/Performance.
112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject
Irish Leaving Certificate
112 points including Performing Arts or similar subject
31 points, 5 or 6 (Higher level) in a relevant subject
Pass Diploma with 72% 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|
|Full-time international||2021/22||£15,600per year|
|Full-time home||2022/23||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2022/23||£15900per 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 W400