Undergraduate BA (Hons)

English and Drama

School of Arts & Media

Full-time

Attendance

Three year

Course

September 2019

Next enrolment
Introduction

In a nutshell

Literature and theatre speak to us about the world we live in and about social and cultural issues that affect our lives. In this course you will have the opportunity to study intellectually and creatively, and to explore the relationship between literature, theatre and society.  

You will learn to research and analyse literary and performance texts, and work on drama projects that allow you to explore different kinds of plays and theatre practitioners. The English element of the course will equip you with the key skills and analytical tools needed for literary study and will also encourage you to explore social and cultural issues raised by literary texts. Whilst the Drama portion will teach you how to communicate ideas creatively, and to make links between literature and screen and stage performance.

During your time at Salford, you will work in cutting edge studio and theatre spaces with the support of experienced theatre makers, writers and technicians and in addition to your regular classes, you will have access to masterclasses and advice from some of the most exciting theatre companies and practitioners from around the country. Renowned playwright, Jim Cartwright (The Rise and Fall of Little Voice) has established his theatre company here at Salford. See more about his role in the grand opening of the New Adelphi Theatre on ITV Granada Reports.

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You will:
  • Learn to research and analyse literary and performance texts
  • Deepen your understanding of different kinds of plays and theatre practitioners
  • Communicate ideas creatively, and make links between literature and screen and stage performance
Placement

options available

International

students accepted

This is for you if...

1.

You are creative, enthusiastic and highly motivated

2.

You are genuinely interested in literature, theatre and performance

3.

You have some experience of theatre and drama, wide reading and theatre attendance

Course details

All about the course

The course is designed to bring together literature and theatre in a unique way and includes adapting novels, short stories, poetry, music or animation for stage or screen as well as learning about more traditional literature and drama subjects and approaches to contemporary literature and performance.

In your study of Literature, you will learn to analyse plays, poetry, novels and contemporary innovative forms, and can choose subjects as diverse as Postcolonial African Literature, The Romantic Period, Innovative Poetry, Victorian Literature, Shakespeare and the Play of Thought, Modernism, Utopias and Dystopias and many more. In Drama, you will work on projects designed to deepen your understanding of plays and theatre practitioners. You will explore contemporary approaches to making performance including writing, devising, performing and directing, including optional subjects like Scriptwriting for TV and Film, Shakespeare in Performance, Theatre and Communities, Theatre Directing, Playwriting and Method Acting.

Your study will take place in Peel Park, a green campus close to Manchester city centre. Practical teaching takes place in rehearsal rooms in the New Adelphi, our purpose built Arts Centre, and from second year, performance assessments take place in fully equipped professional theatres or studios. Additional masterclasses and special events are programmed in both the New Adelphi Theatre and in our MediaCity building, next door to the BBC and we also have a strong community of writers, sharing work and publishing in our online journal and class blogs.

This degree programme integrates the study of English Literature (50%) and Drama (50%) into one degree bringing together your analytical skills and your creative skills in an integrated learning experience. The optional structure of the course also means that you can choose whether to emphasise drama 'in theory' or drama 'in practice' or a combination of the two.

Year one

Narrative, Fiction and the Novel

From early texts such as Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe 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 Drama

You will be introduced to different orms and genres of drama, analyzing plays from Shakespeare to 21st century theatre. You will be introduced to university level research skills which will help you throughout your degree.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Year two

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:

Page to Stage: Drama Texts in Translation

You will develop a practical and theoretical understanding of a range of 20th/21st century theatre texts in translation and the ability to interpret dramatic texts, whilst fostering an understanding of the particular ideological and cultural implications of staging plays in translation.

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.    

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.

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.  

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.

Victorian Literature

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.

Revival and Revolution: Irish Literature 1890-1930

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.

Playwriting

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.

Introduction to Scriptwriting

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 scriptwriting for theatre, TV and film; you will workshop your screenplays in class and produce a finished script by the end of the module.

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.

Theatre and Communities

The module provides you 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.

Year three

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:

Dissertation

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.

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.

The Method: A Strasbergian Approach

This is a performance module where you will work intensely on your acting skills at an advanced level: how to develop and use sense and emotion memory as well as explore the 'private moment' and 'animal exercises' as used in the Method. You will be encouraged to use your self (your emotions, memories and bodies) in order to create believable and realistic characterization.

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.

Modernism

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.

Postmodernism

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 films as well as novels, short stories, plays and poetry.

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. 

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.

Descent into Hell: The Holocaust Survivor's Story

This module explores the challenges faced by survivors when representing their own personal Holocaust experience. It includes consideration of the aesthetic and formal strategies used by survivors and documentary/film-makers and will provide knowledge of a range of first-hand stories. The module requires you to explore the difficulty of witnessing the Holocaust.

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.

Visual Text

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.  

Scriptwriting

This builds on the work from the Introduction to Scriptwriting module. You will be producing industry-standard scripts and being taught how to work in a professional manner. You will cover dramatic story telling, step outlines, treatments, text analysis of character, story, structure, text analysis of story, structure and theme.

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.

Theatre Directing

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.

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.

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?

Teaching on the course is through:

  • Lectures: a formal method of teaching, with one lecturer addressing a large group of students from different courses
  • Tutorials: an informal method of small-group teaching that is student-oriented and often student-led
  • Seminars: an informal teaching situation which tends to be a mixture of tutor-led and student-led discussion
  • Practical workshops; where new skills will be demonstrated and which could include a talk from someone in industry
  • Creative writing workshops
  • Individual supervision; which allows us to critique your work and give feedback
  • Practice-based creative projects
  • Individual supervision; which allows us to critique your work and give feedback
  • Student-directed study where projects are assigned and deadlines given.

We place emphasis on students acquiring individual transferable skills as well as developing knowledge and skills important to analytical processes.

You will 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 exam/essay/project.

School of Arts and Media

The School of Arts and Media is the largest School at the University of Salford with more than 4,000 creative students. Across sites at MediaCityUK and the University's Peel Park campus, we offer a huge variety of courses, from Fashion Image Making and Styling, Television and Radio, Creative Writing and Music to Journalism, Animation, Design and Performance.

This broad range of disciplines offers enhanced opportunities for specialist and interdisciplinary study, including collaborative work across subject areas.

Facilities

The drama elements of our English courses are taught in our £55 million New Adelphi building. It boasts:

  • 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.
Employment and stats

What about after uni?

After graduation, you could go into theatre, publishing, education, journalism, advertising, PR and events. 

The creative and media industries value skills gained on this course so you may progress on a number of career paths within the cultural industries such as arts/theatre administration, television or radio researcher or theatre maker. Salford graduates have, in the past, set up their own theatre companies or joined already established ones, and have had work placements at regional theatres.

Other students have gone on to study Drama or English at Masters level, or to train as teachers. This course would also provide an ideal platform to gain further qualifications for a career in youth work or drama therapy.

The course is designed to support your personal development and skills to enhance your employability. Modules on the course strengthen the development of subject-specific skills and knowledge, but also further skills in research, written and verbal communication, IT skills, organisation and decision making which open up a wide range of careers.

Further Study

A taste of what you could become

A writer

An actor

A teacher

A journalist

A publisher

And more...

Career Links

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.

Requirements

What you need to know

We are looking for creative, enthusiastic and highly motivated students who are genuinely interested in literature, theatre and performance. You should be comfortable working with others and have good communication skills.

You do not need to be an experienced performer, but you should have some experience of theatre and drama, wide reading and theatre attendance.

English language requirements

International students must provide evidence of proficiency in English- IELTS 6.5 band score (with no element below 5.5) as proof of this.

Standard entry requirements

GCSE

English and maths GCSE grade C.

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

 

UCAS tariff points

104-120 points

GCE A level

A2 to include either English language, English literature, English language/ literature or performance/drama (performing arts/theatre studies). General studies accepted.

BTEC National Diploma

DMM

BTEC Higher National Diploma

Applicants will be considered for entry into year 2

Foundation Degree

Applicants may be considered for entry into year 2 or 3. Applicants are normally invited to bring a portfolio of work to an interview.

Scottish Highers

104-120 points, preferably with a grade B in English Language/Literature or English Language.

Irish Leaving Certificate

104-120 points, preferably with a grade B or above in English Language/Literature or English Language

International Baccalaureate

30-31 points

Access to HE

QAA Approved - Merit in majority of components at Level 3 (English and / or Performance / Drama, Performing Arts / Theatre Studies).

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/EU 2019 £9,250per year
Full-time international 2019 £14,820per year
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 2019

September 2020

UCAS information

Course ID QW34

Institution S03