Foundations of Language I
English Language and Creative Writing
School of Arts & Media
September 2019Next enrolment
In a nutshell
This exciting course combines the study of English language and creative writing, enabling you to discover more about the nature, acquisition, origins and use of the language alongside the opportunity for you to be inspired to break new ground as a writer.
More than ever before, the creative industries are looking for practitioners who can go beyond their specialism to engage with stakeholders beyond the arts. Similarly, employers value highly graduates who can demonstrate serious engagement with rigorous academic study in the humanities, and this course encompasses the best of both worlds in a dynamic and ever-changing job market.
- Develop transferable knowledge and skills most valued by employers in today’s job market
- Learn from a dedicated team of internationally recognised researchers and award-winning professional writers
- Be able to follow your own interests in the study of English language and creative writing
This is for you if...
You are interested in combining the rigorous academic study of the English language with the opportunity to become a skilled writer
You want to become a writer who really understands how language works
Your passion for the written word is evident
All about the course
Throughout the course you will be tasked with exploring the intricate synergies between the structure of language and the written word. You will emerge as a confident specialist both in terms of presenting your work to a professional standard and in the workings of language, with a particular focus on English.
You can also choose to study a modern foreign language as part of your degree programme. This can be an excellent opportunity to develop a broad range of skills that will further enhance your employability.
If you are interested in travelling and broadening your experience, this course also offers you the opportunity to complete part of your programme of study at one of our European partner institutions under the ERASMUS exchange scheme.
This module is a basic introduction to the grammatical properties and sound patterns of English. It starts with the description of speech sounds, it moves to the study of word structure, and it ends with a description of the basic architecture of sentences in the language and develop the ability to discuss language in relation to its historical and social contexts.
Foundations of Language II
Communication is possible because languages are meaningful. This module offers a general introduction to the concepts and methods in the study of meaning and its role in human communication. You will examine how meaning is conveyed in language and how context affects the way in which sentences are understood.
You will learn to write and respond to poetry. You will learn how to write stage scripts for presentation to producers, learning the fundamentals of good dramatic writing.
Variety of English
Do you think you have an accent? This module will show you that you do! Starting with an investigation of the difference between an accent and a dialect, you will examine the structure of a number of different varieties of English and will consider how these fit into the wider study of English Language.
Working the Text
You will learn to learn to write and respond to memoir and short fiction. You will learn the basics of creating story, convincing characters, setting and effective dialogue.
Language through Literature
You will be introduced to the social and cultural history of the English language and explore the ways in which linguistic theories can inform textual interpretation. You will examine historical and ongoing changes in the uses of English words and develop the ability to discuss language in relation to its historical and social contexts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Corpus Approaches to Language
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.
Language in Society
This module will introduce you to the intricate relationship between language use and aspects of social structure. Building on the work done in previous modules, you will examine the role of linguistic variation in the negotiation and construction of individual and group identity. Topics studied include multilingualism, bilingualism, language contact and language change.
Key Concepts and Skills in TESOL
This module introduces you to key concepts underlying TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) methodology. You will become familiar with the basic approaches, materials and procedures and the principles of lesson planning and classroom management.
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.
This module explores different forms and sub-genres of creative non-fiction, a genre which Lee Gutkind describes as ‘the most important and popular genre in the literary world today.’ You will cover a wide range of creative non-fiction forms, including memoir, biography, literary journalism, autobiographical poetry, travel writing, music writing and nature writing. Practical techniques including voice, structure, dialogue and imagery will be taught via guided writing exercises; reading, feedback and discussion.
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.
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.
Writing Fiction: Contemporary Practice
This module will equip you with an overview of the state of contemporary fiction. You will meet a broad range of contemporary practice, from literary fiction to experimental fiction and genre fiction, including ‘chick lit’, historical fiction, crime/thrillers, science fiction, and supernatural/fantasy fiction. You will write the first chapters of a novel, and learn how to pitch and present your work to a literary agent.
Writing Poetry in the 21st Century
This module revisits some traditional forms. The first part of the module involves creative exploration of the Japanese ‘tanka’ (a relative of the haiku), the sonnet and the sestina and invites you to invent your own original poetic form. In the second part of the module you will encounter a range of innovative approaches to poetry: using sound, collage, found text and visual elements in your writing. The format will be largely workshop-based with writing exercises, sharing work with your tutor.
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.
This is a double creative writing module that runs throughout your final year. You can undertake a self-directed project in the genre(s) of your choosing while giving and receiving feedback in a supportive workshop environment. By the end of the module you should have 6,000 words (or equivalent) of highly polished creative work.
Optional modules include:
Current Issues in Pragmatics
You will examine issues of current relevance in the study of language use from the interdisciplinary perspective of psychology, linguistics and the philosophy of language, such as the relationship between explicit and implicit aspects of communication or the interpretation of figurative language.
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.
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.
The Grammar of Words
Words play an integral part in our ability to use language creatively. This module is a detailed introduction to the study of words. You will explore the processes of word formation in the language and the rules governing the internal structure of English words.
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.
How does the brain transform thoughts into speech? How can we process the language we hear so effortlessly? You will examine the psycholinguistic models that aim to explain our unique ability to produce and understand speech, and to communicate through language.
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.
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 English language or drama.
The Language of Names
Names are all around us, and this module explores the linguistic structure, history, development and political significance of names and naming, focusing on the UK but with reference to other countries as well. You will have an opportunity to examine the names of people and places in real life and in literary and other creative contexts.
Biography: Tradition and Innovation
This module puts theory into practice as we examine the literary history of biography, consider the issues and tensions raised by the post-modern context, and explore them in our own biographical writing. Subsequent sessions will address these questions via a number of themes including the history of biography as a literary practice, historical biography, literary biography, celebrity biography through the ages, theoretical approaches to the practice of biography and innovations within the genre. The researching and writing of your own biographical work will be a key element of the classes.
New Departures: Reading and Writing Innovative Poetry
This module combines critical and creative study of some of the most exciting poetry written in the last fifty years. Each seminar-workshop will offer practical exercises in composition in order to aid understanding of the aesthetic and political decisions being made.
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.
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?
This course is delivered through a combination of:
- Lectures: presentations or talks on a particular topic
- Seminars: discussions or classroom sessions focusing on a particular topic or project
- Tutorials: meetings involving one-to-one or small group supervision, feedback or detailed discussion on a particular topic or project
- Project supervisions: meetings with a supervisor to discuss a particular piece of work
- Practical classes and creative writing workshops: sessions involving the development and practical application of a particular skill or technique
- External visits: visits to a location outside of the usual learning spaces, to experience a particular environment, event, or exhibition relevant to the course of study.
You will be assessed through a combination of:
- Coursework exercises
- Essays and reports
- Group presentations
- Writing projects
- Portfolios of work
- Written examinations
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.
What about after uni?
Our graduates enjoy careers in education, the creative industries, community arts work, freelance writing, postgraduate study and in more specialised areas such as counselling, speech and language therapy, library and information management, journalism, lexicography, publishing, advertising, marketing, media, PR and communications.
At Salford we are passionate about developing both your creative talent and subject expertise. We also have close associations with literary, academic and professional bodies such as the Red Telephone Press, Legend Press, Erbacce Press, Knives Forks and Spoons Press, The Biographers' Club, North West Branch of Antelopes Group of Professional Playwrights and the National Association of Writers in Education.
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
- 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
What you need to know
This course is ideal for anyone who is interested in combining the rigorous academic study of the English language with the opportunity to become a skilled writer. The course will enable you to not only understand all the stages of the writing process but it will put you in the enviable position of being a writer who really understands how language works.
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.
Maths and English at Grade C/grade 4.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
UCAS tariff points
No specific subjects required. General Studies and AS levels are also considered.
BTEC National Diploma
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/EU||2019||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2019||£12,660per year|
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 QW39