Narrative, Fiction and the Novel
School of Arts & Media
September 2019Next enrolment
In a nutshell
As technology continues to make the written word available in increasingly diverse formats to ever-wider audiences, those people with the skills to reach informed judgments about literature--from novels to haikus--are well-placed to participate in the global economy. This course offers you the opportunity to study English Literature in considerable depth and breadth, including a wide range of texts and genres ranging from Elizabethan and Jacobean drama to Irish literature and contemporary poetry.
In your modules, you will learn to analyse and criticise prose, poetry, and plays, which will prepare you to work independently on research in your areas of interest. In addition to the range of literature-based options, you will also have the opportunity to choose modules that both complement your study and range further afield in the areas of languages, film adaptation, and creative writing.
- Learn from internationally-renowned researchers who are also committed and enthusiastic teachers
- Learn to analyse, criticise and construct arguments about various forms of writing, from narrative fiction to modern drama
- Gain valuable skills and knowledge in in demand areas such as teaching, media, publishing, marketing, administration, and the civil service
This is for you if...
You are genuinely interested in the study of literature and language
You enjoy reading widely and have an active, analytical mind
You are creative, enthusiastic and highly motivated
All about the course
This course focuses on traditional and innovative approaches to the study of English Literature. You will have the opportunity to study English literature across a wide range of periods and genres, including Shakespeare’s plays and the poetry of Salford’s current Chancellor, Jackie Kay MBE FRSE.
In your modules, you will learn to analyse and criticise various forms of writing, from narrative fiction to modern drama. Core modules cover key literary periods such as Victorian Literature and Modernism, while optional modules allow you to explore subjects such as Children’s Literature, 21st-century Innovative Poetry, Early Modern Drama, and Postcolonial African Writing.
In addition to these options, you can choose modules in related fields such as Drama Adaptation and Creative Writing. You can also study another language such as French, Spanish, or Mandarin through the University Wide Language Programme.
Our English Literature lecturers are active researchers who regularly publish on a wide and diverse range of topics: Irish Fiction, Shakespeare, Biography, Gothic Literature, Poetry and Poetics, and Visual Text. This programme combines the subject expertise of these staff with their different perspectives on English Literature across a diverse selection of modules. Their teaching gives you the skills that you need for an essential foundation in literary study and also encourages you to consider social and cultural issues relevant to the materials that you will examine as a 21st-century student.
Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year because delivery will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option or staff availability. 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. While the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this outcome in every case.
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.
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.
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.
Theory and Practice
You will be introduced to a range of theoretical approaches to literary and cultural practice. You will gain an understanding of how both literary and cultural texts can be read and analysed, and how different theories can be applied to them.
You will be introduced to key concepts relating to the study of popular fiction as well as develop a knowledge of the main genres and forms of popular literature. You will study a number of representative texts from key phases in the development of popular forms, including critical attitudes towards them.
The Romantic Period
Study literature emerging in a time of revolution and consider themes such as the rights of man, of woman, and of slaves, the sublime, childhood, empire, the self, and the gothic. This literary period refines and develops literary forms and styles from previous eras, as well as pursuing artistic experimentation, so this module explores language and form in detail in relation to key themes within their historical and cultural context.
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.
Optional modules may include:
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.
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.
Gender, Race and Empire at the Fin de Siècle
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.
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.
Reptiles of Genius: Satire in the Eighteenth Century
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.
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.
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.
The Female Gothic
You will analyse a selection of Gothic novels and novellas by women, and learn about the themes of Gothic writing as well as explore the significance of various recurrent tropes and features such as: the uncanny, Gothic spaces and places, the absent/dead mother, voyeurism and surveillance.
C21st Women’s Writing
This module will explore a range of contemporary texts written by women and will include novels, short stories, poetry and other forms of writing including memoirs, creative non-fiction, and journalism. 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.
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.
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.
Optional modules may include:
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.
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.
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 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.
The Medieval World
This module looks at Old and Middle English texts in translation, considering both their original social and cultural contexts, and their present-day ‘meanings’ through modern adaptations, including TV and film. Topics include Seamus Heaney’s translation of the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf, Simon Armitage’s translation of the northern Middle English Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.
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.
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.
The Dissertation is a key feature of the course and provides you with an opportunity to undertake an independent and challenging research project under the guidance of a member of academic staff. Your research topic is defined in second year and in third year you focus on analysis and interpretation in preparation for the written submission. 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.
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 and learning on the course can involve a range of methods and resources
- 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
- Interactive computer resources
- Individual supervision
- 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, or portfolios. Most modules incorporate some form of assessment at a relatively early stage of the course 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.
What about after uni?
Our graduates have gone on to pursue careers in literary research and postgraduate work, and they have found fulfilling careers in the fields of publishing, local government and the Civil Service, teaching (secondary and further education), management in the commercial and business sector, teaching English overseas, journalism, broadcasting, and the law. The degree provides excellent preparation for further study at MA level in Literature or for further qualifications leading to a career in teaching.
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
We are looking for creative, enthusiastic and highly motivated individuals who are genuinely interested in English literature. You should be comfortable working with others, have good communication skills and read widely.
You do not need to be a published writer or experienced performer, but your passion for the written word should be evident.
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 and maths GCSE grade C/grade 4.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
UCAS tariff points
GCE A level
A2 to include either English language, English literature, English literature and language. General studies accepted.
BTEC National Diploma
BTEC Higher National Diploma
Applicants will be considered for entry into year 2
Applicants may be considered for entry into year 2 or 3. Applicants are normally invited to bring a portfolio of work to an interview.
104-120 points, preferably with a grade B in English
Irish Leaving Certificate
120 points, preferably with a grade B or above in English Language / Literature or English Language
Access to HE
QAA Approved - Merit in majority of components at Level 3 (English Language, English Literature, English Language/Literature.
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 Q300