Narrative, Fiction and the Novel
In a nutshell
From the language of poetry to that of social media, the study of literature and language opens up the world of human expression and communication. On this course, you will not only build a detailed knowledge and understanding of literature and language but you will also gain insights into social and cultural issues that affect our lives. You will have the opportunity to explore the relationship between literature, language, and society.
You will learn to research and analyse texts from literary and linguistic perspectives and will have the chance to study a wide range of topics, including romanticism, modernism, children’s literature, 21st century literature, medieval prose and poetry, Shakespeare, modern Irish literature, the history of the English language, varieties of English, corpus analysis, attitudes to language, and many other subjects.
English literature is valued by employers who recognise that such graduates possess the skills and knowledge which equips them for a range of career paths requiring good communication, clear presentation of arguments and ideas, and the ability to understand and evaluate complex information. After graduation, students can go into teaching, publishing, journalism, advertising, PR, or events management, as well as into a wide range of other graduate-level jobs. The course also provides an ideal platform for postgraduate study.
This course is just one of our English and Creative Writing programmes, which have risen ten places in the 2020 Guardian university league tables. What's more, 100% of students said the course is intellectually stimulating (University of Salford analysis of unpublished NSS 2019 data).
- Benefit from dynamic teaching and assessment that incorporates both innovative and traditional approaches to the study of Literature and Language
- Develop valuable skills and knowledge which open up careers in areas such as teaching, media, publishing, marketing, administration, and the civil service
- Learn to research and analyse texts from literary and linguistic perspectives
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 programme integrates the study of English Literature (60%) and English Language (40%) into one degree. 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 English Literature modules, you will learn to analyse and criticise various forms of writing from narrative fiction to modern drama. Core Literature modules cover key literary periods, including Victorian Literature and Modernism, while optional modules allow you to explore your own areas of interest further by focusing on subjects such as Children’s Literature and Twenty-first Century Innovative Poetry. In your English Language modules, you will gain a firm understanding of the fundamental components of language study, including the structure, origins, and pronunciation of English. Core Language modules cover the grammar, pronunciation, and stylistics of English, while optional modules invite you to explore further topics, including TESOL, Language Acquisition, and the History of English.
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.
Salford’s lecturers in English Literature and English Language 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, Semantics, Phonology, Lexicography, Slang, and Psycholinguistics. Their teaching gives you the skills that you need for an essential foundation in literary and linguistic study and also encourages you to consider social and cultural issues relevant to the materials that you will examine as a twenty-first 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 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.
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.
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.
Foundations of Language I
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Page to Stage: Drama Texts in Translation
In Page to Stage you will focus on two main areas: how to approach dramatic texts in translation, and the significance of the relationship between actor, director and dramaturg in moving a theatre text from page to stage. In our studies, we will examine the ideological and cultural implications of staging plays in translation, however, you do not need to speak an additional language for this module.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
British Television Drama: Text and Contexts
Covering a range of drama broadcast on British television, this module will focus on a number of core areas including form and innovation, realism and politics, and contemporary television.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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?
After graduation, students can go into teaching, publishing, journalism, advertising, PR, or events, as well as into a wide range of graduate jobs. This course would also provide an ideal platform for postgraduate study.
Our graduates have also gone on to pursue careers with arts and culture organisations (including the Museum of Science and Industry), publishing, local government and the Civil Service (including the Department for Work and Pensions), Teaching (primary, secondary, further, and higher education), management in the commercial and business sector (including the TSB, the AA, WH Smith, and Nationwide), administration (including the NHS), teaching English overseas, journalism, broadcasting (including ITV Yorkshire), and the law (including the Citizens’ Advice Bureau).
This course responds to the needs of industry in developing subject expertise and transferable skills appropriate to a wide range of careers. We have close associations with industry and professional bodies such as:
- BBC TV and Radio
- Granada TV
- Knives Forks and Spoons Press
- Erbacce Press
- The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
- The Theatre Royal, Hyde
- Octagon Theatre, Bolton
- Oxford University Press
- 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 highly motivated students who are genuinely interested in the study of literature and language. You should be someone who enjoys reading widely and has an active analytical mind. You should be able to demonstrate concise and accurate written English and a good knowledge of grammar; you should be able to work and research independently and have excellent organisational skills.
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) is required. Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent) is preferred but not essential.
You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
104-120 points including C or above in a humanities subject
UCAS tariff points
104-120 points including a humanities subject area
BTEC National Diploma
DMM including a humanities subejct area
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.
Access to HE
Pass Level 3 Access to HE Diploma with 104–120 points in a humanities subject area
104-120 points including a humanities subject area
Irish Leaving Certificate
104-120 points including a humanities subject area
Pass Diploma at least 71% overall, including a humanities subject
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||2019/20||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2019/20||£12,660per year|
|Full-time home/EU||2020/21||£9,250per year|
|Full-time international||2020/21||£12960per 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 2020/21
If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our international scholarships worth up to £5,000. Our international scholarships include the Salford International Excellence Scholarship.
For more information go to International Scholarships.
All set? Let's apply
Course ID Q301