Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE & LINGUISTICS 1A: Language, Meaning, and Power ENGLANG1001

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

How do we create meaning from the air we breathe and from marks on a page? How has language been exploited now and throughout history for effect, self-expression, and story-telling? In English Language & Linguistics we study the most intricate, powerful, and beautiful parts of our most valuable human asset - language.

In three strands this course explores in detail how newspapers, adverts, and politicians all try to persuade us; how linguistic meaning and structure are key to making ourselves understood; and how the 1500-year history of English tells us about who we are and where we came from.


Lectures: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday at 3pm over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus; weekly one hour seminar (choice of times) as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Online set exercise x2 - 50%

Examination (1-hr duration) - 50%

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


Reassessment is not available for the Coursework online test.

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ enable students to gain an understanding of how language works, with particular reference to the contexts and structures of English

■ develop a critical awareness of how language is used and especially how it is used to persuade people and create points of view

■ develop skills in the use of basic tools describing and discussing language

■ enable students to gain knowledge of the history of the English language in its literary and social contexts

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ identify grammatical systems and structures of English

■ discuss the construction of linguistic meaning

■ analyse the main characteristics of the historical stages and development of English

■ recognize, explain and apply key terms and concepts for analysing linguistic texts particularly those which are used to persuade and construct points of view

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.