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.

Corpus Linguistics ENGLANG4032

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This hands-on course examines how new technologies and vast bodies of real language data have transformed the study of the English language. In it, we examine multi-million-word collections of language and focus on analysing real data to find out more about language, culture, and society. (Note that no advanced computing knowledge is required for this course.)


1x1hr lecture; 1x1hr practical class per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in English Language and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into English Language, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University 's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

ENGLANG4007 Digital Humanities for Language and Literature


Project 2000 words - 50%

Portfolio of technical exercises - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

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. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ use digital tools and techniques for the study of the English language;

■ develop confidence and skill in the application of the techniques and methodologies of corpus linguistics;

■ develop students' capacity for independent and creative work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ apply modern digital technologies to English language data in a range of fields, such as concordance analysis, collocate analysis, semantic prosody, and authorship studies;

■ evaluate the usefulness and limitations of each approach studied in the course with reference to research needs in English language studies;

■ identify and construct solutions to research questions about the English language best solved through corpus linguistics;

■ argue for and against the use of a range of available language resources and linguistic corpora with reference to different types of linguistic investigation;

■ address a chosen research question of appropriate complexity about the English language using one of the technologies introduced in the course.

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.