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 (PGT) ENGLANG5094

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course allows Masters-level students to examine how new technologies and vast bodies of real language data have transformed the study of discourse and meaning in 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 specialised computing knowledge is required for this course.)


Ten x 2-hr integrated lecture-seminar sessions; three x 1hr advanced article discussion sessions as scheduled on MyCampus.

This course may be taught in conjunction with ENGLANG4032, as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the MSc options in English Language and Linguistics, and for the MSc in Speech, Language, and Sociolinguistics, and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses

ENGLANG4032: Corpus Linguistics




■ Course project (2500 words) - 50%

■ essay (1500 words) - 25%

■ portfolio of technical exercises completed after each practical session - 25%.

Course Aims

This course will provide students with the opportunity to:

■ use specialist digital tools and techniques for the study of the English language via speech and language corpora;

■ develop specialist skills in the application of techniques, and/or instruments, and/or methodologies of corpus linguistics, including accessing research speech and language corpora;

■ enhance students' capacity for independent work by pursuing specific research questions using the detailed analyses of speech and language corpora

■ critically evaluate a range of significant trends in current research in corpus linguistics.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

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

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

■ critically evaluate the use of a range of available language resources and linguistic corpora with reference to different types of linguistic investigation;

■ develop a research question of appropriate complexity about the English language, and investigate this using one of the specialist technologies introduced in the course;

■ summarize, illustrate, and critically evaluate a range of current methodologies for research in English corpus linguistics.

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.