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.

Semantics of English (PGT) ENGLANG5108

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • 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 with little or no background in linguistics to engage with the analysis of word and sentence meaning alongside more recent approaches to meaning taken by cognitive semantics. Students will gain skills in analysing meaning in English in order to critically evaluate the relationship between linguistic meaning, culture, society, and the human mind.


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 ENGLANG4052, as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the MSc options in English Language and Linguistics, 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

ENGLANG4052 Semantics and Pragmatics

ENGLANG4052 Semantics of English

ENGLANG5108 Semantics and Pragmatics (PGT)




Essay (2500 words) - 50%

Review (of book or article; 1000 words) - 25%

Portfolio of technical exercises - 25%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ give students a critical awareness of the development of the field of semantics within linguistics;

■ develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of a range of the methodological and theoretical problems at the forefront of research for studying meaning;

■ develop specialist skills and techniques for the linguistic analysis of meaning;

■ critically evaluate a range of significant trends in current research in semantics

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ critically analyse semantic meaning using a range of specialised techniques and skills;

■ identify, reproduce and critically evaluate a range of specialised linguistic theories of meaning in language;

■ apply relevant specialist strategies for conveying and analysing meaning in their own language use and that of others;

■ summarize, illustrate, and critically evaluate a range of current, specialised, methodologies for research in semantics.

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.