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.

Critical Approaches to Language and Communication ENGLANG5124

  • 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

In this course students are introduced to a variety of perspectives on language as socially-embedded practice and to the different research methodologies associated with these. Students will develop the skills to analyse and interpret texts of their own choosing, to critique these from a social perspective and to consider how discourse analysts can make a contribution to pressing social issues.  


10 x 2hr seminars over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Master's at College level

Excluded Courses





Practical skills exercise (Length of text/size of data base proportional to detail of mark-up) - 25%

Written Assignment (4000 words) - 75% 


Course Aims

This course aims to:


■ Introduce the fundamental assumptions of critical perspectives on language and communication and to outline the main theoretical and research trajectories which have been developed over the last half century;

■ Enable students to recognise the linguistic aspect of social contexts and the social relevance of linguistic theories  

■ Provide practical skills in analysing and interpreting texts as socially-embedded practices   

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


■ Distinguish and evaluate the most significant approaches to critical linguistics in the last half century

■ Critically compare and evaluate seminal texts in the field 

■ Develop and present critically informed research questions for the analysis of texts as socially-embedded practice 

■ Identify and collect relevant data

■ Identify and carry out analytical methods appropriate to the data set and research questions 

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.