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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Language Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Discourse Analysis (LASC11159)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryDiscourse analysis is the study of language in use. In this course, the students will learn empirical methods for studying naturally-occurring language data in various social, institutional and technological contexts.
Course description Discourse analysis looks at how people use language in real-life contexts. In this course, we will explore how discourse or language in use can be studied empirically. We are going to focus, in particular, on two types of naturally-occurring discourse-spoken (e.g. small talk, professional interaction, media interviews, etc.) and computer-mediated (e.g. text and multimedia messaging, social media postings, etc). The course will cover three main components:

1. What is discourse and discourse analysis: introducing key concepts in discourse analysis such as written vs. spoken discourse, small d and big D discourse, cohesion, turn-taking, etc.;
2. What are the main approaches to discourse analysis: e.g. Conversation Analysis, Interactional Sociolinguistics, Computer-mediated Discourse Analysis, Critical and Multimodal Discourse Analysis, Corpus-assisted Discourse Analysis;
3. How to design and carry out a discourse analysis project: the ethical and practical considerations of collecting spoken, text messaging and social media data in different contexts, transcribing spoken and multimodal data, analyzing naturally-occurring discourse data adopting one of the main DA approaches.

The course is highly hands-on. The students will learn to apply linguistic skills they have learned in this and other courses to examine real-life questions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 27, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 169 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% project
Feedback Students will produce a research proposal mid-course which will not be graded but on which they will receive formative feedback.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. explain key concepts and theories of discourse and key approaches to discourse analysis
  2. collect and transcribe spoken and computer-mediated discourse data
  3. analyse spoken and computer-mediated discourse using one of the key DA approaches and linguistic analytical skills acquired in other courses (such as phonology, syntax and/or pragmatics)
  4. observe and describe the structures and patterns of discourse
  5. interpret discursive patterns using appropriate discourse concepts and theories
Reading List
Cameron, D. (2001). Working with spoken discourse. London: Sage.

Cameron, D., & Panovic, I. (2014). Working with written discourse. London: Sage Jewitt, C., Bezemer, J., & O'Halloran, K. (2016). Introducing multimodality. London: Routledge.

Page, R., Barton, D., Unger, J. W., & Zappavigna, M. (2014). Researching language and social media: A student guide. Routledge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Analytical & Critical thinking
2. Independent Research: Conduct research and enquiry into language in use through research design, the collection and analysis of qualitative data, synthesising and reporting research finding.
3. Written Communication: be able to communicate complex ideas and arguments in writing using language and visual resources (such as images, tables and figures).
4. Ethics and social responsibility: applying ethical principles in research practices.
5. Team working: effectively perform within team environments including the ability to recognise and capitalise on individuals' different thinking, experience and skills
Keywordsdiscourse analysis,discourse data,linguistic skills,analytical skills
Course organiserDr Sumin Zhao
Tel: (0131 6)51 5513
Course secretaryMs Sasha Wood
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