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

Undergraduate Course: Discourse Analysis (LASC10114)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) 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 Students MUST have passed: LEL2A: Linguistic Theory and the Structure of English (LASC08017)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 Linguistics/Language Sciences courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 9, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 18, 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) Data Analysis of 1500 words, worth 40%
Project of 2500 words, worth 60%
Feedback Mid-semester survey of students
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. Analyze 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.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sumin Zhao
Tel: (0131 6)51 5513
Course secretaryMs Susan Hermiston
Tel: (0131 6)50 3440
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