EL4012 - Introduction to Discourse Analysis

What will I learn on this module?

In this module, students are introduced to the structure and dynamics of discourse as linguistic interaction. Here the module will examine the linguistics and social conventions surrounding and governing text and talk. As the module develops, students will go on to explore and analyse some of the discourses that shape our society: advertising, political discourse, legal discourse, medical discourse and educational discourse. This will in turn enhance students’ employability prospects in areas such as advertising, publishing and marketing.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through a combination of interactive lectures and seminars. Key themes and concepts will be introduced in lectures and supported by seminars that allow for group work and the analysis of spoken and written texts. All topics within the module will be supported by reference to set readings, which you will read outside of class to further develop your knowledge and understanding of the main areas under discussion.

In addition to learning during taught hours with the module tutor, you will be expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. Directed learning generally will take the form of preparation for seminars where you will be expected to contribute to group work and full class discussion. Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and investigation, the consolidation of seminar notes, and revision/preparation for the assessment of the module.

All learning materials and seminar tasks will be posted on the eLP (e-learning portal) to facilitate full participation in the module. Additionally, you will receive formative feedback on your ideas and understanding throughout the module. The module’s final, summative assessments will also provide an opportunity for learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module aims to introduce you to the nature of discourse and some of the key methods of analysing it. Thus, lectures and seminars will develop your academic knowledge and skills, to help you attain the module learning outcomes. Your academic development will also be facilitated through engagement with the academic literature and by talking with your peers and the module tutor about your understanding of this literature (i.e. reading around the topic, and discussing and reflecting upon what you have read) as well as through sharing your thoughts about the findings of your textual analyses.

The module handbook provides details of lectures, seminars, reading lists and assessment criteria; lecture materials are made available on the eLP (see above). The module tutor will be available in lectures and seminars, as well as in ‘Feedback and consultation hours’ (i.e. ‘office hours’) and on email, to discuss any queries or concerns you have about how to excel academically on the module. Formative feedback will be on-going throughout seminar activities.

In addition, you have a designated Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Guidance Tutor’s role includes: monitoring your ongoing academic progress; helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development; directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus). You are advised to see your Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress..

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of discourse and key ways to analyse both spoken and written language.
2. Show the ability to recognise a variety of discourses and to analyse spoken and written texts.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Demonstrate the ability to collect and organise and present a ideas and evidence to illustrate and justify an argument and position.
4. Present ideas and arguments inspeech and writing in an academic context, with appropriate use of ICT

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
1. Demonstrate the ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with others.

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment

1. You will discuss your ideas during seminars and will receive formative feedback from the module tutor and peers
2. You will be given written feedback on the first component of your first assignment which you will use to inform the second component of your first assignment. This is intended to help you both engage with and respond to feedback.
3. Formative assessments address MLOs in ‘Knowledge and Understanding’, ‘Intellectual/Professional skills & abilities’, and ‘Personal Values Attributes’.

Summative (graded) Assessments

1. An academic essay of 1,500 words (for which you will receive feedback)

2. An analysis of 1,500 words on a text related to the discourses of advertising, politics, medicine, education or law.

The assessment will be part of the learning process, and addresses all five MLOS.

Feedback will be provided using the Programme template and comments on the scripts.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code Q310

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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