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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

ELU5002M Knowledge, Politics and Cultures in Academia

30 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Alex Ding

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

- Prior learning to Level 6 (undergraduate degree or equivalent)

- Either: a post graduate teaching qualification (Diploma; Post Graduate Certificate; Masters) and/or minimum 2 years fulltime or cumulative experience of teaching in higher education or teaching English for Specific Purposes.

- Minimum English language expertise at 7 overall in IELTS with a minimum of 7 in all components; C1 CEFR

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

By completing the module, you will reach an in-depth understanding and be able to critique current knowledge and issues in academia, disciplines and EAP related to the social, political, epistemological, and cultural forces and practices that configure higher education. You will also be asked to demonstrate your understanding of these factors that shape academic practices throughout the module and to show how you apply theory to specific contexts and issues.


In this core module you will examine how knowledge is constructed within and across disciplines, how academic cultures shape and are shaped by disciplinary epistemologies, and how macro and meso social structures and forces shape academic practices.

You will also examine how the field of EAP is shaped by cultures, contexts, practices, epistemologies, and social structures and how these factors account for practitioners’ legitimation, recognition, and participation in academia.

Learning outcomes
1. Develop an informed understanding of the cultural, political, and social factors within/beyond EAP that shape pedagogical enactments of EAP.

2. Employ theoretical frameworks and tools to evaluate academic communication, knowledge production and practices.

3. Draw on a theory / range of theories to deepen understanding of EAP as a field and a discipline.

4. Undertake critical and independent research on (inter)disciplinary fields

5. Demonstrate and employ reflexivity to discern and question the practices that underpin EAP as a field.


This module will be taught in three thematic blocks:

Politics and Social Structures

1. Histories of universities/disciplines and EAP

2. Current social and political forces shaping academia and EAP

Epistemologies and Knowledge Construction and Communication

1. What is epistemology and how does epistemology shape knowledge production and communication

2. Disciplinary epistemologies

Academic Cultures and Practices

1. Academic tribes, affiliation, and practices

2. Disciplinary changes and disputes, and disciplinary boundary crossing

3. Academic identities and agency

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours40.00
Private study hours220.00
Total Contact hours40.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will negotiate their essay topics by week 8 and will have feedback on 1) scope of their essay, 2) readings, 3) structure and rationale of essay and 4) feedback on partial draft

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay5,000 word Essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/02/2023


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