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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LING5621M Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis

30 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: Bethan Davies

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

This module assumes knowledge of some basic concepts in linguistics. Students who have not previously studied an introductory module in linguistics will need to undertake some background reading in the subject.

Students are welcome to contact the module leader for advice.

Module replaces

LING5241M Pragmatics

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

Pragmatics and discourse analysis are concerned with the use of language in real communicative situations: what resources do speakers have when creating a message and how do addressees interpret what is meant. In this module we look at how we ‘do things with words’, and how we can use different aspects of linguistic structure to signal meanings to our addressees. We will then look at how language is used to organise social activity and how it exploits the different resources used in different discourse contexts. Finally, we will look at the critical importance of linguistic choices in the management of transcultural social relationships within a globalised world.


This module aims to introduce students to a range of theories in pragmatics and discourse analysis. It will increase their critical awareness of how language is used in communication – structural properties of longer texts, the resources we have to indicate meanings to addressees, and the complexities involved in understanding what is said to us. There is a particular focus on the social function of language and its importance in creating and maintaining social relationships.

Learning outcomes
On the completion of this module, students are expected to:
1. Demonstrate a sound theoretical knowledge of some core concepts within the fields of discourse analysis and pragmatics
2. Show understanding of some of the different mechanisms through which addressees can interpret language in use
3. Discuss the importance of linguistic choices to the social function of language
4. Critically evaluate theoretical perspectives and relate these to concerns in the field.

Skills outcomes
(These are covered in Learning Outcomes above.)


This module introduces the student to key concepts within the fields of in pragmatics and discourse analysis. It may include a broad range of topics like speech act theory and implicature (focused on the gap between what is said and what is meant); genre and textual structure (focused on how language is organized for particular social activities); the differences between spoken and written language (focused on how language is affected by its medium); politeness and intercultural communication (focused on the importance of language for maintaining interpersonal relationships).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours270.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

• 2 hours preparation for the lecture session within the 2 hour lecture = 20 hours
• 5 hours preparing set readings and discussion questions per seminar = 50 hours
• 3 hours preparing analysis tasks and discussion points for the practical session within the 2 hour lecture = 30 hours
• 40 hours of reading materials and developing the extended essay plan
• 50 hours further independent reading and revising the essay plan and developing into their final essay
• 8 hours reading per week, based on sources from the reading list and recommended readings given for each lecture = 80 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress is monitored and supported via the module leader’s assessment of students’ contributions to presentations and discussion in seminars. Students will be given detailed written feedback on their formative extended essay plan and will have the opportunity to meet with the module leader to discuss this before submitting their summative essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2500 Words100.00
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: 28/04/2023 14:41:57


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