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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MODL1090 Intercultural Competence: Theory and Application

20 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr Pier Pischedda

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module develops students’ intercultural competence by exploring the role of languages and cultures in business and beyond. It shows how an enhanced awareness of cultural specificities helps individuals and groups to navigate the complexity of society. In particular, students will develop a nuanced appreciation of what cultural diversity entails, how it affects the ways in which we perceive others as well as how we carry out tasks in business. By analysing the nexus of language and culture, students will also be better equipped to identify what underlies successful communication in situations of cultural contact.


(1) Introduce the notion of intercultural competence;
(2) Raise awareness of the pervasiveness of intercultural challenges in society and in business and the key role of languages;
(3) Provide with a range of perspectives under which it is possible to make sense of the complexity of globalised societies;
(4) Present a number of cases where communication across cultures is necessary, together with the analytical tools that will help to recognise possible issues and opportunities.

Learning outcomes
Upon completion of this module students should be able to
(1) Show understanding of intercultural competence, both at a theoretical level and in specific contexts;
(2) Reflect on self-reference as a starting point for understanding other cultures;
(3) Identify intercultural challenges in the professions and reflect on the role of modern languages and cultures for business practices;
(4) Show awareness of the function of communication in different cultural contexts, in business and beyond.

Skills outcomes
Intercultural competence; cultural awareness


This module introduces intercultural competence at a theoretical level as well as in its concrete application. Throughout the module students will gain a broad knowledge of what determines intercultural encounters and how they can be interpreted. We will also explore the ways in which linguistic and cultural differences can be relevant for business practice. We will cover a number of topics among the following: notions of culture, cultural difference, intercultural leadership, translation as intercultural communication, intercultural politeness, challenges of multilingualism, accents at work, languages and persuasion across cultures.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students are expected to undertake independent reading outside of class. Guidance will be provided on this in lectures and seminars.

There will be preparation for both the essay and the exam.

2 hours reading per lecture (20 hours); 4 hours preparation on set readings for seminars (40 hours); 60 hours preparation for assessed essay; 60 hours preparation for examination = 180 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Monitoring will take place in seminars, office hours, and through the submission of the course work essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation1,500 words60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)60.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 00 mins40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)40.00

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 14:42:35


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