Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MODL1401 Discourse, Culture and Identity

20 creditsClass Size: 45

Module manager: Dr Bethan Davies

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module introduces students to concepts that are important to a wider understanding of languages, cultures and societies in the modern world. Critically examining notions like culture, nation, identity, globalisation and language requires moving beyond insider perceptions of our own society and taking a broader perspective of how these issues are played out in different cultural contexts. While the content is organised into strands, the themes of nation, culture and identity continually re-occur, emphasising how these concepts are intertwined and can be approached from different perspectives.Although this module draws on a wide range of disciplines, it does have a strong linguistic focus – the concepts of language, languages and multilingualism are at its heart and the focus of the first strand is entirely on understanding the meanings of texts from a linguistic perspective. This does not mean that you need prior expertise in this area, just a willingness to engage with a new approach.Because of its linguistic content, students who complete this module can go on to take several more advanced modules in the discursive and multilingual aspects of linguistics at levels 2 and 3.


This module aims to
1. Introduce core concepts and themes in the study of the relationship between language, culture, identity and globalisation
2. Familiarise students with key debates in the understanding of culture(s) and globalisation
3. Develop an understanding of the pivotal role of language in conceptualisations of nation, culture and identity
4. Introduce a linguistic-focused approach to written and multimodal texts, using discourse analytic methods
5. Develop an understanding of how Discourse functions to structure ideological meanings in society, in particular to our conceptualisations of nation, culture and identity
6. Develop a critical approach to arrange of text-types, by using methods introduced in the module
7. Develop students’ research and communication skills through coursework assignments and a group presentation

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate

1. an understanding of core concepts and themes in the study of the relationship between language, culture, identity and globalisation
2. An understanding of key debates within the study of culture(s) and globalisation.
3. An appreciation of the pivotal role that language plays in our understanding of such concepts of nation, culture and identity
4. An awareness of how the analysis of discourse and Discourses can aid our understanding of the ideological underpinning of such concepts as nation and culture
5. Basic analysis, research and communication skills appropriate to Level 1


This module is organised into four strands: Discourse, Culture, Identity and Globalisation. The first strand introduces linguistic approaches to the textual analysis of discourse, moving from descriptive methods to those more focused on power relationships (Discourse) and the analysis of multimodal texts. The Culture strand looks at what we mean by ‘culture’ and conceptions of high, popular and mass culture. This is related to ideas of ‘national culture’ and how this might function within multicultural contexts. The third strand, Identity, returns to a linguistic focus, considering what we mean by ‘a language’, peoples’ attitudes languages and language varieties, and how this relates to discourses of culture and nationalism. The Globalisation strand considers these issues from a more transnational stance, introducing central debates around the meaning of ‘globalisation’ and highlighting the role that language plays in these transnational flows by focusing on issues of multilingualism and the pivotal role of translation.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours22.00
Private study hours158.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Independent online learning
average 2 hrs per week self-study using the VLE 2 x10 = 20
2 hr viewing essay guidance provided through the VLE = 2
= 22
Private study
average 3.5 hrs reading per lecture 3.5 x16 = 56
preparation for group presentation = 22
40 hrs preparation for each of 2 assessed assignments 2x40 = 80
= 158

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored in the following ways:
- Formal written formative feedback on an essay submitted at the end of semester 1;
- Informal formative feedback on oral presentations in both semesters and on seminar contributions throughout;
- Checking attendance throughout the year.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1500-word research essay45.00
Essay1500-word research essay45.00
Presentation20-minute oral presentation, in groups10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit of group presentation will be by a short individual presentation delivered as a combination of powerpoint file and spoken transcript.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:42:35


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019