Faculty of Arts

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr Louisa Willoughby


Not offered in 2016


Every day, we engage with a wide range of different text types and speaking situations, from casual conversations with friends to news reports, medical appointments to advertising. In this unit, we explore the typical features of these and other genres and the ways in which language can be used to manipulate, persuade or empower the hearer/ reader. The unit introduces students to a variety of approaches to doing discourse analysis, including Conversation Analysis, Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistics. Students apply these methods to a range of texts and reflect on the appropriateness of each for answering different types of research questions.


On successful completion of this unit, a student will be able to:

  1. Understand and be able to apply key terms and concepts used in discourse analysis
  2. Analyse texts for coherence and cohesion and comment on their genre-specific features
  3. Describe in detail the ways in which English speakers use paralanguage cues (such as pitch, stress, pauses, laughter) to convey meaning in conversation
  4. Comment on the appropriacy of different approaches to discourse analysis for answering specific research questions
  5. analyse how the language used in a text serves to persuade the reader and reflects a particular ideology
  6. apply insights from this unit to their own professional context


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 288 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study