Module code: SOCM069

Module Overview

Corresponding to on-going, central issues in discourse analysis this module has a dual focus:
(i) to introduce students to discourse analysis as a qualitative method in the service of analysing qualitative data (discourse) and
(ii) to discuss discourse analysis as a paradigm.
In this way, the module is focused on the analysis of discourse and also on the reasons for opting for discursive approaches while considering the assumptions they entail.

The module is designed to introduce students to discourse analysis starting from its philosophical underpinnings to discussing recent developments and debates. Through a combination of lectures and practical sessions/workshops, we will cover various approaches to discourse analysis as well as main principles and key literatures, illustrate analytic tools through the use of examples, and engage in hands-on analysis.

This module aims to offer students an overview of discourse analytic approaches, engage students' in evaluations of these approaches, and offer them an opportunity to develop some initial practical skills in applying discourse analysis overall. Thus, the module will not focus in depth on a single approach per se but aim at developing a critical understanding of these approaches and the confidence to select them appropriately. Finally, the module aims and to provide a foundation for students to develop their skills further independently in future.

Module provider


Module Leader

XENITIDOU Maria (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: L300

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 22

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:
• Discourse: what is it?
• Discourse and construction
• Discursive turn – main principles
• Strands in discourse analysis
• Analytic process(es) & procedure(s)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2000 word research proposal 50
Practical based assessment Discourse analysis of 2 extracts 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate a critical understanding of discourse analytic approaches and to apply discourse analysis.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
• A practical exercise in research design using a discourse analytic approach. Students will be asked to develop a research proposal making use of discourse analysis to investigate a substantive area of their choosing. This demonstrates their ability to choose an appropriate approach from the array of possibilities available, to demonstrate their systematic critical and practical understanding of that approach and critically justify their selection as compared to other approaches.
• A practical exercise in the application of discourse analysis. Students will be asked to discourse analyse two (out of four) extracts (provided by the module leader). This will demonstrate their ability to apply discourse analytic techniques as well their critical understanding and practical use in conducting research and communicating research results.

Formative assessment
Students will receive verbal feedback on their performance in classroom exercises, which are designed to give opportunities to try out the techniques discussed in class, to practice their critical skills and to evaluate the different contribution which the various discourse analytic approaches make to contemporary (social) research. They will present an initial version of their research design (CW1) on the final day of the taught week and receive immediate verbal feedback from the lecturer and their peers. They will also discuss the analysis of two extracts (CW2) with the lecturer on the final day. A further opportunity to submit a short draft of the discourse analysis assessment (CW1 & CW2) for written formative feedback will be provided. Formative feedback will focus on developing students’ ability to make and justify appropriate methodological choices using discourse analytic approaches and to applying discourse analytic techniques.

Feedback will be offered verbally in class and subsequently in written format via SurreyLearn on a formative summary of the assignments and on the final summative assignments.

Module aims

  • Offer students an overview of discourse analytic approaches
  • Engage students' in evaluations of discourse analytic approaches
  • Develop practical skills in applying discourse analysis

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Appreciate the issues related to using discourse analysis in research CKPT
002 Critically evaluate different discourse analytic approaches and their place in contemporary (social) research CK
003 Demonstrate a practical understanding of the application of these discourse analytic approaches KPT
004 Develop research proposals that demonstrate appropriate use of discourse analytic approaches KPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
• Offer students an overview of discourse analytic approaches and outline key issues and debates within the field
• Provide examples of research using discourse analysis
• Develop students’ critical skills in evaluating different discourse analytic approaches and their use in contemporary (social) research
• Give students hands-on experience of discourse analytic techniques at an introductory level

The learning and teaching methods include:
• Lectures
• Class discussions and group activities
• Practical sessions/Workshops (including working with data on paper)

This module is taught intensively during one week.
Days 1-3 consists of a combination of lectures and hands-on (practical) sessions exploring various aspects of discourse analysis in theory and practice.
Day 4 is devoted to independent study, allowing students to undertake preparatory work on their assignments.
Day 5 is devoted to feedback: (i) students will get the opportunity to receive formative feedback and peer feedback on the first part of their assignment (CW1) during a group discussion session; (ii) students will get the opportunity to receive formative feedback on the second part of their assignment (CW2) during a practice session working independently.
Students will then complete both assignments that evidence the skills that they have acquired in designing research for as well as applying discourse analysis.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOCM069

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Social Research Methods MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.