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Unit information: Language and Communication Studies in 2015/16

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Unit name Language and Communication Studies
Unit code LANG14010
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mr. Lockett
Open unit status Not open

Students require a proficiency of at least 6.0 in IELTS (min. 5.5 in writing and 5.0 in other components).



School/department Centre for Academic Language and Development
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit offers an introduction to broad and critical interests in the processes of human and mediated communication, and to some of the basic theories of key aspects of contemporary life. Topics range from face-to-face interaction and social relationships to communication in the news, media or in advertising, as well as in art, film, and music. Communication is viewed broadly, and includes not only the mechanics or linguistic and visual communication but also more abstract approaches to meaning and symbolic exchange. The unit will thus involve the three modalities of language, vision, and sound, and will allow for examination of a range of topics and contexts, such as gender, ethnicity, and politics, as well as a range of mediated contexts including broadcast and print media, and computer-mediated communication. The unit aims, therefore, are to:

  • develop awareness and analytical skills relevant to communication science, focusing on language and interpersonal communication and aspects of communication in the mass media and other social contexts and institutions
  • develop awareness and understanding of communication in different modalities: textual, visual, and sonic

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module students should:

ILO1: have a basic appreciation of the elements of human communication processes and their relevance to contemporary social life;

ILO2: have some understanding of the role of language and other semiotic systems in the construction of social relationships and identities;

ILO3: be able to identify key communication practices that underlie social institutions such as the newspaper, TV and film industries, and critically appraise their output;

ILO4: be able to identify basic aspects of certain types of visual and sonic communication and understand their constitution as generic categories and cultural products.

Teaching Information

There will be one two hour session per week for one teaching block. It is in the form of a seminar session, which will consist of a series of mini-lectures interspersed with discussion of the content of the mini-lectures and the reading or other set material for that week. Students will be taught using a communicative approach and will be in groups no larger than 16 to allow for such discussion. Students will be expected to prepare and follow up weekly sessions using the set materials as well as materials on Blackboard as well as review for assignments and exams.

Assessment Information

The unit will be assessed through the submission of coursework and through examination. The coursework will be a piece of written work (an essay of 1,500 words) which will assess ILOs 1, 2, 3 and 4. The examinations are in the form of a written examination which will assess ILOs 1, 2, 3, and 4 and an oral presentation based on the students' assessed coursework, assessing ILOs 1, 2, 3 and 4.



Written assignment (1,500 words) 50%

Final assessment

Written Examination 25%

Individual Oral Presentation 25%

Reading and References

Marsen, S. (2006). Communication Studies. London: Palgrave Macmillan.