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Unit information: Language and Communication Studies in 2021/22

Unit name Language and Communication Studies
Unit code LANG00017
Credit points 20
Level of study QCA-3
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Ms. Vanttinen-Newton
Open unit status Not open

Students require a proficiency of at least 7.0 in IELTS (min. 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in other components).



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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides an introduction to key areas of language and communication combined with some key related frameworks of analysis. Topics range from language in text and in context, to communication in art, film, and other media. Communication is viewed broadly, including the more concrete mechanics of linguistic and visual communication as well as more abstract approaches to meaning. This implicates areas such as rhetoric, discourse analysis, semiotic theory, and related concepts of narrative and myth. These are examined within a variety of domains, such as gender, ethnicity, and politics, across a range of mediated contexts. The overall aim is to develop foundation analytical and critical skills through a focus on expression, signification and representation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a basic appreciation of the elements of human communication processes and their place in contemporary social life;
  2. Express an understanding of the role of language and other signifying systems in the construction of meanings, social relationships and identities;
  3. Analyse discourse at text level and go beyond this to critically unpack underlying assumptions and ideological positions
  4. Identify basic aspects of textual and visual communication and understand their constitution as generic categories and cultural products.

Teaching Information

Students will attend 3 hours of study per week. The sessions are in the form of a seminar, 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 in small groups 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.

Assessment Information

Formative assessment:

  • All coursework, including summative written work, follows a draft / feedback / redraft process process scheduled into the scheme of work. Students receive peer- and tutor-led formative feedback on the initial drafts and tutor-led feedback on final drafts.
  • Small group presentations (10-15 mins) with peer and tutor-led formative feedback.

Summative assessment:

  • Text analysis task (750 words) (30%) ILOs 3, 4
  • Written assignment (1,500 words) (70%) ILOs 1, 2


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. LANG00017).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.