Language and Culture in Intercultural Communication (949Q3B)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

This module examines how cultural assumptions and values influence language and interactional style, and vice versa. In order to do so, we interrogate our own cultures: what do we consider to be polite or rude, natural or unnatural in communication with others? What values and habits shape our expectations of what communication is, what it is for, and what forms it should take? We are then in a position to explore the ways in which communicative behaviours can vary and be (mis)interpreted in intercultural situations.

We consider the degree to which claims of universals in human interaction are tenable and the possibility of ‘intercultural competence’. Key areas of exploration will include linguistic relativity, individualism/communalism, context (high and low), interactional cues, face and politeness, time and relationships.


100%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2022/23. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.