Discourse Analysis (519X8)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

This module is an introduction to contemporary research strategies that deal with the phenomenon of discourse and its implications in political life (especially in politics and international relations).

In the first part we examine how specific researchers have used discourse to analyse the production of meaning, ideology and power in contemporary politics.

The approaches examined here include:

  • content analysis
  • discourse analytical approaches based on archeology and genealogy
  • discursive institutionalism.

We familiarise you with the principles and techniques of these approaches, rather than offering an in-depth introduction to their theoretical underpinnings. This will help you decide whether, why and how you can use them for your own research projects.

In the second part, we examine how large textual bodies can be collated, managed and analysed. This involves a hands-on project, where you use the Nexis database and the qualitative analysis software Nvivo to develop and present findings related to your own research area.


20%: Practical (Workshop)
80%: Seminar


100%: Written assessment (Report)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 15 hours of contact time and about 135 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 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.