Social Variation in English (Q1078)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

The module will introduce you to sociolinguistic methods of studying language and to social variation in the use of the English language (and other relevant languages when appropriate). You will focus on important social dimensions of variation, such as age, gender, ethnicity, social class and language use, taking a modern, quantitative approach to social variation. This module will therefore also provide you with an introduction to quantitative methods in linguistics more generally. In addition, you will cover important theories of social variation, such as social network theory, accommodation theory, etc. and discuss the issue of language and power/ideology. Some of your seminars will be organised as workshops, for acquiring practical skills in the description and analysis of variation in language.

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: