Language and Power (Q1200)

15 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

This module examines the ways in which attitudes to language are underpinned by (socio)political values, and how power is exerted through language.

Topics which will be covered include the relationship between language and national identity and attitudes to foreign languages and multilingual practices.

For instance, why do some states spend large amounts of money in an attempt to eradicate particular languages while other spend equal amounts on trying to revitalise certain languages?

In asking similar questions we will look at attitudes to language at both the level of the individual and state legislation, using case-studies from a range of countries. We also examine the ways in which power is exerted through language, looking at instances of coercive and persuasive language.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay, Portfolio)

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.

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.


This module is offered on the following courses: