ENGLISH LANGUAGE & LINGUISTICS 1B: Language, Society, and Change ENGLANG1003

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Is it 'you', 'youse', or 'y'all' - and whatever happened to 'thou'? Whichever you want to utter, how do you transform breath into meaningful sound? How did medieval writers seize the opportunities of their changing language to create powerful literature? In this course, you will explore the key issues of difference and similarity in how people produce and use language, with special emphasis on English and Scots across time and place.

Our three strands in this course focus on the production of sounds and how we use language to construct social identities; the forms and functions of Scots and its relationship to English today and in the past; and the language of literary works and other forms of writing which permeated daily life before the age of Shakespeare.


Lectures: three times weekly over 10 weeks, as scheduled on MyCampus; students have a choice of in-person or asynchronous online lectures. Students choosing the asynchronous option may be asked to attend an in-person induction meeting in week 0. The asynchronous option may not be open to all students.


Weekly one hour seminar (choice of times) as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry


Recommended: English Language & Linguistics 1A: Language, Meaning & Power [ENGLANG1001]

Excluded Courses





Essay (1200 words) - 25%

Online weekly quizzes (best 5 scores out of 8) - 25%

Examination (1-hr duration) - 50%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


The online weekly quizzes are not available for reassessment

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ enable students to gain an understanding of how language works, with particular reference to the contexts and structures of English and Scots

■ develop skills in the use of basic tools describing and discussing language

■ enable students to gain knowledge of the structure and development of English and Scots sounds, words and grammar

■ enable students to gain knowledge of the history of the English and Scots languages in their literary and social contexts

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ show knowledge of the pronunciation and sounds of English

■ analyse various kinds of linguistic data

■ relate various kinds of linguistic data to their historical, literary and social contexts

■ discuss particular varieties of English and Scots (modern and historical) using precise terminology.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.