Contemporary Issues in Semantics ENGLANG4031

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course builds on the foundational course in Semantics of English, and introduces more advanced issues in Semantics. It covers a range of topics within Cognitive and Applied Semantics, such as Colour Semantics, Forensic Semantics, Lexicography and Metaphor.


1x1hr lecture; 1x1hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.

This is one of the Honours options in English Language & Linguistics and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry into English Language & Linguistics, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

It is recommended that students will have taken ENGLANG4052 Semantics of English.

Excluded Courses





Examination (90 minutes) - 50%

Coursework essay (2000 words) - 40%

Set exercise - 10%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

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. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ examine in detail major issues of semantics within modern linguistics;

■ further develop skills in the linguistic analysis of meaning from a theoretical perspective;

■ allow students the opportunity to carry out an in-depth analysis of selected areas of meaning, such as colour semantics, forensic semantics, dictionaries, or metaphor.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ discuss meaning critically in a range of research-led contexts, drawing on different theoretical and applied approaches;

■ evaluate a range of advanced theoretical perspectives on issues in contemporary semantics;

■ argue for the importance of semantics in codifying our world and describing our interaction with it.

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.