Sociolinguistics ENGLANG4053

  • 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 explores the interface between language and society. Specifically, looking at social factors such as age, geography, ethnicity, and social class, in tandem with the linguistic system itself, drive variation and change in language?


1 x 2hr session per week (comprising 1x1hr lecture; 1x 1hr seminar) over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the Honours options in English Language and 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 and Linguistics, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University 's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses

ENGLANG4018 Sociolinguistics




Essay (3,000 words) - 50%

Set exercise (800 words) - 25%

Report (800 words) - 25%

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 will provide the opportunity to:

■ investigate key research in the field of sociolinguistic variation over the past 60 years;

■ reveal the key driving forces in language variation and change;

■ focus on the use of quantitative methodologies in the analysis of speech data;

■ apply these statistical methodologies to speech data.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ identify and describe variation in language use;

■ identify the key social and linguistic influences which lead to language variation and change;

■ evaluate the key findings from a number of seminal studies in sociolinguistics;

■ interpret the results of quantitative analysis of speech data in a range of formats;

■ apply quantitative methodology in the analysis of a piece of speech data;

■ synthesise the key elements of the course across a range of assessment activities.

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.