Introduction to Psycholinguistics ENGLANG4059

  • 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

The hiker saw the ranger with the binoculars - who has the binoculars and how do you know? In this course we learn the tools and methods for investigating what is happening in our minds when we produce and understand language, exploring all levels from individual sounds and words up to sentence structure and cooperation in discourse.


10 x 1hr lectures, 10 x 1hr seminars and, 4 x 1hr workshops over 10 weeks as scheduled on MyCampus. 


This is one of the Honours options in English Language 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 in English Language, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes.

Excluded Courses





One experiment proposal (3000 words) - 60%

Two x responses to assigned readings (500 words each) - 10% each

One x response to assigned readings (1000 words) - 20%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

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:

■ learn about current debates in psycholinguistic research in areas such as spoken word recognition, the mental lexicon, syntactic parsing and processing of discourse cues;

■ become familiar with current methods and techniques for investigating language production and perception, such as eye-tracking, reaction time and EEG;

■ acquire skills in basic statistical reasoning;

■ design independent experimental investigations which may inform future empirical work.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ identify open questions in psycholinguistic research on phonetic, morphological, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic processing;

■ critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of existing research on language production and perception;

■ interpret empirical data from a range of experimental designs;

■ develop an independent research plan that contributes to current knowledge of language processing.

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.