Methods in Sociolinguistics (PGT) ENGLANG5104

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This Masters course provides students with the necessary tools to conduct an independent quantitative analysis of variation in spoken or written language data, and report on the findings in journal article format and conference style presentation.


One two-hour lecture/seminar each week plus 2 x 2 hour workshops, over 10 weeks, as scheduled on MyCampus.

This course may be taught in conjunction with ENGLANG4043, as scheduled on MyCampus. 


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

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

It is recommended that students have already taken Level 5 Introduction to Sociolinguistics or Level 5 Topics in Sociolinguistics, or have taken a sociolinguistics course in their undergraduate/previous degree course.

Excluded Courses





A project design proposal (25%). 1000 words

A conference style presentation in powerpoint format (25%).

A journal-style report on the findings from their research project. (50%). 3000 words.

Course Aims

This course will provide students with the opportunity to:

■ Design and execute an independent investigation using key research practices, quantitative and qualitative, in sociolinguistic research;

■ Apply quantitative research practices to students' own data in order to answer a self-selected open research question; 

■ present the research findings in a 3MT style presentation for a non-specialist audience;

■ present their findings in a journal article style written report for a specialist audience.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Identify and critically evaluate core methodological issues in sociolinguistic sampling, accessing participants, including through interviewing and/or ethnography (including participant observation);

■ Identify and critically assess the relationship between empirical research, theory generation and hypothesis testing;

■ Implement the principles of research design, including how to formulate original research questions for sociolinguistic study;

■ Develop advanced specialist research skills for conducting a study in Language Variation and Change;

■ Use relevant specialist software for the analysis of speech data, including numerical processing and graphical data visualization;

■ Communicate the results of their research study to a specialist and non-specialist audience, in writing and through a short, accessible oral presentation, respectively

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.