Contemporary Issues in Semantics (PGT) ENGLANG5130

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

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 course may be taught in conjunction with ENGLANG4031, as scheduled on MyCampus.


This is one of the MSc 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

Standard entry to Masters at College level.

It is recommended that students will have taken ENGLANG5108 Semantics of English.

Excluded Courses

ENGLANG4031 Contemporary Issues in Semantics




2 x Coursework essay (2000 words each) - 80%

Set exercise - 20%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ provide an opportunity to examine and evaluate major issues of semantics within modern linguistics;

■ develop an awareness of key scholarship in the field, both foundational and current;

■ develop an enhanced awareness of different approaches to theoretical and applied semantics;

■ provide an opportunity to engage in depth with selected areas of meaning, such as metaphor, lexicography, colour semantics, or forensic semantics

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;

■ discuss key scholarship in the field, both foundational and current;

■ 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;

■ discuss critically the interconnectedness of areas of applied and theoretical semantics.

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.