Language and Power


Admission requirements

General entry requirements + Civics 1 b / 1a1, English 6


Course Code:
KK162A revision 1
Level of specialisation
Main fields of study:
No main fields
Date of ratification:
22 February 2018
Decision-making body:
Faculty of Culture and Society
Enforcement date:
03 September 2018

Entry requirements

General entry requirements + Civics 1 b / 1a1, English 6

Specialisation and progression relative to the degree regulations

The course is not part of a main field of study.


The aim of the course is for the students to develop knowledge about critical foundations and methodological approaches within critical discourse analysis and develop understanding about how critical discourse analysis relates to linguistic and social scientific disciplines. Further, the course aims to develop the student’s ability to identify and analyse relevant societal phenomena with the help of critical discourse analysis.


The course deals with the theoretical foundations and methodological approaches for critical discourse analysis, with a focus on how critical discourse analysis aims to uncover and change prevailing power structures through making visible language use that contributes to the creation and maintenance of these structures. A central question of the course is how language functions as an instrument of power in various situations.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
After successfully completing this course, the student will be able to
1. account for theory and methodology in critical discourse analysis.
Competence and skills:
After successfully completing this course, the student will be able to
2. identify societally relevant phenomena and choose linguistic characteristics that are most appropriate for analysis of various types of texts and contexts as well as conduct an analysis and assess the results,
3. independently identify a relevant question for a critical discourse analysis study and conduct an analysis upon material of their own choice, within a given time frame, and
4. present and discuss in both writing and speech (in English) at a level of linguistic appropriateness so that content is accurately and clearly communicated.
Judgement and approach:
After successfully completing this course, the student will be able to
5. demonstrate fundamental abilities to assess and discuss other students’ work in the field, and
6. critically reason about the strengths and weaknesses of critical discourse analysis

Learning activities

Literature reading, seminar discussions and presentations 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6
Literature reading, seminar assignments, work with opposition and written assignment 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6


Seminar presentations (2 credits), learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4.
Written Assignment (4,5 credits), learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6.
Presentation of written assignment and opposition of another student’s written assignment (1 credit) learning outcome 5.
The seminar presentations and the opposition are graded pass/fail. The written assignment is graded A/U.

Grading system

Excellent (A), Very Good (B), Good (C), Satisfactory (D), Pass (E) or Fail (U).

Course literature and other teaching materials

Richardson. John E. 2006. Analysing Newspapers. An Approach from Critical Discourse Analysis. Palgrave Macmillan. (280 pages)
Simpson. Paul & Mayr. Andrea. 2010. Language and Power. A resource book for students. Routledge. (272 pages)
Additional material in the form of scientific articles will be included (approx. 100 pages)

Course evaluation

The University provides students who participate in or who have completed a course with the opportunity to make known their experiences and viewpoints with regards to the course by completing a course evaluation administered by the University. The
University will compile and summarize the results of course evaluations as well as informing participants of the results and any decisions relating to measures initiated in response to the course evaluations. The results will be made available to the students (HF 1:14).

Interim rules

If a course is no longer offered or has undergone major changes, students will be offered two re-take sessions based on the syllabus in force at registration during a period of one year from the date of the implementation of the changes.

Other Information

Language of instruction is English.


The education is provided by the Faculty of Culture and Society at the department School of Arts and Communication.

Further information

Studentservice, K3 - Malmö universitet,