Credit points: 30

Subject outline

In this subject students learn about how both spoken and written language is used in a variety of contexts: for example, the classroom, media and other professional and social situations. Participants develop awareness of the properties of a range of discourse types and how they are constructed to achieve a particular purpose. The application of discourse analysis to communication, teaching and research is also considered. The subject is suitable for all postgraduate students who are interested in knowing how language at the discourse level works. This subject has a substantive amount of theoretical content.

SchoolSchool of Education

Credit points30

Subject Co-ordinatorDonna Starks

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. The ability to understand, reflect on and critically evaluate key concepts in discourse analysis

Compare and contrast different views of discourse and debate key issues in the field

02. Understand and evaluate the nature and properties of spoken and written discourse and to apply that knowledge to a dataset

Consider the nature of language and how it is transformed through social activity and interaction.

03. Show an in-depth understanding of standard conventions within conversational analysis

Learn about different types of transcription, how they are used and why. Students make informed decisions and apply them to a set of data.

04. Critically evaluate and compare theoretical approaches to discourse analyse

Students become experts about a researcher of their choice. Throughout the subject, students play an active role in informing others about this researcher, their perspective on discourse, their research interests, methodological slant and ways of analyzing data.

05. Work in teams to co-construct knowledge

Students actively work together in groups and learn from one another. They negotiate and build intersecting knowledge bases and learn to question their own and others' perspectives.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2020, Week 13-21, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorDonna Starks

Class requirements

Lecture/Workshop Week: 13 - 21
Six 5.0 hours lecture/workshop per study period on weekdays during the day from week 13 to week 21 and delivered via face-to-face.
"Classes to be held: 26/3, 2/4, 9/4, 23/4, 7/5, 21/5 - 2020"


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Group presentation (Equivalent to 2000 words)Students individually collect and analyse data. They then work collectively on a PPT, using the group data to address a gap in the literature.20 01, 02, 03, 05
Individual written report (2000 words)Students evaluate their individual data and report on and critically evaluate issues relating to methodological integrity20 02, 03
Research Essay and Summary (6000 words)Students develop expert knowledge of a researcher and consider how this researcher might analyse their data.60 01, 02, 03, 04, 05