The main course topics include:

  1. Defining professional communication
  2. A discourse/communication perspective to professional communication
  3. Workplace culture
  4. Politeness in the workplace
  5. Professional identities
  6. Gender issues in the workplace
  7. Leadership
  8. “Bring it all together”: Language and communication in healthcare, business and legal settings




  1. To introduce the students to current trend and central topics in the field of communication in organizations and professions
  2. To introduce the students to discourse/communication-based approaches to professional communication
  3. To provide the students with ‘hands-on’ experience of analyzing authentic discourse data from various professional settings




The class will be divided into groups of 10. Each group will have a tutorial every second week. The aim of the tutorials is to address the students’ questions about the topics discussed in the class, and to engage in the analysis of discourse data in preparation for the end-term assessment. Students will be provided with guidelines on how to plan and write an essay.




Assessment for the course is comprised of three parts:

  1. 20% in-class and tutorial participation
  2. 20% - mid-term assessment
  3. 60% - final assignment.




Course textbook:
Schnurr, S. & Zayts, O. (2017). Language and Culture at Work. Routledge

There are a number of great textbooks and other sources on communication in organizations and professions, some of them published very recently. The lecturer will provide a detailed reference list for each topic at the end of a lecture. Some texts that will be used in the class include:

Angouri, J. & Marra, M. (2011). Constructing Identities at Work. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Bargiela-Chiappini, F., Nickerson, C. & Planken, B. (2007). Business Discourse. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Candlin, C.N. & Sarangi, S. (2011). Handbook of Communication in Organizations and Professions. De Gruyter Mouton.
Gunnarsson, B.-L. (2009). Professional Discourse. London: Continuum.
Holmes, J. (2006). Gendered Talk at Work: Constructing Social Identity through Workplace Interaction. Oxford: Blackwell.
Holmes, J. & Stubbe, M. (2003). Power and Politeness in theWorkplace: A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Talk at Work. London: Longman.
Koester, A. (2010). Workplace Discourse. London: Continuum.
Mullany, L. (2006). Gendered Discourse in the Professional Workplace. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Schnurr, S. (2009). Leadership Discourse at Work. Interactions of Humour, Gender and Workplace Culture. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Schnurr, S. (2012). Exploring Professional Communication: Language in Action. Routledge.



Last updated: 19 July 2019