1. Interrelated concepts: speech, writing, language, communication, and media
  2. Different and changing styles of media language
  3. Mediated communication: media speakers, audiences and interactants
  4. Applying schema and genre theory to media discourse: news, interviews, pop lyrics, blogs
  5. The power of persuasion: advertising and public relations discourse
  6. Media stories and storytelling
  7. Words, images and multimodality
  8. Boundaries of media language: discourse behaviour, social norms, and media regulation
  9. Orality, literacy and media literacy
  10. Looking to the future of media language




By the end of the course, a successful student will have developed an appreciation of the historical development, contemporary range, and social significance of different media formats and channels, as well as the role played in each by verbal communication. He or she will have also demonstrated familiarity with and an ability to describe and assess critical issues and debates which cut across fields including linguistics and communication studies, sociology and media studies. In terms of practical skills, participants on the course will have learnt some basic copywriting and public relations techniques, as well as how to approach practical communication challenges in a socially and professionally informed way.




The course consists of a series of informal lectures, seminar discussions, and practical tasks. Students will also be offered office-hour tutorials for guidance on coursework and reviewing progress. Final arrangements for such meetings may depend on the number of students enrolled.




10%: Oral contribution including in-class presentation based on a prescribed brief

30%: In-class test, relating key concepts and techniques to data or a scenario provided by the tutor

60%: Written assignment (a prescribed essay topic, chosen from a list).

Requirements and assessment criteria related to each task will be provided at the beginning of the course.




There is no single textbook suitable for a 2016 version of this course. The closest available textbook is Language and Media: a resource book for students (Routledge, 2009), co-written by this year’s course tutor with co-author Marina Lambrou. That textbook is being updated for a new edition to be published in early 2017; students on the course will be given online access to additional content from that edition each week. A list of core and recommended readings – including links to communication industry information and practical resources - will be provided closer to the start of the course.



Last updated: 11 January 2016