Critical Discourse Perspectives

Module code: ED7518

Module co-ordinator: Dr Nick Smith

In this module you will build on the Block 2 module, Discourse Analysis, to investigate critical approaches to the analysis of discourse, in particular Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and its main branches (e.g. the approaches of Fairclough, Wodak, and van Leeuwen). You will explore key theoretical and practical issues, such as how social situations impact on language use and how language use constitutes social situations. Through a range of practical activities you will have opportunities to develop and apply CD analytical skills to authentic written and spoken texts. In addition you will explore the relevance of CDA in educational and language learning contexts, and consider the implications of critical approaches for language teaching and language learning.

Topics covered

  • Introduction to Critical Discourse Perspectives
  • Fairclough’s model of CDA
  • Other approaches to CDA
  • Critical and Post-Structuralist Approaches to Learning and Identity
  • Critical Analysis of Classroom Discourse
  • Criticisms of Critical Discourse Analysis 


150 hours over 20 weeks to include:

  • reading course materials; reading, watching and listening to required and recommended resources
  • engaging in online module activities / discussion forum
  • independent study
  • writing the module assignment



  • 3,000-word project involving data collection


  • You can combine the assessment for this module and another option module in Block 4 into a single 6,000-word project.