Discourse analysis: an introduction

Key information

Start date:
11 December 2023
Attendance dates:

11 December 2023

Time commitment:
9:30am - 4:30pm
Distance learning
Contact details:
  • Maria Xenitidou
  • Associate Professor of Social Psychology, University of Western Macedonia, Greece
  • Email: m.xenitidou@surrey.ac.uk


Corresponding to on-going, central issues in discourse analysis this course has a dual focus: a) to introduce you to discourse analysis as a qualitative method in the service of analysing qualitative data (discourse) and b) to discuss discourse analysis as a paradigm. In this way, the course is focused on the analysis of discourse and also on the reasons for opting for discursive approaches while considering the assumptions they entail. 

The course is designed to introduce participants to discourse analysis starting from its philosophical underpinnings to discussing recent developments and debates. Through a combination of lectures and practical sessions/workshops, we will cover various approaches to discourse analysis as well as the main principles and key literatures, illustrate analytic tools through the use of examples, and engage in hands-on analysis. 

The course will engage you in evaluations of discourse-analytic approaches, and offer you the opportunity to develop some initial practical skills in applying discourse analysis. Rather than focusing in depth on a single approach, the course aims to develop a critical understanding of a range of these approaches and give you the confidence to select them appropriately. Finally, the course aims to provide a foundation to develop your skills further independently in the future.

Learning outcomes

  • To appreciate the issues related to using discourse analysis in research 
  • To critically evaluate different discourse analytic approaches and their place in contemporary (social) research
  • To demonstrate a practical understanding of the application of these discourse analytic approaches 
  • To develop research proposals that demonstrate appropriate use of discourse analytic approaches.

Course content

The course will cover the following broad topics: 

  • Discourse: what is it?
  • Discourse and construction
  • Discursive turn – main principles
  • Strands in discourse analysis
  • Analytic process(es) & procedure(s).

Learning and teaching methods

  • Presentations
  • Discussions
  • Guided exercises
  • Independent group exercises.

Course leader

Dr Maria Xenitidou

Associate professor of Social Psychology, University of Western Macedonia, Greece

Maria Xenitidou is a qualitative social scientist with particular expertise in discursive and rhetorical approaches. She has taught discourse analysis workshops nationally and internationally. Her research interests include identity and otherness, citizenship, migration, the social construction of knowledge and expertise, sense-making, contingencies and accountability (management). 

Entry requirements

A basic understanding of standard qualitative methods will be helpful.

Fees and funding

Price per person:




Education and charitable sector applicants


Government and commercial sector applicants

What these fees include

Online course materials.

How to apply

Applications will be through our online store. 

Apply now

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This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the commencement of the course. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read the full disclaimer.

Course location and contact details

Campus location

Stag Hill

Stag Hill is the University's main campus and where the majority of our courses are taught. 

Carrie Lee

University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH