9am - 5:45pm
Monday 9 March - Wednesday 11 March 2020

Discourse Analysis

Corresponding to on-going, central issues in discourse analysis this course has a dual focus:

  1. to introduce you to discourse analysis as a qualitative method in the service of analysing qualitative data (discourse) and
  2. 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.

from £395.00 to £595.00

University of Surrey


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)


On successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Appreciate the issues related to using discourse analysis in research (C,K,P,T)
  • Critically evaluate different discourse analytic approaches and their place in contemporary (social) research (C,K)
  • Demonstrate a practical understanding of the application of these discourse analytic approaches (K,T,P)
  • Develop research proposals that demonstrate appropriate use of discourse analytic approaches (K,T,P)

Key: C-Cognitive/Analytical; K-Subject Knowledge; T-Transferable Skills; P- Professional/ Practical skills


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). For full details of her research interests and experience, see: https://surrey.academia.edu/MariaXenitidou


Entry (no or almost no prior knowledge)


Wooffitt, R. (2008) Conversation Analysis and Discourse Analysis. IN: Gilbert, N. (Ed.) Researching Social Life. 3rd edition. London: SAGE

Xenitidou, M. and Gunnarsdóttir, K. (2019) The Power of Discourse: How agency is constructed and constituted in discourse of smart technologies, systems and associated developments. Discourse & Society. Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 287-306

Xenitidou, M. and Greco-Morasso, S. (2014) Parental discourse and identity management in the talk of indigenous and migrant speakers in Greece and the UK. Discourse & Society. Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 100-121

*Participants on the course will include some students completing the MSc in Social Research Methods*

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