English   Danish

2017/2018  BA-BEOKO1039U  Discourses and power

English Title
Discourses and power

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Bachelor
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BA in English and Organisational Communication
Course coordinator
  • Charlotte Werther - Department of Management, Society and Communication (MSC)
Main academic disciplines
  • Language
Last updated on 23-06-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: The student should be able to:
  • independently identify and argue for the relevance of a problem within the course themes
  • gather material and data relevant to the project’s central aims, and relate critically to sources
  • carry out an analysis based on the project’s central aims and reach well-founded conclusions using the main concepts, methods and theories of the course
  • relate the project to and engage in dialogue on the concepts, methods and theories of the course
  • structure both written and oral presentations clearly and logically
  • communicate in fluent, correct and idiomatic English
Discourses and power:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual oral exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 20 pages
Length of project: Max. 5 standard pages per student.
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Re-examination: As the regular examination
It is possible to:
1. Submit the previously written group project without change
2. Submit a new project, either with 1-3 other students or alone. New project topics must be approved by the course coordinator.
Description of the exam procedure

The exam is an individual oral examination based on a project written in groups of 2-4 students. Project topics must be approved by the class teacher.


Examination language: English




Course content and structure

The aim of the course is to strengthen students’ abilities to be critical of language use in organisations as well as societal contexts and to apply critical discourse analysis to central discourses in English-speaking countries. It aims to expand the students' understanding of and ability to navigate the societal context in which organisations operate.


The course presents students with: 1) concepts and tools to analyse the development of discourses in different English-speaking countries with particular emphasis on the link between language use and the structure of argument and interests, and 2) social context and concepts, including power and hegemony, as well as the relevant historical, economic, political and institutional preconditions for such discourses.


The course builds on previous courses such as Text and text production, The structure of English, and British and American Studies.

Teaching methods
The course comprises lectures combined with a series of class sessions in which relevant themes and cases are analysed using the theories and concepts that have been introduced. The teaching prepares students to develop proposals for a project in groups towards the end of the course, with the purpose of writing an exam project.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students are given feedback on assignments, including on exam project drafts during the supervision phase. In addition, students have the opportunity to get post-exam feedback on their projects.
Student workload
Teaching 20 hours
preparation (including exercises) 55 hours
Written assignments 40 hours
Project 80 hours
Exam, including exam preparation 12 hours
Further Information

This course requires that students have followed the courses: Text and text production, and British and American studies

Expected literature

Suggested literature:

Bitsch Olsen, Poul & Pedersen, Kaare (2008). Problem-Oriented Project Work. Frederiksberg: Roskilde University Press, Chapters 13 to 15
Fairclough, Norman (2001). Language and Power (3rd ed.).London and New York: Routledge.
Flyvbjerg, Bent (2001). Making Social Science Matter. Why social inquiry fails and how it can succeed again. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Joseph, John E. (2006). Language and Politics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Montgomery, Martin (2008). An Introduction to Language and Society. London and New York: Routledge
Phillips, Louise & Jørgensen, Marianne W. (2002). Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method. London: Sage

Last updated on 23-06-2017