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Methods in Language Variation & Change - LAN00006H

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Carmen Llamas
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

In this module, you will develop research skills for studying sociolinguistic phenomena, and particularly language variation and change. This course will walk you through the process of carrying out a sociolinguistic study, from the logic of selecting a variable to study through to data analysis.

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Additional information

With respect to prerequisites the following modules are equivalent:

Second year modules

  • Intermediate Language Variation and Change, Sociolinguistics

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

This module will allow you to undertake a research project of your own devising. In doing this you will have the opportunity to develop your research abilities, including the formulation of research questions and data elicitation and analysis techniques. The module will develop your skills in working independently. It will also further your time management skills. These are skills which are essential in most professional roles.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of this module, you should be able to:

  • frame a set of research questions in the context of relevant literature

  • apply basic principles of research design

  • conduct data collection and analysis

  • present quantitative summaries of data effectively

  • manage some basic statistical techniques

  • manage the workload on an independent research project

Module content

The course will be very 'hands on'. Much of your work for the course will be done in seminars and in partial collaboration with your classmates.


Task Length % of module mark
Final project report
N/A 70
Research Proposal
N/A 15
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
0.25 hours 15

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Reassessment: Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written feedback on their assessments within the Feedback Turnaround Time of 25 days.

Indicative reading

Holmes, J. and Hazen, K. (2013) Research Methods in Sociolinguistics: a practical guide. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Mallinson, C., Childs, B. and Van Herk, G. (2013) Data Collection in Sociolinguistics: Methods and applications. New York: Routledge.

Milroy, L. and Gordon, M., (2003) Sociolinguistics: Method and Interpretation. Oxford: Blackwell. [e-book]

Tagliamonte, S. (2006) Analysing Sociolinguistic Variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.