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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: English Short Name: CMCM052
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: OGIERMANN E Dr (English)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Semester I
Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment

Weighting Towards Module Mark ( %)




3000 word essay (based on own data collection)


Qualifying Condition(s) 

 A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module.




The essay will be marked according the following criteria and weightings:    



Independence of thought:


Grasp of theoretical concepts, theories and framework:


Analytical rigour and coherence of arguments:


(including referencing, use of secondary sources, bibliography):


Module Overview

In this course, we will learn how to apply concepts from linguistics, in particular pragmatics, and semiotics to the analysis of advertisements. We will examine how advertisement designers exploit linguistic and visual means in order to communicate messages, and to persuade and manipulate their recipients. We will look at how this is accomplished by means of different linguistic and rhetorical figures, and how information is conveyed indirectly, e.g. through the use of presupposition and implicature, and through non-verbal signs, such as images or colours. We will consider advertisements in various media, including newspapers/journals, radio, TV and the internet and we will examine the effect of culture on the production and perception of advertisements.

Module Aims


To introduce basic concept of pragmatics, semiotics that can be applied to the study of advertisements



To identify and analyze linguistic and non-linguistic means used by advertisement designers



To examine the significance of cultural factors in advertising


To collect and analyze empirical data  

Learning Outcomes


Upon successful completion of the module, you will  have a:


Comprehensive knowledge of the main concepts from semiotics, pragmatics and general linguistics relevant for the analysis of advertisements



Ability to identify these concepts in advertisements



Ability to interpret the use of these concepts, the messages they help to convey and the effect they produce on their recipient.



Awareness of the impact of cultural factors on advertising



Ability to carry out a critical analysis of advertisements by applying the above skills.



Module Content

Indicative Content:


Pragmatic concepts used in analyzing advertisements


Semiotic concepts used in analyzing advertisements


Role of different media in advertising


Role of culture in advertising


Data collection and analysis


Methods of Teaching/Learning


 Total student learning time 150 hours:


   22 hours lectures (2 hours per week. 1 hour lecture, 1 hour seminar)


   64 hours independent learning, 64 hours assignment work.   

The lectures are used to introduce and discuss the theories which inform an understanding of the topics


The seminars are used to apply models and theories to case studies based on specific contexts of interpersonal communication



Selected Texts/Journals












Beasley, R. & Danesi, M. 2002. Persuasive signs. The semiotics of advertising. Berlin : Mouton de Gruyter.


Cook, G. 2001. The discourse of advertising. London : Routledge


Dyer, G. 2003. Advertising as communication. London : Routledge.


Du Plessis, Erik. 2005. The advertised mind. Groundbreaking insights into how our brains respond to advertising. Millward Brown.


Geis, Michael L. 1982. The language of television advertising. New York : Academic Press.


Grice, H. Paul. 1975. Logic and conversation. In Syntax and semantics 3: Speech acts, ed. Peter Cole and Jerry Morgan, 41–58. New York : Academic Press.


Goddard, A. 1998. The language of advertising: written texts. London : Routledge.


Hermeren, L. 1999. English for sale: a study of the language of advertising. Lund: Lund University Press.


Kelly-Holmes, H. 2005. Advertising as Multilingual Communication. Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan.  


Leech, G. 1966. English in advertising: a linguistic study of advertising in . London : Longman.


Meibauer, Jörg. 2005. Lying and falsely implicating. Journal of Pragmatics 37:1373–1399.


Myers, G. 1994. Words in ads. London: Arnold


Tanaka, K. 1994. Advertising language. A pragmatic approach to advertisements in and . London : Routledge.

Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising


International Journal of Advertising
Last Updated
31 August 2010