Centre for Cultural Research (PCCR)

Introduction to Semiotics
Certificate Short-term Course

  • Course Duration:

    45 hours

  • Course Mode:


Course Overview

When we see the logos or poster, what comes to our minds first? Why do we think that way, only? What is the connection between the logo and poster and the products and services associated with them? The study of semiotics tries to provide these answers. Semiotics is a science of signs and their interpretations; and all the logos, pictures, and words we use to communicate are signs. In this course, we will try to understand how signs are created and interpreted by the people. We will have on-hand experience of creating and interpreting the signs and the texts in the course. The language we use is also made up of signs, which means there is a system in which we arrange the signs to create meaning. We will understand this system of creating meaningful texts from signs.

Course Objectives

        • Understand the basics of Semiotics and Signs.
        • Applying the models on our day-to-day language, our writing system and pronunciation.
        • Applying the models on the texts surrounding us and identifying the hidden connotations.
        • Applying the models on Logos and Symbols to uncover their meanings.
        • Using the knowledge of Signs to make one’s communication creative and effective.
        • Using the knowledge of Signs to understand the world better.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course student should be able to:

        • Ability to apply the concept of sign to interpret various kinds of texts.
        • Ability to identify the socio-cultural forces generating the interpretations of signs.
        • Ability to identify politico-historical forces generating the interpretations of signs.
        • Ability to identify the ideological baggage coming with every sign.
        • Ability to work in teams and independently in comprehending various visual and verbal texts.
        • Ability to produce neutral and comprehensible visual and verbal messages.


Total Credit – 3 Course Duration – 45 hours
      1. What is Semiotics
      2. History of Signs
      3. Why study Semiotics?
      1. Concept of Sign – Signifier and Signified
      2. Arbitrary relation between signifier and signified
      3. Langue and parole
      4. Relations: Syntagmatic & Paradigmatic
      5. Application
      1. Concept of Sign – representamen, interpretant, object
      2. Modes/Types of Sign: Icon, index, symbol
      3. Semiosis
      4. Application
      1. Denotation vs. Connotation,
      2. Text, Author
      3. Myth
      4. Sign & Ideology
      5. Application
      1. Semiotics and Literary Studies
      2. Semiotics and Psychoanalysis
      3. Semiotics and Feminism
      4. Semiotics and Culture

Chandler, Daniel. 2002. Semiotics: The Basics. NY: Routledge.

Cobley, Paul. [Ed.] 1996. The Communication Theory Reader. London & NY: Routledge.

Corner, John, & Hawthorn, Jeremy. [Eds.] 1985. Communication Studies: An Introductory Reader. London: Edward Arnold.

Danesi, Marcel. 1994. Messages and Meanings: An Introduction to Semiotics. Toronto:

University of Toronto Press.

Deely, John. 1990. Basics of Semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Eco, Umberto. 1990. The Limits of Interpretation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Fiske, John. 1990. Introduction to Communication Studies. 2nd edn. New York: Routledge.

Hawkes, T. 2003. Structuralism and Semiotics. London: Routledge.

Johansen, J. D. & Larsen, S. E. 2002. Signs in Use: An Introduction to Semiotics. London: Routledge.

Saussure, Ferdinand de. 1959. Course in General Linguistics. Glasgow: Fontana/Collins.

      • Assignments
      • MCQ Tests
      • Classroom contribution
  • INR 4,700

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1 Fee sturcture
Students/Professionals: Rs. 4,700/-

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