MA Forensic Linguistics

Cardiff University, Wales

Link to programme

About Programme

This programme develops a theoretical and practical understanding of communication in legal settings, including methods of data collection and analysis and training in the examination of forensic linguistic evidence.

  • Type: On campus
  • Start: September
  • Language: English

Full-time

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Fee national: $9,775
  • Fee international: $21,644

Part-time

  • Duration: 24 months

You will develop skills in research and writing at higher degree level and learn to engage with the legal system as a site of social life where important decisions are made through language. On successful completion of the MA programme you will have achieved the following outcomes:

  • The application of descriptive data analysis skills in a wide range of spoken and written discourse contexts within the legal process, including emergency calls, police interviews, courtroom interaction, judicial judgments;
  • A critical understanding of investigative data analysis skills in both spoken and written discourse contexts, including such areas as disputed authorship and plagiarism detection;
  • A critical understanding of the work of linguists as advisers and activists on legal systems and settings.

This degree programme has two main aims:

  1. To introduce you to linguistic aspects of the criminal justice system including those which centre on policing and the courtroom whilst also looking to the surrounding legal system. The programme examines issues of justice, fairness and equality in law as they relate to language and communication.
  2. To explore the role of the linguist when interacting with legal and legislative systems by examining the actual or potential impact of linguistics (broadly defined) on criminal investigations and on legal activities and procedures. Here, we examine the work of expert witnesses and linguistic consultants on language and law and consider the opportunities and challenges inherent in research for each purpose.

This innovative programme is the longest running Master's level course on a forensic linguistic topic in the world. It is well-established and internationally recognised.

Careers

Employers for graduates from this programme include: local government departments, police forces, secondary schools, language schools, universities, banks, solicitors and utility companies. Career destinations include: crime intelligence analyst, crime analyst, specialist police interviewer, emergency call handler, lawyer, lecturer, teacher, programme administrator, research assistant, PR executive, marketing executive and writer.

Entry requirements

A 1st or upper 2nd class UK honours degree, or equivalent is usually required. The MA/Diploma in Forensic Linguistics is suitable for graduates who hold degrees related to language, linguistics or law-related disciplines. No legal background will be assumed. Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to have a minimum IELTS score of 7 overall.

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