Forensic Linguistics (Taught)
The MA in Forensic Linguistics is an innovative programme which provides you with theory and techniques to critically analyse the use of language in a variety of legal contexts, to critically evaluate expert testimony on forensic matters and to consider the role of expertise in legal systems more generally.
You will receive a grounding in research methods and issues and debates in forensic linguistics. You will acquire tools for evaluating and examining a range of legal language in relation to issues such as power and comprehensibility.
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.
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.
Applicants should normally hold a first class or upper second class UK honours degree or equivalent. The MA in Forensic Linguistics is suitable for graduates who hold degrees in Linguistics, English Language, English Language & Literature (combined), Modern Languages, Law, Forensic Psychology, Criminology, Sociology with defined Criminology pathway. No legal background will be assumed.
Some candidates will be invited to attend interview, in person or via Skype. Others might be asked to write a short essay.
There is no fixed deadline although applications which arrive less than a month before the official start date of the course may not be processed in time for a smooth start.
Typical IELTS offer: An overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum of 6.5 in each category is required for non-native English speakers or those who have not had a substantial part of their education taught in the English language.
For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.
Does this course require proof of English proficiency?
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Scholarships & funding
For more information about scholarships, please visit the university website.
Full-Time tuition fees
- UK and EU students: £8,200
- Students from outside the EU: £18,200
Part-Time tuition fees
- UK and EU students: £4,100
- Students from outside the EU: £9,100
What skills will I practise and develop?
Many of the learning outcomes involve practising skills that are transferable to numerous areas of employment.
In addition, you will practise and develop the ability to:
- communicate effectively with others via writing, speech and other means;
- think carefully and systematically about problems;
- synthesise a range of information efficiently;
- use electronic and other sources of information as appropriate to a range of tasks;
- plan and manage time effectively;
- take responsibility for your own learning programme and professional development.
You will develop practical skills through seminar presentations and discussion, workshops on developing transcription skills, making presentations and poster presentations and through group project work.
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.
Graduates have gone on to further study (e.g. a PhD or law degree)
Career destinations include:
- Crime intelligence analyst
- Crime analyst
- Specialist police interviewer
- Emergency call handler
- Programme administrator
- Research assistant
- PR executive
- Marketing executive and writer.
About this institute
Founded in 1883, Cardiff University combines a prestigious heritage with impressive modern facilities, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. As part of the Russell Group, our students benefit from our outstanding research quality and reputation, while...
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