Taught course

Applied and Forensic Linguistics

Canterbury Christ Church University · Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Education

Entry requirements

Undergraduate degree at 2:2 or above, or equivalent qualification. If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 or equivalent, with 6.0 minimum in each paper.

Months of entry


Course content

An MA in Applied and Forensic Linguistics is the best way to develop a deeper understanding of the many ways in which language works in the legal process, as well as methods to study it. Issues of authorship identification, as well as justice, power and interaction both relate to the practical applied study of language. Although the course focuses on the English language and the Anglo-Saxon judicial system, its theoretical and practical insights can be equally applied to other languages and systems, provided the context is studied and taken into account.

Why study Applied and Forensic Linguistics at Canterbury Christ Church University

Participating in this course gives you the opportunity to strengthen your theoretical knowledge of the formal aspects of the English language and non-verbal communication, while at the same time exploring how these aspects pertain to legal and regulatory contexts, from bills, laws and regulations to courtroom interaction and using language as evidence in the forensic process. As part of your degree, you will see how language is used and researched in legal and other professional contexts; the practical component of the degree will give you the opportunity to put into practice what you have learnt in and by reflecting on and analysing the impact of language in law and regulation.

Our Professional Practice module will provide you with workplace experience to demonstrate how Applied Linguistics theory, knowledge and research can be applied to understanding institutional and work-related settings (e.g. education, business, social services, health, and law & policing) and thus enhance your CV.

Further strengths of this course lie in the diversity of professional contexts that are analysed, which will help you decide in which direction you want to take your career.

You will:

  • develop a sophisticated and systematic breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding of Forensic Linguistics in terms of language system and use in speaking and writing as well as non-verbal communication.
  • gain a systematic and critical understanding of relevant Forensic Linguistics knowledge and theory in terms of spoken and written discourse in a range of legal settings and authorship attribution.
  • demonstrate ability to apply a range of relevant knowledge and theory in Forensic Linguistics to a workplace setting in terms of professional practice.
  • evaluate, apply and critique a range of appropriate and ethically-considered methodologies for Forensic Linguistics, evaluation and evidence-based practice, demonstrating an ability to argue for alternative and creative approaches.
  • carry out a sustained piece of ethical, empirical research which successfully applies Forensic Linguistics knowledge and theory relevant to communication in a range of legal settings, data collection and analysis, which in so doing develops the student as a researcher.
  • become autonomous, independent and innovative in scholarship, demonstrating ability to deploy a range of learning resources for research and self-critical writing, take responsibility for personal professional development and engage in academic and professional communication with others.

Who is the Course for

The course is for everyone who loves languages and has a specific interest in how languages shapes and is shaped by legal processes and regulation, and related professional practices.

As such, the course offers valuable awareness for all areas of professional work and all regulated aspects of life, as ’legal language’ permeates many aspects of everyday life.

At the same time, examining more closely the study of linguistic texts as forensic data and courtroom interaction can serve as a stepping-stone for further training into a professional career in forensic linguistics.

Finally, the course is a stepping stone for anyone who wants to pursue an academic career, as the work done on this programme often serves as a springboard for future research projects.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language, we require IELTS 6.5 or equivalent, with 6.0 minimum in each paper.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Government loans of up to £11,836 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2022. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MA
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiry Team