Taught course

Forensic Linguistics

Cardiff University · Cardiff School of English, Communication, and Philosophy

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 in degrees related to language, linguistics, forensic science, psychology and law-related disciplines. No legal background will be assumed.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA/Diploma in Forensic Linguistics is an innovative programme which provides students with theory and techniques to critically analyse the use of language in a variety of legal contexts and to critically evaluate expert testimony on forensic matters. Students receive a grounding in research methods and issues and debates in forensic linguistics. They acquire tools for evaluating and examining a range of legal language in relation to issues such as power and comprehensibility. They 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.

Course Aims

This degree programme has two main aims:

  1. To introduce students 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 both types of research.
Special Features
  • This innovative programme is the longest running Master’s level course on a forensic linguistic topic. It is well-established and internationally recognised.
  • The Centre for Language and Communication Research has a well established reputation in a broad range of teaching and research areas, including sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, multimodality, health communication, forensic linguistics, systemic functional grammar, phonology, and language education.
  • Graduates have gone on to further study (e.g. a PhD or law degree) or have pursued careers in a number of relevant areas such as policing, the courts and Government.

For more information, please visit http://courses.cardiff.ac.uk/postgraduate/course/detail/p117.html

Information for international students

Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to have a minimum IELTS score of 7 overall.

Fees and funding

This course is included in the Masters Excellence Scholarship 2015 (Pathway to PhD) scheme. If you are looking at applying for a Masters degree with the intention of going on to study at PhD level then you are eligible to apply for this scholarship. The application will ask you to consider your research area and future sources of funding. It is recognised, however, that in making this application there is not a commitment to undertake further study, or to undertake further studies at Cardiff University. Similarly, in making an award, Cardiff University is not committing to making an offer for further study or for a further award.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


part time
18 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

ENCAP Postgraduate Office, Timothy Collins
+44 (0)29 2087 4722