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Masters Degrees (Forensic Linguistic)

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The MSc has been designed in conjunction with one of the world's leading forensic speech laboratories, JP French Associates. The director of the laboratory, Professor Peter French, will deliver some of the taught components and will supervise some research projects. Read more
The MSc has been designed in conjunction with one of the world's leading forensic speech laboratories, JP French Associates. The director of the laboratory, Professor Peter French, will deliver some of the taught components and will supervise some research projects.

Students are given the opportunity to go on site visits that will allow them to observe the working practices of the laboratory, as well as those of cognate institutions such as courts. They will carry out analyses of recordings from real forensic cases and will have the opportunity to develop expert witness communication skills by undergoing cross-examination from a practising barrister in the University’s moot court.

Areas of the MSc overlap with those central to speech and recording technology and students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of the latest generation of automatic speaker recognition software used in banking and law enforcement, made available through the Department’s partnership with Nuance.

Aims

The MSc in Forensic Speech Science provides a comprehensive foundation in the aims, practices, and principles of speech analysis for forensic purposes. The course will:
-Provide a thorough grounding in the theoretical underpinnings of forensic speech analysis, especially in phonetics, acoustics, and sociolinguistics/language variation
-Introduce students to the practical techniques used in forensic speech and audio analysis
-Provide students with an appreciation of theoretical and methodological problems in performing forensic speech and audio analysis
-Enable students to apply their skills and knowledge to recorded materials from real criminal cases
-Enable students to perform original research in speaker comparison and speech content analysis
-Impart understanding of the role and responsibilities of the forensic speech scientist as expert witness

Applicants

The course will be of interest to:
-Graduates with a background in linguistics, acoustics, English or other language-based disciplines
-Graduates in law, criminology or psychology
-Professionals in legal practice, government agencies, law enforcement agencies or other branches of forensic science
-Potential practitioners of forensic speech science

Careers

The MSc is not intended as a stand-alone vocational qualification. However, successful completion of the programme will provide students with the requisite skills, understanding, and knowledge to work effectively and increase their employability in forensic domains as well as in related fields such as the police, prison service, emergency call services and security services.

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This programme is designed for students of linguistics and aims to improve students’ linguistic skills and understanding such that they can apply them to forensic texts and contexts. Read more
This programme is designed for students of linguistics and aims to improve students’ linguistic skills and understanding such that they can apply them to forensic texts and contexts. There is a strong ethos throughout this programme that forensic linguistics is an application of linguistics and thus students study and improve their knowledge and abilities in the linguistic analysis of spoken and written language. Alongside the linguistics modules students then learn about the legal and forensic contexts and how linguists have developed understandings and critiques of the language of the law and how linguists analyse language to provide evidence in a variety of legal contexts. To complete the programme students complete a short practical project or placement and then research for a dissertation.

Sample module options: The following modules are indications only - the University reserves the right to change the modules on offer, the module content and the assessment methods. Core modules:
-Lexicogrammar (LEM051)
-Analysing Written and Spoken Discourse (LEM001)
-Analysing Written and Spoken Discourse II (LEM050)
-Research Methods (LRM001)
-Linguistics in Legal contexts (LEM012)
-Language as Evidence (LEM059)
-Practical Applications in Forensic Linguistics (LEM060)
-Dissertation (LRM005)

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

You will take part in interactive seminars, presentations and group work as well as attending lectures and tutorials. There are also opportunities for individual research and supervised practical work. Successful completion of the taught modules is a precondition for proceeding to a 15,000 word dissertation leading to the MA.

Career Prospects

The course is for students interested in a career in research in this important and growing area, or those whose existing careers would be advanced by specialised training. The course is also an excellent foundation for studies at PhD level.

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Our innovative Forensic Linguistics programme offers the theory and techniques to critically analyse the use of language in a variety of legal contexts. Read more
Our innovative Forensic Linguistics programme offers the theory and techniques to critically analyse the use of language in a variety of legal contexts. You will learn 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 also 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 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;
critical understanding of the work of linguists as advisers and activists on legal systems and settings.
This degree programme has two main aims:

To introduce 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.
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.

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Applied Linguistics is for teachers who are at the beginning of their careers and those who have more experience but would like to develop, deepen and enhance their knowledge, skills and practice. Read more
Applied Linguistics is for teachers who are at the beginning of their careers and those who have more experience but would like to develop, deepen and enhance their knowledge, skills and practice.

The programme covers the areas of linguistics that inform classroom practice (such as syntax, morphology, semantics, pragmatics and phonetics), raising awareness of these fields and applying them to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).

Practical teaching opportunities are a feature of the programme, including teaching to your peer group and international students from other programmes. There is also the opportunity to visit a local language college and observe classes.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/357/applied-linguistics-and-teaching-english-to-speakers-of-other-languages-tesol

About the Department of English Language and Linguistics

English Language and Linguistics (ELL), founded in 2010, is the newest department of the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL). ELL is a dynamic and growing department with a vibrant research culture. We specialise in experimental and theoretical linguistics. In particular, our interests focus on quantitative and experimental research in speech and language processing, variation and acquisition, but also cover formal areas such as syntax, as well as literary stylistics. In addition to English and its varieties, our staff work in French, German, Greek, Romani, Korean, Spanish and Russian.

Staff and postgraduates are members of the Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies (CLLS), a research centre that seeks to promote interdisciplinary linguistic research. We also have links with research networks outside Kent, and are involved with national and international academic associations including the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, the British Association of Academic Phoneticians, the Linguistic Society of America, the Association for French Language Studies and the Poetics and Linguistics Association.

Course structure

The programme starts with three linguistics modules (Sounds, Structure and Meaning) and a module on language awareness for teachers (Language Awareness and Analysis) so that you have a firm grasp of the linguistic bases of language teaching and how to apply them to the classroom.

In the spring term the focus is on how languages are learned (Second Language Acquisition), how you can improve classroom technique (The Practice of TESOL), plan for your students’ needs (Course and Syllabus Design) and provide them with materials which will be interesting, effective and motivating (Materials Evaluation and Development).

The dissertation will be an opportunity to plan and develop a piece of empirical research which can be of direct relevance to your current or planned teaching situation.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

LL832 - Meaning (15 credits)
LL833 - Structure (15 credits)
LL834 - Second Language Acquisition (15 credits)
LL838 - Sounds (15 credits)
LL840 - Course and Syllabus Design for TESOL (15 credits)
LL841 - Language Awareness and Analysis for TESOL (15 credits)
LL842 - Materials Evaluation and Development for TESOL (15 credits)
LL843 - The Practice of TESOL (15 credits)
LL899 - Research Dissertation (60 credits)

Assessment

Modules are typically assessed by a 3-4,000-word essay, but assessment patterns can include practical/experimental work, report and proposal writing, critiques, problem solving and seminar presentations. You also complete a 12-15,000-word research dissertation on a topic agreed with your supervisor.

Programme aims

- Provide TESOL practitioners with advanced knowledge of linguistics related to language pedagogy, informed by research and scholarship, which will enhance, develop and inform their understanding of language learning and classroom practice.

- To produce graduates who will contribute locally, nationally and internationally to the TESOL community.

- To prepare students to be more effective in the TESOL classroom.

- To provide students with teaching and training which is informed by research, scholarship, practice and experience.

Research areas

Alongside our research centre below, we also have links with research networks outside Kent, and are involved with national and international academic associations including the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, the British Association of Academic Phoneticians, the Linguistic Society of America, the Association for French Language Studies and the Poetics and Linguistics Association.

- Linguistics Lab

The newly established Linguistics Lab is currently housed in Rutherford College and has facilities for research in acoustics, sociophonetics and speech and language processing. English Language and Linguistics (ELL) members also have access to the School of European Culture and Language (SECL) recording studio and multimedia labs which can be used both for research and teaching.

- Centre for Language and Linguistics

English Language and Linguistics is the main contributor to the Centre for Language and Linguistics. Founded in 2007, the Centre promotes interdisciplinary collaboration in linguistic research and teaching. Membership embraces not just the members of English Language and Linguistics but also other SECL members with an interest in the study of language, as well as researchers in philosophy, computing, psychology and anthropology, reflecting the many and varied routes by which individuals come to a love of language and an interest in the various disciplines and subdisciplines of linguistics.

Careers

Postgraduate work in English Language and Linguistics prepares you for a range of careers where an in-depth understanding of how language functions is essential. These include speech and language theory, audiology, teaching, publishing, advertising, journalism, public relations, company training, broadcasting, forensic and computational work, and the civil or diplomatic services.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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The MA in Linguistics at Kent offers an excellent opportunity to explore the broad spectrum of linguistics and its sub-disciplines. Read more
The MA in Linguistics at Kent offers an excellent opportunity to explore the broad spectrum of linguistics and its sub-disciplines.

The programme is designed for graduates with a background in language and related areas (for example, English, Modern or Classical Languages, Linguistics, Psychology, Anthropology), looking to explore the theory and methodology of linguistics in-depth, from the study of sound (phonetics and phonology) to the study of words (morphology), sentences (syntax) and meaning (semantics and pragmatics). It draws upon the considerable expertise of staff in the Department of English Language & Linguistics.

Students choose four modules each in the Autumn and Spring terms, including core modules on Sounds, Structure, and Meaning, supplemented with options on, for example, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, language learning and teaching, sociolinguistics and stylistics, which allow students to develop areas of interest, and engage with aspects of their chosen discipline which are informed by the latest research and scholarship. They then complete a research dissertation of up to 15,000 words over the summer.

The programme is ideal for those with a keen interest in language in the broadest sense, and a willingness to explore theories of language critically. The programme also offers a smooth transition to doctoral work for those who wish to pursue their studies further.

About the Department of English Language and Linguistics

English Language and Linguistics (ELL), founded in 2010, is the newest department of the School of European Culture and Languages (SECL). ELL is a dynamic and growing department with a vibrant research culture. We specialise in experimental and theoretical linguistics. In particular, our interests focus on quantitative and experimental research in speech and language processing, variation and acquisition, but also cover formal areas such as syntax, as well as literary stylistics. In addition to English and its varieties, our staff work in French, German, Greek, Romani, Korean, Spanish and Russian.

Staff and postgraduates are members of the Centre for Language and Linguistic Studies (CLLS), a research centre that seeks to promote interdisciplinary linguistic research. We also have links with research networks outside Kent, and are involved with national and international academic associations including the Linguistics Association of Great Britain, the British Association of Academic Phoneticians, the Linguistic Society of America, the Association for French Language Studies and the Poetics and Linguistics Association.

We welcome applications from students interested in MA and PhD research. Please see our staff and research pages for more information on the topics staff are able to supervise.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, modern languages and linguistics was ranked 3rd for research quality, 3rd for research output and in the top 20 for research intensity, research impact and research power in the UK.

Our submission was the highest ranked nationally to include modern languages – a testament to our position as the UK’s European university. An impressive 100% of our research was judged to be of international quality and the School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Course structure

The programme comprises eight 15-credit modules.

The four core modules, Sounds, Meaning, Structure and Research Skills, provide you with a solid grounding in linguistic theory and methodology, while a range of optional modules either develop themes covered in the core module, or explore the relationship between language and other disciplines, such as literature (stylistics), the mind (psycholinguistics), and society (sociolinguistics).

Teaching in the MA in Linguistics takes the form of lectures, tutor-led and student-led seminars and tutorials, as well as problem-based workshops allowing students to engage with linguistic data and theory. You also have the opportunity to attend subject-related conferences and talks by visiting speakers.

You can study the programme on a 12-month full-time or a 24-month part-time basis.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

LL832 - Meaning (15 credits) - http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL832
LL833 - Structure (15 credits) - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL833
LL837 - Research Skills (15 credits) - http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL837
LL838 - Sounds (15 credits) - http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL838
LL847 - Topics in Syntax (15 credits) - http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL847
LL850 - Literary Stylistics: New Directions (15 credits) - http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL850
LL835 - Language Processing (15 credits) - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL835
LL836 - English Phonetics (15 credits) - http://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/modules/module/LL836
Show more... https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/11/linguistics#!structure

Assessment

Assessment consists of a combination of written coursework, practical/experimental work (where appropriate) and seminar presentations.

On successful completion of the taught modules, students write a 15,000-word research dissertation (included in their final grade) on a topic agreed with their supervisor.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

- enable you to obtain a postgraduate qualification (MA) in one year, and provide a smooth transition to doctoral work if you wish to pursue your studies further
- develop your critical awareness of research methodologies in linguistics
- offer a learning experience which is informed by the latest research and scholarship, and which requires you to engage with aspects of the discipline at the frontiers of knowledge
- provide further development of critical, analytical and other transferable skills acquired at first degree level.

Careers

Postgraduate work in English Language and Linguistics prepares you for a range of careers where an in-depth understanding of how language functions is essential. These include speech and language theory, audiology, teaching, publishing, advertising, journalism, public relations, company training, broadcasting, forensic and computational work, and the civil or diplomatic services.

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Introduction. Philosophy of Language is designed for students with a particular interest in philosophy and ways in which its principles and teachings can be applied to the study of language. Read more
Introduction
Philosophy of Language is designed for students with a particular interest in philosophy and ways in which its principles and teachings can be applied to the study of language. The study of language has given rise to a number of distinctive philosophical problems that became central to western philosophy in the nineteenth century and that have dominated research and discussion in the twentieth century.

Philosophy modules give students a thorough grounding of philosophical insights and critical reflection on the relationship between socio-political context and philosophical debate. Students are able to explore the history of philosophy from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century through to the development of a variety of critical and analytical traditions that have emerged from those foundations.

Philosophy of language modules examine the influence of philosophical theories on the analysis of language, focusing on the critical analysis of the relationship between philosophy of language and linguistics.
Philosophy of Language students approach their studies by:
- analysing and evaluating aspects of philosophy that have had significant influence on the general understanding of what language is and how its use interacts with, and exploits, context
- engaging with philosophical frameworks starting with Frege, through to Russell and Wittgenstein, which attempt to account for meaning in language
- evaluating philosophical foundations of critical theory that have contributed to debates on the understanding of history, politics and the nature of meaning.

Course structure
The course can be studied full or part-time - one year full-time, two years part-time. Part-time students attend the university on one day a week.
The programme offers opportunities for study within a flexible framework that can fit in with students' professional and personal commitments. Where possible, sessions are timetabled in later afternoon and early evening slots to allow for as much flexibility as possible.

Areas of study
Meaning, Truth and Use enables students to engage with a range of theoretical frameworks which adopt a formal approach to explaining meaning in language.
Semantics-pragmatics Interface: approaches to the study of meaning looks at the relationship between philosophy of language and linguistics and the influence of philosophical theories on the analysis of language.
Foundations of Critical Theory provokes critical reflection on the relationships between socio-political context and philosophical insight. It provides a grounding in the history of political philosophy from the Enlightenment to the twentieth century as well as offering close and critical reading of pivotal texts.
Traditions of Critical Theory engages students with the relationship between intellectual traditions and political analysis of pivotal texts from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. It maps the development of the variety of critical and analytical traditions that have emerged from those foundations.
The course structure gives students an opportunity to focus their study and research in the areas of philosophy and links between philosophy and language (ie theoretical linguistics). The culmination of this experience comes through a major piece of independent research, the dissertation.
Students also join those studying on other courses in attending fortnightly research seminars and talks by visiting and local speakers which will enhance their understanding of the subject areas, as well as offering opportunities to experience ways in which academic work and ideas can be presented to academic audiences. Weekly seminars on methodology and relevant research skills are also offered.

Syllabus
Semantics-pragmatics: minimalism and contextualism
Philosophy of Language
Critical Foundations
Critical Traditions
Research Methods

Career and progression opportunities
The course offers a profound experience, advanced understanding of a specialist area of philosophy of language and cultural and critical theory, and effective preparation for doctoral research in philosophy of language, philosophy, linguistics, cultural and critical theory or politics.
Other career opportunities may be in linguistics, philosophy of language, linguistic anthropology, politics, sociology, forensic linguistics, speech therapy, sign language, journalism, writing and teaching.

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This MA is an innovative programme specifically designed to give you the competence to undertake empirical work in discourse studies by drawing on both linguistic and social theory. Read more
This MA is an innovative programme specifically designed to give you the competence to undertake empirical work in discourse studies by drawing on both linguistic and social theory. The MA enables you to explore discourse in areas such as politics, law, business, media and health, whilst developing skills in a range of analytical methods. Support for your studies is provided by the non-credit Postgraduate Academic Study Skills module which runs in terms 1, 2 and 3.

Modules
Core modules:
• Introduction to Discourse Studies
• Critical Discourse Analysis
• Pragmatics
• Research Methods in Linguistics and English Language
• Dissertation

Optional modules:
• Bilingualism
• Cognitive Linguistics
• Corpus Linguistics
• English Grammar: a Cognitive Approach
• Forensic Linguistics
• Literacies and Digital Communications
• Stylistics

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