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.
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
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
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.