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.
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.
I was originally attracted to Aston for my Undergraduate degree because of the emphasis and importance that the university placed on its sandwich year programme. I spent the year working as a teaching assistant in Belgium and the programme gave me the opportunity to gain invaluable skills and experiences.
After having taken modules in Forensic Linguistics during the second and third years of my undergraduate, I became increasingly interested in this topic. Aston is home to the Centre for Forensic Linguistics, and is at the forefront of developments in this field, so it was an ideal place for further studies for me.
As I had completed my undergraduate with Aston, I was entitled to a 10% discount on my postgraduate course. Additionally, I had also applied for, and was awarded, a scholarship offered by the School of Languages and Social Sciences. In exchange for six hours work per week as a conversational English teacher, I was given a further 50% reduction in fees.
The lecturers at Aston are able to communicate their zeal and knowledge of their subjects effectively in lectures and group discussions.
The MA in Applied Linguistics has given me a solid knowledge base for a career in the field of linguistics.
After working for more than 25 years in the field of ESL and bilingual education, I became interested in the field of Forensic Linguistics. Maybe my interest in Forensic Linguistics stemmed from watching an excess of crime scene investigation shows on television, or my close friendships with lawyers and colleagues from the criminal justice department, but after much research I enrolled in Aston University’s Forensic Linguistics program by distance learning.
I had already taken a couple courses when I enrolled in a course called Linguistic Investigation and Evidence. I was very excited when I saw that the course content included authorship attribution! I read with great interest and curiosity about the cases that had been solved related to text messages. It was like reading a mystery novel or watching one of those TV crime shows! "How interesting! I want to do that!" I thought to myself.
When I complete the graduate diploma program, I hope to serve as a consultant to police and legal professionals, and the course LEM 032 Linguistic Investigation and Evidence gave me my first glimpse of what is actually involved in that type of work. It was challenging and fun at the same time!'
The School of Languages and Social Sciences offers 3 x £5,000 scholarships towards tuition fees in the 2015/16 academic year.If you wish to be considered for the scholarship you must submit an essay of approximately 1000 words on the following: "How will the LSS MA/MSc Scholarship enhance your career prospects and help you achieve your academic and professional goals? How would you benefit from a scholarship and what difference would it make to you?"
Value of Scholarship(s)
The scholarships are available to all students (full-time, part-time, on campus and distance learning) enrolling on LSS MA/ MSc programmes in 2015/16.
Email your completed essay to [email protected] NOTE: Applicants must hold a conditional or unconditional offer for an MA/MSc programme at LSS commencing at Aston University in October 2015.
CELCA Scholarship: For MA students with native speaker competence in English
The exact nature of this work will be decided at the beginning of the programme but may include providing support to international Postgraduate and International Year Abroad students, the IELTS team, deliver speaking classes for our IYA (International Year Abroad) and KYA (Kansai Year Abroad) students, help conference and workshop organisers, academic visitors or students with special needs. The work will often take place at different times every week - depending on the projects you support.
Value of Scholarship(s)
The School of Languages and Social Sciences offers 3 x £3000 bursaries towards the cost of the MA tuition fees for students with native speaker competence in English. In return, the students will complete up to six hours a week pastoral work for the School.
If you wish to be considered for the bursary, you must submit an essay of approximately 1000 words on the following:What do you consider to be your major strengths and weaknesses? How would you be able to support international students on programmes in the School of Languages and Social Sciences?Email your completed essay to [email protected] NOTE: Applicants must hold a conditional or unconditional offer for an MA programme (taught on-campus) at LSS commencing at Aston University October 2015.
A good UK Honours Degree (minimum 2.1) in English or a related discipline or an overseas recognised by Aston University, plus two references. Mathematics - C or above at GCSE (or equivalent). Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification.
Recipient: Aston University
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