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MSc in Forensic Speech Science

Course Description

The MSc programme combines a foundation in general linguistic-phonetic theory and method with extensive practical experience in analysis of forensic materials.


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.
Areas of the MSc overlap with those central to speech technology (especially speaker recognition), as well as communications and recording technology (including the development of recording systems for emergency calls, police messaging and covert operations).


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

After study

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.

Further study

The MSc also provides distinctive training for students who wish to continue their academic careers to PhD level in phonetics, sociolinguistics/language variation and change, or acoustics.


Graduates of the MSc programme have found employment with police services, forensic laboratories, and as academic researchers.

Visit the MSc in Forensic Speech Science page on the University of York website for more details!

Entry Requirements

You should normally hold or expect to receive at least a 2:1 or equivalent in your first degree. If your first language is not English and your first degree was not taken in an English speaking country, you will need to show evidence that you meet our English Language requirements.

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