Introduction to Forensic Linguistics

This course introduces Linguistics and Forensic Linguistics to interested parties outside of academia.

Forensic linguistics is the application of Linguistics, the science that studies human language, to forensic problems.

Civil or criminal cases sometimes include language evidence, such as a disputed email or text message, or the meaning of a word or phrase, or the modality of production of a document. Drawing on what we know about how human language works, linguists can provide expert witness evidence that can help the investigators or the triers of fact.

This course will introduce the student to core concepts of the field of Linguistics and apply this knowledge using real case examples.

Course aims

  • To understand what Linguistics is and what a linguist does
  • To understand what is and what is not forensic linguistics
  • To learn the state of the art of forensic linguistics in its core areas of application.

Topics covered

  • What is Linguistics?
  • What is Forensic Linguistics?
  • Language as evidence
  • Identifying the author of a disputed document
  • Profiling the author of an anonymous document
  • Language crimes
  • Disputed meanings
  • Conclusion and assessment

Teaching and Learning

This course will be delivered online, asynchronously through a combination of videos, readings, and independent activities. Interaction with the lecturer will be via email or appointment for support or additional questions on the content. A final assessment is included at the end of the course to demonstrate that the student has met the learning outcomes for successful completion of the course.

Although there are no formal language requirements, those applicants for whom English is not their first language should note that the course is delivered entirely in English. Therefore a good level of written English will be needed to complete the course.

Fees and how to apply

This course will be available from September 2024 and can be undertaken at any point.

The fee for the course is £750.

For further information and to register your interest in applying please email: