Language and the Law: An Introduction to Forensic Linguistics - LING5001

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Laura Bailey checkmark-circle


The module provides students with the basic tools of forensic linguistic analysis. It covers a range of topics in the different areas of linguistics (e.g. syntax, phonology, morphology, discourse analysis, stylistics, dialectology) and how they can be applied to problems such as authorship attribution, criminal procedures, and corporate identity. Students will gain the skills they need to begin such analysis themselves by examining real-life case studies and example texts such as recordings, text messages, police interviews, and fiction.


Contact hours

Private Study: 130
Contact Hours: 20
Total: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Analysis 1 (1,000 words) 40%
Analysis 2 (1,500 words) 60%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment instrument: 100% coursework (1,500 words)

Indicative reading

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The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate knowledge of the key principles of forensic linguistic analysis;
2 Apply forensic linguistic analysis to a range of text types;
3 Demonstrate knowledge of key linguistic terms in relation to their appearance in a range of text types;
4 Demonstrate understanding of linguistic variation as it applies to forensic linguistic analysis.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Gather and interpret evidence and form conclusions based on it;
2 Communicate effectively in writing;
3 Understand and appropriately use terminology and concepts.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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