Pop_tart
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Hi there,

I'm looking for people who are currently doing/ are going to study or have just finished the MSc in Forensic Linguistics course at Aston.

I just wonder what people's experiences were and how did you keep in touch with your tutors. How was feedback or the course material etc.

I have already been on touch with some of the course leaders which was very helpful but would love to hear some stories of students!

I had a lot of questions about the course and I just thought I would share the information I have been given.

Feel free to pm me

Thanks!

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Course info and modules
"The MSc in Forensic Linguistics is a flexible programme to suit academic linguists and forensic professionals. It can be studied wholly as a distance learning course or in part by attendance at short and week-long courses held at Aston University's campus in the city centre of Birmingham.
Aston University's Flexible Credit Accumulation scheme allows the combination of distance learning, short course and traditional campus based modules with multiple routes of exit from the programme. This allows students to study to the level they wish and graduate with an Aston University Certificate (with 20 credits), an Aston University Diploma (with 40 credits), a Postgraduate Certificate (with 60 credits), a Postgraduate Diploma (with 120 credits) or with the full MSc in Forensic Linguistics. For the MSc the further 60 postgraduate credits are achieved through a substantial supervised research project.

For those without a relevant prior qualification in linguistics or English language there is a route onto the programme involving an Introduction to Linguistics module.
"

Introduction to linguistics (20 credits -Core)
This module will introduce students to context-based understanding of written and spoken discourse. We will look at a variety of approaches to analysing written and spoken discourse including genre and register; systemic functional grammar; patterns and signals; critical discourse analysis, ethnography of communication, interactional sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, pragmatics. These approaches will then be applied to the analysis of spoken and written discourse in a variety of contexts such as classroom interaction, cross-cultural communication, media discourse.

Introduction to forensic linguistics (20 credits - Core)
This module provides students with a general introduction to forensic linguistics covering both the areas of the language of the law and that of language as evidence.
a) Language of the Law - This part of the course will look at both legal language – its grammar and lexis as exemplified in documents: statutes, insurance schedules, temporary restraining orders jury instructions – as well as the language of the legal process, from the moment a suspect is cautioned, through police interviews and statement making to courtroom trial.
b) Language as Evidence - This part of the course will look at the role of the linguist as expert witness. Examples from real cases will be used to examine the techniques of the forensic phonetician and the forensic linguist.

Language and the legal system (20 credits - Elective)
This module introduces students to the legal context providing some information and history of the three main world legal systems (Roman law, Common law and Shari’ah law) but concentrating on the Common law system as practised in the UK context. From this the development of legal language will be examined and described from oral to written traditions across different types of legal texts. Finally students will be introduced to the language reform initiatives in the law and encouraged to evaluate their success and reasons fro their success and limitations.

Language in the judicial process (20 credits - Elective)
This module introduces students to language practice in the judicial contexts. It introduces students to linguistic research over the communication of legal rights, the linguistic analysis of police and other investigative interviews and the linguistic analysis of courtroom interaction. A variety of research and linguistic methods will be examined and applied to different texts.

Linguistic investigation and evidence
(20 credits - Elective)
This module provides students with an introduction to forensic linguistic investigation and the forms of evidence such a practitioner might be expected to give. It provides students with an overview of the range of possible linguistic evidence and encourages them to explore what should not as well as should be provided as evidence by a linguist. It encourages the students to consider the needs of the police and of the courts in report writing and the role of the linguist in giving evidence.

Language of offender management (20 credits - Elective)
This module provides students with an introduction to the language used in prisons and community management of offenders. It reviews the theoretical linguistic literature on the language of incarceration and punishment and more recent research on language between prisoners and prison officers and the language employed in offender treatment programmes. It raises questions with students as to whether linguistic insights in these contexts can have implications for policy or practice.

Linguistic disadvantage in legal contexts (20 credits - Elective)
This module provides students with an introduction to forms of language disadvantage in forensic and legal contexts. Contexts include the point of arrest, during investigative interview and in courtroom interactions. Forms of disadvantage considered include being a non-native speaker, being deaf or partially deaf and requiring sign-interpretation, being a child or vulnerable adult. Strategies to overcome disadvantage include legal interpretation and translation (including signing), intermediaries and other special measures designed to protect the linguistically and psychologically vulnerable.

Research Methods Linguistics
(20 credits - Core)

Dissertation (60 credits -Core)
For the MSc the further 60 postgraduate credits are achieved through a substantial supervised research project resulting in a 15000 word dissertation.

If you have any further queries about the content of the programme, the teaching methods used or any academic, you can contact Dr Tim Grant, MSc programme Director, at: [email protected]



Entry requirements
Linguistic route applicants should normally have, or expect to obtain, a good Honours Degree (at least upper 2nd Class) in English, Linguistics, or a related discipline, or equivalent qualification. These students do not take LEM036 - the Introduction to Linguistics module.
Non-linguistic route applicants should normally have, or expect to obtain, a good Honours Degree (at least upper 2nd Class) or equivalent qualification. For these students the Introduction to Linguistics module is a requirement.

Non-native speakers of English should have either a TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based) or 250 (computer-based) or at least 100 (Internet-based, with a minimum banding of 20 for Writing, Listening and Reading, and 22 for Speaking); or 6.5 in IELTS (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component), or equivalent.


Application
You can either do this by a post-graduate application form or online via the following link: http://www1.aston.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/apply/apply/

The deadline for the October 2012 entry is at the end of June!


Fees
2012/13 academic year - Oct 2012 and April 2013 entry:
Total fee £7,370 (with possible continuation fee if more than 3 years to complete programme).

Payment are spread out like the following:
year 1 - 40% = £2,948; year 2 - 30% = £2,211; year 3 - 30% = £2,211

"Your online Pre-enrolment will show you predicted tuition fee details. You should visit the Finance Department’s website at: http://www1.aston.ac.uk/current-stud...nances/paying/ which contains all the necessary details about how to pay the tuition fees, due dates and how to set up the invoices. You can also see the information on Facebook at: http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Au-...00002642941093"
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LSE-or-Broke
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I'm not doing Forensic Linguistics, but I did take one of Professor Coulthard's classes and it was extremely interesting. Very illuminating, lots of food for thought. If there's any way you could actually come here and take classes with him (different MSc, perhaps?) in person, I'd recommend that.
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Pop_tart
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(Original post by LSE-or-Broke)
I'm not doing Forensic Linguistics, but I did take one of Professor Coulthard's classes and it was extremely interesting. Very illuminating, lots of food for thought. If there's any way you could actually come here and take classes with him (different MSc, perhaps?) in person, I'd recommend that.
I know, he does do the distance learning as well though so that wouldn't be a problem but it would be nice to have lectures/seminars in person but the only other way would be to do the MA in Applied linguistics and then take the module in forensic linguistics. The thing is that you have 5 other core modules and I would like to do forensic linguistics, I already know my grammar/syntax and discourse

So that's why I really much prefer the full Forensic linguistics one - also because I could easily combine this with work. I would just really like to know peoples experiences with the distance learning on this course ^^
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KatBlakers
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Hi Pop_Tart! I'm doing the MSc starting October! Have you signed up? Hope you are, I need a distance learning buddy! x
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Pop_tart
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(Original post by KatBlakers)
Hi Pop_Tart! I'm doing the MSc starting October! Have you signed up? Hope you are, I need a distance learning buddy! x
That is amazing! I didn't think I would ever find anyone starting this course
I'm actually not starting it yet :/ I still got 1 more year to go till I got my bachelors degree. I would love to stay in touch though! I'll PM you ^^
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jaxxie
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I know I'm a little late on this thread but I hope someone's still checking up on it.

I'm actually looking into starting the MSc this coming fall (Oct 2012), is anyone else? What details do you all have / pearls of wisdom??
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Pop_tart
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(Original post by jaxxie)
I know I'm a little late on this thread but I hope someone's still checking up on it.

I'm actually looking into starting the MSc this coming fall (Oct 2012), is anyone else? What details do you all have / pearls of wisdom??

Hi! glad I'm still subscribed to this thread! When I made this thread I wasn't actually applying yet, though I'm currently in the process of applying for the October 2012 entry.

I have got some information about the modules, tuition fees and some other stuff. PM me if you want and I could send you some of it or if you have got any other questions! . Would be nice to have a 'study buddy' lol
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Elleyk92
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Hey, I'm also applying for the Masters but beginning in Oct 2013.

I was wondering what sort of experience was needed to become a successful candidate other than a 2:1 or 1st?
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Pop_tart
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(Original post by Elleyk92)
Hey, I'm also applying for the Masters but beginning in Oct 2013.

I was wondering what sort of experience was needed to become a successful candidate other than a 2:1 or 1st?
Hi there! As far as I am aware, no special experience is needed. Just make sure you have at least a 2:1 degree and a fantastic Personal Statement I guess haha Though if you did not study anything linguistics related you will have to do the introduction to linguistics module but it's nothing to worry about really!

Hope that answered your question.
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(Original post by jaxxie)
I know I'm a little late on this thread but I hope someone's still checking up on it.

I'm actually looking into starting the MSc this coming fall (Oct 2012), is anyone else? What details do you all have / pearls of wisdom??
(Original post by Elleyk92)
Hey, I'm also applying for the Masters but beginning in Oct 2013.

I was wondering what sort of experience was needed to become a successful candidate other than a 2:1 or 1st?
Just thought I'd let you two know, I have added lots of info to the OP

Hope it helps!
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Elleyk92
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Thanks! I've also found that there is another Forensic Linguistics MSc starting up at Bangor if anyone is interested.
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Pop_tart
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(Original post by Elleyk92)
Thanks! I've also found that there is another Forensic Linguistics MSc starting up at Bangor if anyone is interested.
Yeah you are right! It looks really good but I can't move all the way to Bangor sadly.

Although I would probably rather do a taught course where you have like actual physical lectures, right now the distance learning is the only way cause I live together with my partner who's also at uni so I can't just move all over.

Thanks for sharing though.

There is also a forensic phonology course at York.
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Jemma1389
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I'm at the uni now as a final year English Language undergraduate and have a module (corpus linguistics) with postgrads who seem to rate it well.

Aston is definitely the place for Forensic Linguistics. I know from my time here, we have really good lecturers for it- they've got tons of first hand experience which they share with us in classes for case studies and they're all friendly and happy to help
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Pop_tart
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(Original post by Jemma1389)
I'm at the uni now as a final year English Language undergraduate and have a module (corpus linguistics) with postgrads who seem to rate it well.

Aston is definitely the place for Forensic Linguistics. I know from my time here, we have really good lecturers for it- they've got tons of first hand experience which they share with us in classes for case studies and they're all friendly and happy to help
Thanks for sharing that Jemma! So far I have only been in contact by email haha but they seem really friendly and willing to help
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Jemma1389
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Are you looking forward to starting? Have you picked which modules to do? A few of them seem similar to ones I've had to do so may be able to shed some light on them though I'm guessing only to a small extent.

Mmm though there are a few negatives to add. Lecturers can be impossible to get hold of/get replies to a lot of the time. And assignment deadlines are nearly always on the same day. For some modules we have Phd students lecture us which is great! A good thing is that your lecturer for a module usually has loads of experience within the subject matter particularly things like having written relevant journal articles so they're really high up in their field. I have a module at. I received an email today from my lecturer about the student who has been sent to jail over sending racist tweets about Fabrice Muamba with a link to an interesting comment piece relating it to our module. I'm a big fan of the extra effort than just powerpoint slideshows week in and week out
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Great Lord Xenu
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As a York Linguistics student to-be, this subject looks quite interesting, but I can't help wondering how many jobs there are going for forensic linguists. The York University website says that five Linguistics graduates started a Forensic Phonology Msc last year alone - surely the supply for such jobs can't meet the demand?
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Pop_tart
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(Original post by Jemma1389)
Are you looking forward to starting? Have you picked which modules to do? A few of them seem similar to ones I've had to do so may be able to shed some light on them though I'm guessing only to a small extent.

Mmm though there are a few negatives to add. Lecturers can be impossible to get hold of/get replies to a lot of the time. And assignment deadlines are nearly always on the same day. For some modules we have Phd students lecture us which is great! A good thing is that your lecturer for a module usually has loads of experience within the subject matter particularly things like having written relevant journal articles so they're really high up in their field. I have a module at. I received an email today from my lecturer about the student who has been sent to jail over sending racist tweets about Fabrice Muamba with a link to an interesting comment piece relating it to our module. I'm a big fan of the extra effort than just powerpoint slideshows week in and week out
Oh yeah I'm very much looking forward to it all! I'm pretty sure on my modules I think though it could change XD

So far I had really quick replies actually from all the people I have had contact with, well Tim replied after like 2 days. I'm not too worried about it to be honest - it's part-time so deadlines and just general coursework is a lot more streched out if you know what I mean? As long as people reply within 7 days I'd be happy

Nice to see that share stuff outside of the lectures as well, I like that. Especially in this field, it's important to keep on working with real life examples to gain knowledge of how it all works

(Original post by Great Lord Xenu)
As a York Linguistics student to-be, this subject looks quite interesting, but I can't help wondering how many jobs there are going for forensic linguists. The York University website says that five Linguistics graduates started a Forensic Phonology Msc last year alone - surely the supply for such jobs can't meet the demand?
It is! At least I think so! XD

The field is not as 'narrow' as you might think. First of all I must say that Forensic phonolgy is a lot more specialised compared to just 'forensice linguistics' as it really only focusses on the phonology part. There is a lot more written than spoken corpus.

I think that YOU think that the course leads to the profesion of 'forensic linguist' but this is not the case. Very very few people actually become a 'forensic linguist' in the sense that they help cases in court in their decision and such things.

Forensic phonology, is all about speech recognition and things like that (there is more to it obviously!). You'd be right in saying that this field is somewhat small - in the US forensic phonology is used a lot more compared to the UK though. I have not looked into this much to be honest but I reckon you'd either be working for the police/secret services or a private investigator who specialises in this.

With just forensic linguistics you can still go into loads of different directs! The most obvious once would be working for the police or any other govermental body (think of immigration/customs but also HM Revenue). Then you could also go into the fraud and auditing business (remember that ALL major businesses and all councils have an auditing/fraud department!). There are numerous legal professions and organisations who you could work for (like Courts/ solicitors). Then there are also 'private investigators' - like the centre for forensic linguistics (offer consultancy services in all areas of forensic text analysis) - this would be mainly part-time and freelance though.

I can't think of any other things at the moment but yeah these are just a few fields you could go into

If you have any more questions, let me know!
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Justeen910
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This thread is a little old, but I hope the OP doesn't mind me bumping it.

I'm looking at applying for Oct 2014 entry and whilst I would prefer a full time attendance course, Birmingham really does seem the place to go.
The next steps for me are to work insanely hard to make sure I get a good bachelors degree and build on any experience etc to make a great application.

I'd love to talk to those who have done/are currently doing/are planning to do this course.
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Hafsa2792
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Hi!!
I'm currently doing Bs Honours in English literature and linguistics. Have completed my sixth semester. Will be finished with 8th in July 2014. Then I want to apply for Masters in Forensic Linguistics. There is no university in Pakistan for this course. I don't think I want to do distance learning. So I will apply for universities in uk.
I'm very excited about it.
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Plateau_Skull
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Bump again

... is this course "accredited"?
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