Centre for Forensic Linguistics (CFL)

Organisational unit: Research Centre

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Organisation profile

The Centre for Forensic Linguistics at Aston University is the first of its type in the world. It combines leading-edge research and investigative forensic practice with postgraduate teaching and professional courses.

Research at the Centre involves all aspects of forensic linguistics from how the police and the courts can best work with interpreters to the development and refinement of methods for identifying the writer of disputed forensic texts. Members of the Centre have published widely and lectured about their research in some 30 countries. Their high-quality research ensures that both postgraduate and professional courses and their investigative work have a solid academic foundation.

FLAIR - Forensic Linguistics Advice, Investigation & Research is the consultancy arm of the Centre for Forensic Linguistics. Bringing together experienced practitioners with experience of hundreds of cases, FLAIR offers high-quality expertise, from analysis and report writing, to the delivery of expert opinions in court. Recent casework has included analyses of mobile telephone text messages, forged suicide notes and terrorist conspiracy documents. FLAIR applies quality assurance procedures that are unavailable to lone practitioners and offers a clearing house service to investigators and potential clients looking for an expert.

The Centre offers high quality training in all aspects of forensic linguistics to a variety of professional groups including police officers, lawyers and judges. The International Summer School in Forensic Linguistic Analysis is a week-long introduction to forensic linguistics for professionals and academics and the Centre also offers tightly focussed one-day courses in Interviewing with an Interpreter, Linguistic Issues in the Courtroom, and Forensic Textual Analysis.

The MSc in Forensic Linguistics is as a distance-learning, credit-accumulation, programme, which draws on Aston University's substantial expertise developed over 25 years in delivery of distance courses. Students based anywhere in the world can study with the Centre and accumulate credits from individual modules and/or short courses to gain the postgraduate qualification that suits them. Short courses such as the above-mentioned International Summer School can be taken as credit-bearing modules and so contribute towards a Postgraduate qualification.

  1. Admissibility of forensic voice comparison testimony in England and Wales

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. The challenges of identifying and classifying child sexual abuse material

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Spatial statistics for dialectology

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

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