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Forensic Speech Science


Admission requirements

This course is open to MA linguistics students with a basic knowledge of linguistics (10 EC).
It is also open to students doing the course Criminalistiek in the MA Forensische Criminologie (5 EC).

The maximum number of students in this course is 20.


Linguistic and phonetic expertise is used in forensic applications such as forensic speaker comparisons and forensic language analysis in the asylum procedure. This course will address the specific nature of forensic applications of linguistic and phonetic expertise. Differences between forensic and academic work will be discussed. Authentic cases will serve as illustrations of typical issues encountered in forensic casework.

Students are expected to collect speech data by recording speakers (non-students) from their own social network in various contexts. These recordings will be used for analyses during the course.

The course includes a visit to the Netherlands Forensic Institute or the Dutch Immigration Service, including a meet-and-greet with the experts who perform forensic language and speech analyses for the Ministry of Security and Justice.

You can take this course in combination with the course Criminalistiek in the MA Forensische Criminologie. For more information on registration for the course Criminalistiek, please contact

Course objectives

  • Students will become familiar with basic principles in forensic casework

  • Students will learn which forensic issues involving linguistic and phonetic expertise exist and how they can be addressed

  • After taking this class, students should be able to distinguish between adequate and inadequate forensic practice

  • After taking this class, linguistics students should be able to write a report in compliance with the demands of a forensic context

  • This class teaches students to consider how the context (forensic or other) of research may influence its goal, its methodology and the reporting of results


The timetable is available on the MA Linguistics website

Mode of instruction


Course Load

10 EC option
Total course load: 280 hours (= 10 EC)
Attending lectures: 28 hours
Literature reading: 62 hours
Homework assignments: 100 hours
Final paper (report): 90 hours

5 EC option
Total course load: 140 hours (= 5 EC)
Attending lectures: 28 hours
Literature reading: 56 hours
Homework assignments: 50 hours
Preparation for written exam: 6 hours

Assessment method

10 EC option
4 designated homework assignments x 15% = 60%
Final paper = 40%

5 EC option
2 designated homework assignments x 25% = 50%
Written exam = 50%

Resit: students who fail the course may resit 1 of the designated homework assignments and resit the final paper.


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

Reading materials will be supplied during the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in [English]) and Dutch

Students other than MA Linguistics and MA Forensische Criminologie need permission from the coordinator of studies before enrolling.


Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof for questions.