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Forensic Speech Science


Admission requirements

Completed practical course in acoustic phonetics (‘Analysis and Synthesis of Speech’, ‘Methods in Speech Processing’ or equivalent) is recommended.

As an absolute minimum, students should be able to make their own speech recordings, should be able to annotate speech in Praat and should be familiar with IPA symbols.

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, students should be able to write a report in compliance with the demands of a forensic context


The timetable is available on the “MA Linguistics website”:

Mode of instruction


Course Load

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

Assessment method

4 designated homework assignments x 15% = 60%
Final paper = 40%
Resit: students who fail the course may resit 1 of the 4 designated homework assignments and resit the final paper.


“Blackboard” will be used to communicate course materials

Reading list

Reading materials will be supplied during the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
When registering, students that are registered for the specialisation that this course belongs to, or the Research Master, take priority. The deadline for registration is August 15. All other students should contact the “coordinator of studies”:
General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch


Student administration Van Eyckhof